Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wool, I have forsaken thee.

Well. For those of you just stopping in, this is my first northern winter in fifteen years. (Five years in South Carolina, ten years in Hawaii before that.) While I grew up in this climate, it's been a while. And since that last northern winter, fifteen years ago, I broke most of the bones in my hand. Plus of course doing all kinds of other orthopedically stupid things that are coming back to haunt me.

Did I mention cold makes my knuckles feel like they were hit by a hammer? Doesn't do much for my knees or shoulders, either.

I'd been meaning to knit myself a pair of thrummed mittens. (My father-in-law checked in the night before last. He was loving on the mittens. He'd shoveled the entire drive AND HIS HANDS WERE STILL WARM.) The stealth knitting I've been doing around here was meant to be a couple pairs of mittens, for me and the Goober. But the mittens were giving me fits, and we got to the outlet mall today, and I was standing in the Columbia store, in front of a wall of mittens and gloves, and I fear I had the worst thought a knitter could have:

To hell with the knitting.

I love wool. I really, REALLY love wool, with an unholy passion. Really. Unholy. But no matter how freaking awesome wool is, space-age man-made fibers can be better. (CAN. It depends. I'm not totally dissing the wool.) I broke. I was lured in by the temptation of warm hands.

These are $60 gloves. No, I did not pay that for them. It was an outlet mall. I paid a whole lot less for them. I don't think I'd have paid it, no matter how good the deal was, if my knuckles weren't killing me. But they were. And they came in purple. With floral embroidery.

Look, there's a little squeegee on the back of my left thumb, to scrape snow off my ski goggles. (No, I don't ski. Sheesh. Work with me, here.)

Innit cute? Of course, between outer shell, lining, and space-age fiber in between, my dexterity in these babies brings back memories of when my hand was broken, swollen to twice its size, pinned and sewn together, and strapped into a splint. Did I mention the warmth?

We got the Goober some fleece and something (GoreTex? Thinsulate? Something.) mittens. Their kids mittens are VERY cool. They have a universal thumb. The slit for the thumb opening runs horizontally across the palm of the hand, and the thumb sticks straight out from the middle, with lots of give on either side:

No more wrestling around, trying to get her thumbs into little tiny thumb holes. I freaking LOVE good design.

After that, I headed over to Target (with warm but not dexterous hands) to buy some socks. My feet are cold. I was thinking wool. Because I love wool. But yet again, my brain got away from me. Standing there, in front of the wall o socks, I spotted something BETTER THAN WOOL. (Again. Twice in one day. I'm so ashamed.) Angora socks. Really, wool/angora blend socks. I haven't totally abandoned the wool. Generally I don't like angora because it's fuzzy as hell, but since my feet are numb most of the time due to one of my medications, I figured it wouldn't matter. My mother used to tell me about wearing angora sweaters in the fifties and nearly dying of heat stroke. So I got three pairs.

(Terby, please note. Not everything I own is blinding colors. See that gray pair in the middle? Those are for when I want to be dignified. No idea when in hell that'll be, but if I need to, I'm ready.)

I'm soooooo warm. Gonna go put on the Starry Night flannel jammies my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas, put a heating pad on the back of my neck (it's been keeping the migraines away), and gloat.


Donna Lee said...

There are times that man made materials take the center court. There's a reason skiers wear those gloves. I have a Columbia jacket that I've had for over 10 years that still keeps me warm (it needs a new zipper but it's still warm).

Terby said...

Ok, I secretly covet the orange argyle socks.

KG from FB said...

You haven't forsaken wool, the relationship has just developed past the giddy stage where you think all your wants can be totally supplied by the other. Not romantic, but true, and romance can really suck when it's too cold to even hold hands!

My only cavail about Target socks is that I have to wear them inside out because whatever they sew the toes seams with: steel wool, sanded kite string or whatever, chews the backs of my toes raw. If you have limited sensation, beware!

Roxie said...

Angora argyles! Squeeee!

I notice a zipper or some sort of hardware on the back of the glove as well. What's it do? Heck, I might have bought them just for the squeegee, and I don't ski either, but a built in squeegee, how cool is that?

The pink mitties are fluffalicious!

Mandy said...

Some days it's more important to just be warm! Congratulations on the purple embroidery, though - that is way cool, and I love Columbia stuff, too! You'll just have to make your thrummed mittens over the summer, to wear next winter, and then you can do a side-by-side comparison.

FeyRhi said...

OMG, I love the orange argyle! The only thing better would have been it they came in lime green argyle. I might have to take a run across the border and check out the Target in Niagara. I want!

Nicole said...

Ooooooh. Warm.

I live in Northwest Indiana, right by Chicago, and we are getting the worst winter in YEARS. Even though I've been living here for fifteen out of the seventeen years of my existence, I've never become accustomed to the cold and I absolutely hate it. I love me some warmth.

I don't think anyone's geared up for the winter like my boyfriend is, though. He has to wear three pairs of fleece-lined socks just to keep his feet warm. Of course, the problem might stem from anemia... but hey, who's counting that?

And I love your purple socks. :D

Amy Lane said...

You haven't really forsaken wool, you're just seeing other fibers. Since wool wasn't satisfying your needs, it's only right... (HOpe the Goob's hands are warm too!)

jeanfromcornwall said...

I'm curious. Could be to do with this ocean that separates our two brands of English. Over here we can get mohair socks made from the fleece of the angora goat. As far as I have ever known, if it is called angora, it is rabbit hair, tickles like mad and never stops shedding. It is so insubstantial that it could never be used for socks.

So are your socks goat or rabbit?

If the answer is goat, your feet will love you.

ellen in indy said...

have you worn the socks yet? i find that many commercial socks are too tight around my fatted calves (or ankles if they're shorty socks). that's the main reason i either wear hand-knit socks or go without socks entirely.

good luck w/dr. feelbad's successor. if s/he doesn't work out, i've heard that the cleveland clinic has good pain specialists. pm me on ravelry (same name, no spaces) if you want a little more info.