Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark

Gifts of Love

Celebrate the yogis in your life this holiday season by sharing these DIY presents from the heart.

Our gifts of love include:

Meditation Shawl

*** UPDATED SHAWL PATTERN ***

To make the shawl pictured on page 67, our knitter, Patricia Bearden, chose an Old Shale stitch pattern. She also used a simple seed stitch border, which doesn't show in the photo, to give the shawl a subtle edge at the sides.

She used 9 skeins of Kersti Merino Crepe by Koigu Wool Designs 100-percent Merino wool yarn and size 9 circular needles for a shawl that measures approximately 21 inches by 70 inches.

This is a project for experienced knitters:

Old Shale pattern repeats as a multiple of 18 stitches plus 1. To create a shawl like the one Bearden made, using a similar weight yarn and needle size, cast on 299 stitches: that's 16 sets of 18 stitches (or 288 stitches); plus 1 stitch; plus 10 stitches (for a border of 5 stitches each edge), which you will knit in seed stitch.

To use the yarn and needle size of your choice, create a 19-stitch swatch to gauge size. Use gauge to determine how many multiples of 18 stitches you will need for the desired shawl length.

Cast on 5 stitches, place a marker, then cast on your multiple of 18 plus 1, place another marker and cast on 5 more.

Row 1: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 (marker) knit to next marker K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 2: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 (marker) *K1, (K2tog) 3 times, (YO, K1) 5 times, YO, (K2tog) 3 times: repeat
from *, ending K1 (marker) K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 3: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 (marker) Knit to marker, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 4: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 (marker) Knit to marker, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 5: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 (marker) Purl to marker, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1

Repeat Rows 2-5 (the Old Shale pattern) as many times as you like to get the desired shawl width. (For the pictured shawl, Bearden repeated the pattern 14 times until the shawl measured about 14 inches.)

For Top Border:
Row 1: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 (marker) Knit to marker (marker) K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 2: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 (marker) Knit to marker, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 3: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 (marker) Knit to marker, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 4: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1 (marker) Purl to marker, K1, P1, K1, P1, K1

Repeat Top Border Rows 1-4 as many times as you like to get desired look. (For the pictured shawl, Bearden repeated the pattern 7 times until the shawl measured a total of about 20 inches.)

Finish with 5 rows of garter stitch. Bind off.

Chai Tea

Recipe used with permission from The Modern ayurveda">Ayurvedic Cookbook, by Amrita Sondhi (Arsenal Pulp Press).

1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
1 2-inch piece cinnamon bark (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 teaspoon ground ginger

  1. In a frying pan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and toast for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  2. In a clean coffee grinder, grind masala in batches. Then mix together and store in an airtight container.
  3. Tie a note around the masala container with a note that says:

    In a small pot, bring to a boil:
    1 scant cup water
    1/4 teaspoon chai mix

    Let simmer for 5 minutes, remove from heat, and add:
    1 teaspoon of loose-leaf black tea

    Let steep for a minute, then strain and add:
    1/4 cup milk
    Sweetener to taste

    Enjoy!

Or try this chai mix recipe from Beth Baker, a personal chef and the principal cook at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.

11⁄2 teaspoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons fresh cardamom pods
1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 dash allspice
3/4 teaspoon licorice root (optional)
Good-quality black tea

  1. Grind the coriander seeds and cardamom pods in a spice grinder.
  2. In a bowl, mix the ground spices, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and optional licorice root.
  3. Pour the chai mix into a clean jar and the black tea in another jar. Tie a note around them with the following instructions:

    To make an herbal chai you can sip all day, follow step 1 below, strain, and add extra hot water as necessary. For a rich and heavenly pick-me-up, follow steps 2, 3, and 4 to add the milk (dairy or non), black tea, and sweetener.

    Chai mix
    2 cups water
    1/3 cup ginger, finely chopped
    3 cups milk
    2 or 3 tablespoons black tea leaves
    2 to 3 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or sugar

    1. Bring the chai mix, water, and ginger to a boil.
    2. Lower heat, add milk, and cook until it reaches a low boil. Stir continuously so as not to scorch it.
    3. Add black tea and simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Strain and sweeten to taste.

Yoga Mat Bag

diabetes_217_opnr_massage

Materials needed

1 yard of fabric at least 45 inches wide
1 yard of wide ribbon, binding, or cord for strap
1/2 yard of cord for drawstring

  1. Cut the fabric

    First, measure your yoga mat. Loosely roll up your mat and measure the length and the circumference.

    Cut a rectangle from your fabric. The length will be the length of your yoga mat plus 4 5/8 inches, and the width will be the circumference of your mat plus 11/4 inches. For example: If your rolled-up mat is 21 inches in length and has a circumference of 20 inches, the rectangle needs to be 25 and 5/8 inches long and 21 and one quarter inches wide.

    For the bottom of the yoga mat bag, cut a circle that is the circumference of your mat plus 1 and one fourth inches. For example: If your mat's circumference is 20 inches, cut a circle that is 21 and one quarter inches in circumference.

    Cut a strap that is the same length as your yoga mat, which in our example is 21 inches.

  2. Make a tube

    Pin the ends of the strap to the right side of the rectangle at points E and F (see diagram), about 3 inches from the top and bottom of the rectangle.

    With the wrong side of the fabric facing out, sew edges A and B together with a 5/8-inch seam to form a tube. The strap will be inside the tube.

    Stop sewing 2 inches from the top edge (C).

  3. Create an opening for the drawstring

    Turn the top edge (C) of the tube under 1 inch, then stitch 5/8 inch from the fold to create a channel for the drawstring.

  4. Attach the bottom fabric to the tube

    Pin the circle to the bottom edge (D) of the tube (right side to right side) and stitch together with a 5/8-inch seam.

  5. Insert drawstring

    Turn tube right side out. Thread the drawstring through the channel. Tie the ends of the drawstring to close bag, or secure ties with a toggle.

Pattern adapted with permission from www.craftbits.com.

Easy Eye Pillow

Materials You'll Need (makes one eye pillow)

For the pillow
1/2 yard of fabric that has been washed, dried, and ironed

For the filling
1/2 cup dried beans or flax seeds
1/2 cup dried rice, lentils, or buckwheat
1/2 cup dried lavender or chamomile

When selecting the filling consider the recipient's scent preferences and any potential allergies. Mix together three or all of the above items. You'll need 1 1/2 cups total.

Make the Pillow

  1. Cut the fabric

    Using a ruler and pencil, mark two 4 1/2-by-10-inch rectangles on the wrong (nonprinted) side of the fabric. With a pair of scissors, cut along the marks to create the two panels needed for the pillow.

  2. Sew the seams

    Place the two panels' right (printed) sides together, with the raw edges aligned. Stitch a 1/2-inch seam around the raw edges, backstitching (sewing first in reverse, then forward over the same stitches) at each end. Leave one of the 4-inch sides open, so you can later add the filling. Stitch a 3/8-inch reinforcement seam around the raw edges, leaving the same 4-inch opening. This reinforcement will ensure that the mixture doesn't leak out of the pillow after you've filled it.

    With your scissors, cut two 1/4-inch notches in each seam allowance (the area between the stitching and the raw, cut edge of the fabric), one on either side of each of the four corners, making sure not to clip the stitching. Turn the eye pillow right side out for the next step.

  3. Fill the pillow

    Spoon 1 1/2 cups of filling into the pillow's open seam.

  4. Close the final seam

    Fold each side of the remaining 4-inch seam 1/2 inch toward the inside of the pillow, and pin the opening closed. Either by hand or with a sewing machine, stitch a seam across the folded edges to close the 4-inch opening, then try out the pillow before wrapping it up: Lie down, put it over your eyes, and treat yourself to 5 minutes of deep relaxation.

Energizing Gel
Recipe used with permission from ECOBEAUTY, by Lauren Cox with Janice Cox (Ten Speed Press, 2009)

Peppermint Oil is a well-known energizer, and when combined with aloe and witch hazel, it makes for an elixir that will instantly wake up and slow or tired muscles. This light, nongreasy recipe makes a great gift for an active friend.

1/2 cup aloe vera gel
1 tablespoon witch hazel
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 - 4 drops peppermint oil

  1. Combine the aloe vera, witch hazel, and cornstarch on the stovetop in a double boiler. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir until all of the ingredients are well mixed, and then allow the mixture to cool.
  2. Add the peppermint oil and stir thoroughly. Pour into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dry, dark place, where it will keep for 3 to 4 weeks.
  3. To use, massage gel into sore muscles for an instant cooling sensation.
Print Print Comment Comment Add to Favorites
Log in to save to My Yoga Journal!
Add to Favorites
Bookmark Bookmark
Full Name
Address 1
Address 2
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email (req):

Reader Comments

Barb

I made yoga mat bags this holiday for friends - instead of making a circle for the bottom of the bag I just made a casing and put elastic in it - drawing it tight to close and form the rounded bottom. Just add a few inches to the length for this.

Donna

Hi Erin & Maridee,
The shawl was in the Dec. 2009 issue which is not archived on the site anymore. I tore out my picture but am hoping to have a friend make the shawl for me, if I do I will take a photo of it and post it. And thanks to Judy for the non-itchy yarn suggestion. Happy New Year!

scotdeerie@verizon.net

The shawl is from the Dec. '09 issue. You can see a photo of it @
http://community.webshots.com/album/579372876aEOTyp?vhost=community

Email me if that doesn't work and I'll send it directly.

See All Comments »      Add a Comment »

Your Name:

Comment:

Stay Connected with Us!

Yoga Journal Live events
sd14 San Diego
Sheraton San Diego
July 10-14, 2014
Register
2014 new york live New York
Hilton New York
April 24-28, 2014
Register

More Events

Join Yoga Journal's Benefits Plus
Liability insurance and benefits to support
teachers and studios.
Learn More
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 4 FREE GIFTS
Your subscription includes
Yoga for Neck & Shoulders • Yoga Remedies
Yoga for Headaches • Calm, Cool, Collected
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Yoga Journal
and my 4 FREE downloadable Yoga Booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions