Rice in an old sock. Also known as the least glamorous craft ever.

  I’ve been sick.  As soon as the last of my guests left on Sunday morning, the worst of my cold hit.

  I’ve felt absolutely terrible for the last 3 days.  For whatever reason, the only way I seem to get sick is to have severe head/nasal congestion that makes my temples feel like they’re going to explode.  It then moves to my throat, which makes me sounds like a frog with emphysema.  Finally, (and this is where I am now) I develop asthmatic coughing from the irritation to my throat from all the drainage.  The coughing persists until I can somehow stop myself from coughing long enough for my throat to become non-irritated.

  As a result, I’ve been spending a lot of time with this guy wrapped around my neck and shoulders:
  Sexy, right?  Add the big ugly sock to stringy hair, a face entirely drained of color and a cough that sounds like a cross between a war drum and the mating call of a 500 pound bullfrog.  Clearly Rihanna ain’t got nothin’ on me.
  I absolutely hope, for your sake, that you are not sick, and in fact, will make it through the winter in perfect health.  Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the way things go for most people.  If you are (or get) sick, I definitely recommend making one of these.  I’ve tried the fancier, prettier versions, and they just don’t work as well.  Because it’s knit, this one really conforms around your neck and shoulders, and the rice holds heat better than anything else I’ve tried.
  All you need to do is find a big sock (ugly isn’t required, but I suspect that the ugly may have some magical healing power), fill it with rice and then stitch or tie it shut.  I sewed mine shut on the sewing machine because it was the quickest way for me.  If you do the same, make sure you back stitch at both edges so the stitching doesn’t pull out as the rice shifts.
  To heat the whole thing up, just throw it in the microwave and nuke it.  I usually start with 5 minutes and then use 3 minutes to heat it back up after it cools down.  It’s probably wise to start lower and test it out yourself though, I’m a little notorious for liking things lava hot.  Also, please make sure you put something between you and the heated sock.  I typically wrap the collar of a sweater between me and mine.  My back is still usually lobster red when I finish.
  Make one up, try it out and feel better!  The big ugly sock o’ rice is easy to hide away under the bathroom sink when you’re not using it!

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