I have lots of posts planned about the great holiday week I just got to spend with my family, but for now here’s something quick and easy to post.  Last year I took on a large knitting project for Christmas presents, making neckwarmers and scarves for all of my female relatives.  I used my favorite knitting book for inspiration, and one of my favorite ideas was a buttonless neckwarmer.  The pattern called for a neckwarmer with nice, decorative heart-shaped ends, but I took it down to the basics in a fuzzy neckwarmer for my cousin D.  Since I got some amazingly soft and fuzzy green yarn in a yarn swap with my old knitting group last spring, I decided to make one for myself.  And I love it!

one end

crossed

The pattern is super simple.  Start knitting a scarf that is just wide enough to fit comfortably flat across the back of your neck, about 5-6 inches.  You can use any pattern you like.  Once you have knit 3-4 inches, take two double-pointed needles, and split the stitches between the two needles.  Holding the two DPNs together in your right hand, start slipping stitches off your needle.  The first stitch will go onto needle #1, the second stitch on needle #2, third on #1, fourth on #2, and so on.  Work each of these sections independently for 3 inches.  You can continue your scarf pattern through this section, or work these pieces in stockinette stitch.  Just make sure that the right side of your pattern faces outward on both pieces, and the wrong sides face each other.  Then you put all of your stitches back on one needle by slipping the first stitch from side one, then the first stitch from side two, the second stitch from side one, and so on.  Once everything is back on a single needle, knit in your scarf pattern for 16 inches.  Split the stitches a second time, knit independently for 3 inches again, and rejoin.  Finish with another 3-4 inches in your scarf pattern.  Bind off and weave in your ends.  It’s that easy!

When you are done, you will have a neck warmer with a loop on either end that you can thread the opposite end of the neck warmer through.  It keeps the neck warmer snug at the base of your throat, while avoiding the bulk of a wrapped scarf, as well as the little cold spot I always get where the wrapped scarf doesn’t overlap.  

Because I was using a very fuzzy yarn for the scarf, I chose to use a plain yarn in a similar color for the loops that are created by splitting and rejoining the yarn.  Fuzzy yarn is very forgiving in some ways, because you can’t see any mistakes, but also a challenge because you really can’t see your stitches.  I thought that it would be difficult to find the loops if the warmer was just one big fuzzy mass, and I like the effect of the smooth stockinette stitch contrasting with the fuzzy yarn where the two ends cross.

I knit up the whole thing in a day while hanging out with my family, and didn’t even use the whole skein of fuzzy yarn, although I might have finished it if I hadn’t switched yarns for the loop.  A quick and easy project for you, or to give away as a Christmas gift!

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