A Christmas gift for my brother's girlfriend - a sock dog which doubles as a hand warmer! Great as a gift or a treat for you.
I started using a How To available here:
But I quickly (ie - after step one!) realised that stuffing a sock with rice (for the heating) doesn't lead to a soft toy that holds it's shape all that well. So I edited the design.
Anyway, enough waffle, here's the How To. Don't be put off by the length - I've just gone into a lot of detail to compensate for the lack of photos.
Firstly, grab your supplies. Ironically, not shown here is the sock. D'oh!
Also, I didn't take photos while making because I wasn't planning a How To, so enjoy some more of my MS Paint doodles!
Cut your sock as shown.
Take the middle bit, which will form the head and body of your dog.
Turn it inside out. Sew one end up by running some stitches round the edge, then pull the trailing threads to gather closed, and sew over the gathered end to make sure it's closed properly. This is a technique you'll use a lot in the make!
Fill a tub (I'm using a spray paint lid, but a cup would do) with half rice, and half dried lavender.
The lavender will take the edge off the smell of heated rice.
Turn your sock the right way out, and pour your mixture in. Keep adding half-and-half tubs until full (remember to leave a small lip for sewing closed).
Mix the mixture extra well with your fingers.
Use the gathering technique again to sew the other end shut. The left is the end which used to have the ankle bit attached, and the right is where the toes used to be. Remember this.
Flip your body over, and run another line of gathering stitches around where the neck will be - under the heel, to where the foot bends. This adds definition, but don't pull too tight or your puppy will look strangled.
Plop your dog down on it's bum and squidge it until it looks kind of like a snow man. See how the heel becomes the back of the head?
Grab a scrap of felt (or perhaps a button) and sew on a nose to cover that gathered bit at the front. You can also add a tail on the bottom to cover the gather there too, but I didn't bother.
Put your body to one side and grab the bit of your sock that used to be the ankle.
Cut into four equal bits as shown. Each should have three open sides, and a folded side. These will form the legs.
Take one piece and turn it inside out. Sew the side opposite the fold closed, and sew a circle of felt on to one end. Turn it right side out, fill with rice and gather the open end closed as you've done previously.
Do the same for the other three pieces.
Sew your four legs on to the body as shown.
You should have something that looks like this.
Now take the toe part of your sock. Cut it in half width ways and throw away to top section, then cut your remaining toes in half length ways, as shown.
Tune it inside out and sew down the side opposite the fold. Turn it right side out, and DON'T fill with rice! Do this for both.
Sew your ears into place on your dogs head.
Finally, grab some more scrap felt (or two buttons if you prefer) and sew your puppy some eyes using big comedy cross stitches.
That's Sox made, and ready to warm your fingers.
To use, put Sox into your microwave next to a cup of water. Microwave him for two or three minutes.
Make sure you keep an eye on him, just in case. The cup of water is important, because it stops the rice from burning (there's a scientific reason I'm sure, but I don't know it - I assume the rice absorbs the water vapour so heats up, but not enough to actually cook?).
Once warm, keep him snuggled up to you and enjoy the heat. I don't know how long he'll stay warm for, but it should be long enough to take the edge off the winter chill!