Earlier this month, I had the honor of being a featured maker on The Hook Nook blog. From the festive ambiance of my DIY pictures and coordinating yoga sequence video, it looks like I just whipped it all together at the last minute, but it was actually a couple of months in the making (and secret keeping). So yes, that meant that I decorated for Christmas and put the fireplace on while I had the A/C cranked. (What we’ll do for an aesthetic, right?!)
Today, I get to share the pattern for the Knotty to Nice Neck Wrap as well as the Yoga Vid! I wanted to keep things super basic with both the pattern and the stretches so that everyone can enjoy a little self-care during the holidays. The neck wrap involves a couple of quick stitches on the sewing machine, and if you’d like to knit or crochet a cover for it, I give you some guidance there too. The yoga sequence is five minutes long. Five minutes! And, you perform the stretches while seated, so there’s basically no excuse why you can’t do them right now :)
The idea for the neck wrap came after I actually started to get knots in my shoulder/neck region, hence the name Knotty to Nice. I filled it with flax seeds, so it provides a comforting weight that can be warmed in the microwave. (Interesting tid bit: flax seeds retain more heat over time than rice does!) Honestly, I’ve been wearing this neck wrap a lot since the winter weather came a bit early this year - it completely melts my chill and is an instant boost of cozy.
Ready to boost your cozy too?
Knotty to Nice Neck Wrap
For the Neck Wrap:
Cotton fabric, washed, ironed and cut to 25”x13” (I upcycled some cotton sheets)
3 cups flax seed
3-4 drops essential oil (optional, but may I suggest relaxing lavender or invigorating peppermint?)
Half cup measuring cup
Neck Wrap Instructions
1. Fold fabric in half lengthwise and sew each short side with 1/2" seam allowance. (If you’re leaving your neck wrap unwrapped, then you will want to fold the fabric with the wrong side facing out.)
2. Turn inside out (poke those corners out too!) and iron.
3. Create 1/2" seam along the open end by folding fabric inward on each side, lengthwise. Iron across new seam line. Leave this side open for now. Your new dimensions should be 24”x6”.
4. Measure 4” increments and place a pin at 4”, 8”, 12”, 16” and 20”. You can place extra pins to ensure straight lines when sewing, or do as I did and lightly pencil a line widthwise at each of these marks.
5. Sew along each 4” mark widthwise, leaving the top of each pocket open.
6. If using essential oil drops, mix the drops with the three cups of flax seeds. Allow time for them to dry before using the flax seeds to fill the neck wrap.
7. Measure 1/2 cup of the flax seeds and use the funnel to fill each pocket. (Six pockets, 1/2 cup filling in each = 3 cups total). This is a medium weight. You can put slightly more in each compartment, but be careful not to overstuff the pockets - they’ll be difficult to sew and less comfortable while wearing.
8. Very carefully transport your neck wrap to the sewing machine. (Yes, I dropped it at this juncture, and I’m still finding flax seeds in curious places!)
9. Top stitch along the open end.
10. If you’re leaving your neck wrap unwrapped, then you’re done with the crafting part! Skip ahead to the Yoga Sequence video!
To whip up a quick and easy cover, pick your craft of choice below.
1 skein (120 yds) bulky yarn - I used Patons Classic Roving in Aran for the knit version
US 11 (8mm) circular knitting needles (or DPNs)
(any other embellishment supplies you may want - I used some red yarn to embroider a heart on mine with the duplicate stitch!)
Cast on 34 stitches and join in the round. Place stitch marker to indicate beginning of round.
Knit in the round until you have a tube that measures 26.5”
Cast off and weave in the ends.
You can block if you like, but the heat from your neck wrap once warmed in the microwave can serve as a “steam block.” (wink wink)
1 skein (120 yds) bulky yarn (I used Echoview Fibermill Roving in for the red Crochet version)
Size M/13 (9mm) crochet hook
(any other embellishment supplies you may want!)
Tie a slip knot and loosely chain 30
Join in the round with a slip stitch (making sure not to twist the foundation chain)
Single crochet in the first chain stitch from the hook. Chain 1.
*Skip the next stitch and single crochet in the following chain stitch. Chain 1.* Repeat these instructions until you come back to the slip stitch that joined the work.
For the next round and each subsequent round, single crochet in the chain 1 stitch of the previous round. Then chain 1.
Continue on in this pattern, single crocheting in the chain of the previous round, then chaining one, until you have reached approximately 26.5”.
To finish, make a couple of slip stitches across the top of your project and weave in the ends.
Knotty to Nice Yoga Sequence
The best part about the 5 minute stretch break that I’ll talk you through in the following video* is that you don’t need any special supplies. You can wear PJs (as I am), and perform these stretches on your couch or your bed - in the morning, afternoon or evening! Basically, if you’re cozied up on the couch reading this, Nama-stay right where you are and press play on the video. After the simple stretches, feel free to warm up** your Knotty to Nice Neck Wrap and absorb all the self-care benefits that you’ve just practiced.
Have a cozy, peaceful holiday season, and don’t forget to factor in some time for self-care everyday, movers and makers!
*As with any physical activity, please be mindful of your body and how you’re feeling. Never practice any exercise that results in pain, and stop at any time if you feel uncomfortable. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please check with your doctor before performing any exercise demonstrated in this video.
**Do not heat your neck wrap in the microwave with a yarn cover on it, or other embellishments. To warm in the microwave, slip the cover off and heat in 30 second increments, checking the temperature after each increment. It helps to reorient the wrap in the microwave every 30 seconds. For instance, if you folded it one way to put in the microwave for 30 seconds, open it up and refold the opposite way for the following 30 seconds, and so on. Check the temperature of the wrap before putting it on exposed skin. Place a cover on the wrap, if you’re using one, and drape the wrap over the neck and shoulders.**