s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: winter wear

Saturday, November 26, 2005

winter wear

Things whose purpose I am beginning to comprehend:

1. Long underwear
2. Scarves
3. Hats

I had always considered scarves and hats to be the province of those who liked to accessorize their winter outfits, and since I don’t accessorize much, I have always done without. Several days of Midwestern winter wind have convinced me of the actual utility of such things, and I am now in possession of two pairs. (And the fact that it is technically still fall makes things even worse.) One hat and scarf set is green and very fuzzy soft from Target. I am somewhat apprehensive that they may shed horribly and get fuzzies all over my clothing. We’ll see, when the time comes. The other set is black and gray and white stripes from H&M (thanks to a recent trip to Chicago). Pretty much I bought it just so that I could say I’d bought something at H&M, and it was one of the few things there that was actually conservative enough for me to wear.

Also, I’ve been thinking that I probably ought to knit or crochet myself a matching hat and scarf this Christmas break. I’ll be in Provo, which means having easy access to Heindselman’s (America’s “oldest knit shop” and a needleworker’s heaven) and lots of free time, as I’ll have no work or classes. And, seriously, how hard can it be?

For the record, I can, in fact, knit and crochet. (Melyngoch was very surprised to find this out yesterday. There is only one fully domestic woman between us, but sometimes the balance shifts.) That said, I cannot knit or crochet particularly well, and it has been a long time since I’ve done either. Back in the day, I could cast on, cast off, knit and purl, although it’s an old joke that I can’t knit anything that isn’t square and I can’t crochet anything that isn’t round. And I have been known to forget to add stitches to my crocheting such that it folds in upon itself into a new dimension. Basically, I gave up both because I got bored with crocheting doilies or whatever and with knitting scarves. As I have already mentioned, this was before I knew that scarves are an essential part of a winter wardrobe.

A scarf shouldn’t be too hard. It’s just a rectangle, in the end, and once I’ve got the right yarn and gauge of needles, I can just knit the whole thing straight, if I’ve a mind to be so boring. The hat may be trickier. The round form would seem to lend itself more to crochet, but I think that it may also be possible to knit one. Either way, it will end up being trickier than anything I’ve done before. And don’t expect fancy cable knitting or argyle patterns either. This first set will probably be very plain, just so I can get the hang of it. Maybe I can elaborate in future winters.

So I intend to trundle down to Heindselman’s some time mid-December, and ask for help selecting a scarf and hat pattern, as well as needles (and possibly a hook) and lots of wonderfully fuzzy, fluffy yarn. Did you know that you can get cashmere yarn? I mean, I guess it makes sense, but I’ve only ever encountered cashmere in the form of very expensive, already-made sweaters, not in its native yarn form. Did you also know that “crochet” actually means “hook,” in French? Thus, the phrase “crochet hook” is redundant?

Anyway, wish me luck on my project, and maybe you’ll see me knitting come Christmas!


At November 26, 2005 10:38 AM, Blogger Amy said...

When I announced that I was moving to Michigan, everyone felt the need to give me scarves. I probably have ten of them, and I've been grateful for them for the last few days. I'm a convert to hats, too.

At November 28, 2005 11:14 AM, Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

Hats--the sweet little old ladies at Heindselman's will happily explain to you how to knit them using the round needles or circular needles or whatever they're called. They've explained this to me several times, but I've yet to knit a hat. Got a knitting book, though, so I'll have hats soon.

At November 29, 2005 2:55 PM, Blogger la bamba said...

4. Mittens and not gloves?

Mittens are wondrous in the cold midwestern winter.

As for knitting: you can knit a hat but making a rectangle, like a squat scarf. All you have to do is not cut off the umbilical yarn that is atttached to the ball and "sew" it through one of the long sides of the scarf, pull, and it will bunch up. Then make a fuzzy top!

At November 29, 2005 6:30 PM, Blogger Th. said...



Once I learned their use, I have never turned back. And that has made all the difference.

At December 01, 2005 12:09 AM, Anonymous Squirrel Boy said...

I got a scarf a year or two ago for Christmas, and it was the most amazing thing ever. I couldn't believe how much warmer it made me. I was already a convert to gloves, so I guess now I just need a hat.


Post a Comment

<< Home