Walking in the early morning is one of life’s most delicious things. When I can drag myself out of my bed, that is, because people? I am what you call a sleeper. I love my comforts, and once I am all warm and snuggly somewhere, you can’t pry me out of there with anything less than a chocolate-covered millionaire. I had to go out this morning, though, and whoa, it was so nice. Our snow is completely gone, but the sun was shining, and the air was snapping with teeny snowflakes, and now and then I’d catch the faintest scent of wood smoke from someone’s stove. I don’t know if there’s a nicer smell anywhere than wood smoke. Maybe vanilla is nicer. Or frangipani. Whatever, anyway. I was all warm in my wool coat and was clipping along the roadside feeling all fresh and brisk and rosy-cheeked, and my hands in my new mittens were so snug because, check it out, I had these little doodads in there next to my hands.
Why didn’t I think of this sooner???? I can only shake my head in wonder. Such a brilliant little idea, these handmade handwarmers. I spotted them in a magazine somewhere, who knows which one—Country Homes and Interiors, maybe? I don’t know—and just went Well, yeah! Having warm hands makes such a difference. Huge, really. (Feet too, that’s next.)
To make these, all you do is get your husband to sacrifice a wool jacket that doesn’t fit him anyway (or get one at the thrift store) and cut out four circles. To make mine, I traced around the rim of a big mug. Sew two circles together with right sides facing, leaving a 2” opening. Clip the seam and turn it right side out. Fill with about 1/4 cup ceramic beans (if you have them) or real dried beans (if, like me, you don’t) and then stitch up the opening. Work a blanket stitch all the way around the edge for decorative fanciness, and then make another one for the other hand. Heat them in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. (Don’t wander away from the microwave while they heat up. You don’t want it to start smoking or worse…) Then tuck one into each mitten and head confidently out into the weather. They’ll stay nice and warm for about 30 minutes. Yum.