Friday, February 28, 2014

Are you tired of the long cold winter?

Obviously, this winter in Boston is beyond anyone's patience.  I enjoy winter, but hello, today is the last day of February.  Couldn't it be a little bit warmer?  I am checking out weather reports of foreign cities, which we tend to assume their winter is much worse than ours.  Let's see...  It is 34 degrees in Moscow, fair.  What about St. Petersburg?  It is 36 degrees, fair.  How about our Boston?  It is 17F and sunny.  It is bright out in sort of scary way.  I wonder such brightness is because we are really close to spring or because it is one of those days when it is extremely cold because of the radiant cooling effect.

If the temperature is like this for the extended period of time, I simply cannot take out Missy long enough.  I put booties and a down jacket on her, take her out and come home ASAP.  She is clearly bored. 

I finished the baby blanket. Hooray!  It turned out fabulous. It was donated to MGH through the Knitting Guild last week. 

The scarf for my husband is still in progress.  I couldn't finish before Valentine's Day, and only a half way through.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Necessities for Long Cold Winter

This winter is substantially longer, wetter and colder than usual due to the polar vortex sessile above us.  I do not dislike winter, though.  In the past, I was miserable, but not so much lately.  Particularly this winter, I have chose to fully embrace the cold temperature and snow and rather enjoy it. 
It is true that winter is bothersome in many ways; not mentioning suffering from perpetual stiff shoulders from being cold, it takes enormous time to cover ourselves with numerous winter gears before walk out of the door.  I do not bother to wear gloves when I walk Missy, but I have to make sure to put a down jacket and rubber booties on her.  Because she does not like rubber booties and runs away and hides herself, preparing her for a walk has become abysmally time-consuming.  Somebody like me who was born to be lazy, the whole extra work could be unbearable from time to time.  Winter is frustrating after all, but I can make it comfortable at least...
When it comes to spending winter comfortably, I have realized not many things are necessary.  For me, there are four things which I cannot live without.
First, a very good pair of boots that keep my feet warm and dry.  This criterion is obvious, but there are so many winter boots that claim themselves waterproof but they are actually not.  Also, knee high boots with insulated materials are a must.  I wear Canada Pajar now.  I think my boots are water resistant rather than water proof despite the fact that I was told at the store the boots were perfectly water proof.  If I do not walk in the puddle long, they do the job.
Second, a nice long and snuggle down coat.  Mine is a three year old Kenneth Cole.  It was not expensive, but what is good about is tight around my hip and extends as long as my mid-calf.  I feel if I fall in the coat, I may not be able to get up by myself, but the tightness truly prevents cold air from coming inside. 
Third, a thick tight cowl which covers my ears and a lower half of my head, preferably, knit with a super bulky single pry yarn such as Lopi.  I have a cowl which I knit a while ago exactly like that.  It is thick and snuggle (because I did not have enough yarn).  It is wide enough (means a miscalculated gauge), so it covers a sizable part of my head.  I always think it looks like a neck brace but I receive complements on it so often.
The last one is sweaters that do not irritate my skin.  I used to have many gorgeous heavy wool sweaters, but no more.  They were so itchy and drove me literally crazy every time I wore them.  I sadly needed to get rid of them, which was very difficult for me who is a hoarder.  I ended up learning sweater materials good for me are not wool but merino (a kind of wool but) or softer such as cashmere, alpaca, silk, cotton.  Not being a yarn snob but after learning all of the things about what are in fleece, my discovery makes a total sense. 
I finished the knitting part of a baby blanket that I have been working on.  I only need to weave in ends. 

So many ends!