Monday, December 19, 2011

Making this Monday...

Today I'm making hand warmers for a co-worker whose hands are always freezing.

This version is really simple, but way fancier than what we use at home. For home I just nabbed a fairly new pair of tube socks out of Carey's drawer...filled them with uncooked rice, and tied the end closed with twine. I keep them in the freezer to use as a cold pack for injuries...but if I want them warm I just put them straight into the microwave. They are reusable for ages...I made our 'rice socks' years ago, and we've been using them ever since.

For the prettier gift version I'm making today, I cut three 8" x 10.5" layers of fleece...I'll call them layers A, B, and C.  I sewed layers A and B together lengthwise with straight rows of stitching about an inch and three-quarters apart to form channels for the filling.  After I had the rows of stitching  done, I added layer C to the top and sewed around three of the sides with a straight stitch, leaving one short side open...then I went back and zigzagged around the same three sides (zigzagging optional).

I used a funnel to fill the channels formed in layers A and B with rice.  (I used brown rice, because that's what I had on hand.)  I packed them pretty tightly, but I stopped filling about an inch and a half or so from the top.  As I completed filling each channel, I used a straight pin to secure the openings.  After each channel was filled, I went back to the sewing machine.  I pulled layer C out of the way at one edge, and removed the straight pin from the first channel; with a straight stitch, I sewed the first channel of layer A and B closed, then removed the pin from the next channel and sewed it closed...and repeated across.  Then I went back and zigzagged across that whole row of stitching again.

These are the completed hand warmers.  Pop them in the microwave for a minute (or maybe two depending on your microwave), and they feel so nice and warm.

With the third layer C added, you have a warm pocket to put your cold hand into!

All size measurements are approximate...I pretty much eyeballed the whole thing.  The zigzag stitching is completely optional.  I used fleece because: a) I had it on hand, and b) I didn't have to worry about finishing any edges.  You can fill with rice, wheat, or flax seed; and you can mix cinnamon or a few drops of essential oils into the rice before filling if you want a nice scent.

That's it!  Another gift ready to wrap.  :)

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