We had a run in with the scary words “bronchitis” and “early stages of pneumonia” with one or our littles this winter. As scary as the words are the symptoms were worse…and they left a mark. A mark on Mama that is. We have bitter cold and biting winds around our parts in the winter, and my efforts to cover up as much of the sweet tender skin of my babes when they adventure out of doors has intensified. Whether old-wives-tale or not, I do all that I can to keep that biting wind and bitter cold away…in an effort to keep any kind of “itis” away.
While we have a solid collection of serious outdoor winter gear I have noticed a chink in their insulated armor. The back of the neck! With a hat on and coat collar up and zipped there is still a nice little tunnel for snow and wind and cold to find its way to tiny necks. Scarves have proven bulky and difficult for little hands to wrap effectively independently. Turtlenecks are not worn everyday and changing every bit of clothes to be able to adventure outside is too much…for both of us!!
Enter Neck Warmer!!!
Think of it as a scarf that is super easy to put on, stays right where it needs to be! And can I tell you how I loved to knit up the perfect thing to keep them extra warm, and as safe as can be from the bites of winter with my own hands. On the rare (but thoroughly enjoyed) balmy days of the January thaw we have found the Neck Warmer to be the perfect extra bit of warmth, when all you really need on over a sweater is a vest, hat, and mittens. I am predicting (and might just enforce!!!) that they will be a staple in our spring outdoor fashion this year.
Easy as pie and quick as can be to knit up they are incredibly versatile and can be adapted for any skill level. Play with them. Experiment with different patterns and stitches, yarns and gauges. Trust me…you’ll love knitting them, and they’ll love wearing them.
I knit the Neck Warmer pictured with a “k1,p1” ribbing that gave lots of stretch to go over the head and felt very thick and warm on her neck. I used the (in her words) “perfect perfect purple” yarn in a worsted weight from the project-leftover stash, and a bit of fuzzy fun yarn from the same stash. I’d like to try some chunky yarn next …and maybe cables…or bobbles…or…!
Have fun, and keep those little necks warm!!!
This pattern can be knit up in any yarn, with any size needles you like, in any pattern you like. A ribbing does work well as it gives you some thickness and a nice stretch. But you will likely love anything you try!!! So in the way of a pattern this is all you need:
(Instructions for the Neck Warmer pictured are in italics)
1. Measure head circumference.
2. Knit a gauge swatch to determine stitch-per-inch of your chosen yarn and needles.
(Size 4 Needles, Worsted Weight yarn, 5 stitches per inch)
3. Multiply head circumference by stitch-per-inch.
4. Cast on…and you’re off!
5. Knit in your desired pattern for 3 ½ “.
6. Bind off.
7. Stitch side seams together (short ends).
8. Bundle up and go play!!!
Hannah Robinson is the mother of two very spirited children, and the wife of a very sensible man, living a very simple life in Western NY. She has a degree in art education and uses it daily as the artist in residence, and personal tutor for her kidlings. She is the author of the popular blog A Handmade Childhood where she chronicles the adventures of a family life centered on a quest for homemade, creative, tied-to-the earth goodness.