Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Heart Warmers

Little hearts shaped heat packs that are great for this time of year.  Just microwave them for 30 seconds and you've got a great heating pad.

When we lived in Texas it would sometimes get cool - we thought it was cold, but we were wrong - I would often throw my kids' socks & jackets into the dryer for a minute or two before they put them on.  They always liked the feeling of snuggly warm socks and a toasty jacket.  Such a simple thing, but they appreciated it so much.

Warm is good  - especially given the bitter winter that has been going on this year.

I've seen a lot of home made heat packs with beans/rice/corn/flax (pick one or more) in them.  They are usually done with fleece or cotton fabric.  I thought about making one, but knew that crochet would be a bad choice.  Could be done with a tight single stitch, but then the fabric would not be flexible, but I thought a tighter stockinette stitch would work.  Since Valentine's day is around the corner I made it heart shaped.  Besides, doing it that way let me give it a cute name.  :-)


cotton yarn - medium weight.  The same kind you would use for dishcloths.
size 5 needles
yarn needle with big eye for sewing the pieces together.

filling.  I used beans.  beans, feed corn, rice, flax seed - I've seen all of them used.  If you choose rice or flax, I think adding a lining might be a good idea - I can see them working their way through the knit.  Especially the flax.

essential oil - if you want a bit of a fragrance.

Stitches -
k = knit
p = purl
kfb = knit front and back
k2tog= knit two together
ssk = slip slip knit
p2tog = purl two together.

Heart - Make 2

The lobes are made first and then joined to start the rest of the heart.  Knit tightly.

Lobe 1
cast on 5

1) k
2) kfb, k across to last stitch, kfb /7/
3) p
4) kfb, k across to last stitch, kfb /9/
5) p
6) kfb, k across to last stitch, kfb /11/

break yarn and leave lobe on the needle.

cast on 5 on the same needle as the lobe just made.
Repeat for lobe one.  Don't break yarn

7) purl across both lobes to join them.  Be sure to keep the tension tight when you are crossing from one to the other.
8) k
9) p
10) k
11) p

now we start decreases
 on knit rows

ssk, k across to last two stitches, k2tog

purl rows don't decrease

p across

When you are down to two stitches, don't purl across p2tog and fasten yarn off.  Weave in ends.

After the second heart is made sew them together.  Do this with wrong sides together and sew around the outside edge, leaving a small opening on one side so you can fill it.  If you sew right sides together and flip you'll have a nice edge, but will be a pain to sew the last opening shut.  

A funnel works great for filling.  I didn't have one and the first time I did it, I made a mess.  I did have a 2liter bottle left over from this project I found on Pinterest.  You used the bottles to hang the yarn over the back of the chair and feed down through the spout.  Worked brilliantly - for someone else - was all sorts of fail for me.  I didn't have the right kind of chair, no slats.  Oh well, now I have several handy funnels.  It made filling the  heart much easier.  Don't over fill - you want it to be flexible.

Then sew that last little bit up.

Put them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so.  Don't over heat.  I find this size just right for putting on my lower back.  I just use my waistband to hold it in place.  I also like them for slipping into pockets before heading out.  Keeps my hands warm while I'm waiting for the car to warm up. (when I'm not the driver.  Doesn't help much when my hands are on the wheel) 

I'm making a couple of sets to send my parents who moved from warm Georgia to the mountains of Arkansas in November.  This winter has been hard on them.  

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