February 5, 2007

Four minutes

That's how long, on foot- it takes to get to the grocery store, but Joe and I were just sitting here discussing how we could possibly avoid it. (There's no way to avoid it. Dinner would just be too strange made from what we have left and we're going to run out of toilet paper.) Over the last few weeks the temperature here in Toronto has become - well. Normal...and this morning when I woke up only sheer force of will got me up and into the frosty house. Our furnace is very old, and while it is very fuel efficient, it was never meant to heat the whole house...there are no ducts in the rooms where there used to be woodstoves, for example ("used to be" is a very important part of that sentence) and the ancient beast truly groans along when the temperature gets into the -30 range. (Yes, it has occurred to me that the reason it is so efficient is because it is only heating half of the freakin' house.)


At -30 the girls willingly wear hats and mitts and scarves and longjohns under their pants to go to school. Exposed skin freezes in fewer minutes than it takes to walk there and they are Canadian. They know that frostbite is not good looking. Amanda was laughing today as she put on her layers. She has a new friend in her class, a recent immigrant from Africa, and as she was telling him that he was going to need hats and a scarf for this week, that soon it would be very, very cold, she mentioned -20 to -40 as common for this time of year and he laughed. Laughed and laughed. Thought for sure she was having him on. "Amanda" he giggled "it only gets that cold in the Arctic sometimes."

I asked Amanda what she had said to him then. "Welcome to Canada" was her reply.

I avoid going out when it gets like this. I hate the cold. Hate. It. There are not enough layers in all the world to make me happy outside when it gets to be this cold. Up to about -20 I can consider happiness, swathed in hats and scarves and longjohns and long undershirts and thermal tops and hoods, I contemplate skating and winter walks in High Park...but the minute the windchill takes it down a millimetre past that I can't do it. I go outside...since the whole world is out there, but I don't like it, and I sure don't go for fun. Every bit of my being tells me that these are the days to make tea, cook soup, bake bread and hunker down, taking refuge in all my warm soft wool, waiting for the big ball of fire in the sky to be worth something to me again.

There's no point fighting your instincts, so I finished these:
(As an aside, you can tell I finished these a few days ago because the snow clinging to them is "warm snow". You know, the fluffy bigger stuff? The snow we have now is "cold snow" and it's small and gritty and squeaky. Far less attractive to pose with mittens.)


The Delicato mitts, modified to fit my wee hands, Alchemy Alpaca Pure, colour 35e- Fauna.


These are an absolutely genius idea and were pressed into service immediately. I don't know if they are useful on their own in this climate, but as a layer put on under your full mittens, they make boarding the TTC, opening a door, taking out your keys - all slightly less painful. All those times when you have to pull off your mittens to perform an urban function? These are brilliant for reducing the amount of skin that has to be out in the open.

That done, I went into the stash and came out with a box I've been saving. Something the colour of sunshine.


Oh yes.




Bohus. Bohus with soft, soft, super warm wool (50%angora, 50% wool) hand-dyed by Solveig Gustafsson. The Bohus movement was a solution to the depression in Sweden in the 1960s...you can read more about it here if you like, (or here at the Bohusläns Museum) and the garments are truly unique. Hand knit on tiny needles (2.5mm are the "larger" needles in the pattern) out of yarn that duplicates the original fine yarn (it knits to a gauge of 34 stitches to 10cm) and the patterns have purl stitches incorporated into the intricate and beautiful yoke patterns. This kit is "Guld" and I love it with a stinking unholy passion that burns brighter than a thousand glowing afterburners on Colonial Raptors.

There's a picture of the finished sweater on Solviegs website. (I couldn't figure out how to link to that page. Go here, then click on "Nyheter" at the top, then look for "Guld" among the examples of the kits that she has recreated.) I'm completely enchanted and over the moon with it. The yarn is so soft and the needles are so small and it's satisfying the way that baking bread is. It can't be rushed.


It's not hard...it's just, small.

Now. Off to the grocery store before the snow comes. Have any Canadians out there figured out how to get salad greens home before they freeze?

Posted by Stephanie at February 5, 2007 10:17 AM

Well, seeing as it's -40C here WITHOUT the windchill....that would be a no. Although I put it in my backpack, and that seems to help.

I was ticked at the Weather Network this morning, proclaiming the "bitter cold in the East and Southern Ontario", ignoring the fact that Winnipeg was colder by almost 20 degrees than 90% of the rest of Canada, and in fact the coldest city in the country today.

Posted by: Karlie at February 5, 2007 10:23 AM

Sorry - this kinda cold makes me cranky because it locks me inside - I can't go out when it's colder than -35C in the air because of my asthma. :D

Posted by: Karlie at February 5, 2007 10:24 AM

And here in Pittsburgh they closed the schools for the day because when we woke up the temp was a "mere" -3 (Farenheit). Oh. I bet you're talking Celcius (centigrade?), aren't you? Either way, I grew up in Texas, and consider this weather to be too damn cold. Bundle up!

Posted by: TimWarp at February 5, 2007 10:25 AM

I LOVE LOVE LOVE those sweaters! What a great way to warm up in the cold weather! It's colder in Michigan, my friend in Oshawa and I compared and we're about 5 degrees C colder here. Maybe you could try a scarf for the greens? And a hat?

Posted by: Rachel FD at February 5, 2007 10:26 AM

I hear you! It's only (literally, according to Google Earth) 233.58 metres to my son's school (one way) and I tried to figure out a way to get out of walking there this morning. Brrr. I love "warm snow" it's nice, where as "cold snow" is like fingernails on a chalkboard when you walk on it. Squeeeek. Nasty stuff the cold snow is. I love the yarn ... very lovely. And the mitts look awesome, though they look more like spring mitts to me than -20°C mitts.

As for getting salad greens home before they freeze ... I thought they were supposed to be frozen. *wink*

Happy Knitting!!

Posted by: Samantha at February 5, 2007 10:30 AM

YIKES!!! That is COLD!! Maybe you should stock up on groceries for a few days so you don't have to go out!!!

Posted by: Liz R at February 5, 2007 10:31 AM

Simple solution on the salad greens....

We "subscribe" to an organic fruit & vegetable club. They deliver it right to your door - so you don't have to go outside AND they protect it from getting frostbit.

Posted by: Betseydoodle at February 5, 2007 10:31 AM

Okay, I'm going to stop complaining about the -18F (-27C) temps and -35(-37) windchills here. At least I know there's somewhere else in the world besides Minnesota that's suffering with us!

Those colors are gorgeous! Makes me want to start a Bohus sweater right now!!

Posted by: Toni at February 5, 2007 10:32 AM

Yikes! Don't lick anything metal.
Hope dreams of your new sweater keep you warm till the sun comes back.

Posted by: carolyn at February 5, 2007 10:32 AM

Cooler - I use a small one (6-pack size) in the summer and in the extreme winter - obviously it keeps stuff from melting in the summer, but it also keeps the greens from freezing in the winter

Posted by: Lisa at February 5, 2007 10:32 AM

Salad greens? No problem... carry along a little cooler. Call it a 'warmer' this time of year. Twenty below this morning in Wisconsin. Welcome to Canada.

Posted by: Leslie at February 5, 2007 10:32 AM

You are a braver woman than me! We will eat strange things for dinner and ration toilet paper b/c I am not going out.
You could put the salad greens inside your parka or toque.

Posted by: Kristin at February 5, 2007 10:33 AM

Put the greens, and only the greens, inside your coat for the hike back home.

Posted by: Deborah at February 5, 2007 10:34 AM

I can understand your plight. I live in Iowa, and it's -6 right now with a -25 wind chill (farenheit). I hate this weather. We have a drafty house, and no matter how much you bundle up, somehow the wind still manages to sneak in and freeze something on my body. I hate it!!!!!!! What's even worse, we can't walk to the store or anywhere, I have to go out and warm up my car, which hates this weather, and never gets warm, and screams the entire time I am trying to drive it anywhere because it hates the cold and protests almost as much as I do.

Posted by: Kelly at February 5, 2007 10:34 AM

Indoor counter-top salad growing garden.

Posted by: Juno at February 5, 2007 10:34 AM

My husband and I were complaining last night about how cold the house was when the frosty air fell a couple degrees below freezing. I'm from Florida and moved "up north" to South Carolina. I would probably turn into a popsicle and die on the spot if I went to Canada. The tradeoff is that it will be over 100F in July and August here. I imagine my knitted goods would be much more appreciated by friends and family if we lived somewhere you would actually describe as chilly.

Posted by: Brie at February 5, 2007 10:35 AM

Well, frak! Who do you suppose are the final five?

Love the sunny sunny colors of yarn. When it's that cold outside you definitely need something to remind you that the spring will come again.

Posted by: Mary in Boston at February 5, 2007 10:36 AM

28(+) downunder today. just saying

Posted by: denny Mcmillan at February 5, 2007 10:36 AM

Just tow more weeks.

o.k. I'll shut up now.

Posted by: denny Mcmillan at February 5, 2007 10:38 AM

Just two more weeks.

o.k. I'll shut up now.

Posted by: denny Mcmillan at February 5, 2007 10:38 AM

I was thinking of those silvery insulated bags that they sell to get the frozen stuff home, still frozen, in summer, but a small cooler would work as well.

When I was in elementary school (here in Michigan), a girl from Florida moved in next door. She started wearing her snowpants to school in September. The principal of the school asked her what she expected to do when it got cold.......

-5F with windchill -23F this morning, here in Ann Arbor. Welcome to Michigan -- or Canada.

Posted by: Vicki in MIchigan at February 5, 2007 10:39 AM

You could consider moving to Vancouver Island where we rarely get below -10°C. (Actually we have flowers blooming right now). :-þ But then you wouldn't have the need to knit warm mittens, scarves, toques....


Posted by: Grace at February 5, 2007 10:39 AM

Ooh, the Guld sweater is lovely. It's -10 here in Green Bay today, which is cold enough for the snow to squeak underfoot -- a sound that makes me shudder. I'm glad not to be leaving the house in this cold.

Posted by: Ruth at February 5, 2007 10:39 AM

Stephanie, have you got any surplus knitted goods you could send along with Amanda to help her friend adjust? It seems that would be a much better welcome than this weather will be. Now that I'm living in the southern US I'm full of sympathy for the poor kid, as I can feel myself getting soft here, and find myself reluctant to get on my bike when it's just a few degrees below zero, like this morning. I'm afraid I'll be suffering a similar rude awakening when I finally get to spend my first winter back home (of course, the school year allows for me to spend most of December at home, but we all know that December in southwestern Ontario is not real winter. I'm not sure how I'll handle it when I have to face a real Canadian February again).

Posted by: jodi at February 5, 2007 10:40 AM

It was a chilly minus 22 this morning and its supposed to have a minus 30 windchill by lunch hour.
Maybe you could knit and felt a produce "cozy" carrying bag??

Posted by: Alison In Quebec at February 5, 2007 10:40 AM

I use a small soft cooler bag to transport greens home from the grocery store. I put it into the bottom of my bundle buggy and haul my food home. It is nasty cold here in Montreal also. Arthur the cat is down to 2 tins of food, and has turned his nose up to today's selection. I 've got news for him, I am not going out for cat food today, he'll have to make due or "starve".

Posted by: Ann in Montreal at February 5, 2007 10:43 AM

I love that show, and I'm sorry it's so cold there! The kids were complaining the other morning that it was "cold" outside (really, just about 20F/-7C, cold for North Carolina, but not that bad). I had to tell them that when it's February, it's *supposed* to be cold, and that 45F is not technically cold. I should move them all up to the midwest just to show them. :-) Oddly enough, I went on a bread baking binge last week, too. Think warm thoughts!

Posted by: Jenny at February 5, 2007 10:43 AM

-41C (-41.8F) with the windchill here in Ottawa today - and we'll hit +35C (95F), plus a humidex that adds 10 or more degrees in the summer for a dozen days or so. Last year gave us torrential rains (3x normal in most areas), but we've had little snow this winter.

Heaters and warm woolies are de rigueur in the winter, and T-shirts and shorts, plus an air conditioner essential for the summer.

Posted by: Susan at February 5, 2007 10:44 AM

Bohus and BSG mentioned in the same post?


I think I love you.

Posted by: Sarah at February 5, 2007 10:48 AM

Think warm, sunny,beach day ;-)

Posted by: Abril at February 5, 2007 10:48 AM

We are supposed to have a high of -10 (C -- I am slowly learning to speak your language) today, and that's quite cold enough for me. In your shoes I would seriously contemplate hiring a minion, preferably a cute one in his 20s, to do my fetching and carrying at whatever price. Completing my errands as fast as possible and then throwing a soup together to simmer on the stove sinking under several afghans and down quilts with my knitting would be the next best option.

Posted by: Lucia at February 5, 2007 10:49 AM

Even though it's FREEZING in NYC today (9 farenheit/minus 12.8 celsius with a beastly wind-chill), it's not quite as scary as when it was 70 degrees in january.

My furnace doesn't heat my entire house either. We've gotten used to layering our clothing indoors, and there are lots of down blankets scattered around the house.

Thanks for the link to that website. The sweater is truly magnificent.

Posted by: regina at February 5, 2007 10:49 AM

Ok, Canada, Wisconsin, all those northern places, I grok being that cold. But I live in Southern Ohio for cripes sake, and it's -16 (celcius) BEFORE the windchill. WTF, eh?

Must huddle indoors and knit. Knit what? Anything, I swear, I'd happily knit a house cozy if it meant I didn't have to go OUT THERE.

Posted by: Megan at February 5, 2007 10:50 AM

Here I thought I was being reasonable when I refused to go to work today when it was 9F (-13C) with a -10F(-23C) windchill when I woke up this morning. Guess I was just being a whimp.

Posted by: Catherine at February 5, 2007 10:51 AM

I do envy you in a sick and twisted way, I never get to wear jumpers (let alone lovely Bohus ones), a big coat, hat, boots and etc these days since it never gets properly cold here any more! As I am from the north bit of England originally, temperatures of 12C+ in Jan and Feb are very alarming. I think I could GROW salad, never mind worrying about it getting from shop to house.

However, Whistler in April - woo hoo!!!! we're going to Canada!!!! - will still be snowy, I hope!

Posted by: Fi in oxford at February 5, 2007 10:51 AM

I sympathize with your snow walking... I'm a university student living in Toronto, and I really don't like wasting five bucks to take the TTC to the store. So on saturday I walked - 40 minutes each way - to get groceries. It was snowing. It was cold. But it was worth it! I put my salad in my backpack ;)

Posted by: Sarah at February 5, 2007 10:52 AM

The sweater is gorgeous and the tee-tiny stiches and color work on the yoke look like they'll be very amusing to an advanced knitter such as yourself. However, I'm a tad concerned about the potential boredom level of knitting the body. Is it really miles of one color stockinette on itsy bitsy needles?

As for frozen salad greens, we have the opposite problem here in Austin, TX. On a warm August day last year, I was in the grocery store parking lot shifting the grocery bags from cart to car. I picked up a bag containing a box of popsicles and a brightly colored stream of sweet, sticky sugar water hit my foot. The popsicles had melted between checkout and parking lot. That's when I started using the insulated grocery bags one can get here. Bet those would work for your purposes too.

Posted by: Laustin at February 5, 2007 10:52 AM

How fun. YOu write about Swedish knits today, on the very day I receiveed a sweet surprise from a Swedish friend: one of your books (The Secret Life of a Knitter: began reading it right away, I am on page 10, but I am at the office, supposed to work!).

Posted by: Typesetter at February 5, 2007 10:52 AM

It's a balmy 7 (F) here in central Maine, and our windchill is only -10 F. How'd we get so lucky?

An anecdote from another Place Where They Know Cold: when Snickers first started advertising heavily in Russia (early 1990s), one of their early efforts was a TV commercial that showed a man trekking through the Siberian snow, cold and miserable, then stopping to take an energizing bite of the Snickers bar he'd stowed in his parka. My Russian friends thought this was the funniest thing ever: there was only one place he could have stowed that candy bar to keep it from freezing so hard he'd have broken his teeth, and that place was not generally compatible with basic food hygiene requirements.

(Apocryphal? Perhaps. But highly plausible.)

Posted by: Kristen at February 5, 2007 10:53 AM

Re: salad greens,

Eat them in the store!

Posted by: Rebecca at February 5, 2007 10:59 AM

Since I'm in Vancouver, there's nothing I can say that could truly comfort you in your shivering. But I did live in Regina for several years, and remember days when it was so cold if you were to go outside and look in a mirror, you'd see nose hairs you never knew you had. I think Bohus is an ideal distraction from the weather - and the colours are truly gorgeous.

Posted by: heather at February 5, 2007 11:04 AM

I know how you feel. In Edmonton its not uncommon for the weather to dip down to -45 with the windchill. Theses are the best days to sit down with your favourite yarn and knit mitts and socks!
Hot chocolate with extra marshmallows sweeten the deal!

Posted by: Jasmine at February 5, 2007 11:04 AM

I know how you feel. In Edmonton its not uncommon for the weather to dip down to -45 with the windchill. Theses are the best days to sit down with your favourite yarn and knit mitts and socks!
Hot chocolate with extra marshmallows sweeten the deal!

Posted by: Jasmine at February 5, 2007 11:06 AM

As I write it's -10, and the windchill tonight (what troll ever came up with "windchill") will be -40. They're calling it "severe". Ya think? However, it *does* happen here, and as someone up above said, it's normal-er and healthier than +70 in January which is just creepy. Oh - radio just said today is the "coldest day of the millenium" which sounds more dramatic than it is. Welcome to New France! One trip to the store with backpacks, TP doesn't freeze (and at my age I'm not embarrassed trudging through the snow with a 12-pack under my arm) and when I went out swathed in handknit mufflers (YOUR pattern, my dear) and all the rest, I was chilly but made it. Furthermore - it makes us Living History Interpreters appreciate our lives....if I really WAS that Ojibway women, circa 1760, I'd have to whip out for more wood now and again, not to mention answering "nature's call" -- wigwams with a small fire are deliciously warm, but there's a very good reason that Moon of the Popping Trees is when stories are told and moccasins sewn and decorated with that beautiful quillwork. <<All hail central heating - better +55 or +60 with shawls than -35 below outdoors>>.

Posted by: Dale-Harriet in WI at February 5, 2007 11:09 AM

Beautiful (and useful!) mitts, beautiful sweater-to-be, and Holy Cow! It's cold! Welcome back to winter, stay warm!

Posted by: loribird at February 5, 2007 11:10 AM

Canadian winters kill me. Perhaps literally, one of these days, since I'm badly asthmatic, and as soon as cold air gets into my lungs, they have a tendancy to seize up and making breathing a difficult and painful chore. I wrap scarves around my mouth and nose to help keep the cold air out, and it helps, so long as I don't mind feeling like I'm stifling. (Beats not being able to breathe, though.)

There are many winter days that I contemplate moving somewhere else with a more temperate clime. Extreme temperatures are not my friends. :/

Posted by: Ms. Knitter at February 5, 2007 11:10 AM

I think salad greens are a summer food and in the winter we're supposed to eat yams and other root vegetables. But still I can't resist buying red peppers all year round.

Kristen, are you suggesting he had that Snickers in his armpit?

Posted by: B. at February 5, 2007 11:11 AM

One of my best friends in college was from Minnesota. I am from Texas. We went to college in New England. In the first year of our friendship she kept telling me I was going to need hats, scaves, mittems, since with windchill it would be 'below' on our walks to class. I laughed, and she kept telling me it would get cold, and I said... "It gets below freezing in Texas, sometimes. I can handle it."

She meant below freezing. When she told me that, I had no words to respond.

Posted by: wenders at February 5, 2007 11:13 AM

I feel your pain (quite literally). We moved into a new house on Saturday. This wouldn't be a great accomplishment, except that on Saturday in Minnesota, it was -15F before windchill, and -35F with windchill. As I pointed out to the friends who helped us move, at least we chose the warmer day of the weekend, Sunday was brutal!

I went to college in Minnesota as well, at a school well know for its international population. Every fall, we'd mount an expedition to take the new students from the equatorial zones to REI and other outdoor stores to familiarize them with the necessary pieces of clothing for surviving February in Minnesota. An ex house mate of mine wrote an e-mail which is passed around the freshman class every year explaining the various layers and why to wear them. (Mittens are warmer than gloves, hats that are not baseball caps are really important, etc).

As for the salad greens, I'll second whomever suggested the cooler.

Posted by: Flan at February 5, 2007 11:15 AM

Your comment about Amanda's friend reminds me of a similar exchange I had some years ago with a student from England, who had arrived in Michigan for the fall semester. We were enrolled in the same grad. program, and one day in early November we were walking to class in one of those all-day incessant just-above-freezing, blowing rains. The Englsh student was shivering and complaining about how cold it was. I told her cheerily that by spring, this would seem really warm. I thought she was going to clobber me on the spot.

Love the mitts and the sweater.

Posted by: Susan O'D at February 5, 2007 11:17 AM

Definately feel for you in the cold! Today in Montreal it is -22 C and -36 with the windchill - seriously considered skipping class and staying home with my knitting and tea, but I don't think that would be an overly great idea, too bad...
Good luck with the groceries!

Posted by: cm21 at February 5, 2007 11:18 AM

...and your poor, loving, gentle Joe without a gansey to keep him warm on a day like today...

Posted by: Rachel H at February 5, 2007 11:21 AM

I know it may be hard to believe, but I am sitting here at work in northern California (where it is supposed to be as high as 68 F today) and I am wildly envious of Canada and the America North with all the cold weather and snow.

I followed your link to the Bohus knitting and immediately felt a stirring of affection and need for the "Stora Spetskragen, kofta" and began wondering where I could buy the kit and start this post haste. Then I remember that it is going to be 68 here today...

Posted by: Kristy at February 5, 2007 11:21 AM

As a couple of Americans in Toronto used to living in the more temperate mid-Atlantic region, my husband and I were taking pleasure for the longest time in disappointing our relatives when they called and asked if we were freezing yet. The weather was so unseasonably warm for so long, we forgot what could happen. I was an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, and my parents live in Bozeman, Montana, so I do know cold. That doesn't mean I like it, though.

Yesterday we thought we had gathered everything we needed for dinner, but when the time came to put everything together, we were missing a crucial lemon. There was no way around it, so my husband bundled up and headed out. For one measly lemon.

We've been seriously thinking about hibernating, if that pesky concept of working for a living didn't get in the way.

Posted by: Holly at February 5, 2007 11:25 AM

A soft zip-up sack style cooler with soft handles. Kept salad greens from freezing in the winter and from wilting in the summer during the 45-60 minute trek home from Manhattan to Queens. Granted we were rarely at Toronto winter temps there, but still a useful tool. California Innovations made mine, but there are probably others out there. (http://www.ca-innovations.com/content/itemdetail.asp?id=11303&ShowList=14)

One day I hope to knit a Bohus cardi. They are beautiful sweaters. Damn these wrists!

Posted by: pattiblaine at February 5, 2007 11:25 AM

Well, my suggestion of a cooler for the salad has already been made. I don't actually have a cooler, I tend to just ensure that items which would be negatively affected by the cold are in my heavier canvas bags (as opposed to the thin cloth ones). Longo's sells some nice ones, or the old Dominion ones.

I'm thinking that this isn't the place to mention that I was out in a skirt on Saturday, and just loved how much more my dress shoes made the snow squeak than it does when I'm in boots. Same goes for my reaction to the weather here (I'm a student in Waterloo, moved from Toronto) is along the lines of "Cool! They have an actual winter here!"

Posted by: Christine at February 5, 2007 11:26 AM

I've carried the more delicate items inside my jacket. Right there between the jacket and my angora pullover. I feel for you about the cold, since I myself live in the warm coastal Finland with only occasional -20 C (although the windchill makes it usually a lot worse). Right now it is almost pleasant, -5 C but it is going to drop to -18 C by tomorrow evening. It is something that makes you knit those warm sweaters a lot faster =).

Posted by: zeska at February 5, 2007 11:27 AM

This qoute: "I love it with a stinking unholy passion that burns brighter than a thousand glowing afterburners on Colonial Raptors." made my day. I love it when nerds and knitting combines, it makes me snort with laughter. Of course, to understand the joke you must be a knitting nerd, which I am.

Posted by: Jen at February 5, 2007 11:28 AM

Go to Superstore and buy one of those freezer bags. They are hanging up near the frozen section and have a polar bear on them. It's supposed to keep cold things cold and hot things hot. If that's the case, it would probably keep medium temperature things medium temperature. I have one and it works good for me.

Posted by: Donloree at February 5, 2007 11:30 AM


Posted by: LISA at February 5, 2007 11:31 AM

As a former Minnesotan, I can relate (heading to the bus in -20 degree weather - ouch!). As a resident Californian, you have my sympathy. You make the cold here seem like the tropics.

Posted by: Nathania at February 5, 2007 11:32 AM

I have the same heating problem. Our coil furnace(Hot water heating) is the original to the house built in 1927. When I got up this morning the indoor thermometer showed 15 which is all it can keep up to!
I too am heading to the grocery store and hardware store to pick up window sealer, hopefully that will bring up the heat an extra degree or two!

Posted by: Ella at February 5, 2007 11:33 AM

It's only -18 (c) here is Chicago, but that is WAY too cold for me. :(

Posted by: Rebecca at February 5, 2007 11:33 AM

It's zero with a -15F wind chill here in Ohio. Too cold for me! Yesterday I did just what you want to do...tea, soup, and bread. Follow those instincts, they're good ones.

Posted by: Mindy at February 5, 2007 11:34 AM

Oooh! Your Bohus will be beautiful. (I just finished "The Red Edge" in a cardigan, because I am at the age where I must be able to whip off my sweater at any time due to internal temperature spikes.) External temp report: it was just -3 F here this morning. It was -7F yesterday. Good luck with the salad fixin's and TP!

Posted by: Kathy at February 5, 2007 11:35 AM

I'm a little south of Boston and it's now up to 8, I can't warm up. I made those wristlets last week, they do wonder to keep my hands warm as I type! However I my daughter was home from school for the weekend, loved them so much they went back with her. So I have some new ones on the needles today.I don't warm up till July. This cold makes everything on me stiff and hurt....at least I'm not alone....and it vegetable soup here today!

Posted by: Wendy S at February 5, 2007 11:35 AM

re: green salads before they freeze...
Get one of those blue insultated bags from Whole Foods - they are BRILLIANT: roomy, easy to carry, sturdy and insulated. They are perfect for bringing produce home. However, on the down side, you are a walking advertisement for Whole Foods....

Posted by: Carmen at February 5, 2007 11:37 AM

The secret is that salad greens are summer food. In cold canadian winter you are supposed to be eating root vegetables and things like cabbage as your green food:) Those can survive the trip home from the grocery store.
I too hate the cold weather.
p.s. there is a movement afoot in Halifax to get lots of people to write to your publisher about the next book tour.

Posted by: susanna at February 5, 2007 11:42 AM

My dear one walks and is now on his trek for the day in this weather.!!! NOT me thank you very much. As for salad greens --he puts them inside his jacket and pulls the bottom cord on said jacket so they don't fall out and it works. He's one hot man and No way are those greens going to freeze haha. The colours of the yarn especially the second one actually put a smile on my face. It's SO nice to see something the colour of sunshine on a day like this . Thank you ,and stay warm in one of the rooms that has heat. HEY--- you could even knit with those Delicato mitts on hehe

Posted by: Joan H at February 5, 2007 11:43 AM

Even though I grew up in Cincinnati, I have lived through cold winters. The last 20 years down there, I was adamant that the weather didn't turn cold enough. The ponds and lakes near my house haven't frozen solid enough for skaters since 1987. I'm actually pretty excited to live in a place where people go ice fishing.

I do appreciate, however, that you spend more time out in the Actual Weather than I do. As long as my car starts, I can deal with pretty much any weather for the 30 seconds it takes to dash from the car into Tim's. We don't live within walking distance (in ANY weather) from a store that sells things other than gas, pop, and lottery tickets.

All that said, I can finally say that I'm impressed by the weather here because it's gotten below 0° fahrenheit. It makes me glad to be a knitter.

Does your daughter's friend from Africa have enough hats and gloves to keep him warm? That's such a sweet story.

Also, if you're interested, I'm holding a blog contest over at sarkasmo.net. To enter, just write a haiku and leave it in the comments. :) Winner is picked randomly, and gets a set of handmade stitch markers!

Posted by: kristen at February 5, 2007 11:45 AM

Right click on Nyheter and open it in a new tab or window instead of the frames they have set up. Of course, I think you have a mac and I haven't a clue how that might work.

bigger picture of the sweater:

Posted by: Fay at February 5, 2007 11:48 AM

To get greens home unfrozen, use those insulated bags normally meant to keep frozen stuff cold... but this time, they'll be keeping the cold *out*!

I feel for you... I've been hibernating as much as possible (which isn't much) here in Winterpeg. :P

Posted by: Andrea at February 5, 2007 11:50 AM

The poor African dear. Will you be setting up a knitted item fund for him? I'm sure I could whip out a lovely hat or scarf. Does he have siblings too?

I feel so lucky to live in the "warm" part of Montana (the western half with all the mountains). It can get brutal here, but such episodes last a relatively short period of time. And even more rarely -30 (or wait, did you mean C or F? I know -40 is the same on both scales).

Can't wait to see the Bohus, especially since Wendy (of Wendy Knits) finished one recently.

Posted by: Peggy at February 5, 2007 11:53 AM

Did you know that Guld means Gold in Swedish? I think it's a very proper name for that gorgeous sweater.

Posted by: Carina in Sweden at February 5, 2007 11:54 AM

Hmmm cold here too hovering around 0˚F off and on -18˚F with windchill a couple of hours ago. I want some thrum mittens....maybe some thrum slippers....thrum PANTS anyone?

Posted by: Crystal at February 5, 2007 11:54 AM

I also am in Northern California and I am envious of your real weather; I'm sure I would quail at the extreme temps, perhaps you could send down some days below 40 and big billowy clouds full of rain.

The Bohus knitting is stunning and the history admirable, what committed women they were/are. The graceful drape of the shoulder design is so pleasing. It would be slow, what with the small needles and yarn - but that time would be zip compared to the years and hours of wearing a beautiful warm garment.

Posted by: cecilia at February 5, 2007 11:55 AM

I am cold just reading this. I am gripping my coffee and contemplating curling up under my desk to avoid the elements.

I also feel bad for Amanda's friend, who is probably not at all equiped to deal with this sort of weather!

Posted by: Ang at February 5, 2007 11:56 AM

Okay, I promise that now I'll stop complaining about our weather. (I suggest sticking the salad greens inside your coat for a little thermal bodyheat.)

Posted by: Cassie at February 5, 2007 11:57 AM

Since you're walking to the grocery I would probably tuck the salad greens inside one of my layers, probably between my fleece and down vest to keep it from freezing. It's up to -14C and I'm wearing my layers, turtleneck, Dale of Norway, down vest, polar fleece, oilskin shell, with neck gaiter, shetland hat, thrummed mittens. Wool socks over tights, in my boots and under the jeans. I actually have a wool shearing vest to wear under the oilskins if it gets any colder. I love sheep.

We started the morning at -17C and they closed all the schools. Life has changed since I was a school kid.

Posted by: Lori at February 5, 2007 11:57 AM

A chuckle a minute you are, Stephanie. Even as early as the third sentence. Perhaps inadvertantly?
"......and this morning when I woke up only sheer force of will got me up and INTO the frosty house."
(The emphasis has been added, but no words have been changed.)

A very, very basic winter survival technique learned early on by most Canadians is to *not* sleep outside in the wintertime. It's warmer that way.
(My apologies to those who practice winter camping.)

Posted by: Janey at February 5, 2007 11:58 AM

I think we're not meant to eat salad greens this time of year. Root veggies are the way to go until spring. But think how good the greens will taste when we finally can eat them (I don't have a car either, and so I've also given up on greens, tomatoes, and other such expensive-to-ship-and-substandard-this-time-of-year-anyway produce)

Posted by: Nathalie at February 5, 2007 11:59 AM

A chuckle a minute you are, Stephanie. Even as early as the third sentence. Perhaps inadvertantly?
"......and this morning when I woke up only sheer force of will got me up and INTO the frosty house."
(The emphasis has been added, but no words have been changed.)

A very, very basic winter survival technique learned early on by most Canadians is to *not* sleep outside in the wintertime. It's warmer that way.
(My apologies to those who practice winter camping.)

Posted by: Janey at February 5, 2007 11:59 AM

A chuckle a minute you are, Stephanie. Even as early as the third sentence. Perhaps inadvertantly?
"......and this morning when I woke up only sheer force of will got me up and INTO the frosty house."
(The emphasis has been added, but no words have been changed.)

A very, very basic winter survival technique learned early on by most Canadians is to *not* sleep outside in the wintertime. It's warmer that way.
(My apologies to those who practice winter camping.)

Posted by: Janey at February 5, 2007 12:00 PM

Yes-it is now officially 'cold' here in Maine. I just don't do well in the cold anymore. My fingers and toes start to become numb and then they just plain hurt, even while they are thawing out. Our furnace is about 40 years old and while it too, is very efficient, we have the woodstove cranking all day. Thank goodness for my wonderful husband and sons who spent many hours this fall splitting wood!.Today it is hovering around 10 degrees, but the wind is quite stiff-making it seem more like -20. It will really plunge down tonight. The kids stay in during recess when it's below 15. The teachers go a little nuts trying to keep them occupied....

Posted by: Mary Eckstein at February 5, 2007 12:03 PM

Brrr...I love your antidote for the cold - can't wait to see Bohus!
(it's a sunny 20 here - with windchills that we just aren't used to in the "sunny south" (Virginia) - but I do not envy you!)
Soup and homemade bread - sounds like a plan!

Posted by: knitnana at February 5, 2007 12:08 PM

Maybe you need to knit a salad green cozy.

Posted by: Ryan at February 5, 2007 12:09 PM

Forget the salad greens. Think, red wine, warm chocolate chip cookies, porridge, wood fires, cat on your lap, lots of wool! Keep those fingers moving.

Posted by: Michele in Maine at February 5, 2007 12:11 PM

Try a felted totebag with a newspaper liner. It works! Also, find one of the many thermal lunch bags that your kids have discarded.

The felted totebags are great. In the summer when it gets really hot down here, I put a freezie thing in the bottom.

Posted by: Lisa Dove at February 5, 2007 12:12 PM

It's quite chilly in Vermont too... although I'm happier with the cold than when it was 50F in January.
At my house, we keep the place at 50-58F, as we essentially have no insulation in the old piece of crap, so why bother heating it much. We sit bundled in down sleeping bags when we want to watch TV, read, or (in my case) knit. I spent the weekend outside loading, unloading, and stacking rough-cut lumber that we're hoarding to start building our "real" house. At least we did it on Saturday... it was technically warmer... Last weekend it was chilly enough that when I was doing barn chores my lip froze to my coffee cup!!
Also, good to see another BG fan!! Stay warm. Wool is the best! (And no metallic coffee cups!)

Posted by: Kait in VT at February 5, 2007 12:13 PM

I read "Poems of Color" and was very impressed with the art in the Bohus. One of the things that impressed me was the way they made use of the knitters' wide range of skills. The advanced knitters would create the patterened part, and the less skilled knitters would work on the plain stockinette part.

So who's going to knit your plain stockinette?

Posted by: LaurieM at February 5, 2007 12:14 PM

I remember a few years ago when a couple of guys moved into the flat below us from central Africa. All winter they would keep the heat turned up to the high 80's(F) & we would just bake upstairs. It's interesting to keep all the windows cracked open all winter. (Luckily the landlord paid the heating costs...)Hopefully this cold spell will pass in a few days & we can get back to our usual freezing, but not deadly cold, weather.

Posted by: Rae in Michigan at February 5, 2007 12:21 PM

Here in Minnesota, it's been a bit chilly the last few days. The temp when I came to work this morning: -27 Celsius.

You are experiencing what my mother-in-law refers to as the 'do-point'. When the temperature goes below a certain point, she doesn't do!

Posted by: Karen at February 5, 2007 12:21 PM

I'm not Canadian, we're a little further north than you are (on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Lake Superior), I recommend putting anything you don't want to freeze in the pocket of your inside layers. We're only at -37F here, I haven't gotten my down coat out yet, I'm still with layers (camisole, teeshirt, turtleneck, wool sweater, fleece vest, warm fleece jacket and lighter fleece lined nylon shell). I put the milk inside the nylon jacket yesterday so it wouldn't freeze on the 2 block walk from the store. I look like the Marshmellow guy from Ghostbusters anyway, what's a gallon of milk in my pocket?

Posted by: Mary Peed at February 5, 2007 12:24 PM

I live in one of the few parts of the US that is NORTH of Toronto (in NY state, near Ottawa). My answer to the cold is a mixture of down, wool, and alpaca. If you wear enough of them, then you won't really feel the cold. An ankle-length down coat with many layers of wool under it is wonderful. And alpaca mitten liners under Latvian mittens are surprisingly warm. As for the greens, I was worried last night just going the 20 feet from the store to my car. I recommend frozen vegetables.

Posted by: Emily at February 5, 2007 12:25 PM

Wow that sweater is unbelievable! Cant wait to see if finished. ARe the instructions in English???

Posted by: Annie at February 5, 2007 12:26 PM

Take a cooler for your salad greens. No seriously. Coolers keep the outside temp out and the inside temp in. Should keep the stuff from freezing for the 8 minute walk back (I'm assuming a slowed-down walk time on the return because I'm sure you'll be walking into the wind. I live in Winnipeg. Any walk was ALWAYS into the wind.)

Posted by: Christine at February 5, 2007 12:27 PM

Wow. The knitters and yarn lovers have made a great addition to poetry in cyberspace. Someone is collecting all the links/poems in one place....she's only made a dent in the poetry out there. Please link any and all poetry to it...

Posted by: deborah oak at February 5, 2007 12:29 PM

You could always order your groceries online and have them delivered. There's a company that does that in Toronto. Boy do I wish there was a company like that in Montreal.

Posted by: Laura in Montreal at February 5, 2007 12:29 PM

Okay, I admit, I haven't read all of the 90 some responses prior to mine, but did you know that coolers can be used to keep this warm? Despite the obvious misleading name, coolers actually help maintain whatever temperature is inside them. We actually use them to keep things hot when my husband does his competitive barbecuing. Try taking your thermal lunch box to the store. It should help your lettuce maintain temp. If you need to, you could put a hot thermos in there to keep things that shouldn't freeze from freezing.

Much luck. I am in Michigang where we are getting about -15 (farenheit). This is cold enough to close schools since our little ones are used to bundling up to the level of you brave Canadians.

Hang in there. I am using the cold spell to reknit (okay, reknit for the third and fourth time...2 socks, more attempts...)my dad's Christmas socks.



Posted by: Sheryl at February 5, 2007 12:33 PM

The mitts are so gorgeous in that color! (Fauna? Looks more like it should've been named Flora. [g]) Nice on the sunshiney yarns! Out here in Oregon we had - ok, don't laugh, people - highs in the 20's (yah, +20 F, I know, haha) the week or so before last, preceded by actual *snow*. It was sunny, but I still felt the need of some brightness, so I got some Lorna's Laces in Bittersweet. Super-bright shades of reds with a touch of yellow. Yowsa, that zinged me right up!

Of course for greens, I just have to look out the window. A few days of snow didn't brown our bright green winter grass. This week we're going to get daytime temps in the 50's F, and I've heard returning birds chirping. Spring is coming, most of you guys commenting are freezing, and I'm wishing we'd have more winter. Climate is weird - even before the global warming bit!

Posted by: MonicaPDX at February 5, 2007 12:36 PM

I have a love/hate relationship with cold. There's something about cold (not necessarily arctic cold) that makes me feel more alive. However, we're getting arctic cold in Virginia this week and by week's end, I'll be chilled to the bone and hating the cold. But right now, -13C in the early morning doesn't seem too bad.

Good luck getting the salad greens home without them freezing.

Posted by: Teri S. at February 5, 2007 12:37 PM

That's Celcius, too, isn't it? Here in Kzoo it's a high of 8F(-13C) with winchills around -15F(-30's C maybe?). I feel you on the cold front, we're getting lake effect weather.

WMU is actually closed today, and there are signs in the dorms warning of frostbite and to layer up! I feel pretty lucky we don't have class today, esp. when I hear about other people who have to go in :P I can't believe people have to worry about their food freezing! Stay warm!

Posted by: Marielle at February 5, 2007 12:38 PM

It's been a bit chilly in Saskatoon this winter, but as my husband keeps reminding me, we live here on purpose, we live here on purpose...I always think that if it's going to be winter, it might as well be cold. At least there're no mosquitoes!

My favourite way to deal with salad greens in the winter: head to the caribbean, and eat as many as you can while taking a cruise.

Posted by: Judy G. at February 5, 2007 12:38 PM

You poor sweetheart. I can't imagine anything that cold. Maybe you should keep emergency rations for winter, the way we Californians keep emergency rations in case of earthquake.

Stay warm.

By the way, that's one seriously beautiful sweater you're starting.

Posted by: Marina Stern at February 5, 2007 12:39 PM

I keep reading about the renewed Bohus craze, and I have to admit, I haven't been that crazy about - until the Guld photo. Now I can see the attraction. I don't have a project planned just yet, but my recent acquisition is the Norske Strikkedesign book, and the colorwork is equally not-hard but tiny. Have to clear the slate before such an undertaking though.

Posted by: Heather at February 5, 2007 12:39 PM

It's been a bit chilly in Saskatoon this winter, but as my husband keeps reminding me, we live here on purpose, we live here on purpose...I always think that if it's going to be winter, it might as well be cold. At least there're no mosquitoes!

My favourite way to deal with salad greens in the winter: head to the caribbean, and eat as many as you can while taking a cruise.

Posted by: Judy G. at February 5, 2007 12:39 PM

We're having the same sort of weather here in Minneapolis. I'm awfully cranky about having to go outside and drive to work, when OBVIOUSLY I should be hunkering down.

You can carry your salad greens under your clothing against you skin. ;)

Posted by: Chris at February 5, 2007 12:40 PM

The colors for your Bohus do look like a ray of sunshine! (And I'll stop complaining that it's "cold" here in the California Bay area -- I'll qualify it from now on by saying it's "relatively cold!")

Posted by: Sarah at February 5, 2007 12:40 PM

Kids left back to school after lunch, they tried to convince me that they should stay home since the school won't let them out for recess. "It's too cold to walk" Funny it wasn't too cold to ski yesterday! My salad green suggestions have all been made. Yesterday I borrowed my in-laws car & did all errands so I can hibernate for the rest of the week. Lovely Bohus, can't wait to watch it grow.

Posted by: elan at February 5, 2007 12:46 PM

I've been coveting Blue Shimmer ever since I took Carol Rhoades class on spinning for Bohus Knitting last spring at the Northwest Regional Spinning Association convention in Tacoma, Washington. The pattern is availale in the book Poems of Color by Wendy Keele, which Interweave Press has reprinted, and of course, Solveig has the yarn. It's unbelievably fine and soft. Can't wait to see how Guld turns out, then maybe I won't be afraid of starting my own Blue Shimmer. You go!

Posted by: shelly at February 5, 2007 12:49 PM

That's Celcius, yes? You mean it's more than 90 degrees warmer here (F) and I'm STILL in bed with a cold?!

Posted by: Nina at February 5, 2007 12:51 PM

To keep your salad green, use a cooler. It's insulated. It can keep cold OUT as well as in. (I've heard that people in the Arctic use refrigerators to keep their food warm.) I wore wool while living in Hawaii for this reason - it kept the heat OUT.

Good luck with the Bohus. I knit a Blue Shimmer a while back, and while I loved the result, those endless rounds of stockinette made me just the slightest bit squirrelly. (Okay. I went insane.)

Posted by: JulieT at February 5, 2007 12:52 PM

The mitts are lovely, they are definitely a Harlot colorway!

I suppose it would be in bad taste to mention that it is currently +24C here in Los Angeles? And that it's not yet 10 am?

Forget I said anything.

Posted by: Wen at February 5, 2007 12:55 PM

Wow. All those Bohii look beautiful, but Guld was the one that literally took my breath away. I think I would do Egg if I ever did this pattern.

We have no schools open within 50 miles (at least) at -18F and wind chill of ???. All is well except that the water intake to the toilet froze on Friday morning. Every time someone flushes, I need to fill the tank by hand with three gallons of water. All the other water and heat systems are perfectly fine (and the cars start) so I shouldn't complain.

Rachel H -- way to wield the knife. Pass the salt?

Posted by: Beth in WI at February 5, 2007 12:56 PM

Salad solution. Do you have one of those buckwheat hull pillows you can warm in the microwave? They put out heat for quite a while. You could wrap it in polar fleece in the bottom of your bag and open it just enough to keep the salad fixings from freezing on the way home.

Posted by: kitkatknit at February 5, 2007 12:58 PM

Hot water bottle and a salad-container cozy?

I can't wait to see Guld. I'm torn between Red Palm and the Gray Mist, Cowl Style.

Posted by: Angela at February 5, 2007 12:59 PM

here's a thought for you. i don' tknow if you have them up there, but here in the states you can buy "insulated" bags that keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. the insulation should help keep them from freezing. i suppose you could also use a soft-sided cooler/lunch bag, as well. as long as the greens fit, lol.

and yeah, it's cold here too. it's -2F windchill, which, according to google is -18.8 celsius. we understand.

Posted by: Minnie at February 5, 2007 1:05 PM

and i just checked. air temp is 11F which, according to google is -11.6C. shiver

Posted by: minnie at February 5, 2007 1:06 PM

Shove the greens down your pants. Works for me.

Posted by: Jacqui at February 5, 2007 1:06 PM

Seeing that gorgeous sweater makes me think of the John Denver song, "Sunshine on my Shoulders makes me happy" ... I think that sweater would make anyone happy 'cause you're literally wearing sunshine all the way round the shoulders. Should warm you right up! Way to go, Steph!

Posted by: Marti J at February 5, 2007 1:07 PM

Seeing that gorgeous sweater makes me think of the John Denver song, "Sunshine on my Shoulders makes me happy" ... I think that sweater would make anyone happy 'cause you're literally wearing sunshine all the way round the shoulders. Should warm you right up! Way to go, Steph!

Posted by: Marti J at February 5, 2007 1:07 PM

Seeing that gorgeous sweater makes me think of the John Denver song, "Sunshine on my Shoulders makes me happy" ... I think that sweater would make anyone happy 'cause you're literally wearing sunshine all the way round the shoulders. Should warm you right up! Way to go, Steph!

Posted by: Marti J at February 5, 2007 1:08 PM

Here in NC we stay in the house when it gets colder than +30F. On the plus side it must be great to get to wear all the stuff you knit indoors. Love the "Guld" sweater and I love to knit with small needles. Please, please, post a picture when you've finished it.

Posted by: Judy at February 5, 2007 1:11 PM

It will be a gorgeous sweater, but the small gauge is insane. I can't imagine an entire sweater at 8.5 stitches to an inch!

It's only -11 C here in Massachusetts, but lots of wind. *sigh* I have to go out today, too.

Posted by: twig at February 5, 2007 1:11 PM

I love your alpaca mitts! The heater at my house only heats the space directly in front of it, so on really cold days (not as cold as yours though) I have to wear my mitts in the house to type or knit. They are my current favorite knitted item. Except maybe for socks. The Guld colors are lovely, although with that gauge, you are lucky to be a small person!

Posted by: EricaLynn at February 5, 2007 1:12 PM

I just made a .5 mile walking trip to the LYS closest to my work for some emergency replacement DPNs (dog ate my needles). I expected it to be far worse outside, checking the weather after returing from my trip I found it to be 5F, with wind chill betweek -10 and -20F. Totally worth it, but then again I wasn't shopping for greans.

Warm thoughts,

Posted by: Amanda at February 5, 2007 1:13 PM


your comments about the delicato glaves under your mittens reminded me of the Broad Street Mittens on knitty.com. I think that those would be perfect for what you need. I made some out of Patons wool, and they're getting rave reviews. look into it! :)

Posted by: Amanda O at February 5, 2007 1:14 PM

Solution: Move to western Washington. The salad doesn't freeze here (not often, anyway).
I'm seriously in love with Bohus knitting. Even the thought of knitting a whole sweater on 2 mm needles doesn't frighten me. I must be insane.
And Battlestar Galactica? If you weren't my knitting heroine before, you are now. Dude, that is my favorite show. Do you suppose they knit on the ship in their free moments?

Posted by: Lorette at February 5, 2007 1:14 PM

and by glaves, I mean gloves...

Posted by: Amanda O at February 5, 2007 1:15 PM

Here burns the heart of another Bohus fanatic. It's good to see I'm in such good company. And I've brought my daughter, Sabetta, to see the light. She's 21, a physics major at UPenn in Philadelphia and about to graduate with a BA and an MA in May. And she knits. Oh, she knits at the speed of ... well, of you, Stephanie, and that is high praise. I bought a number of Bohus kits from Solveig (what an amazing dyer she is!), among them the Blue Shimmer hat and scarf. Last winter, when she was home on vacation, she knit the hat. In one week. The first colorwork she ever did. Yes, she did sleep. The child frightens me, sometimes. The rest of the time, I'm just amazed that this is *my* child. She finished the scarf last summer. All I have to do is darn in all the loose ends. What else are mothers for?

Posted by: dee near Berkeley at February 5, 2007 1:21 PM

Here burns the heart of another Bohus fanatic. It's good to see I'm in such good company. And I've brought my daughter, Sabetta, to see the light. She's 21, a physics major at UPenn in Philadelphia and about to graduate with a BA and an MA in May. And she knits. Oh, she knits at the speed of ... well, of you, Stephanie, and that is high praise. I bought a number of Bohus kits from Solveig (what an amazing dyer she is!), among them the Blue Shimmer hat and scarf. Last winter, when she was home on vacation, she knit the hat. In one week. The first colorwork she ever did. Yes, she did sleep. The child frightens me, sometimes. The rest of the time, I'm just amazed that this is *my* child. She finished the scarf last summer. All I have to do is darn in all the loose ends. What else are mothers for?

Posted by: dee near Berkeley at February 5, 2007 1:21 PM

sorry for the double post

Posted by: dee near Berkeley at February 5, 2007 1:23 PM

I have one word for you: Portland, Oregon. You don't have to move permanently, you could just winter here. It was 60F (15C) yesterday & it's 40F (4C) today. Of course, I wore my hat today. We don't usually get snow, but there is ice skating... It's indoors.

Posted by: Janet at February 5, 2007 1:25 PM

Stephanie - you warm my oh-so-cold WI heart with your Battlestar Galactica reference! Frack the cold!

Posted by: ondrayah at February 5, 2007 1:26 PM

Can't you put your salad greens in a cooler (like one would use to keep, say, beer cold) to keep them warm???

Posted by: Mandy at February 5, 2007 1:26 PM

You've heard the cooler trick by now so i'Ll just commiserate on the weather and old houses. I am sitting at my computer which was once a porch (no basement underneath) with a hot water bottle on my double-socked slippered feet, wearing fingerless mittens and three layers of tops, fleece-lined jeans and am considering a coat if I stay here another minute. Last night we discovered we were out of milk for tea and no one would go out to get it.
I braved the elements this morning though. Twice. I'm done.

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 5, 2007 1:27 PM

It is -20F/-28C here in Eau Claire, WI today (near the Twin Cities). I'm in a 100-year-old house with no insulation, wearing a Lopi sweater over long underwear and a polarfleece top. I look like the over-stuffed kid in "A Christmas Story".

The baby goats in the barn are, amazingly, full of P&V with just their mama and their heat lamp to warm them. Maybe I need some angora underwear?

Do you have an insulated lunch bag for the lettuce?

Amanda's friend needs some hand-knit goods, pronto!

Posted by: Stasia at February 5, 2007 1:27 PM

My first winter in Montana it hit neg 45F for two weeks in Nov/Dec, with wind chill down to neg 80F. 1-room log cabin, chipping ice out of the creek for water, old barrel stove and learning how to split wood, outhouse a hundred feet from the cabin... My knife shattered when I was trying to fix supper and I realized the poor blade didn't have a coat on the way I did! After that winter, nothing phased me.

My daughter wants one of those Bohus sweaters, just like Lolly's (shades of gray and gorgeous). I told her she has to stop growing first, then we'll negotiate. I think you'll be especially pleased with the fit -- should look perfect on your shoulders.

Posted by: Sylvia at February 5, 2007 1:32 PM

Brr, that's Booger Freezing Weather as my little brother would say. We hit a record high of 60 yesterday and my kids went outside without coats. I love Oregon ;)

Stay warm!

Posted by: Michele at February 5, 2007 1:36 PM

ohhhhhhhhh. That sweater is lovely. And I love the whole BG thing...not a big fan of the original, but dude...I am sooo addicted to the new one, and look out if I miss an episode! I really wonder who the Final 5 are. :)

Posted by: Yvonne at February 5, 2007 1:37 PM

I was in favor of the whole global-warming-winter thing myself. It was -10 here when I got up. I made carrot and ginger soup and thought warm thoughts. It's not working. It's just cold.

Posted by: melissaknits at February 5, 2007 1:39 PM

Yep, it's cold out; it makes me happy, though - global warming hasn't triumphed just yet!

Plus, now I have an excuse to stay inside and knit.

Posted by: Lynn at February 5, 2007 1:41 PM

I've got one word for you regarding this weather: UNACCEPTABLE. My god. Perhaps we could channel a little Oklahoma City-block-walk to warm it up a bit.

Posted by: jayme at February 5, 2007 1:41 PM

Salad greens home unfrozen?! Sorry, our specialty is how to get milk home before it spoils! such is life in the sub-tropics. (Louisiana) Just sayin'.

Posted by: Barbara Seiver at February 5, 2007 1:43 PM

Hey there, hope you're keeping warm (brrr). I'd be suprised if you see this post considering the number already here, but I'm dying to know - your mitts are lovely and I'm wondering if the ribbing on the back lays straight. I just finished a pair with cables on front and k2p2 ribbing on back from cuff to bo edge. No matter what I did, the ribbing on the back twists from the wrist to the cuff. Drove me insane!

Posted by: Linda at February 5, 2007 1:48 PM

I'm a Norwegian, so I thought I knew cold, but... you layer your MITTENS? Now THAT's cold!

Posted by: Expat knits at February 5, 2007 1:51 PM

Hmm...I suppose you could pack your salad greens in a box filled with lots of warm wooly yarny goodness...that might help...oh and then you should probably add extra warm wooly yarny goodness around that box and place it all in a bigger box...might keep the greens unfrozen and you'd have lots of warm wooly yarny goodness left over to knit with....either that or bring a heating pad with a really long extention cord and put the greens on that and turn it on...though that might make them wilt...

Posted by: Shelley at February 5, 2007 1:51 PM

As for getting the greens home... well, there's always the technique the drug smugglers have developed....

Posted by: Elizabeth GM at February 5, 2007 1:55 PM

I love when you link to historical information. I'm one of those people who enjoy learning all the time and i'm thrilled that there are so many knitters passing along tradition and information. Thank you!

Can't wait to see how your sunny project emerges.

I'm lost in lace over here..."Icarus".


Posted by: Suz at February 5, 2007 2:01 PM

Well, I know how you feel about felting, but maybe just one felted tote is in order, to transport the tenderest of produce?

Posted by: Kim at February 5, 2007 2:06 PM

Could you please send your daughters convince my greyhound from Florida needs to wear a coat in this weather. He would wear it in December fine but come January he is refusing to go outside with it on. I convinced him to wear something on his feet this afternoon. He goes outside for 2 min and is picking up his feet since they are so cold. A coat no way will he go outside.

Posted by: Teresa at February 5, 2007 2:08 PM

A thick, felted, wool, shopping bag with a flap over the top and a reusable handwarmer tucked into a pocket in the bottom keeps your greens not frozen at -35*C with a windchill factor of -49*C.

Posted by: Dorothy B at February 5, 2007 2:09 PM

Yeah, it's cold like that here right now, too. They Ubiquitous "They" closed the schools here this morning because the windchill was -40 Fahrenheit. I want to wrap myself and my Wee Men in swathes of roving and knit all day. TRY to stay warm!

Posted by: Carie Morrison at February 5, 2007 2:11 PM

I'm not Canadian, but I think you must need to knit shopping bag cozies! Or better yet, just knit some shopping bags out of wool!

Posted by: Amy in StL at February 5, 2007 2:14 PM

I'm an Ontario transplant living in Vancouver and I actually miss the super cold weather. Well, maybe not all the time, but it just seems like you haven't had a proper winter until your nose hairs have frozen upon stepping outside.

Posted by: Mary at February 5, 2007 2:15 PM

Action stations! action stations! Set condition one throughout the ship. We have another incoming... knitter.

Posted by: Melinda at February 5, 2007 2:18 PM

Beautiful sweater! can't wait to see it.

-7 F here today... -27 F with the wind chill. School was actually cancelled. I met the girlies at the LYS, but drove.

Posted by: Karen in Toledo at February 5, 2007 2:18 PM

I miss the cold weather of Boston now that I'm on the West Coast, but Toronto is a whole different level of cold.

Can't wait to see your progress on Guld--I'm trying to decide which kit to order, once I finish the Bohus cuffs I started at Madrona!

Posted by: Carrie at February 5, 2007 2:19 PM

I knew I was in trouble yesterday morning when I could hear both furnaces running. I didn't realize how bad it was until I went downstairs and the kerosene heater was on in the kitchen and the fireplace was on in the living room. I love my fireplace, it is gas and has a blower and doesn't leave soot or anything and the blower makes all the heat go into the house instead of up the chimney. The only problem I have is that I have to push my hubby out of the way to get near it!

That sweater is fantastic as are the colors.

Posted by: Mary Lynn in Cleveland at February 5, 2007 2:20 PM

That sweater is GORGEOUS! Is it a kit that you order straight from the maker? I would love to get myself one but I can't decipher the website. Any tips?

Posted by: Jennifer at February 5, 2007 2:20 PM

At first I read your post and thought -30? Brr. That's cold. Wait....she's talking celsius. 0C = 32 F...so -30....that's what, 2 F? That's not too bad.....then I rean it through a converter. It's -22F?!? Holy Cow that's cold. I wouldn't go outside at all after -15F. I'd special order toilet tissue to be delivered by courier if necessary...dang! Good thing I live in the US. I don't think I could hack it as a Canadian.

Embrace the knitting instinct...not freezing = :-)


Posted by: Carissa at February 5, 2007 2:21 PM

The previous comment, as I write this, is from Karen in Toledo (Ohio, I presume) where school was cancelled. Our home weather station east of Columbus, Ohio (southeast of Toledo by half the state), said -4 F this morning, and school was cancelled in our district which just about never has either a delay or a cancellation. Unfortunately, I'm at work and not the yarn store.

Somehow at these temperatures, putting an F after the number seems appropriate. And yes, I know we're pikers compared to most of Canada.

Posted by: Iris at February 5, 2007 2:24 PM

You said that your house was chilly. I wear my fingerless mittens all winter long in my condo, along with a scarf and two pairs of socks so I don't have to crank the heat up. I also wear them outside when it is not quite cold enough for mittens and also like you mentioned under or over mittens. There is a nice pattern that I just finished in the book "Knitting with Balls", a men's knitting book but they fit my hands perfectly.

Posted by: Melina at February 5, 2007 2:25 PM

Gorgeous mitts! The one segment of my life where I wasn't knitting was when I lived in New Hampshire and really needed mitts like those--dumb, huh.

Posted by: AlisonH in California at February 5, 2007 2:25 PM

Addendum - hit post too fast.

Large glass windows at work were totally coated with ice this morning, and the foolishly uninsulated (I'm guessing) stairwell walls now have water running down them from condensation.

Steph - never figured you for a Galactica fan! Fab!

Posted by: Iris at February 5, 2007 2:27 PM

As someone who is generally not very fond of being bound up in clothing (nothing kinky, mind you, just plays into my claustrophobia), this time of year really, really makes me appreciate layers. Especially since our drafty little 350 year old house isn't big on warm & cozy. I dream of the day when I can gut it and insulate it properly.

Posted by: Mel at February 5, 2007 2:31 PM

ah...small needles...seriously--I used to be all about the big whoopty 12s and the novelty yarn, but thank you, oh mighty Yarn Harlot for teaching me the joys of small needles, fine wool, tiny stitches, and peace in my heart when I'm knitting... looking at your stash makes me shiver all over.

So does thinking about your weather--but that's a different kind of shiver...I'd put the salad greens by the milk--the milk won't freeze, it will be sort of an odd sort of 'slightly above freezing' pack for your salad.

Posted by: shanny mac at February 5, 2007 2:40 PM

A friend sent the link to your blog a couple days ago, and I have already decided to make a pair of the fingerless mittens. I just wish they were complete and on my hands today.

Posted by: Denise at Edmonton at February 5, 2007 2:41 PM

I have found the perfect way to get lettuce home before it freezes! Move to Florida. We are experiencing our coldest week thus far, and only have a high of 16 today (yes that is celcius) Having moved here from Edmonton I find this quite amusing. They even talk about wind chill here - when the feels-like temp approaches freezing :)

Posted by: Natasha at February 5, 2007 2:42 PM

Thank you for making me laugh!! I always enjoy reading your blogg!!

Posted by: Elaine at February 5, 2007 2:45 PM

Get one of those honkin' big coolers with wheels on one end and a handle on the other -- you pull it behind you just like a suitcase. That'll keep all your groceries at the right temp as you drag it home. Could be a mite inconvenient on the bus, though :-)

Are those KnitPicks Options needles I see?

Posted by: kmkat at February 5, 2007 2:48 PM

Yesterday, I dug my Blue Shimmer out of my stash, where it has languished for 10 years. Does this mean we have a Bohus-Along?

Posted by: judith - the original at February 5, 2007 2:51 PM

Today it wasn't quite -20 here in East Finland, but I wasn't thinking, and bought bananas on my way home. I had already called home that I needed to be picked up (the wind!), but the waiting outside was enough for the poor bananas, and we'll have to be having banana cupcakes tomorrow.

Posted by: DistantKnitter at February 5, 2007 2:52 PM

Perhaps Amanda could teach her new friend to knit? Love the sweaters; wish it would stay cold enough, long enough, here in Oklahoma to justify making all the gorgeous wooly winter wear!

Posted by: CurliSu at February 5, 2007 2:54 PM

Ugh! I always think it would be nice to move to Canada... beautiful cities, nice people, lack of Bushes... a top notch country if ask me.

Then I remember the cold.
I have never, in my entire existance been that cold. EVER. And how you go about with half your house heated is completely beyond. Our furnace brokw and it was like, 35 (F) outside... I thought we were going to freeze to death.

That is all. Have a great day, enjoy the sweater, stay warm.

Posted by: Lexy at February 5, 2007 3:00 PM

Ditto Jennifer's quesion: where does one find the kit for these gorgeous sweaters? I couldn't make heads nor tails out of the website, other than drooling at all the gorgeous pictures! I don't mind small needles at all and all the plain knitting makes it a good carry-along project - totally mindless at that point!


Posted by: Barbara L in MA at February 5, 2007 3:03 PM

I love your fingerless mitts, very pretty! Oh, and those temperatures are one of the reasons my Ontario born and raised hubby moved west. I am not good with cold (and I was born and raised in BC). We had a bout of cold for us weather that forced me into knitting myself some of those Fiber Trend felted slippers!

Posted by: Gaile at February 5, 2007 3:04 PM

I hope Amanda's school friend makes out all right. I have heard several lectures on hypothermia and frostbite from a scientist friend who grew up in North Dakota and is often called in on difficult cases. Several of the examples he describes involve people who moved somewhere really cold and didn't do the right things when the temperature dropped (I will spare you the details - definitely not pretty!). People who have the genetic background for and grow up in really warm climates end up with slightly different circulatory system arrangements and therefore actually suffer from the cold more.

The mitts are gorgeous and were well worth the trials of their creation. I can't wait to see the sweater - it makes me wish I liked to wear pullovers!

As for the salad greens, insulation works both ways. Just don't buy any houseplants or cut flowers!

Posted by: Karen Lauterwasser at February 5, 2007 3:06 PM

Lovely fingerless mitts

Posted by: AmyP at February 5, 2007 3:14 PM

maybe that's why knitting is somewhat less popular in africa than elsewhere. or why i keep knitting socks but increasingly wonder why. nowadays i call it my 'africa helps europe' project because they all get sent off to family while we live barefoot.

from full blown summer (35C) i send you a handful of african sunshine... careful, that light is really strong. it's enough to last through to (your) spring. enjoy!

Posted by: nrrdgrrl at February 5, 2007 3:29 PM

It sounds like the punchline to the joke..."So how cold is it??"
-- My lettuce freezes on the way home from the store. (Ms. Harlot)
--- My 8 year old's hat swallows her face. (She pulled it completely over her head so that her coat met her scarf and her scarf met her hat.)
--- Vaseline is used by everyone in the house to coat lips and under noses before leaving.
--- I can't even drive to my sister's house in Ohio from wester NY because all the roads are closed. (Very 19th century -- just weird. They should just give up and make I90 from south Buffalo to Erie PA a seasonal road.)

Posted by: Sharilyn at February 5, 2007 3:32 PM

Q: How to get salad greens home before they freeze?
A: Move to Vancouver ;)

Posted by: Maureen at February 5, 2007 3:38 PM

P.S. Running out of toilet paper? Kleenex works just fine. If you buy the expensive kind, you might want to separate the layers so it's not so thick and doesn't clog the pipes.

Posted by: TimWarp at February 5, 2007 3:58 PM

I now know that my little dream to move to Canada is out the window. I moved from California to Rhode Island and the worst I've ever dealt with is 1 degree with a wind chill factor of -10 fahrenheit. It's not that cold but close enough for me. And the hand warmer under the mitten thing... that's one of my favorites. I'm wearing mine right now in the office cause some genious thought it would be a good idea to put the fan on and blow cold air in the middle of winter in a large building with tons of windows.

Posted by: Cambria W at February 5, 2007 3:58 PM

When it's below fifty, I start feeling absolutely chilled to the bone. Fifty. I can't imagine twenty below zero. That's just...beyond my comprehension. I imagine the African dude is the same way.
Never in my life have I had the problem of getting salad greens home before they freeze. Now, getting frozen stuff home before it melts can be a problem here in Middle TN. So, we have these insulated bags for that purpose. I imagine it would work in reverse.

Posted by: Jess, of the Bugs at February 5, 2007 4:04 PM

-20 to -40 sure sounds like the arctic for me (you're not talking celsius, are you?), good grief. growing up in sunny israel, when my current residency of southern california gets 10 cold (celsius) i get grumpy, pissy and gloomy. hell for me isn't hot. it's freezing.
(and isn't it great that so many of us knitters actually know what colonial raptors are? how geeky. if you didn't catch firefly or eureka - i will warmly re-recommend them to you. much joy)

Posted by: michal at February 5, 2007 4:08 PM

Here's an easy Celcius to Fahrenheit and vise versa converter for the temperature challenged. http://people.uncw.edu/dixonrd/tempconv.htm

Here in western Oregon I live in a MIL apartment setting. Think a mere suggestion of a kitchen-counter, cabinets, sink, hotplate and microwave. The refrigerator is outside my kitchen door on the patio. Pretty energy efficient in the winter, eh? Yeah it's great until the temperature dips to freezing and so do my salad makings. But nothing else in the fridge freezes. So now I bring them in and keep them in a cooler during freezing spells. Sometimes the body just wants a break from all that chocolate and craves salad. On the plus side, my meal planning and preperation has become so simple which led to the big realization - More time to spin and knit!!!

Beautiful Bohus - have fun with it. I'm spinning an alpaca cria fleece that wants to be lace. I'm still searching for just the right pattern. Have I done lace before? No. Do I start with something small to test the waters? No. Do I jump in with both feet and needles flyin'? Ya shore you betcha! I've gotten the inspiration from you, dear Harlot.

Posted by: Bertalou at February 5, 2007 4:12 PM

Anything below freezing is just too damn cold for me. You might want to try tucking the salad greens under your arms between layers to get them home.

Posted by: Lynne aka Witchypoo at February 5, 2007 4:13 PM

My husband thinks the five computers in our office heat the room just fine, so he turns off the heat in the office.

We live in Montréal. He is an idiot. Worse, an idiot from the south of France. Let's not even talk about the protest measure of wearing only the denim jacket and the leather jacket over that to ward off winter. Dude, it don't work. Get over it and put on some freaking clothes.

And Denny, shut up three times for good measure, okay?

(You're handling the cold much better than I am, Steph. I'm downright cranky.)

Posted by: Lee Ann at February 5, 2007 4:19 PM

Am I the only one wondering WTF with schools closing because it's cold outside? I don't ever recall schools closing for cold when I was a kid (and we still live in the same area...western New York state). Count your blessings a bit...you live in town...it's pretty wicked out in the country!

All has been said...a cooler (or warmer this time of year) and that sweater is going to be just gorgeous!

Posted by: Diane at February 5, 2007 4:26 PM

oooh—loving the bohus kit yarns . . . . i am more and more tempted to knit something stranded soon, but i think for me it will be a hat!

the mitts came out fantastic! that colorway does more for them than anything i've seen yet.

Posted by: anne at February 5, 2007 4:32 PM

I can't even wrap my mind around the thought of that much cold. I live in Southern California, and it's 86 F right now. My kids are in shorts and sandles. While it's warm outside, the house hasn't gotten that warm...and I got a bit of a chill sitting on the couch reading the mail. I won't complain a bit about that now. And I wish I could send you all some of my sunshine.

Posted by: Kristen at February 5, 2007 4:37 PM

I'm with the people who stay away from salad greens in cold weather. But, in a fit of green madness when I was living in Moscow in -30F (about -34C), I put the greens under my sweater for the walk home. Worked just fine.

Posted by: Kristen at February 5, 2007 4:40 PM

Your sweater is going to be gorgeous!
Good luck with your salad.

Posted by: Miss Scarlett at February 5, 2007 4:40 PM

Although the cold can create cabin fever, it can also create fun playtime activities. At around -30 soap bubbles freeze like marbles. At -15 soap bubble shatter into confetti.

Check it out!

Posted by: ww878 at February 5, 2007 4:41 PM

DENNYS you are evil, evil, evil... no-matter-what-they-say! What are you doing in Australia during the worst cold snap of the Winter in T.O.?!?!! Well, hope you're enjoying yourself and may the temperatures moderate somewhat before you land back in the Great White North.

What a great idea for salad greens. A cooler. Who'da thunk it?

Posted by: Maura at February 5, 2007 4:47 PM

It is only 10 degrees F here and I can't even imagine what that cold must feel like!

Those mittens from the other day are just amazing- I hope she is writing an article for interweave or something so the rest of us can make them! They are unbelievable!

Posted by: frecklegirl jess at February 5, 2007 4:51 PM

Move to New Zealand! It's 20 degrees here today, a little chilly compared to our temperatures of late and I'm considering wearing something with sleeves.

Why on earth do you want to eat salad greens in the bleak midwinter? Shouldn't you be craving the sort of food you brew up in a big pot, the kind that comes with dumplings and involves root vegetables? You know, food that sticks to your ribs and your backside giving you more insulation when you need it!

Definitely think you need a bookbookbookbookbook tour Down Under right about now. Think of sunshine on your skin, swimming with dolphins, cocktails on the deck and more volcanos than you can shake a stick at.

Posted by: Eclair at February 5, 2007 4:52 PM

Go to www.solsilke.se
Click on Kontakta mig, which will take you to an email form, which now has English translations for the boxes
Email Solveig. Her English is fine.
Credit card - some people feel comfortable emailing their credit card number, etc. I don't. I telephoned Solveig and gave her the information. Again, her English is fine. The telephone number is on the home page. International phoning was exciting for me. I know; I need a life.
Wait for your kit(s) to arrive, which, for me in northern California, was *way* quicker than I expected.
Knit happy and knit long.

Posted by: dee near Berkeley at February 5, 2007 5:01 PM

Hi there Stephanie
re your salad greens - here in Australia we have things called Eskis - insulated boxes and bags used (USUALLY) to keep things COLD at picnics and BBQs. Strikes me that they'd work just as well to keep things WARM - instead of an ice brick put something warm (drink bottle full of tea?) inside and pop in your salad greens etc - they come in back pack and soft sided tote bag models as well as boxes.

In terms of winter stash management - have you tried the merino wool/possum (that's brushtail marsupial possums from Australia and New Zealand) not the baldy north american opossum) fur yarn - light, gorgeous, fine and warm warm warm - don't know ifit's as gorgeous as musk ox but boy is it yummy!

Posted by: Ceri Davies at February 5, 2007 5:10 PM

No, I don't have any ideas how to get greens home unfrozen - without zipping them up inside your coat.
I do however, have a recipe for frozen greens that you can't bear to throw out since they cost me $4.00 + for a package.
Melt butter in a pan, add minced garlic, throw greens in to "wilt" them as for wilted spinach - add lemon juice, lemon pepper, or anything else that strikes your fancy -I think I added some white wine and serve immediately. The mixed "gourmet" greens turned out pretty tasty- I was surprised. Now I won't throw out the frozen salad anymore. The trick is making it sound good to the kids. ;-)
2 of my sisters live in Crookston, Minnesota.
-50F or more is the prediction this week as well. Brrr. Stay warm as you can.

Posted by: jeannie at February 5, 2007 5:11 PM

Lee Ann, I love you. Poor Denny should just give up and agree with you. His life would be happier for it.

Ms.Harlot, you have destroyed my dream of moving to Canada. Please tell me there is a warm part. I just checked my google weather doohicky and it says LA, CA is 83F Mostly cloudy. I don't think I could handle it where you are. I saw snow once when my husband took me to Yosemite for our honnymoon. Until then I believed it was a conspiracy of weather men everywhere.

Please stay warm. Maybe you could pack up the family and come here for the winter. We have yarn. I promise.

Posted by: Amy at February 5, 2007 5:19 PM

I feel your cold... My husband and I are visiting Northern Michigan this week (from our home in Baltimore Maryldn). It was 0 degrees F here this morning with wind chills of 30-35 below. They closed school for the wind chill today! I'm missing my balmy 10 degrees at home! I love my long johns and down jacket. And my knitted items? They are the BEST!!!

Posted by: Doris at February 5, 2007 5:24 PM

Have you considered grocery deliveries for times like this? They are quite popular here in California, and it doesn't even get that cold! Imagine a cute delivery man bringing a box of produce and toilet paper to your door! You don't even have to speak to anyone, you can order online!

Posted by: Trina W at February 5, 2007 5:31 PM

It is 89 degrees here today. I know, because I spent the day in the front garden, replacing all the plants the frost killed two weeks ago. This involved much digging of hard, rocky ground on a killer slope, and I thought I was annoyed at the heat. After reading your post and the comments, however, I am DELIGHTED to be in San Diego. I'm not gloating, though. No, that would be unwise. It would be tempting fate in a most dangerous way. I am having a birthday party for my soon-to-be-seven-year-old at a park this weekend. Outside. If ever it snows in San Diego, it will be Saturday.

Posted by: suzanne at February 5, 2007 5:41 PM

I love cold! especially when there is snow. It is a great reason to stay in and knit by my fire.
and an excuse to layer up with 4 scarves.

the sweater is beautiful. i can't wait to see it in progress!!!!!

Posted by: Megs at February 5, 2007 5:43 PM

You are too funny!

Just read KNITTING RULES last week! LOVED IT!!! As I was returning it to the library, a lady who was at the counter same time as I, saw that I had it as well as other knitting books. She is a knitting teacher and was ELATED to learn about you. Since I just discovered you myself, I told her about your website and blog. Once again, she was elated!

I am a beginning-ish level knitter who has been knitting for about four years. I love it, love it, love it. So relaxing and so rewarding. Your book and blog have been a great find and I really look forward to more!

I lived in an area like yours for about 6 years and I can relate to your plight with the sub-zero exisitance. Your daughter's comment to her new classmate was classic! Hang in there!

Are you coming to southwestern Indiana any time soon???

Posted by: Cheri Faith Spicer at February 5, 2007 5:49 PM

In the Yukon, NW territories and Inuvik, where the get -50C and unbelievable windchills, in the dark, they call those of us who live with -35C,-40 sissies. It's all relative.

Posted by: BCA at February 5, 2007 6:00 PM

I love the Solveig website. How the hell do you order from them?

Posted by: Kelly T at February 5, 2007 6:02 PM

I totally know what you mean, dude. It has been cold lately. Like, y'know, last week it was down to about 48F here and drizzling! I thought my toes would freeze even through my STR socks! Better now--it is about 80 today in southern California. (GD&R)

Posted by: K2Karen at February 5, 2007 6:07 PM

ok - so it' only -12 degrees or maybe -18 here.. but I spent the day stuffing up holes we hadn't found before. I kept thinking, "I understand the 'bitter' part of cold." But then I realized that we aren't out buying space heaters yet. My husband still thinks anything under 21 is roughing it. Ha! I wish sometimes we could magically download life experiences to our loved ones, so I could share with him a childhood of living in a house with one wood burning stove and a puttering old kerosene heater. It does help put things in perspective.

Posted by: sophiagrrl at February 5, 2007 6:07 PM

NEGATIVE THRITY?! Seriously? I'm a North Carolina girl...it got down to POSITIVE 35 today...and that was cold. I've seen snow twice this year, and that's first instance of snow I've seen in two years. We cancelled school both times, because a half an inch of snow is a big freakin' deal in Raleigh.
I think I'll turn the A.C. up and knit some fluffy wool to keep warm.

Posted by: Kat at February 5, 2007 6:11 PM

Bought a little potted Primrose yesterday in the garden center and I put it into a thickish brown paper bag and carried it under my coat. I admit this was only as far as the car but it worked.

Helen - across the lake in Rochester NY where it is a balmy -11 C at this time with undetermined wind chill.

Posted by: Helena at February 5, 2007 6:21 PM

OK, so, I guess I'll hafta shut up about how cold it is out here...Of course, it did get cold enough to break pipes out here, and all the people who weren't from around here didn't believe us when we said, "Yes, it can get that cold in northern California, friend...better wrap your pipes!"

Ha ha, they were from Michigan, what did we know of cold? Wasn't going to get cold enough to burst any pipes, not here in SUNNY CALIFORNIA...

Like Amanda's new classmate, they had a certain learning curve to get through...such as, Central Valley DOES NOT EQUAL Sunny San Diego.

Posted by: Mother Chaos at February 5, 2007 6:21 PM

we are such pansies here in NY--it is about 10 degrees F here which makes me want to crawl into bed and stay there til, oh, maybe april. It inspires more than that, though- 3 people asked me to teach them to knit today! I think of that as a silver lining.
good luck with the salad greens.

Posted by: kathe at February 5, 2007 6:26 PM

Your post totally gave me goosebumps. And not from the descriptions of the cold (having grown up in northern MN, I'm no stranger to those horrifyingly chilly days when the breath would freeze in your nose), but from the Bohus yarn! Oh. My. God. I would almost trade my firstborn for that yarn. You don't want to know how serious I am...

I took a class on Ethnic colorwork from the fabulous Ms. Joan Shrouder, and she passed around an original Bohus sweater. You would've thought from the gasps coming out of these ladies that someone just handed them the Hope Diamond. I will admit, it was truly lovely and quite a thrill to hold in my hot little hands.

Posted by: Chrissy at February 5, 2007 6:30 PM

I used to have a sweater like that. I wore it every winter, constantly, for over 20 years. It was the most beautiful sweater I ever owned. No, I did not knit it myself; it was a gift. I don't wear sweaters much any more. It's 83f here today (not rubbing it in or anything, since rubbing it in would involve taking off mittens on your part).

Posted by: Julie at February 5, 2007 6:39 PM

yes, down here in Chicago it is about -20C, maybe -30 with the windchill. So we feel your pain. the car is very slow to start, as I have to park outside. and oh man, i am so happy each time it does. but then walking from the end of the parking lot to my store is just freeeezing. and this is at 8am! So glad I do not work at 5am anymore. brrrr!

Posted by: helen at February 5, 2007 7:06 PM

so not to be snippy, but stephanie, girlfriend, this is why your agent needs to book you to come talk in alabama! balmy 40` weather, and this is about the coldest it has been all year. i can see it now -- drinking margaritas outside. i think your superduper agent needs to do an emergency booking for you!

Posted by: joyce at February 5, 2007 7:14 PM

To think our friends to the north have snow. We just our first robin, and it was a balmy 66F today in Houston. We did get 3 falkes of snow a few weeks ago, and they did shut down the school for the day, and we got to wear all the warm knitted scarfs and mittens and hats I made for about 5 days, but that's our entire winter. In exchange we have high humidity and excessive heat in the summer. Enjoy the soup, bread and Bohus- and have a hot toddy to go with it.

Posted by: terrib at February 5, 2007 7:22 PM

Salad greens, no. But I drove around for an hour with a dozen eggs in the trunk of my car when it was 17 F. With a strong wind, and big chunky twigs blowing out of the trees. Pot roast, chicken soup, casseroles, hot tea = the antidote.

Posted by: Moby Knit at February 5, 2007 7:48 PM

The sweater will look beautiful on you!

You said, "This kit is "Guld" and I love it with a stinking unholy passion that burns brighter than a thousand glowing afterburners on Colonial Raptors." If only this passion was giving off enough heat to keep you warm!

I've been able to download Global News every day and have been sympathizing with all of you during this cold snap.

I guess you really do have "iceberg" lettuce! I hope it warms up soon.

Posted by: Joanne, The Canuck in Colorado at February 5, 2007 8:06 PM

For the (perhaps) clinically insane among us, myself included, who actually enjoy the cold weather for the pleasant eerie stillness of a winter night, the amusing squeaks of extra cold snow and the wonderful excuse to cuddle up with someone for body heat isn't this kind of fun?

For you, madame Harlot, I think that a nice long belly laugh would help you forget your frozen extremities. I hope the fact that I happen to be knitting a sweater that seems to have nipplitis will give you a chuckle. Seriously. The yarn I am using has done the pooling thing that you hate right over where my breasts would be on the sweater. As an added bonus the yarn changes from thick to thin and lo and behold, when I looked at it this morning I saw that the thing had nipples because the yarn had become thicker in exactly the right places. I'm wondering whether the sweater is just reacting to the cold and I should wait it out. Maybe once spring returns it won't be so .... prominent.

Anyways I hope you have a chuckle,

Posted by: Not THAT Avril at February 5, 2007 8:18 PM

I'm banking on the fact that since you admittedly 'go on and on about knitting' that you don't mind others doing the same and that you actually have time to read 223 posts. I posted a picture of my mitts with the weird twisty k2p2 ribbing, if you're interested in weird twisty ribbing. Glad yours didn't and your sanity is intact.

Posted by: Linda at February 5, 2007 8:20 PM

The Guld sweater...breath-taking, simply breath-taking. And I'm not the biggest fan of knitted colorwork, so that's saying A LOT. I look forward to seeing your progress.

I think I feel colder just reading about the Canadian cold right now. It's bitter here in Northern PA, but not quite so bad as Canada. I'm a big fan of your fine country, but I'm a bit glad I'm not there right now.

Happy knitting!!!

Posted by: minxy at February 5, 2007 8:20 PM

well for starters, you just don't buy salad green. but you can get these insulated bags at some grocery stores, I've never used them, but I know they keep frozen foods frozen in the summer, so I assume that they would keep fresh foods fresh

Posted by: Jill at February 5, 2007 8:29 PM

Anyone that can take that weather is hardier than me, I'll take constant drizzle over biting cold. As for salad, how about knitting a little lettuce cozy? A little wool sweater would keep it snug for the walk home. And the web page is in frames, so if you want the frame with the sweaters, it's:

Posted by: Sasha at February 5, 2007 8:30 PM

hmmm... you could always take a small cooler to the grocery store with you and assuming the interior is room temperature when you put the salad greens in it prior to leaving the store, then the cooler should insulate them until you arrive home! of course, you then have to lug a large unwieldly box-like thing through the snow.

Posted by: christine m. east of toronto at February 5, 2007 8:46 PM

There are already a lot of comments and I didn't read them all but for a 4 minute walk burlap. If you feel self concious about wrapping stuff in burlap while your there just place it in a reuseable shopping bag and wrap it up within the shopping bag. It doesn't last all that long but it should last 4 minutes. Also, and I am sure you already do this but I had to learn the hard way, get the water off it.

Posted by: Jinxsa at February 5, 2007 8:52 PM

Regarding Amanda and her friend, a couple of years ago in Halifax I had a similar conversation with someone. One fall day, an international student and I were waiting at a bus stop and we started talking. I don't remember where she was from, but it was somewhere MUCH warmer than Canada, that was for sure. I had a pair of gloves with me just in case, although it wasn't cold enough yet that I actually had to wear them, and she asked me if she really might need to wear gloves someday during the winter. I told her that she would, and she was surprised about this. She had honestly believed that she would be able to go through an entire Canadian winter without ever wearing gloves, or a wool hat, or a scarf, or winter boots. She just had absolutely no personal frame of reference for it, never having been anywhere cold before, and although of course she knew from reading and television that people here need to wear winter clothing in the winter, she still couldn't really believe it. She must have been in for a rude awakening a few months later. If she couldn't imagine it being cold enough that gloves would be a true necessity, I don't even want to know how she would react to something like a temperature of -36C with the wind chill, which is how cold it's supposed to be here in Saint John tonight.

Posted by: Adri at February 5, 2007 9:11 PM

I give your girls (and all Canadians) a round of applause for going out in -40 degrees. Here in PA they gave us a 2 hour delay because it was 0 with a windchill of -17. I can't imagine how -40 would feel.

Posted by: Abbey at February 5, 2007 9:23 PM

brrr. When I was a teenager (a loooong time ago) I lived a couple of years in Wisconsin. I remember running home one night - with no coat - in -15degrees or something like that. I remember pulling up my polo necked jumper over my nose and the condensation from my breath freezing it. I've never run home so fast. I can't even contemplate -30!!! That jumper looks scrummy. mmmm.

Posted by: tutleymutley at February 5, 2007 9:28 PM

Okay, I'll stop complaining about how cold my little corner of Maine is. And I won't go on about how the Weather Channel folks always put their head in front of Maine and talk like the Northeast ends in Boston. But can I please be a little snarky about how my home educated kids don't have to go out when it's this cold? Well, except swathed in ski masks, scarves and ski pants, to build snow forts. Wasn't it a lot more fun when that's what cold and snow meant to us? Thank goodness for inside pursuits like knitting, reading and writing.

Posted by: Lill at February 5, 2007 9:39 PM

While it was not nearly that cold where I live yesterday, it was cold enough that it took quite some time to work up the nerve to go to the grocery store. My grocery store is about a mile away, and in this sort of weather I take the subway one stop (but still have a ~10 min walk). I got all the way up to the register . . . and realized I did not have my wallet. Had to go home and then back. D'oh! Should have listened to the little voice shouting "oh, stay inside, stay inside! make muffins! drink tea!" But did I? No. Ah well.

Posted by: Alison at February 5, 2007 9:52 PM

I'm in Missouri, and we finally, finally have had something resembling a real winter. Been here for nearly 6 years! (Grew up in Minnesota...home sweet home.) Oh the neighbors hate the cold. They complain...but truly...they've no clue. I just love it when it is cold...and I love being in the house warm when it is cold. And I love it when the neighbors complain...because then it is really winter.

I read the Poems of Color too...and boy, those gorgeous sweaters look like they would take me years to knit. So, I'm going to pay attention to how it takes you, and then maybe multiply that by 4 or 10...and maybe, maybe I can nerve myself up to buying a kit.

I would like that.

Thanks for the chuckles.

Posted by: Elizabeth R. at February 5, 2007 10:34 PM

-30 Farenheit or -30 Celsius? Either way that's pretty cold and I sympathize.

Posted by: jennifer at February 5, 2007 10:37 PM

Ok, can I just say it took me twice reading through today to understand what all the fuss was about with the 20 - 40 tempature, then I realized you meant minus 20 - 40. Yikes. I can't even imagine that! Stay warm, gal. Thank goodness you knit!!!

Posted by: Nance at February 5, 2007 11:04 PM

I think I have become a weak San Diegan. I used to live in Canada, and it's like... when I first moved down here, it was shorts and a t-shirt year round. Now I whine and complain if it's like... 65 degrees out. Care to come for a visit?

Posted by: Convivialiddell at February 5, 2007 11:42 PM

Just a note - it's in Celsius people - always Celsius :D We Canadians always use metric, except in a few cases (lumber, some fabric measurements, and sometimes height/weight of people). Although, since the scales meet at -40, when you're getting down into these kinds of temperatures it really doesn't matter which one you're using anyway :)

Posted by: Karlie at February 6, 2007 12:09 AM

In West Virginia, (on Sunday) they gave us advance notice two-hour delays on Mon, Tues, & Weds when they heard the morning windchill would be below (positive)10 degrees.

As for the lettuce...
... they knit cozies to keep tea warm, why not to keep lettuce warm?

Posted by: eknitabeth at February 6, 2007 12:41 AM

I'm sorry, but you are all wimps. Buy a parka. It's been between -25 and -35 Celsius up here in Yellowknife for the past month and a half. And that doesn't include the windchill.

Lettuce costs CDN$2.65 a head, by the way. We wrap it up in paper bags.

Posted by: Tracey from Yellowknife at February 6, 2007 12:45 AM

I love the cold. But I can't imagine living happily in the winter weather you are experiencing right now! Make some hot chocolate and stay inside. Eat your wool if you must!

Posted by: AJ at February 6, 2007 1:22 AM

I love the cold. Love. It. I have been in -30F and still loved it. Squeaky snow, lake effect snow and all. When would we wear wool if it were not for cold? One thing I learned from a very wise friend who spent her whole life in Chicago is to take a cooler or insulated bag to the grocery when you are staying in a cold place, which, for you, of course, is every winter. I visited the Bohus page, too. Oh, my. Guld is magnificent. Hope you can finish it in time to wear it this year, and be warm. And magnificent.

Posted by: dez at February 6, 2007 1:42 AM

I can live without that level of cold, although the unnatural warmth we're having here this winter (southern Germany)isn't so good either. What happened to normal weather? That sweater will be amazing, especially in those sunny colors.

Posted by: Steph Bolinger at February 6, 2007 2:46 AM

I would have suggested wrapping the salad greens in an old newspaper, as this insulates quite well; but in this cold!? Maybe a picknick cooler would be better, or one of those insulated freezer bags, same size as a regular plastic shopping bag. They have them here in supermarkets; if they don't have any in Toronto, let me know and I can send you one!

Posted by: Dorothee at February 6, 2007 3:29 AM

This why we are visiting Canada in the summer! Course the weather here was -20 C yesterday too so there's not much difference I suppose.

I'm having my groceries delivered today! My husband thinks it's such a waste of money but to me the $5 is so worth not dealing with supermarket lines and the cold.

Posted by: Katie at February 6, 2007 8:56 AM

Okay, you win. It's definitely colder there. Our wind chill is only -21F. (hmm. how DOES that compare to -20C??) and the "real" temp has "only" gotten to -6F.
But is that any reason to torture me w/ those Bohus kits?? There are two that I NEEED. The black forest one... and that large lace collar jacket? I'm drooling on my keyboard! How do I get one (two?? .. no one, can surely only "afford" one).
Yarn lust grows in Illinois...

Posted by: Helen at February 6, 2007 9:09 AM

Oh my... what wonderful things I've learned today just by reading a few of these comments. My favorite one was the organic vegetable and fruit club. Anything that comes straight to my door is a beautiful thing. I even refuse to walk down the driveway (all of 75 ft) to wait for the school bus. I just watch my twelve-year-old from the comfort of my dining room window. As a transplanted Canadian now living in NYC, my threshold, over the years, has moved from -25C to about -10C. Groceries delivered to the house? Why couldn't my teenagers do that?...

Posted by: Suzanne at February 6, 2007 9:12 AM

oh wow. Those colors are wonderful! We've had sun here in Michigan, but it's still bitter cold. Went to the doctor's yesterday all bundled up in handknits. I might have gotten a few looks, but I was warm!

Posted by: Jen at February 6, 2007 9:36 AM

Just the way the Russian transport jars in such a weather - under you anorak or whatever keeps you fresh and not wilted in this temperature. "Guld" colours are magnificent,like autumn in an oak grove, I can't wait to see it ready.

Posted by: Ola at February 6, 2007 9:43 AM

This post reminds me of a story my husband told me, about a coworker of his who is an African immigrant. When this fellow first came to Canada, he lived in Montreal (which, being a former Montrealer and a former Torontonian, I can assure you has much colder and longer winters than Toronto does). Anyway, his first winter here, he wakes up to a beautiful, bright sunshiney day and thinks that he can wear his spring jacket out, only to discover that it is -40 out. Nick Nickerson (a weatherman for the CBC) used to call those days "look but don't touch days" - beautiful, bright and cold. To this day, my husband's coworker can't convince his relatives back home that it is possible for the sun not to have heat.

Posted by: Kate Sanderson at February 6, 2007 9:48 AM

I'm going over right now to hug my whole-house-heating-furnace and whisper sweet words of appreciation.

Posted by: claudia at February 6, 2007 10:31 AM

Here where I work in Massachusetts, we recently hired a young woman from Florida and moved her up here in October. While chatting, I suggested she go shopping for a good pair of warm winter boots. She shows up on the first cold day in soft leather knee high boots, pointy toes and stilletto heels! Yikes! Um, not exactly what I meant. I haven't seen her this week, but at 8 F and an ice slick on the ground, I don't think those stillettos are doing her much good!

Posted by: Barbara L in MA at February 6, 2007 10:37 AM

And we here in San Francisco grumble and chide the elements when the barometer dips to the ungodly 20s. Such softies we are. But nothing like some liquid sunshine wool. I can't wait to see your Bohus!

Posted by: Sonya at February 6, 2007 11:36 AM

Hmmm... I would assume that getting the greens home without freezing would take a method similar to how we get them home without them wilting (and getting that nasty slimy feel) in the summer... double or triple the plastic bag, then grab a paper bag for the outside: instant insulation! By the way, can you box up some of that air and mail it to me? We're hitting the upper 60s already, which does not bode well for the hot mud season (yes, Louisiana has all four seasons: hot mud, cold mud, Mardi Gras and hurricane).

Posted by: Scarlet at February 6, 2007 11:46 AM

Well, if you can knit a yoga bag... how about a greens bag? Somehow sounds like something you would use on a golf course.

Posted by: Cath at February 6, 2007 12:55 PM

Well, I say there is a bright side to every situation, and I'll bet you won't have to worry about this scene being repeated anytime soon: "This woman, my neighbour had stomped out of her home onto my busy metro street aggressive and unwashed in the chill November air of Toronto wearing only the skankiest of used-to-be pink panties and a completely done in bra to go with." (November 29, 2006 post)

Posted by: Francine at February 6, 2007 1:12 PM

Oh 4 mins? That's it. We drive 30 miles to get our goods. Now there are stores here, but our budget doesn't allow for all our shopping there.

Love the yarn, it is so pretty.

Posted by: Beth K at February 6, 2007 1:48 PM

Easy way to keep your greens from freezing. Come down here to Tucson, Arizona where although it snowed for the first time in 10 years two weeks ago — today it is a balmy 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celcius).

Posted by: Irene at February 6, 2007 3:22 PM

I love your bohus, sweets! I have been hiding my head in a hole lately, but it's time to come up for air!
miss ya!

Posted by: sandy at February 6, 2007 5:37 PM

Salad greens: Double (or triple) paper bags. Plastic doesn't insulate, paper does. No, I'm not Canadian, but I spent 5 years in Wisconsin, aka Canada south, and I remember. Never did get used to anything more than -20, either. Julie

Posted by: Julie Rhyne at February 6, 2007 5:42 PM

You could try one of those insulated bags the store has for ice cream it should help. Or a rolling shopping bag lined with a felted bag.
One last thought: How about an ice chest? It would insulate and keep the air off the veggies.

Posted by: Ginger S. at February 6, 2007 6:32 PM

So, when Canada gets winter, does it keep on being winter until it's spring?
A couple of weeks ago we had a freezing rain and were covered with ice; schools were closed for a week because it was unsafe for school buses and highschoolers to drive anywhere. For the last week it's just been clear and "cold" - freezing at night, 30s & 40s Fahrenheit in the daytime. For two days now we've been in the 60s and mid-70s, and tomorrow night we get another bucketful of your arctic air and start freezing again! We have to check the weather before we get dressed - every day!
"If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute." - Will Rogers

Posted by: CurliSu at February 7, 2007 2:27 AM

I just found the pattern for fingerless mits on this blog and have a few questions. I want to make a pair of fingerless gloves that go above the knuckle to wear while I knit.They need to be very snug as I have Fibromyalgia and some pain in my wrists and fingers. I need an elastic yarn that will not require tiny needles but is tighter than sock yarn . So far I've looked & looked but have not found anything to fit the requirements or in ready made gloves. Help! Thanks, Kathy
PS. It's freezing in Philly too!

Posted by: Kathy at February 7, 2007 1:34 PM

So you probably don't want to hear that we took our little girls to Disneyland last week and it was 80 degrees...

Posted by: Kenj at February 7, 2007 3:27 PM

I remember when I was a teenager, I disliked wearing hats, because I thought they didn't look good on me. I disliked wearing panty hoses and I disliked wearing thick coats. Now I just wear all it on my own free will as soon as temperatures approach zero, because I realized that freezing my ass of is something that I dislike even more. :D Oh the vanity of youth. :D

Posted by: Projektleiterin at February 8, 2007 8:02 AM

"This kit is 'Guld' and I love it with a stinking unholy passion that burns brighter than a thousand glowing afterburners on Colonial Raptors."

Sweet. Fracking sweet.
BTW, yesterday it was about 70 degrees here in Vegas. Might be one more little cold snap before the blessed Spring...then one day it'll be about 75, and the next day it'll be 105.

Posted by: gwen aka tllgrrl at February 8, 2007 8:53 AM

What depression in Sweden in the 1960's?

Posted by: Inge at February 11, 2007 11:49 AM

I'm probably going to get flamed for saying this, but boy do I miss real winter...I grew up in Toronto, but have been living in the San Francisco area for nearly 10 years. Not so much of the "real" winter around these parts. The problem is, I'm jonesing to knit proper warming things like mittens and sweaters and that sort of thing---not so much of the need for those things either. Alas. I will just live vicariously through Yarn Harlot :) Stay warm!

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