I was cold

 A little while ago, the weather here made that mysterious leap from autumn to early winter, and all of a sudden I can’t get warm.  The house can’t get warm, it’s like the heat won’t sink in to it and nothing is cozy. I feel like the light of autumn is golden and warm, and then there’s this shift, and the trees are bare, and the light (what little of it there is) seems thin and blue.   This phase passes.  It’s a temporary thing, like everyone walking around right now when it’s -1 and saying "It’s so cold out".  Come January you’re dreaming of -1, and by March you think that temp is a sign of spring.  What seems like the cruelty of early winter will give way soon to deep winter, with snow, darkness and storms outside, and candles, sparkles and coziness in the house.  You just have to get over the soul crushing hump of accepting another winter, let your inner thermostat remember how to deal with it.

For the moment, I am in phase one.  Huddled under comforters, complaining about the cold, taking long hot baths to try and warm my cold hands and feet,  making soup,  lighting candles for the meagre glow… and knitting extra warm wool socks.

These socks are perfect.  Whenever I’m cold I always think I should knit something. It’s a knitter affliction.  Instead of thinking "I should get a sweater" our first response is casting one on, as though that would help fast enough.  Usually the sweater I cast on to cope with January is finished in June, and that hardly seems helpful, but these bad boys?  Cast on 48 hours ago, and warming my feel last night.  Instant socks.

The yarn is from Solitude Wool, and it’s a kit they call the Dorset Boot Socks. (Solitude makes beautiful breed specific yarns.)  I bought it at Vogue Knitting last January, but it’s been hanging out until the other night when my cold feet and the desperation of early winter prompted me to cast on.

They worked up fast on 3.25mm needles, and I had the first one what seemed like minutes after I thought that I would knit them.  In reality, it was more like a couple of hours, but that’s it. As close to instant socks as I’m going to get. The yarn is yummy and robust, with nice crimp and bounce, and not really what you would call soft, but not scratchy in any way either.  Just warm, real wool, thick and proper – like a bowl of oatmeal.  These socks are so satisfying that it makes me want to order a bunch of those kits and lay them away like fortification against anything winter brings.

I’m still a little cold. Maybe I should make a hat.

105 thoughts on “I was cold

  1. Ooooooooo, very cool socks! I LOVE the color combination. I’m afraid it would take me far longer than 48 hours to get them done, though.

  2. I’m in TO too…not a very nice night to be out last night, but the doggy needed his walkies! Socks look awesome and very cozy…maybe you could make them as a last-minute Christmas gift (if needed!), since it’s fast approaching–which means I need to get off this computer and get knitting!! Think warm thoughts!

  3. Great Socks! And it has not escaped me that they appear to be in a 70’s appliance colorway. Wonderful to be color co-ordinated that way!

  4. I too have been feeling so cold. Yesterday, I went to bed with socks, a scarf and mitts and kept them on until I warmed up. And today we have 6 inches of snow on the ground……
    Brrhh – need my blanket too!

  5. I know what you mean about feeling the cold at this time of the year. I drove home last night with the car heater on a full blast (for 2 hours no less!) Got home took a hot bath and crawled into bed still feeling the cold.

  6. Seasonal reversal of what we experience down here in the American South. The first really, really hot day of early summer is completely soul-crushing, because you know what’s coming for the next five months.
    I cast on at the first hint of chill, too, but because it’s a celebration: yippee, I can wear KNITS! Granted, for us, that’s about the temperature inside your refrigerator, not your freezer, but it’s cold enough to merit knitting.
    I think houses chill and thaw with the seasons, and have to catch up to our adjustments to them.

  7. I too am in phase one. I found myself dreaming of thick and scratchy woollen blankets today. And of course first thought was “Maybe I should knit a blanket.”

  8. Yes, a hat or mittens or just go for the gusto – knit an afghan – you can lay under it while working on it.

  9. I hear you on the cold… We’re in an old uninsulated house and last night the wind was ripping through the walls. I swear it’s colder in the house now than it was last January, but you’re right, it’s the tricks our heads play with us.
    I’m just learning to knit socks now (uninsulated houses are great motivators for overcoming silly sock fears) and will definitely be looking to add these to the queue.

  10. Oh yes, socks! I was at the hospital yesterday for a simple same-day thing and refused their offer of the little socks with treads on them because I preferred to keep my dk weight hand knit socks on. I knew how cold my feet would get otherwise – wise move too as I had cold arms and hands, but nice warm toes! It might be time to knit a Hemlock…

  11. I’m in complete agreement with Dez. I grew up in a much colder climate and the first day it hits 80 here, in late March, is soul crushing. I’m so excited we are starting to get days where the high was 50, I can wear a hat and a shawl without looking ridiculous. It’s 75 now, though.

  12. You realize, don’t you, that you’re a Small Person married to a Large Person? Just get him to wrap himself around you. Preferably horizontally.

  13. I have been feeling like this for the past two weeks. I glad I’m not the only one, I just can’t get warm!
    Those socks look like a perfect solution to my cold tile floors *shudders* right now. Humm I wonder if I have any Briggs that might work.
    Any even better solution would be to knit a one piece bunny suit with a trap door and live in it all winter… no?

  14. I know I would last mere hours in your cold weather, but all the same, I cannot help but be jealous right now. After fighting the urge for so long, I finally broke down and turned the air conditioning back on yesterday when the house temperature soared past 80 and the dehumidifier could no longer remove moisture from the air fast enough. Though I am grateful we are much cooler at 70 today (outside, the house has not yet caught up – or would it be down?), I still could not imagine knitting with wool right now and I dread turning on the oven to bake pie and turkey. Perhaps I will listen to “The Long Winter” on audiobook and dream of needing and knitting beautiful wool socks. Perhaps you could include some winter pictures next time for those of us in the more stifling regions of this continent who still long for those brief weeks of winter that have not yet arrived? . . .

  15. Have you considered auctioning off a pair of handknit socks to support Doctors without Borders? I bet the knitters will break the internet to bit on those socks.

  16. Those socks remind me of sock monkeys.
    I think the system is perfect: Nov 20 “Holy crap! It’s COLD!” Step 1: Run and get a sweater you’ve already knit. Step 2 (before the wool can do it’s warming): I know! I’ll knit *another sweater*! A *better* sweater! A *warmer*, more magical sweater! Step 3: Knit a while, get bored, put it in the pile.
    March 1: “It’s still cold, but it’s getting warmer and I can reasonably see the part of the future where I will be able to wear a sweater outside instead of a jacket! Step 4: Repeat step 3.
    June 1: “I want to knit, but it’s hot. I know, this is almost done. It’ll be like knitting a sweater without having a pile of wool on my lap all summer. Wait, all I have left is the collar and some seaming? SCORE! Step 5: Finish the last little bits and put away for 4 months.
    Nov. 20 for the second time: “It’s COLD!” Now when you start again from Step 1, you have a pretty new sweater you’ve already knit to wear!

  17. Baby it’s cold outside…
    My winter mantra – however, I love the cold. I mean the deep freeze, bone chilling cold. WHY?? Because, it means I wear all these cuddly woolie knits. Let it snow!!!
    I am equally afflicted with the cast on syndrome at the moment. Something comes to mind and I cast it on – this has been going on for weeks – I’ve almost used up all the needles I have and that is a lot of needles. It’s like nesting before the wee one arrives.
    OK – the socks – brilliant colorway. The bad thing is, I don’t want to make new ones, I want yours. :>)How odd that I haven’t run to cast them on – oh yeah, I’m out of that size needle. I feel a road trip coming.
    Peace and joy…

  18. I have a Solitude Dorset Boot kit as well. I have resisted knitting it so far because I love how the stack of 5 different balls of yarn looks like a little sculpture on top of my stash cabinet.
    However, I have been wearing my Solitude Romney hat for the past couple of weeks.

  19. I have that same feeling of cold. I have been wearing my wool socks in progression, the at home socks, then the dress socks, then the slipper socks. Down comforters work wonders, but it’s frowned upon to stay in bed all day just because it is cold. Thank goodness for wool socks.

  20. Oh, I know that weather — when it is colder in the house (seemingly) than outside; when you make multiple cups of tea to warm yourself and hands. Ditto in spring — when the brightness of the light makes you think it is warmer out than inside. That being said, I do not want to live in Florida — I’ll gladly take the change of seasons. But I won’t knit socks (sorry). Shawls, yes; socks, no.

  21. I cast on a pair of socks too! I’m desperate for any sort of warmth (and now that the boiler works again I’m told my house has become a sauna). I have put myself on a new knitting regiment for this winter as I always seem to knit for everyone but me and end up shivering through the endless winters. Socks come to work, daily, and will be done thusly, for myself only. Sweater will be done on the safety of my couch. For myself. This winter I proclaim selfish knitting.
    My grandma came to help watch the house while folks worked on my poor boiler that was near death. She surprised me with your book (which I had picked up). I flipped open the cover and there it was, your signature! She snuck over to the Skokie signing and hid like a ninja in the second row so I never even noticed her in the photos until I blew them up nice and big. Thank you so much!! One will be for showing, one will be for rereading.

  22. i feel warmer just looking at those!here’s a question (or two) for you: if you had to estimate, how many pair of handknit socks would you say you own? and what percentage would handknit socks be of your total sock ownership? just curious… cos you sure do seem to churn them out with amazing speed and consistency!

  23. Love the colours–makes you think of handmade pottery mugs filled with steaming hot tea. I finished a pair of socks this morning and now I’m casting on a second pair to knit on the train to Toronto tomorrow. Do you think I can knit during the National Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet?

  24. I just discovered the answer to the sweater issue. I took a deep breath and went digging in my closet and so far I have found three sweaters that only need about one more day of knitting to be finished. I am sure that if I had only pulled out one I would be ready to wash and block one by this time tomorrow but no, of course I keep knitting a little on all three and it will probably take me as long as it would to knit a whole new sweater.
    Go digging through your stash and closets and other secret hiding places and see if you can find a nearly done sweater to knit!


  26. My usual response to something nicely knit is to say I’d like to knit it too. But these, I just plain want. I would not have had the imagination to put those colors together but they sure work.

  27. I’m not surprised in the slightest your socks feature that 70s appliance orange! I bet those socks would make great Christmas gifts too. Impressive and done in a few hours.

  28. Oh goodness! This is why I have been reeling this fall. We keep see-sawing wildly between slowly descending into winter and 65F days that are completely disrupting my ability to settle into it being cold.
    Love the socks. They are gorgeous and they look so cozy!

  29. Oh, H felt cold just reading that. How you Canadians cope with your inevitable winter weather I can’t imagine. Here in Britain if we get a spell of snow and frost for a couple of weeks we call it a bad winter. I hope your gorgeous socks keep your feet toasty warm.

  30. I know exactly what you mean about the inner thermostat – but in reverse. I love australian summers, love the heat and the long days, but those first few days over 30C feel like torture while the body aclimatizes. Come february 32 will seem like a distant dream as we get stretches of 38 – 42. Enjoy your snow, I’ll be enjoying the sunshine (with sunscreen of course.)

  31. I feel the same way. I was standing in line outside yesterday, knitting the sleeve of a Christmas sweater. Several people laughed at me for “knitting a hat this late” 2 people asked me to make them a hat too… and one, very sweet old lady complimented the colors in the sleeve and we nicely passed the time talking about knitting 🙂
    We’re about the same temp as you, but we have 30cm of snow.
    I love the socks, but have too much Christmas knitting to do (just added 2 hats) to make myself a pair at the moment.

  32. I have to agree with Dez above. Summer, not winter, is like a death march – but then I live in a hot-summer, mild-winter climate. I really perk up once the weather justifies wearing wool. Today, I’m wearing wool socks and a wool sweater and am knitting wool gloves, whoopee! Rain and fog: bring them on!
    ps: MANY thanks for the link to Solitude Farms. What a find!

  33. Best of luck with the cold. Here in Perth, Western Australia, a cold day is when it gets to around 17C. We’re getting a taste of summer today however and are expecting 37C. I’m knitting Christmas presents (mostly socks, booties and Xmas stockings) and holding the wool in my hands is getting less than pleasant. The items will be blocked immersion-style, but more to wash out the inevitable sweat.

  34. very cute socks – I keep looking at those on Solitudes website – I’ll have to check them out. I met these lovely folks at the MD Sheep and Wool festival last year – very nice folks and beautiful yarn. I regret not picking up a few things but will this next year.

  35. Love the socks! 48 hours??!!! I might get a hat done that fast, but socks?
    My husband thinks it’s cold here (51 F) and lit the pellet stove. I told him turn it off (at least until later in the evening) or I was turning on the AC. I’m ready to move to Montana or Wyoming and he wants Florida. No way would he handle Toronto past October. Ha ha.

  36. I love those socks. They look super comfy. I need to make myself a pair of dark(ish) house socks, because there is no way to keep the floors clean enough for a light colored sock.

  37. You are right about casting on sweaters once it’s cold. I cast on Augusta yesterday from New England Knits and I’m 3/4 through the back. Luckily I’m a fast knitter so this might be done in a week or two. I’m also a single item knitter which is makes everything go faster.

  38. I came home to Western Massachusetts last January from a trip to Texas to care for a sick family member to find that my heater had gone out. It was 35 degrees (Fahrenheit. About 2 Centigrade) inside the house and took days before the walls and the floors stopped sucking the heat out of the air. My foam bed mattress was frozen–I hadn’t know that could happen! It was hard and didn’t thaw for a few days. I know exactly what you’re talking about. And it had been t-shirt weather in Houston!

  39. I think it feels extra-cold this week (I’m near Toronto) because of the damp. We had rain that turned to snow overnight and I had to walk through funny slush to get across the backyard this morning. Your socks are making me crave heavy wool socks and all I own are fingering-weight socks. Now I have to go look through my stash upstairs. Maybe I’ll take a hot bath while I’m up there.

  40. Wow! Love those socks! Instant socks! You knit them faster that it would have taken me to get ready to go out, drive to the store and buy a pair of boot socks, drive home, change into my soft “lazy around the house” clothes, and put them on. That’s fast!

  41. I’m the same way, only beyond the whole “I’m cold; I should knit something,” lies the long hot summers here. And in those summers, I think, “It’s soooo hot. I’m going to knit something and think about winter.” (Hey, whatever works, right?) I find I do more knitting in the winter, though, and in the summer I spin cozy wools and silks for my winter arsenal.
    Love the boot socks. They seem perfect for fireside and knitting.

  42. Sitting here, reading with stuffy cold nose and cold toes – I swear I warmed up a tad, just looking at those wonderful snuggly thick warm socks. Nice job!

  43. Definitely make a hat. I wear my “house hat” from Oct until at least March! It’s my inside only hat, I change if I go outside.

  44. I also finished a pair of socks this afternoon, for my daughter for Xmas, but they took a whole lot longer than two days! Lorna’s Laces Solemate, which is lovely, and even my ‘itchy’ daughter likes it. We’ve had 6.02 inches of rain here in the last forty-eight hours, so we are having regional flooding for Thanksgiving–not personally, thank goodness. And as for the cold–surely I’m not the only middle-ager having ‘power surges’ whose husband swears he can warm his hands just by holding them near me! I know your Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier, but have a great day tomorrow, Best, randmknitter

  45. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who goes through this! lol. I know that we New Englanders have nothing on Canadians in terms of how-cold-winter-gets…but there aren’t many places in the states that get colder 🙂

  46. Have to agree with you about the weather – I’ve been going through the same thing. It’s silly when you know it’s going to get so much colder. Since it takes me about a year to knit a pair of socks, I cope by putting the kitty on my lap under a quilt where she will go to sleep. Instant furry hot water bottle.

  47. Which reminds me. Last year my daughter knitted me a beautiful, soft, warm hot water bottle cover. I am resigned to winter, even looking forward, in the knowledge that I get to use it again this year. Nothing nicer than a hot water bottle in a cozy sweater:)

  48. I have only been reading your blog for a few months, but I think that you are a very nice person. Thanks for all these lovely, happy, thoughtful posts. All those people who say ‘I wish someone would write good news stories’ need to get onto your blog. It’s all good news one way or another.

  49. Those socks look so yummy! I find that the secret to keeping warm is LAYERS, thin ones, not even heavy ones, but several light layers of clothing are warmer than one heavy one. PS I’m still waiting to see you in that glorious sweater! Will we ever get to see?

  50. Okay but the real question is did you turn on the heat yet or did you lose this year to other family members

  51. Your first paragraph is so very well said. I’ve been feeling the same thing myself. Wonderful socks! Great color combination! Stay warm.

  52. My feet feel warmer looking at them. Congratulations to friend Angela who just finished her first pair of socks!

  53. Hello
    I totally agree with you for the Canadian weather: November is hard! It’s the month between two beautiful times in the year. Soon, there will be plenty of snow and it will be -20 outside.
    Nice socks! Will you knit me some? Mine are not getting bigger because I have a big knitting schedule due for Christmas.

  54. Steph, I recommend that you buy lots of kits and stack them against the walls for insulation until you get around to knitting them

  55. Oh, they look so grand. I want a pair or two.
    Have you ever tried placing your favorite blanket in the dryer to warm and then wrap up in the blanket. It feels so good. It does not replace wool socks tho. They are the best!!

  56. ooh, want those. just after i finish all of my ufo’s (ha!) and the hat that i bought yarn for the other day when i was walking around in cold rain without a hat.

  57. Those socks look so comfy that I’m jealous!
    As almost all of your household have been known to pick up sticks and string, I suggest you get each one a kit to make those socks for her/himself. Give the kits as Christmas presents. Even if someone has to help the cat with hers, this should help you with the annual holiday knitting panic.

  58. Growing up in Norway, I know exactly how you feel. I used to love the first snow as it brightened everything up again. but by March you’re sick of it. Living in England I do miss proper winters and snow. Here it just rains all the time and it’s wet, windy, foggy & miserable. And British houses are colder than Norwegian ones and they’re damp. Getting home sick now.

  59. Love the colors. I am at the spinning wheel as I read your post, and the cooler weather here in Florida has made me think warm socks too. I walked across the carpeted floor this morning and could feel the coolness of the concrete seeping through the layers of padding under the carpet. This brought a chill on and socks again, quickly came to mind. I ran upstairs and grabbed my woolly crocheted socks out of the drawer and quickly put them on. Then I brewed a cup of hot Keurig coffee, and smiled….”Um comfort.” Not the coffee, but the socks…

  60. Those are handsome socks! Strikes me as a thoroughly useful colour concept to deal with some sock yarn leftovers too. But then again they look yummy in the thick yarn.

  61. “…warm,…thick and proper — like a bowl of oatmeal.” 🙂 Really ike that. I love oatmeal, and those socks look as good (in a different way).

  62. I agree with almost all you said. However, I have now determined that -40 has nothing on -1. You cannot get humidity in -40. Your hair stands on end, you zap the cat every time you touch him/her, everything sticks to you even if it shouldn’t, and musical instruments complain bitterly. At -1 the cold dampness creeps through every layer of every warm thing you’ve ever knit in your life, wriggles through your pores and buries itself in your bones where it will not go away until the temperature changes again. Sure, sit in front of the fire, heat vent, candle. Drink a pot of tea, coffee, hot chocoloate laced with Screech – nothing works. Maybe it did when I was 20 but I frankly don’t remember that anymore. I know that now it doesn’t and at this time of year, I wait and hope for deep snow and at least -10.

  63. I love how the white and the gray acknowledge snow and coming old snow while the orange holds onto the colors of Fall–and then the pattern in which they’re all put together is full of little kid bounce and joy: let’s go play!

  64. I too am still getting over “that soul crushing hump of accepting another winter” (perhaps because Edmonton has been seriously blessed with such a mild and prolonged autumn this year.) I am compensating for it, this year, not only with more new socks but also by starting to weave my first wool blanket on the loom.
    As always, Steph, you have a such a gift for capturing a feeling.

  65. It’s 84 degrees Fahrenheit outside my house right now. I feel ridiculous making turkey and pumpkin pie, and long for the brief bit of “winter” (lows in the upper 30’s!) we Floridians get. I’m amused by the fact that you’re up in Canada, trying your damnedest to get warm, while we’re down here in the swamp trying desperately to convince ourselves we’re cold. Seriously, I see people wandering around in sweaters this time of year and I’m all, “Yeah, wishful thinking.”

  66. Ooooo….LUV the stripes!! You are SOooo right about the constant chill….I have a sweater on…shepherd’s pie goin’ in the oven…every lamp is ON & it’s only 4 o’clock…& HEY…I recognize those super comfy pj pants by LaSenza…keep warm!!

  67. Wish I could share some of my heat with you.
    The apartment building I live in has two heat settings: On and Off!
    When it’s On, it’s 80 degrees in here with the windows open, and the hallways are over 110 degrees!
    Two winters ago, we had two big snowstorms, and I couldn’t bear the heat because the snow was blowing in the window in drifts, so I had to close them, and the heat was too much.
    So, I genuinely wish I could give you some of my excess heat!

  68. Really nice socks! I love stripes and the colors are very much to my liking! I’m actually knitting in the same kind of orange right now! It almost warms me! Being your neighbor from Qc, I so understand this post… so true… 😉

  69. Somehow, I take comfort in thinking, I am 51, I have no more than 50 more winters to endure. There is something wrong with that kind of thinking. But as the thermometer plummets it seems very rational to me.

  70. I think I hate you.
    Do you have ANY IDEA how long it takes most of us to knit even ONE sock, much less TWO?
    Yep, still working on finishing ONE PAIR…from three YEARS ago. I’m a little slow that way. But bragging about ‘instant socks’ that look like that just makes me want to strangle you with them, then steal the socks. 🙂
    *sigh* I SO wish my hands worked that fast! 🙂 Those socks ROCK.
    When do we get to see you in that sweater?? And Joe in his gansey, hmmm?

  71. My grandma used to say that the first of the cold weather is felt more deeply because our blood has to ‘thicken up’ for winter. 🙂

  72. I knit,.. I knit decent enough. I have made baby pants, hats sweaters. Some adult mitts, shawls and a sweater but,.. I can’t knit a pair of socks. I mean, I have knit one sock. I may have even wore said sock on each foot, trying to make the illusion that I might have actually knit a PAIR but sadly,.. still a single sock. The thought of snapping up lots of those dorset sock kits to make some socks is kinda making me want to do it but,.. that sad little lonely single sock of mine gives me a HARSH reality check. Maybe if I order enough kits,.. eventually, I might get a couple socks that match or, have enough odd ball socks that no one will really care if any of them match. Wait,.. that insane plan just might work!!

  73. Autumn’s giving way to winter here, too (though our winters, I admit, usually can’t hold a candle to yours). The socks I knit a couple of years ago from my handspun Icelandic yarn are on my feet right now, and I expect to spend a lot of quality time with them for the next few months.
    My house was built in a time and place when natural gas was so cheap that good insulation was thought of as a waste, so I do cherish my knitwear, lol.

  74. Solitude! I’m thrilled that you found Gretchen and Sue’s yarn. I was fortunate to visit Gretchen’s farm several years during our county’s local Farm Tour. I’ve got some Solitude yarn marinating in my stash and seeing your socks makes me want to immediately cast on a pair.

  75. In the “Yarnharlot” when you wrote about the squirrel stealing your grey fleece yarn, I think you misunderstood.
    The squirrel was actually a customer selecting yarn for it’s stash at your outdoor yarn shop display. It was taking the wool home to build it’s own stash. If I am not mistaken it will be CROCHETING a lovely afghan shortly. 🙂

Comments are closed.