Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How to Make: Heat Socks

I promised you a post on heat socks, so here it is, even though I'd rather blog about yesterday. The day dawned dreary, but that was beside the point. I got a good night's sleep, Julia was home, and my daughters watched the baby while I went to my church for Bible Study. We're not studying the Bible though. Instead, we're going through a quiet little book by Ruth Haley Barton called Sacred Rhythms.

After hearing Ruth's teaching about Elijah in the wilderness, and the time and the solitude he needed in order to be restored, we had a half hour of silence. Silence. No music. No chit-chat.

I found it so difficult to be still, and focus my thoughts, and enjoy the calm. I wanted to check my phone.

Then we met as a small group. I already love my group.

I appreciate studies at my church, because we are trained to listen without interrupting. This discipline is good for both the talker and for the listeners. It's so restful to know you are going to be allowed to finish your thoughts. And it is relaxing when you know, as a listener, that no response is needed. Just listening is all that is required.

But maybe you want to know how to make heat socks. You will need:

Cotton fabric, about 1/2 a yard (ticking works well)
Feed corn (I get mine at the Anoka Feed Store on 2nd Avenue)
Lavender, if you like

My current heat sock is about 18" x 10". I also have two others that are smaller. At times, I have one on my sore shoulder, one on my sore sciatic nerve, and one draped over my sore left ankle. It's a sad creaky mess I'm getting to be.

Cut fabric to desired size, two equal pieces (about 10"x18" is great for feet).
Place right sides together.
Stitch around three sides, about 1/2 inch from edge (both long sides and one of the short sides),
leaving one short side open.
Zig-zag around the sewn edges to limit fraying.
Turn fabric right-side out.
Fill bag with feed corn. (Fill bag halfway. That's about 4 or 5 cups of corn for a large heat sock). You will want to sift the corn through your fingers a bit to get out the chaff.
If you like, add about a tablespoon of lavender.
Turning raw edges inward, stitch the open end of the bag shut.

To heat the sock:

Place in the microwave for about two minutes. My big sock takes three minutes, but do not let your sock burn. If you do, the whole house will smell awful and you'll have to cast the sock outside to get rid of the odor.

Sometimes I crawl wearily into bed with my cuddly little baby and my array of heat socks, and it's all so wonderful that I don't mind winter one bit. Especially when I wake up with Malachi at one in the morning and the sock is still warm.

(Many thanks to my sister Joanie, who did the research on sock fillers years ago and discovered feed corn was the best option. You are such a handy dandy sister).

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