Planning for Cold Weather

When you tell folks you live in Florida, they think beaches and constant sunshine.  They don’t think about rainy days, thunder, lightening or even cold weather.

Yes, in the northern part of Florida, we have cold weather.  It’s a different kind of cold, though.  It’s damp and seeps into your bones.  The chill just never goes away.

Anyway, I am preparing for that cold weather when I walk my dog this winter.  I made a wool hat, wool mittens and wool cowl.  I may make my dog a sweater or maybe just get a sweatshirt from the Goodwill and “adjust” it to fit her.

B 1a This photo shows the completed mittens and the hat in progress.

B 2a And this shows the cowl, hat and mittens completed; all made with wool.

These should help with the cold and chill this winter.

ETA:  OMG!  How could I forget!?!?!?!  For those of you who knit, this Baa-ble Hat is a free pattern on Ravelry.  I used the graph to add the sheep to the mittens and the cowl.  The mittens are basic mittens (c/o of 40 sts; US 4 needles) and the cowl uses the same number of stitches as the hat, after the increase (120 sts); only it is knit on larger needles (US 9).

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How to Care for Handknit Wool Items

Christmas is just a couple of days away. Perhaps your sister-in-law, or mother-in-law, granny, mom or aunt thought you were special enough to knit/crochet something for this year.

First, let me say handmade/homemade is NOT cheap. Your relatives/friends are not trying to slide by on the cheap side by knitting/crocheting gifts. A skein of yarn, whether it is acrylic or Merino wool, can cost from $6 to $50+++ per skein and it will take at least 2 skeins to make a gift. Now add in the time spent to create said items and multiply by at least minimum wage. There, got it? Not cheap, is it.

Now, that being said, lets get to the care of said knitted/crocheted item. If it is acrylic, more than likely it is machine washable and dryable. Great for kids’ items.

If it is wool, or any other natural fiber, care is a little more involved. Most will involve washing by hand. This does not mean you take the item and scrub it against an old washboard. That will just cause the item to felt and shrink enough to fit your youngest child. What that means is to SOAK the item in warm, soapy water. Then rinse in cool water. Gently squeeze the water out. Roll item in a towel to remove more water. Then lay the item on a flat surface, shaping as you go, and allow the item to dry. This will take a day or two.

Granted this is a little time consuming, especially in our society where most folks want instant gratification. But keep in mind your relative/friend felt that you were knit/crochet worthy and felt in their hearts that you would take care of the item that took them hours to create.

I can guarantee you if you don’t take care of said item, you will be OFF their knit/crochet worthy list.

Merry Christmas!

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SS11a

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Wearing Socks in Florida

I’m a knitter, a sock knitter primarily. I just love to knit them and wear them. And, yes, I live in Florida. I wear socks year around.

Why? you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. First, it does get extremely hot and humid here. That includes the sand at the beach. That sand can blister your feet in seconds. Then you can give up walking for awhile. The sun can blister the tops of your feet while the sand takes care of the bottoms.

Second, this is the South. Air conditioning is used everywhere. I don’t mean just cool comfort from the heat outside. I mean freezing temperatures, walk-in freezer type temperatures in stores, theaters, homes, businesses, schools, etc. That cool blast feels pretty good the first few minutes you are inside, then you begin to get cold and that includes your feet.

Third, I make my socks with a wool blend sock yarn. Wool pulls moisture away from the skin so you don’t have that yukky, sticky, wet squishy feeling while wearing your socks.

So, I’ll continue to wear my socks year round…in Florida.

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Dead Fish Hat

I found a pattern on Knitty for a fish hat and decided to try my hand at making the thing. It has short row shaping which I had a hard time understanding until I did this pattern. I used some acrylic yarn I had on hand. Didn’t want to use my expensive wool yarn until I could be sure I wouldn’t have any difficulty making it. I do plan on making another one using Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Pool Party colorway.

If you want to try this pattern, just copy and paste the link below for the pattern.

http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter08/PATTfishy.php