Winter and My Discontent

It is my favourite sort of winter day, and this is saying a great deal, as it is well known that I am not a fan of winter. It is too cold, too damp, too windy (I especially hate the wind. Walking from Lettuce Knit the other night I could feel the wind push the cold in through the seams of my coat. The wind makes you a thousand times colder. I swear it.) too grey, and too sunless. After a couple of months of this I can feel it pulling the joy right out of me. I’m not depressed, I’m just surrounded by stuff I don’t like. I miss my garden. I miss my bike. I miss walks that aren’t physically painful. I miss stopping on the street to chat with my neighbours… I miss shopping for fruit and vegetables in the village and buying fresh baguettes that aren’t %^&*ing frozen when I get home. (That happened the other day. I bought a warm and lovely baguette…walked home and the thing was bread-sicle when I got here.) I hate the way your hair freezes if you go out too soon after washing it. I hate the way that snow is always melting on the floor by the front door. I hate worrying about the furnace. I hate chapped lips (and faces, and hands and legs.) and it totally pisses me off in my entirety that the little tub of Carmex I had in my coat pocket froze and now it’s weird and grainy. I really loathe the way that I get cold in October and don’t feel warm again until April. (When we were all walking and freezing the other night, Denny was the only one who was warm. She says the answer is alpaca. I’m going to get right on that.) I am essentially an optimist and a happy person though, so I work hard at staying chipper in the winter. Days like this help. (As does offering a daily offering of thanks to the universe that forces in my past never conspired to have me living in Edmonton or Yellowknife. I would die.)

Today there is a storm. The wind is fierce, the cold is trying to come in through any crack it can find in the house., but the mighty octopus furnace is fending it off. The snow is getting blown around so hard that it is sticking in the cracks of buildings and making them white. It’s terrible driving, worse walking, schools are closing, and much of the city has stayed home if they can.


I was smart. Yesterday when I heard it was coming, I did all my out of the house chores. I went to the store, I took care of the green bin and recycling. I did everything I could think of so there is absolutely no reason at all why I would have to go outside. None, and that makes today one of my favourite sorts of winter days. The outside is terrible, and I am inside. Me, coffee, yarn, knitting.


I am delighting myself. It can bluster all it wants to, and for today I have myself a wee victory over winter. (Now would not be a good time to point out that there are two months to go. ) Today I can sit and knit (assuming I get my work done) and I can make little lists of things I like about winter, just to get me over the hump.

– Soup. (Today is barley, leek & potato.)

– That heating up the house with baking is a good thing.

– Watching knitters get dressed to go out in the snow.

– How much it makes me like the summer.

– Shovelling.

– Storms that give you a day off.

– That it is dark enough to light candles before supper.

– The way that you feel like finishing your knitting is urgent.

I’m sure you have your own list. Feel free to share, I could use it. Today for sure I will finish the body of the Vintage socks, and that only leaves the leaf-o-rama to be done.


There’s an “integrated i-cord bind off” that attaches a bunch of them, and at the risk of sounding even dorkier than usual… I’m extremely excited. I’ll take pictures for you. The minute my work is done today I’m for my warm chair, a shawl round my shoulders, pot of tea on the table, this quote in my mind.

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

-Hal Borland

(By the way? 945 ft.)

(By the way again? Go read Sara’s entry for today.)

294 thoughts on “Winter and My Discontent

  1. Um, you live in Canada. Isn’t it illegal to hate winter there?
    Bake your own bread. Check my blog for an amazing, easy recipe courtesy of Mother Earth News.
    Mmm, soup. I made a big ol’ batch of Italian Sausage Tortellini soup for the same reasons.

  2. I got to 234ft
    Oh I recommend baby llama though I hope no llamas were harmed in the making of my cardigan (Mirasol miski)

  3. I live in Victoria, BC…we don’t *get* winter. hehehe.
    I can see the crocuses starting…. 😀

  4. Alpaca. Have two big hanks. Gonna make some mittens between now and Sunday nite, and wear them! Sweater next. Hate snow. Hate sleet. Winter sux.

  5. 945 feet. Yowsa. Is there a connection between knitting fast and being particularly good at hand-eye (or mouse-finger) coordination? I’m impressed. I maxed out at 175. Just couldn’t stand those flying critters slamming into huge potholes anymore.

  6. I love flying hamsters, but logged off last night and can’t get the site back on. You and Lene are Evil. OTN Lady Eleanor, just took an entrelac class and I love it! And you too (even if you are evil)

  7. Did I mention that winter never really ends here in Wisconsin? Our little joke is that we really have two seasons: “winter” and “cooler by the lake.”

  8. Ooh I’m really early today! I don’t think I’ve ever caught you so early before! Ooh!
    So as plotted on Ravelry, when us Brits are part of the early Blog, we say PLEASE come visit us in lil ole Blighty! We would love to welcome you here so much! Just think of how cool it would be, the trendy little yarn shops of London, the Rowan mill in Yorkshire, maybe a trip to Shetland … maybe visiting some of the lovely artisan producers in Wales, eg Colinette, Posh Yarn, Fyberspates …. (actually not sure where Fyberspates are based).
    Nina xx

  9. Enjoy your knitting, the warm house and the soup, Stephanie. Those socks are coming along, aren’t they?

  10. I’m curled up on the big bed with a small boy on each side of me. We’re snuggled under a thick blanket, and even though the storm is howling just outside the window, we are cozy and warm. I am reading “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder out loud.
    And we’re leaving for Florida on Tuesday.

  11. So what’s the secret to the hamster thing? I can’t get over 230 ft or so.
    Good luck staying warm! It’s just miserable rain here in Delaware.

  12. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the best part about winter: that it keeps knitters in business! (Never mind cotton — it’s no fun for us wool knitters to knit with!)

  13. It snowed here in Eugene this week (a rare event, indeed), and it got me thinking one thing- I’m going to need a warmer hat! Also, it has been cold enough here over the last few months to really appreciate (and make others appreciate) the warm, wooly handknits. I had enough mittens to share with a friend so we could play in the snow! So winter can throw its coldness at me, and I’ll just respond as any knitter would- with wool, double stranding, thrums, whatever- and the power to make knitted accessories!

  14. It took me a few minutes to come up with anything I like about Winter, but here goes:
    1. My daughter was born late December;
    2. Hockey is well under way (go, Rangers!);
    3. Football;
    4. Pitchers & Catchers report in mid-February;
    5. Mushroom soup;
    6. You never have to wear a bathing suit; and
    7. No one ever asks “isn’t it too hot to be knitting a sweater?” like they do in the summer.
    Enjoy your Winter’s Day.

  15. A list of things to like about winter? In February? That’s asking a lot, I’m with you on hating it by now…hmmm.
    Well, I have the joy of my eldest’s birthday to look forward to (tomorrow) and the joy of my soon-to-be youngest’s birthday sometime in this month as well, whenever she decides to make her entrance into the world. But those aren’t “winter” things per se.
    I live in Utah, where the snow is really powdery and I like to look out in the morning at the sidewalks and roads that were shovelled and plowed the night before, but have the appearance of sand drifts from the wind pushing snow powder around all night.
    Snowmen. Especially those built by preschoolers.
    Children stopping dead in their tracks to point at the really big icicles hanging from roofs.
    How quiet it is in the morning…”The most beautiful silence in the world is snow.”
    My 18 month old thinks it is THE best thing in the world to slide on ice in the car. My husband tries to indulge her every time he pulls into our neighborhood. I am reminded how much cooler it is to be a child every time this happens.
    How grateful my husband is that I can knit when he pulls on his Lopi Earflap hat and Lopi scarf to go out to shovel snow. (It’s always nice when a hobby that makes you so happy also makes others happy as well!)

  16. Things I like about a snow day
    I don’t have to go in it
    We still have power
    Everybody phones even if they don’t know you
    Gives me time to “”dung””out and get stuff in a box for charities
    Read a book and surf the net
    Knit ,knit ,knit, and there are lots of others too numerous to mention. I don’t hate winter just look forward to Spring my favourite time of the year. Good luck with finishing with the leaves

  17. Another good thing about winter chez vous? The Mighty Octopus! I love putting things on the radiators — like towels for when you get out of the claw foot tub. And, if your old house with Octopus is like our old house with same, in this nasty cold wind chilly weather, the upstairs gets warmer than downstairs, a good excuse to curl up in bed with a book and knitting.
    I didn’t know about the integrated I-cord. But if it’s mind-blowingly clever, it sounds like Lisa!
    I have thus far resisted the rodents. Stop already.

  18. My list: wearing wool, baking things, good excuse to wear jeans to work every day, hot soup for lunch, wearing wool, pot of tea, quilts on the bed, planning next year’s garden, wearing wool…

  19. I’m almost finished with my first sock.
    Yet I just placed an order for the leaves (like everyone else in the knitting world, I think – the website says they are quite a bit behind on their shipments! they can’t dye fast enough!!)
    Anyway, I’m pretty sure that having finished 3/4 of one single sock does not qualify one for the leaf-inspired insanity I now aspire to. This is your fault.

  20. Having experienced winters in Toronto, Minneapolis, Regina and Vancouver, I have to say that Toronto was the worst – that demon slush, the damp wind off the lake. You have my sympathies!
    I just went for my first winter vacation in the south – to New Mexico! So beautiful – clear blue skies, dry air and still cold enough to wear the woolies. Get that silly publisher of yours to send you to Santa Fe in February – you deserve it!

  21. First time post from a long time lurker … I had to add to your winter list, though:
    -That I can complain about cold when it’s 8 Centigrade outside (I’m an Alaskan transplant in L.A., what can I say?)
    -Homemade sourdough bread
    -Not being Too Hot To Knit (sticky fingers are a bad thing)
    Also, do you have a pizza stone? homemade pizza and/or calzoni are great for winter, and the stone keeps exuding heat for hours after you turn the oven off.
    As an aside, since it’s my first post … thanks for providing me months of daily enjoyment, snorting my tea included. It’s worth it.

  22. It’s likely the cocoa butter in the Carmex that is grainy… to un-grain it just re-melt it under low heat. If you have a gas range, you could leave it over the pilot light overnight. If not, put the tub on top of the oven while you’re baking for a while. I wouldn’t reccomend microwaving for this kind of thing… Carmex is an oil substance, and microwaves prefer water.
    Alternately, a coffee maker on ‘keep warm’ or a low hotplate might do the trick too… but I’d keep an eye on it.

  23. I love your list; I would add: (1)the warmth of a cat purring in my lap, 2) no need to mow the lawn, and (3) no miserable insect pests attacking me when I go outside. Wondering about your reference to Edmonton and Yellowknife??

  24. why i like winter (sometimes):
    It’s amazing how quiet the world becomes when it snows. Walking the few blocks from the el to my apartment last night the world was blanketed in a fresh coat of white. The streets were un-plowed with very few cars on them, the side walks un-shoveled. I had a flash back to my child hood, leaving my mark on the pure ground, looking at it in amazement and joy under the moonlight after a fresh snow. And although there is no moon light in the city, no rolling hills and forests coated in white, and I am no longer 8 years old, bundled up, slipping out into a silent night, that walk home was magical.

  25. I grew up in northern Maine, although still far enough south to get four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction. There’s not a lot I like about winter either, especially since learning that losing forty pounds on Weight Watchers means significantly less insulation on the body during the winter.
    Anyway, my favorite thing in winter is to go for a walk when it’s snowing, and so quiet in the neighborhood that you can hear the snow land on your coat. I also love coming home on a cold night to the smell of the slowcooker that has been making my supper all day while I was at work.

  26. The things I love about winter (granted, mine is not so brutal as yours, here in Portland, OR):
    1) I get to wear one of my wool sweaters EVERY DAY.
    2) I don’t ever have to water the lawn, or the pots on the deck, or…. anything, come to think of it.
    3) I barely notice the hot flashes.
    4) Lots of needs for warm scarves and hats, always in new combos, and always an aching need to knit one or the other in a new color.
    By the way, I hate summer. Too hot. Too bright. Too much need to leave the house. I know it’s a minority opinion, but there it is.

  27. I’m going to say this very calmly, very slowly, and I want you to hold very still, listen and then slowly and carefully…
    …move the coffee cup away from the sock.
    Good. Girl.
    As to those crack-happy rodents?
    They’re first cousins of stash weasels. Steal knitting time instead of stash. That’s why the maniacal Mary Lou Retton grin after they splat to earth — they’ve just stolen another 7 to 50 knitting stitches from your life.
    I thought you should know.

  28. I liked winter a lot more in Newfoundland than I do here. The cold doesn’t quite reach your bones there like it does here. That being said, one of my favourite things about winter is the way the snow crunches underfoot on those reallllly cold days (and I swear the ski is bluest in the dead of winter). I also like getting just chilly enough to get rosy cheeks and then coming in and clutching a mug of hot chocolate to warm back up.

  29. It’s been an unusually snowy winter in my part of Kansas and I’ve been trying to appreciate it for what it is. Each season has its own richness, and this winter has been:
    Setting up the spinning wheel next to the woodstove in the living room
    Baking bread twice a week
    Reading all the old books I remember from childhood
    Once-a-month Knit Night at my house
    And–most of all–remembering that Spring is just around the corner!
    (Not to get too Pollyanna on you, but I try to find something in everything to be glad about.I admit winter is a challenge!)

  30. The kind of day we used to turn on “snow music” (George Winston’s piano) with the lights turned off in the evening, our babies in our laps, watching the snow fall quietly and serenely. And somehow, even though they were babies then, they held still with us, taking it in.

  31. I like knitting by the fireplace with a roaring fire; watching the kids sledding outside; snuggling with the kids to warm them when they come back inside; skating outdoors; knowing that Spring, Summer and Fall are waiting for us….

  32. What I miss about winter (I am currently residing in Miami, where winter is simply the dry season)
    1) Cross country skiing in fresh snow
    2) Hot chocolate
    3) The need to knit warm items, and that once it gets to a certain size, a sweater in progress can be an excellent lap blanket (this is less nice 9 months of the year here)
    4) The smell of cold air
    5) The wonderful transition of walking from a frigid night into a warm cozy house.

  33. Favorite things about winter:
    A decent cold temp (above 15F) after a good snowfall with no wind, while I wear my hand knit items and my breath is a cloud in the air when I breath…
    Soups and casseroles and baking.
    Tucking under the Bartlett Blanket of Cozy Happiness, while watching DVDs with friends and knitting.
    The beauty of the Mississippi River valley after a snow fall.
    The American Bald Eagles that nest and fish along the Mississippi where I live and along the county highway I take to work each day (this year’s count: 31).
    Finally, I get to wear my “sheep” when it’s cold out and windy (shearling hat and gloves) – don’t look at me like that…there’s a reason why I’m on top of the food chain. And it was before I was knitting.

  34. My father always said that you could put enough clothes on to keep warm, but you could never take enough off to get cool, thus, winter is good at my house.
    There’s snowmobiling and skiing (my husband wouldn’t forgive me for not putting those on the “what I like about winter” list.) As for me, I’m big on warm pajamas, snuggly cats, bed socks, simmered all day beef stew, and sweater knitting.

  35. ooooohhh … those are some nice reasons to like winter. I also like reading the comments (yay! pitchers and catchers report for spring training!). My husband and I started making lists like that last year, as he took me away from lovely San Diego to live in Kansas City, and you can say I’m not a HUGE fan of cold. The things we came up with that haven’t already been mentioned are:
    1) when you get a glass of water from the tap, it’s already nice and cold.
    2) there are no incessant lawnmowers. During the summer, it seems you always hear the whine of a motor somewhere. It’s so much more peaceful without all that noise. And it’s especially nice when the snow falls and muffles any other sounds that might be outside … provided I can stay inside with some knitting, a hot beverage, and a good book 🙂

  36. Things I like about winter…. Hmmm….
    Warm blankets.
    Storms that keep me inside.
    Baking cookies and bread in a nice warm kitchen.
    Snuggling with loved ones (this includes the cat ;))
    Did I mention knitting?
    What is your secret to the Flight of the Hamsters??? I can’t seem to get a consistent distance at all 🙁 Any advice?
    The socks look beautiful. Can’t wait to see them when they’re done!!!

  37. I am so jealous!!! I know no one wants to hear this, but I live in California in the Bay Area and our winter lasts about 2 months, tops. Spring begins in February. This bums me out. I have lived here my whole life, but I think that I am a New Englander or Canadian at heart. I LOVE winter and snow and staying inside all curled up, knitting and watching movies and making bread and soup. If I didn’t have such a good job, I’d up and leave this instant!

  38. I wish we had winter like that here. We have just enough cold to make it unpleasant, but not enough cold to celebrate winter. There is a dreadful lack of snow. If it isn’t going to snow, there should be no winter. And to top it off, we go from winter to spring and back again relatively frequently. For example, we had freezing rain this morning and by Tuesday, the high temperature supposed to be 60 degrees F. Bleh. And those flying hamsters? I killed a whole colony of them. I cannot make them fly.

  39. I’m with you, Steph–winter in South Dakota: NOT my favorite thing! I am, however, very interested in your barley, leek, potato soup recipe. Would you share? Winter is definitely made more tolerable with yummy homemade soups. Thanks.

  40. Reasons I love winter although I live in the southern United States and have never experienced a “real” winter:
    1. Wool
    2. Snuggles with my husband under flannel sheets
    3. Handmade quilts made by 3 generations of women in my family
    4. My cat stops licking the fur off of his belly in order to help cool himself. He is an ingenious cat.
    5. Did I mention wool?

  41. I’m tired of wearing turtlenecks, and we did not get enough snow for me to stay home from work, but hopefully there is enough for cross country skiiing before it starts to rain. *sigh*
    Can’t wait to see those socks!

  42. Winter +s:
    Getting to smile knowingly to all the non-wool knitters, THIS is the season it all pays off. Piling on all those handknit blankets/afghans/throws.
    Sundogs. Moondogs.
    Northern Lights. (Haven’t seen any this year.)
    Port. And sherry. After those long winter walks. (Like from your car to the house.)
    The electric cords hanging from car noses finally make sense.
    The smell of wet wool mittens on warming house heaters.
    Watching the plants inside the house wake up and start growing – long before the outside gives any hint of spring.

  43. I love winter.
    I am a teacher and I love having a snow day – staying home with my 2 year old, playing in the snow, building snow pigs and snow castles and chasing the snow-loving cat. And chasing errant boots, too.
    I’m with you though – I like it best when after a little play in the snow, you get to stay in, watch all the amazing whiteness (it gives beautiful knitting light – you could even knit black lace by a window on a snowy day).
    Hot tea, warm woolies, CBC radio on in the background while toddler, tired out from snow play, naps the afternoon away. Lovely.
    I’m very excited about the imminent attachment of your leaves!

  44. Thank you for posting the pics of your gorgeous socks. I have a sweater that was the last sweater my mother knitted. She died threee years ago and the sweater was in her stash of yarn in the attic where my Dad put it when she went into the nursing home and could no longer knit. It had a beautiful monogram on it. He brought me the bag of yarn before Christmas and there was the sweater in the bottom of it. She had not blocked it but had put her label in it. I tried it on and it fitted me like it was made for me. I tried to take the monogram off but there was no matching yarn in the bag. The pictures of your leaves and grapes inspired me to make three leaves to cover the initials. There was room for three grapes for a cluster. I blocked the sweater and wore it for the first time yesterday. No holes and the sweater is grape colored so the blend was beautiful This relieved my winter blahs. See! How your work and pictures can inspire us. Thanks again for the time it takes to keep your blog going. It is great reading and inspiration. Carolyn

  45. We were always told in rainy Oregon that there is no such thing as bad weather-just not having the proper equipment to deal with it. think you require more pretty wool to get thru this terrible time. Pretty, light and springy colors to give you hope and cheer. I have a dark grey sweater that is just too depressing to work on right now so I am making a pair of wild colored socks. We have snow chin deep to a giraffe here in Coeur d’Alene right now and more on the way. The cupboard is stocked, let the knitting begin!

  46. Yes to shoveling snow – if you time it just right, it’s one of the few things that stays *done* — unlike, say, the laundry.

  47. 689 feet, with one miraculous 393-footer all in one go. It’s nice that sometimes your best bet is to do nothing after the first push and the game randomly gives your hamster all the good bounces and encounters. Rockets increase speed, pink and green things let it survive one fall, blue things give it a little extra lift, skateboards only give a little lift but if your trajectory is flat enough, once on the ground sometimes they’ll appear and lengthen the glide. And I need a life.

  48. Lying in bed with my knitting and a pot of tea with the EZ Knitting Workshop DVD playing. (I especially like the part where she keeps dropping her DPNs during the “circular beginning.”)
    Oh, and hamsters are evil. (945 feet? Really? When did you have time to make soup?)

  49. I hate winter too.
    But I love snowstorms! I grew up in Florida, so snow is like Christmas for me, every time!
    That is why today is my worst winter day – we were supposed to have a snowstorm…but we didn’t even get enough to cover the grass, let alone 8in.
    So classes weren’t canceled, and I had to go to school. Hmp.

  50. A dry cold Edmonton beats humid lake cold any day. Really. And now that its finally -24 C, we here feel like we are laughing.
    Now that I said something about laughing at cold, the weather gods are going to smite me again aren’t they? Just like 10 days ago when I was complaining about the brown shmootz covering my car from the sand and the warm temperatures we had to mid January, followed immediately by -39C? What happens is going to be all my fault again, isn’t it?

  51. The sun is so low in the sky, that when it’s actually out, the golden light blazes through my windows and brightens up the walls opposite the windows.

  52. Rams is SO right:
    “…move the coffee cup away from the sock.”
    Don’t tempt fate – not with these socks.
    And “the maniacal Mary Lou Retton grin after they splat to earth” comment?
    Rams is a genius. I love the grin. And the best I can do is 597 feet. Going back to keep trying…

  53. I love winter. And I miss it dearly.
    When my hubbie and I moved to Texas from Chicago we were glad to rid of winter (falling on slippery concrete sidewalks a few times will do that to you). But now, in Texas, where it will be 73 degrees tomorrow, and it stinks. I miss snow, and curling up under handmade quilts, and hot cocoa that you really need to drink, and knitting warm wooly things.
    My sister is off for a snow day today from work, and I am totally jealous. I can’t wait to go home.

  54. Good thing about winter:
    That feeling( I call it “scream cold”) when you get in the car or in the house before it is warmed up again, and you are so cold you have to shriek and cuddle with the person next to you. If this happens in the house, it is usually directly after you turn on the heat, and usually comes about in a flying leap to the couch and blanket with your cuddle-ee of choice. NB: this is only fun if warmth comes in a reasonable time afterwards.

  55. Hate the winter all you want! Grumbling is allowed, heck, swearing is allowed!
    I’m sick of snow and we’ve only had it a week, and it’s still snowing 😛 Bad part is, I live in Oregon, we’re not supposed to have this!
    The only thing you are missing is a woodstove. That adds wonders to coffee and knitting. Parked in front of it with my Lenore sock (can I say you are an amazing designer?) is where I want to be. Instead of cleaning the house right now…

  56. Hi Stephanie, would that we could ALL have the luxury of staying home on such a winter’s day! sigh. BUT, although i do not LOVE winter all to bits (c’mon! i’m not completely crazy!), i must confess to a certain fond attachment to the season. i attribute it to being canadian and it being some sort of intrinsic patriotic duty of the northern soul to “feel at one” with winter on some level. all the good things you listed would also figure on my list and so many more that i won’t even start my own list! but there is a little poem my second grade teacher shared with us in class one winter’s day that i never fail to recall on a day like this. i find the imagery of it so beautiful and true, that it makes me happy just to recall it. Hope you all enjoy!
    The fenceposts wear marshmallow hats
    On a snowy day;
    Bushes in their night gowns
    Are kneeling down to pray—
    And all the trees have silver skirts
    And want to dance away.

  57. 1. February…month of my birth
    2. Tea…Earle Grey with honey
    3. Naps with the Goldens
    4. Knitting mittens and socks…no one asks ‘why are you doing that in July?’
    5. Baking…and trying not to make your yarn sticky with sugary fingers.
    6. Daydreaming about spring and gardens
    7. Anticipating Steph’s new book
    8. Browsing Ravelry in leisure .. no guilt thinking ‘ I should be outside doing….’
    9. Buying more yarn for those days you can’t get out because of the weather
    ….this is what I like about winter. And winter also makes you appreciate the other three seasons so much more..

  58. bizarre as this may sound, i actually prefer winter on the prairie over winter on the west coast. that whole getting cold in october and not warming up until april sums up my first 22 years of life. now that i’m in saskatoon (and it’s some ungodly amount below zero today — before the windchill!) it’s easier to cope. the houses are warmer. places are heated nicely. and although it would be lovely to have a car, there is something wonderful zhivago-esque in trudging home, carrying groceries. i’ve been knitting garnstudio eskimo scarves, and the very unclimatised spaniard who was on the receiving end tells me that it’s actually keeping him warm. not toasty, but warm. but if you’re getting lake-effect snow/winter, i honestly don’t know if there is anything that can help you warm up. you should just abandon it for the prairies. our beer is better.

  59. I can’t believe how absurdly excited I am to see this sock of yours finished! I feel as if I should be locked up with Britney, as crazy excited as I am about it. Would you finish it already?? … pretty please?… with cherries on top! Tis killin’ me, it is! 🙂

  60. My favorite winter accessory? A pressure cooker. My favorite winter soup? Lentil, carrot and potato. Easy peasey:
    1c red lentils, washed and picked over
    1 onion, coarsely chopped
    4 red potatoes, skin on, large dice
    4 large carrots, thickly sliced
    1/2c rice
    7c veggie broth
    2t ground cumin
    1/8 – 1/4c lemon juice (more if it’s from meyer lemons)
    1/4c chopped cilantro, for garnish
    Sweat the onion in ~1T olive oil. Add everything else, except the lemon juice and cilantro. Bring to a boil, slap on the lit and cook at high pressure for 11 mins. Allow to cool naturally for 10 mins, then force cool. Put back on the stove, add the lemon juice, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy. You can also do with green lentils – they hold their shape much better.
    Serve with bread-sicles.

  61. Thanks for the lovely quote of Hal Borland. He is one of my all-time favorite authors, and I was so surpised and pleased to see him quoted in your blog!

  62. Hey Stephanie, tell Denny that cashmere is really great too. I made a pair of fingertipless gloves out of some leftover fingering weight cashmere (cause you can’t let that stuff go to waste, now can you). I’ve been wearing them all winter while walking the dog and my entire hands are toasty warm even though my fingertips are exposed. The cashmere warms up even the parts its only close too!

  63. I was born in Chicago and have lived all my life in the midwest. So what do I like about winter?

  64. Thank you for the quote from Hal Borland. He is one of my family’s favorite authors. In winter we curl up on the sofa and read aloud “The Dog Who Came to Stay”. Several years ago when my husband and I took an autumn trip to New England, we found Mr. Borland’s homestead by using the directions in the book. Enjoy a warm and cozy knitting day!

  65. I am a litle jealous of you all with your fabulous winters. Here in the north of England (Leeds, Yorkshire) we just don’t seem to get what I would call a proper winter any more. It’s cold, wet, simply miserable; please give me snow and clear, crisp,blue-sky-days! Mind you I am heading Canadawards to ski in Tremblant next week, so if any of you good people can recommend some wonderful knittyness in the vicinity, I will love you all even more! Please accept my grateful thanks for continuing to cheer me up with your never-ending tales of wool. Mandie

  66. I would love to have a day like that. It’s in the 60s here and sunny and bright. It’s lovely, but I’m so over non-winter and blistering summers.

  67. Rams’ comment almost made me pee my pants! I love the cozy scene you set. We’re getting icy drizzle here in Indiana, but I’m in a YARN SHOP, so fondling alpaca is a distinct probability. Have you knit with the Nashua ‘creative focus’ worsted yet? It’s 25% alpaca and feels delicious. The soup sounds fab, too… stay warm and cozy. Cami

  68. Things I like about winter: (and I do like winter)
    -no humidity
    -sweaters and thick socks
    -flannel sheets
    -no lawn mowing
    -no guilt that I should be weeding instead of knitting
    -the fireplace
    -no bugs (I really hate bugs)
    (I may change my tune when lambing/kidding starts in a couple weeks and I have to be out in the barn)
    ps. 153 feet – I suck

  69. The best way to love winter is to love snow activities, but now that I’m living in Halifax they’re few and far between!
    So I’m cultivating a love of hibernation. It involves lots of honey lemon tea and good music and knitwear. I call it Comfers Cozers. Sometimes it involves mulled wine. Girls gotta do…

  70. Now that I’m a knitter, winter makes me feel smart. People might have giggled when I was knitting wool socks in 80 degree weather, but now my feet are much warmer than theirs.

  71. I think grey with urine mordant makes blue, you might want to check to see if that’s your grey wool up the tree…those squirrels do get around..sort of like hamsters..

  72. I would have to disagree with that quote. Because down here in Texas, Spring lasts about an hour.
    -“Did you enjoy it? I went out during my lunch break and caught the end of it!”
    -“Aww, really? I missed it again. Well, I’ll have to wait until fall to get my dose of temperate weather!”
    Lovely socks, by the way!

  73. I bake bread. Gruyére/beer bread. You use Budweiser (so embarrassing to buy) or it comes out bitter. We loves it. I’m trying to knit a Whimsical Hat in Blue Sky Alpaca for my husband (who makes Guinness Stew), but am having troubles.

  74. Hmm, I suppose I shouldn’t mention the fact that I like 15-mile hikes through the snow in the local woods and along the river, watching the wildlife and enjoying that stillness you only get in the winter. Now if Philly would just get some darned snow so I could take one of those jaunts . . .
    Other things I like about winter:
    1. Soup (think I’ve gathered enough recipes to make up a book — the 4 Lily, Farmhouse Broth and Apple Clam Chowder are my faves;
    2. lazy days in bed;
    3. the smell of hot chocolate being made from scratch;
    4. how the wool (and yes, alpaca) in your lap keep you warm; and
    5. the arrival of seed catalogs.

  75. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was with the photo of your furnace. I just bought “Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel” to read to my son, and when we got to the end where Mary Anne becomes the furnace for the new town hall, I squealed and said “It’s Stephanie’s furnace!” ‘Cause I’m a dork like that.

  76. My number one favorite thing about winter: hand-knit wool socks! It’s way too hot to wear them the rest of the year.

  77. Sounds like a great way to spend a winter day! Me, I like winter. Granted, Chicago winters aren’t my favorites (I like Minnesota winters best), but the coating of white on the trees, the warm cozy sweaters, a fire in my bright red wood-burning stove, plenty o’ coffee — I’m happy as can be.
    Summer in Chi-town is a hot, sticky, sweaty, and grimy affair.

  78. I love winter.
    It’s finally cool enough to be outdoors in the middle of the day.
    Herons and egrets grace the local pond.
    I hardly ever have to turn the air conditioner on.
    My husband wears the wooly scarves and sweaters I knit for him, at least early in the morning and late at night.
    I can pick fresh lemons and tangerines from the trees in my yard.
    The jasmine is blooming, and the roses don’t turn into cornflakes by 10 am.
    A few years ago, I had a conversation with a Canadian, who looked at me like I was a crazy person when I said, “Where I live, the weather doesn’t get nice until November.” It took me a while to figure out that, to her, “nice weather” meant above 70 F, while, to me, “nice weather” means below 80 F.
    The winters here in LA are lovely, but the summers are brutal.
    Good job on the socks. Too complicated for my budding skills.

  79. this wind is horrid, i’m trying to figure out how to ban it … yes, some wind is nice for kite flying, but this? i brought a few extra cans home from teh store to keep me grounded on the walk.
    i hope you completed work done so you can knit. I have about 30 minutes more that I must do, then I can knit for a bit, light my own candles and enjoy curling up in a blanket and being inside.

  80. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like winter. I am constantly ridiculed and put down for feeling that way. I’m a sun/grass/flower lover. I hate snow! Deal with it!

  81. Things I love about Winter: 3 granddaughters (6,5 & 3), making snow angels, watching them sliding down the hill on inflatable snowflake shaped blow-up “sleds,” shiney red cheeks, and laughter and joy of little kids on a snow day. I loved ice skating on a frozen pond at The Oaks in Portland, ME, as a child.

  82. Winter in Edmonton is only enjoyable when you’re a kid wrapped up in a bright pink one-piece snow suit with only your eyes sticking out and at any moment being able to throw yourself sideways into a snowbank on the walk to and from school. That and the ice skating on lakes. Going over the black ice is the best.
    But for day to day, being a working stiff who commutes through traffic that never remembers how to drive in winter (despite everyone owning trucks & SUVs), snow really blows. I ran away as soon as I could manage.

  83. No one living in northern climes should ever live without a corn filled bag and a microwave to heat it in! It makes the shawl, tea, knitting even better.

  84. Alpaca is wonderful, and you might try a trip to the tanning booth once in a while. My dermetologist sent me there a few years ago, and I could pretend I was on the beach somewhere and get really warm. It was terrific.

  85. I guess the advantage to living in Toronto (as opposed to here in Ottawa) is that things actually close on days like today! I don’t know anyone here who stayed home… which is my favourite thing about winter storms. Staying in with a big blanket and a cup of hot chocolate to watch the entire BBC/A&E Pride and Prejudice, all six hours!

  86. “Today for sure I will finish the body of the Vintage socks, and that only leaves the leaf-o-rama to be done.”
    I love your two leaf references packed into one sentence!! 🙂

  87. Much as I hate to admit it – I love winter – however today is not a stellar day – as we have ice. I hate ice. But its part of winter here – so I guess I will take it. I do love the point of having days so bad out I have to stay in and knit. Summer lacks that you know.

  88. Thought of you last nite as I wore my snowdrop shawl.. since you mention a shawl around your shoulders here it reminded me that I had you with me all day yesterday as warmth against the winter winds. I’m sure you would approve.

  89. As much as we complain about winter (-46 below the other day, for pete’s sake)I sure like the cozy feeling it gives me. I just want to put on my flannel jammies, settle into my LazyBoy w/blanket wrapped around my legs and knit socks. I like cooking soups, stews, casseroles, etc. and the feeling of not having to go anywhere. I knit a Misti Internationl Chunky Alpaca sweater last winter and LOVE it!! Very warm – I highly recommend it.

  90. Oh Stephanie. Can I call you Stephanie?
    I love you, for this post.
    You have cheered my sniffly self up immeasurably. I live in Calgary, so I know cold. But now, encouraged by your post, I will now do what will make it seem wonderful to me: clean up, and then curl up in my most comfortable knitting corner with some new snow-white yarn to turn into a shawl, some hot tea or hot chocolate, and some music.
    Ahhhhh. Relaxation.

  91. Fresh baked bread get me through the winter. As does knitting a log cabin blanket out of Lamb’s Pride Superwash (no handwash blankets in this house, gimme a break).

  92. Right there with Shel in wishing Philadelphia would get some SNOW already! What I like about winter:
    1. Celebrating my daughter’s January birthday
    2. Knitting without my hands getting sweaty, and looking up from my knitting to watch the snow fall (when we get any here, that is!)
    3. Baking
    4. Flannel sheets
    5. Wool sweaters
    6. Making soup
    7. Not having to shave my legs unless I want to
    8. Coming home to the lovely aroma of dinner cooking in my crockpot
    9. The rare snowdays when I get to stay home!
    10. How quiet and beautiful our fair city is when it snows.

  93. Good things about winter?
    I can wear a favorite scarf all day long indoors and not be thought too much of a freak.
    Cara cara oranges.
    Fires in the woodstove.
    The amount of sunlight gets minutely longer each day – I remind myself of this frequently.
    I look better in sweaters than in tank tops.
    Coffee and tea are more satisfying as they are necessary for warmth.
    I can’t think of much else at the moment. I’m an autumn and spring kind of girl.

  94. For reasons best known to themselves, my parents retired to High Level (close to Yellowknife but still in AB). The other day they had -45 without the windchill. Truly, I don’t understand the attraction…

  95. It’s pretty hard for me to come up with things I like about winter at this stage of the season–I even posted about my complete inability to enjoy cold weather a few days ago. However, in the spirit of not being a drag, here’s a few:
    My youngest has a birthday in February.
    I love hot coffee and tea.
    I get to wear my handknits.
    My husband really appreciates my knitting.
    It gives me a reason to knit with wool!

  96. OH! Your squirrel is taking his vacation for the Winter. Are we sure that is her handspun? Don’t worry – he’ll be back…..

  97. I’m in Austin, TX and I like “winter” because: I can run outside without suffering from heat stroke, actually wear something knitted, drink warm beverages, not water the lawn, and let my dog’s coat grow out. For 2-3 precious months being outside isn’t an exercise in survival. I don’t think we should use the term “winter” here in Austin, now that I think about it…

  98. Shovelling? No way. But barley, leeks and potatoes (and knitting) I can get behind. From where is the recipe?

  99. A live in northwestern Alaska where we have had a month of-20 and the wind makes it colder and the sides of buildingshere are plastered white whit it too. But I love the winter. It remeinds me that people still can’t controll everything. I love winter because I love wool. I love a warm wood stove too and soup! Cross country skiing and eating the things I canned last summer which tastes like sunshine in a jar in winter! Here everybody dries fish in the summer to eat all winter. I love strips of dry salmon!

  100. I find it hysterical that you hate winter living in Canada as you do. I live down here in Philadelphia and that’s just enough winter for me (when we get one… it’s been odd lately).
    Things I love about winter:
    * hot chocolate – heck, any hot drink! Spiced Wine anyone?
    * big cozy sweaters
    * big cozy blankets/afghans
    * The smell of woodsmoke in the air from those lucky enough to have woodburning stoves or fireplaces in their homes
    I’m sure there are other things, but that was what I could think of off the top of my head.
    And the socks are looking great! I can’t wait to see the next series of pictures! 🙂

    your game reminded me of my favourite game.
    I love winter because, as much as I love to garden, I like the break where my garden and I rest.
    I will be moving further north next year (possibly to Minnesota) so I am loving mild winters now and hoping that I adjust to long, cold winter nights quickly.

  102. I’m up to 715 feet. I tried to lord this number over my kids, and my oldest squashed the brag by asking me how many tries it took for me to get that score.
    Impudent creature. See how long it is before he gets another turn.

  103. Steph….I’m in Toronto for a meeting and was supposed to fly home to Boston this afternoon, but am here in my hotel room and my knitting is finished! My first trip to Toronto…I should have planned on bringing more…Oh well, next time;-)

  104. Just got done with our own blizzard in Wisconsin. Just passing the savings on to you! What I find truly amazing is the fact that we can now prepare for these storms. It would boggle my mind to live in a place or time where these storms are unexpected and just blow in without warning. Amazing thing, atmosphereic science. . .

  105. Things I love about winter-
    1. The dazzling glow of sun on snow after the storm passes. It’s so bright it makes me feel lighter just to look at it.
    2. The cold crisp pale blue skies you only get in winter- and the air is so clear you feel like you can see forever.
    3. The cat sits on my lap *all* the time. Purr.
    4. Stews, soups and baking make the house feel warm and homey (not hot and miserable).
    5. Curling up with a book, a pot of tea and a bucket of ginger snaps.
    6. Piles of quilts on the bed at night, and a decently cool room outside of them. (I hate trying to sleep in hot weather.)
    And? Spring may be a ways off, but it’s only a few more weeks to maple syrup season. And I will go to the sugar house and inhale maple-scented steam and eat enough maple-drenched breakfast food to go into sugar shock. (As a tradition, it’s my husband’s family ritual and not mine, but I have to say, I’m a convert!)

  106. My Winter likes:
    1. the beauty of pristine snow, and the sparkly surface on sunny mornings
    2. an excuse to wear any and all handknits
    3. making hot chocolate
    4. curling up for a nap, with the cat
    5. knitting
    6. knitting
    7. more knitting
    We’ve had a doozy of a winter here in Wisconsin!

  107. The boychild I just had to brave the elements for and fetch from school is standing at my side with his head on my shoulder repeating the word ‘hamster’, first in sad tones, then commanding, then cajoling, then in tones of abject longing. No other word, just ‘hamster’.
    He’s lucky he’s cute. You’re lucky the weather sucks too badly for me to drive him over to your house Right Now.

  108. I was going to suggest you look into emigrating to Florida, but then you wouldn’t have any need for those lovely grape leaf socks (or any of the other beautiful handknits I’ve seen you work on). The best thing about the depths of winter is having an excuse to stay home and knit! Hang in there, dear Harlot. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. 🙂

  109. Oh it is a great day here today…..the postman brought me my Vintage Sock kit. Sing Ho!!!! I can’t wait to get home and get busy on those little flowers. And, maybe make some soup….I love winter the same way you do,…..same complaints…but yes, I do know spring will come forth and we shall see little plants peeking out of the ground….gives one faith….happy knitting……Sandy in South Dakota………..brrrrrrrrrrrrr

  110. and i have a confession to make… i apparently lack hand-eye co-ordination. i keep MISSING the hamster with the pillow blaster!! i’ve tried hitting him on the upswing AND on the downswing. sigh…… and by the way, how DO you grab those things in the air that are supposed to make him stay up there longer???

  111. Hey, I love winter when I don’t have to go outside. Just pile on the clothes, blankies, etc. and keep drinking the warm drinks.
    Now, summer – I turn into a “sweater” not the warm fuzzy kind – the soaking wet, perspiring heavily kind. And humidity, ugh! It’s awful!!!
    So, enjoy your weather. Here in mid Ohio, it’s just sloppy (not that much snow, only rainy, freezing, thawing mess).
    Just a few weeks longer, hang in there!
    Oh yes, read Sara’s blog – a few years ago I heard that if we throw small scraps of leftover yarn outside when birds are building their nests, they’ll use our scraps. It’s really neat seeing the bright colors I’ve thrown out in their nests.
    Now, I can’t say anything about the “rodents” using the scraps, but it doesn’t surprise me. Inventive and needy thieves, no? Maybe they just want to change their old color scheme?

  112. You know, one of the things that I love and hate about winter is that every sunny day is amazing. Here, we rain instead of snow.

  113. Delurking to say:
    Best thing about winter – not mentioned so far?
    In more Southern climes (Virginia and now North Carolina) it’s the only humane time to endure the third trimester!
    I can testify! First one in January, second in December, and the latest coming in March. Finally got the perfect timing with this last one…built in heater all winter long, gone in time for the scorch that is Summer in the South.
    Send some snow our way if you like… since we’ve moved to NC we’ve seen the less of the stuff than EVER in my life and I miss it.

  114. I love days like that, too. Snow falling, and no reason to go anywhere. Homemade hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows (yes, I said homemade marshmallows), my favorite DVDs (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Bride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice, and Strictly Ballroom), and KNITTING! The only thing that can make it better is a cozy fire, and a tasty book to finish.
    Enjoy your day Steph!

  115. Doh! I thought I was doing well with 587 yds.
    Do you have any hamster slinging tips you’d like to pass on??

  116. Winter favorites:
    Soup – today is coconut curried winter squash
    Dancing – there’s nothing like getting hot and sweaty in a lovely tango embrace on a cold winter night
    Quiet snowy mornings – I don’t get to see enough of them
    Bundling up the lovely lacey scarf my best friend knitted for me
    Early candle-lit dinners
    Knowing that springtime is just around the bend

  117. Denny is right! Try a pair of mittens…stranded/fair isle…for a double layer…I have a touch of arthritis in my hands and I haven’t had really cold hands since I made mine…alpaca rules! Just added a thorpe hat and wish I had double stranded it…ah, an excuse to cast on…
    Just finished an ice storm here…at least the power held…bring on lots of snow rather than ice anytime…and I like winter because it is different…I’ve lived where it is “the same” all year round and I desperately missed the seasons…winter makes me appreciate the warmth of summer…the greens of spring…the beauty of autumn…
    202 on the hamsters…

  118. What I Like About Winter
    1. All of the Christmas Specials
    2. It’s never too hot to bake/cook
    3. It’s never too hot/humid to knit
    4. I love a good snowfall that makes everything look like it’s been covered with confectioners’ sugar
    5. Tomato soup & toasted cheese (but that’s all-weather food for us)
    6. Hot chocolate. With marshmallows.

  119. As someone living on the outskirts of Edmonton (I woke up to -40C/-40F Tuesday morning), here’s my list:
    1) No one cares if you’ve showered or shaved since you’re wearing your toque and scarf and mittens even indoors.
    2) Defrosting a freezer is not a timed event.
    3) Ice cream in the car doesn’t melt.
    4) The dog doesn’t whine constantly to go outside.
    5) People now look longingly at me while I’m knitting socks.
    6) I don’t feel guilty about using my fireplace.
    7) There is no chance that I can get too hot while knitting.
    8) We’re spending much more time together as a family – if not just for shared body warmth.

  120. I admire anyone who can weather the kinds of winters you have in Canada. I’m a weather wimp, and I know I’d be a pamelacicle if I ever had to live where you do. Having said that, I’m sorta jealous of people who get real winters, because snow is so pretty!
    Any chance at all that you’d share that barley, leek and potato soup recipe? It sounds delicious! Pretty please with alpaca on top?

  121. What I like about winter:
    watching the snow pile up (like it’s doing now here in VT)
    knowing that I have excellent snow tires
    wool scarves
    wool mittens
    wool double-knit neck warmer
    snowshoeing on a bright snowy day
    having the woodstove at just the right warmth
    having the woodstove get going without having to mother-hen it
    wearing my first (wool) shawl ever (just finished)
    thinking about goiing into that box at the back of the closet to find that 30 yr old leaflet of Finnish mitten patterns
    having time to quilt and knit because there is nothing at all I can do in the garden

  122. Canadians who hate winter are more common than your readers think. Raising hands over here.
    All those warm things: soup, hot beverages, baking, wood fires, flannels are of course things we like but because they are NECESSITIES. Winter would be unbearable in cotton with no central heating and iced tea, for instance.
    Who are we kidding here.
    I do find buying fresh flowers helps.

  123. I love your post but Hal Borland? Sooo wrong. Here in Chicago, winter often persists straight through into summer. Spring, if it happens at all, is about 10 minutes long.

  124. I love winter. You can be happy that your whole house warms up when you bake. The dogs can sit on your lap almost all night without getting too warm. You can knit a blanket right on to your lap. You blankets when you sleep weigh a ton and hold you down nice a snug all night. You can cuddle with your boyfriend to fall asleep (instead of sleeping as far away as possible when it is too hot in the summer). You can wear umpteen layers of clothes without looking ridiculous (well, at least without being the only one whol looks ridiculous). You can wear hats and gloves and scarves and coats. The only thing I miss is day light. I leave when it is dark and I get home at sunset in the winter. But opposite, I hate that I have to go to bed while it is still light out in the summer. Oh, another thing to love about winter. Your downstairs neighbors are too cold to smoke outside your window and talk really loudly right after you fall asleep, waking you up so it takes another 30+ minutes to call asleep.
    I like winter better. Can you tell?

  125. Whenever I start to think that winter in Minnesota is too brutal, I just remind myself that all the bugs and other ickies are kept in check by this weather and I will never have to worry about giant creepy crawlies in my house. My favorite thing about winter – using the cats and bunnies as handwarmers. The cats’ and bunnies’ least favorite thing about winter – being used as handwarmers. 🙂

  126. You, little miss Harlot, are Pure Evil. (By the way: high score: 188 feet.) Enjoy the snow day today!

  127. The shapes of trees against the grey winter sky. Even lovelier with the branches traced white with snow.

  128. Things I like about winter:
    1.sitting in front of the fireplace or the woodstove.
    2. doing the above with knitting and 2 cats on my lap to keep me warm.
    3. the weather in Michigan is so crappy that no one expects you to”go out”.
    4. Hot chocolate with real whipped cream on top(did you know whipped cream has almost no carbs?)
    5.reading Agatha Cristie-even after a few readings I can never remember who done it so each time is the first time.
    6. snow days! Great to sleep in with lots of warm blankets knowing no one expects you to get up and make them breakfast.
    7. Each day has a teeny bit more daylight.
    8. all the muggles think knitting makes sense

  129. Well, I like winter a lot, but Gulf Coast Winter is a heckuva lot different than Canadian Winter. You should come down to LA if you need to thaw out – the Japanese Magnolias started blooming a few days ago, and it’s a balmy 53 degrees F (~11 degrees C) – the perfect weather for one wool sweater and no coat. =)
    Good luck with the socks; I can’t wait to see them finished! =)

  130. Up here in Yellowknife, where temperatures dropped to -55C (with the wind chill) this week, we stalwarts really know what cold is!!!! I have just returned from walking to and from Yoga at minus 44C (actual temperature – no wind) and one of the nicest things is entering a warm house on my return. A warm tidy house would have been even better but my 17 year old (still in pyjamas) didn’t notice or wish to notice.
    Surprisingly, some of the schools are closed today!!! This is the first time in my 21 years (came for 2) up here that this has happened. The Catholic school said attendance was optional.
    What helps me survive?….
    Teenagers – mine are pushing all the boundaries and we always have to be one step ahead….
    Knowing our children, one in particular, isn’t going to be climbing out of their bedroom windows in the middle of the night for a secret rendezvous (try monitoring that!!!)- we’ve had problems with this in our 24 hour daylight summers………
    Perusing houses for sale in the south…….
    Reading seed catalogues…..
    Watching the days lengthen – on 8th Feb it will be light at 8.30 a.m…..
    Many knitting projects and wishing to do even more…..
    Quilting when there is enough space to put up the sewing machine…….
    Hoar frost – it’s beautiful………
    Glittery ice showers – it’s like walking in one of those scenic round things that you shake to make the glitter swirl….
    Seeing a wolf in town – it stopped one night in front of the car…absolutely beautiful and of course I didn’t have my camera……
    I could go on but it is your blog. I know one day we will leave the North. Until that time we have to just get on with life and make the most of it. Wearing lots of layers is the biggest pain – it take so long to get dressed!
    I only reached 340 with the hamsters.
    Back to knitting now, before braving the cold to watch teenager’s soccer game!
    Enjoy the weekend – we know our cold spell will still be with us.
    Janet MF up in Yellowknife – the really cold North

  131. 1) My birthday is in December.
    2) My wedding anniversary is in January.
    3) My first date with my husband was in February.
    4) Our first child was born in February.
    (Good things happen for me in the winter.)
    5) If it’s going to be cold it might as well snow and I love snow.
    6) You can always put on another layer in cold weather but when it’s too hot you reach the point where there’s nothing left to take off.
    7) I do not do hot and humid at all well.
    8) Being cold gives me the excuse to knit more.
    9) It’s much pleasanter to camp when there are no bugs and the porto-lets don’t smell.

  132. My list for today: slept in; went out for son’s birthday lunch with son and hubby; knit some rows on a baby sweater for a friend; walked the dog and enjoyed watching him roll around making doggy snow angels; read websites; sent a few emails; listened to my CD of the 5 Browns; and generally just enjoyed being a teacher on a snow day. Thank you, Mother Nature!

  133. (checking in from Winnipeg…yes, many of us ARE still alive out here!…) The two best things about winter, for this Prairie girl, are:
    1. the exhilaration of a near-death experience whenever you go outside, it’s crazy-cold, and you live through it! Really: that intense “holy COW!” rush does not happen in summer. Makes me glad to be alive, even if just barely!
    2. it sure keeps the mosquitoes down! =)
    …plus the smell of pine trees in a wood in winter on a sunny day…makes my nose happy all the way to the back of my head, even as my membranes verge on freezing…
    And yeah, the way you can cook and bake and all of that extra heat in the house is in all ways a Very Good Thing!

  134. I’m from Edmonton, and the one time I was in Toronto for Christmas, I felt colder than I ever had before.
    Luckily, I had the good sense to move to Southern California.

  135. Your HAIR freezes??????
    That’s just not right. Come to Australia to live. That never happens here. (I’d never even thought about things like that happening… bread freezing? Things in pockets freezing? You Canadians are made of strong stuff.)

  136. There is one BIG plus to winter – you get to wear all those lovely knitted things. And shovelling snow is a REALLY good workout. And the house feels really warm when you’ve been outside, even though our thermostat is only set at 17 degrees.
    I love this time of year – I’d rather be shovelling snow than mowing grass.

  137. I envy you. A lovely day of knitting while the rest of the city frets about the cold! Hopefully you are snug in your pjs, slippers, and warmth. 🙂

  138. What I like about winter…..nope, can’t think of anything.
    The 6″-8″ of snow we were ‘supposed’ to get ended up being 1.5″ of slush, which will freeze tonight. Clear this weekend, and 50 (?!?) on Monday. Indiana weather sux rocks.

  139. List of Things to Like About Winter:
    1. Wool
    Need we say more?
    Enjoy the pretty snow (from a snuggly distance) – It’s raining in the lovely Pacific Northwest today and will for about the next 4 months.

  140. This was good for me today… I’m having a little trouble loving winter at the moment. We’ve been hit so hard the last week they’ve declared our area a “state of emergency”. Lovely.
    Hmm… what do I love… wearing my handknits. And not just because I’m some Californian who wants to, because I’m an Eastern Washingtonian who has to!

  141. My friends taught me an excellent trick when it comes to ovens. You are already paying for the gas or electricity used to keep the oven hot, so once you have finished cooking/baking in it, you should leave the door of it open to heat your kitchen.

  142. I like lots of things about winter (don’t tell my dad, he hates it and he’ll probably move from Saskatchewn to Arizona or Florida or California the moment he retires…)
    I like skating on ponds and the river (BTW Winnipeg’s skating trail now beats the crap out of Ottawa’s!!! lol)
    I like warm tea and apple cider, sitting by a warm fire, feeling chilly and then putting on a nice handmade sweater, being able to hug someone and not stick to them from the heat/humidity, seeing the beautiful frost on the trees on some cold mornings and…
    Building igloos (not quinseys)… I’ve done it (and slept in them) twice! It was -26C the one night… but around 0C inside!

  143. The only good things about winter are HUGE warm blankets (preferably with another warm body snuggled in next to you_ and staying home from work on a snow day.
    Oh, and happy first commenter Deanna? Hating winter (and complaining about the weather in general) is as Canadian as butter tarts, being polite and Briggs and Little yarn. We hates it. But we do like feeling a little smug when we go somewhere warm and the temerature dips a teeny bit and everybody else pulls out big sweaters and hats and mitts, and we have the beach to ourselves haha!

  144. I grew up in San Diego and get cold if the temperature drops below 70F. I once spent Christmas in Edmonton with a friend’s family. When the plane finally came to a harrowing stop on the icy runway, the pilot came on the intercom and announced, “Welcome to Edmonton. The temperature outside is 40 below zero and exposed skin freezes in 30 seconds. Have a nice day!”

  145. My Winter List:
    1 – I live in Arizona. My winters are no colder than your spring.
    2 – It’s not too hot to cook/walk.
    3 – My steering wheel is always cool to the touch.
    4 – I can wear long sleeves and sweaters without roasting.
    (I got up to 400 ft in the first session!)

  146. you LIKE shovelling? Here in California we have 4 seasons — Flood, drought, earthquake and fire. Right now we are in flood season. What do I like about it? Only that hopefully come spring no one will be nagging me about water shortages. Also rainy days are WONDERFUL guilt free knitting days assuming they fall on a weekend and not a work day BTW, I just learned the knitted on I-cord the other day (I love EZ) and I’m extremely exicited about it. I want to use it on everything and I mean EVERYTHING!

  147. I didn’t know that Carmex was available in Canada. It is not just my preferred chapped lips prevention product: it is my ONLY chapped lips prevention product. Best thing going. Nah, nah Suzie Chapstik!

  148. I hate to say this…but being a former Hawaii resident and former vegan, now a New York resident…EAT MEAT.

  149. I made a very easy (quick, thick, stick to the ribs) black bean and salsa soup a couple of days ago. When the weather is dark like this, then even someone like me who loves winter tends to need a little reminder of sunshine. Maybe it is time to overdye something the brightest greens, blues, and corals you can manage?

  150. Having just survived a cold snap here in Edmonton where I didn’t leave the house for 5 days (yay for maternity leave!) I HEAR you. Winter bites. I also want to say that this soup recipe:
    Is The Best Soup I Have Ever Made. I use italian sausage instead of chorizo. My husband loves it too. He will actually eat it as a meal instead of complaining that soup isn’t a whole meal in itself. Hope you make it and love it. =)

  151. I think I could handle this particular winter better if it would STAY winter! It’s been rotating ’round the seasons here faster than my respiratory system (and my pitiful wardrobe) can adjust. We’ve had temp’s in the upper 50’s and wind chills in the below zero range, within the same week. Arrrgghhh! But the soup making’s been big fun and the slow cooker’s seldom empty. A knitter’s best friend, that thing is! 🙂

  152. Glad not to live in Edmonton, eh? Well I do, and this week has been the one crazyass cold week all winter. It was -42 with windchill on Sun, -45 on Mon, -35 Tues, -30 Wed…. you get the idea. And I’m talking celsius here people!
    You’re right; the first day of extreme cold is exhilarating, but by the fifth day everyone’s cursing. You’ve run out of pants that fit over three layers of longjohns, your longjohns are a bit stiff because for some god-awful reason you only have one pair (would you wear the same undies 5 days straight? Longjohns are no different), your balaclava is a bit smelly, and you’re in serious need of Vitamin D.
    What do I love about winter? Leaving it to visit my fiance’s family in Australia!!

  153. Well !!! Interesting to read about the love / hate feelings that people have for winter. I come from India, last year was the first year I saw snow. I loved it. Yeah, atleast as long as I saw how winters turned out this year in New York. No snow just rain. I hate rain. I hate the idea of setting my foot on the watery roads and stuff sticking to the soles of my footwear and then bringing the dirt inside my rented apartment, the floor of which is another thing I hate (Concrete floor covered with vinyl flooring that seems to look like wood and is no where near it).
    I guess no one will ever be happy with what they have. HUMANS !!!
    Grass will always be greener on the other side !

  154. I don’t have a winter love list but it’s our winter carnival this weekend in Port Carling. Find that one on mapquest – P0B 1J0! The biggest social event of the year. Skating show tonight, log sawing tommorrow, a polar bear dip on Sunday and so much more! Oh yeah and it’s snowing here too. Actually it hasn’t been too bad this winter because they’ve only trucked the snow out of town twice so far.

  155. I find myself wondering if Sara Lamb is now stuck playing the hamster game and cursing you soundly.

  156. From living in Wisconsin – watching the snow blowing around the corners of the house. Making crazy multiple hand/leg shadows with my brother on the crusty sparkly snow, while we waited for the freakin school bus.
    From Oakland now – listening to/watching the rain. hearing about 30 inches of snow from my brother in Telluride Colorado. reading your cold post and waiting for more rain. Only the back windshield of the car had ice this morning, the front and sides were just wet.
    Why, yes, I have lost my cold tolerance. Why do you ask? (I’ve also lost my heat tolerance from Alabama. We are doomed to live here forever to escape temperature extremes.)

  157. glad to hear about a fellow canadian feeling the winter blues.
    i mean, i’m in vancouver, so i guess i can’t complain to an ontarian- but still. it’s been pretty bad here this week. i work on top of a mountain, where the university is located, and the whole school shut down for 2 days because of the snow. even public transit wouldn’t go up the mountain.
    things that i like about winter?
    – getting rosy cheeks
    – cuddling up with a warm blankie and my cat while watching tv
    – not feeling guilty for staying inside all day on a saturday
    – microwaving a magic bag and sticking it in my bed, so that when i tuck in for the night it’s all cozy
    – being able to make use of my duvet (i can’t even stand a thin sheet in the summer)
    – having a reason to knit sweaters for my cat (and she wears them, too!)
    – the way it never gets pitch-black dark out, because of the light reflected by the snow
    – and last but not least: fuzzy adult footie pjs!!

  158. I have this free full-size sample of LypSyl lip balm that’s been waiting for just the right person to give it to. If I had your address it’d already be in the mail to replace your frozen Carmex.

  159. here is my list… tho it might be short; cuz damn.. i am sick of this cold.
    watching my family going out the door & into the bitter cold wearing warm things i’ve knit for them. i somehow feel all-powerful and very motherly.
    a stew, a soup; honestly, anything cooked in the biggest le crueset. it’s just not the same in the summer.
    clutching my dh at night, in bed.. cuz our room has no heat AT ALL. when suddenly we’re warm, we feel victorious. did i mention it was -50 this week?
    my sheep-to-shawl shawl. ya.
    and.. when the kids come inside from playing and they smell so fresh, and their cheeks are rosy. (i’m ignoring the runny nose thing…) making them hot chocolate… the real stuff.. pieces of good chocolate in warm milk.

  160. Winter? I love the tiny little birds that congregate around my bird feeders, feathers ruffed against the wind.

  161. At least you have beautiful white snow to look at. Here in Vt. it’s nothing but sleet and frozen rain (are they the same?) My world has turned into a downhill skating rink. No one is going anywhere. We’re just praying that the electric holds.

  162. Oh, the first part of your post fills me with slight horror – the bit about being thankful that you don’t live in Edmonton or Yellowknife. I’ll explain: I’m currently in Cornwall, UK where it’s a happy (but wet) 8deg outside. This time next week, I’ll be arriving in Edmonton, about to go to Athabasca, where (I’ve been reliably informed) it’s a LOT colder than Edmonton.
    I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to cope – I@m bring my Starmore that’s too hot to wear here in Cornwall, but I don’t have any alpaca.
    Please dear gods, let there be a yarn shop in Athabasca… preferably one with a sale on Quiviut – I think I’m going to need it!
    Oh – any yarn shop recommendations for the Athabasca area or Edmonton???

  163. To quote my ex-husband or is it Einstein?, everything is relative. Today’s front page news in my native Puerto Rico is how cold it is and how some people are thinking of special-ordering space heaters. How cold is it? Low 60’s at night and low 80’s during the day!!!! and then only for a few days, most “winter days” are in the mid to upper 80s. Hee, hee.

  164. I can’t get past about 350 because I keep getting bumped off! I think everyone’s logging in at the same time. Too funny.
    I had a talk with my husband about Alpaca. I read him your post today. I will be knitting him some socks. I have Alpaca yarn. He normally won’t let me knit him any socks. I like knitting socks, they are my favorite. Now I can do a pair for him! : )
    He’s from Wyoming and hates winter. I think if his first wife had been unfaithful, he would have forgiven her but she wanted to live in Wyoming. He’s from Florida. That was the kiss of death.
    We just moved to Kansas from Alabam. I don’t see any reason to knit socks in Alabama but here in Kansas it’s cold enough. I will be happily knitting socks again. Alpaca – because he liked what you posted about it, not because he believes me. That’s ok as long as I get to knit socks. : )

  165. Brussels sprouts; the way onions and carrots get sweeter after a freeze; dinners of soup and winter squash and roasted root veggies and a good crusty homemade bread…
    Hmmm… I guess I’m hungry.

  166. We interrupt these comments for an announcement of critical importance.
    The coffeecups in my kitchen cupboard have the same pattern are yours.
    We now return to your regular comments.

  167. I’m afraid I can’t help you–I’m one of those perverse individuals who actually likes winter. I will confess to suffering from a lack of daylight, but other than that I love snow and warm sweater weather. Not to mention wool socks! Hang in there–it will be over soon and you’ll be a happy warm-weather woman and I’ll be the miserable one. Yin and yang.

  168. Jo: River City Yarns is a wonderful yarn ship in Edmonton. There are a few others, but that is the one that I have visited.
    The weather in Yellowknife isn’t so bad. It’s been -45 or so every morning on my walk to work, but there is no wind. If you dress for it (and we all do), it’s fine. Our poor dog hasn’t been going out for very many walks lately, though. The car doesn’t like it much either.
    We’re all looking forward to -20. It’s going to feel balmy.

  169. So, how can you do “everything” that would take you outside. You can’t shovel until the snow falls. And then you are out there in the wind shovelling. I was kind of enjoying it until that point.
    My favourite winter day is about -10, sunny, with snow on the ground and all the streets plowed. I don’t think that happens so much in Toronto anymore but up here we get a good few days like that. In fact, if it were a bit colder, maybe all this white stuff wouldn’t be falling out of the sky and needing shovelling.

  170. I live in Rochester….the south side of the lake and we got ice all night last night, now we are getting snow. It’s icky out there. I hate winter. But…I love sitting all day and knitting, wearing wool leg warmers, and avoiding all appointments cause the roads are dangerous.

  171. I live in Fairbanks, AK. If I didn’t like winter then I’d have to move… sledding, skijorring, dog sledding, knitting, weaving, lack of misquitos, soup, movies, warm snuggley socks, fire in the woodstove…the list goes on and on. So many feel so things. Though to be honest the lack of wind in Fairbanks makes it all easier.

  172. I don’t have to cope with snow–I’m sorry. It makes me feel too lucky to live, knowing that…but here…let’s thing about good stuff in the winter:
    Knitting sweaters doesn’t feel like vanity.
    My student’s actually WANT to learn to knit.
    On those rare days when the little ones are calm enough and everyone has a day off, I can actually WATCH TELEVISION and knit without feeling guilty for wasting the Goddess’ precious gift of sweat-free sunshine!
    We live in drought-country–if it’s cold and wet enough to be annoying, it’s cold and wet enough to not have to worry about having enough water for the summer.
    As Samuel Johnson once said, I can dream about how good my life will be in the Spring:0)

  173. Whiskers on kitten, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings…haha Just kidding…
    But really, some of my favorite things about winter are:
    1. Hot Espresso Drinks (I’m a coffee barista.)
    2. Hair combing is futile, so one doesn’t have to bother with it.
    3. Kitties feel extra warm in the winter time.
    4. My Mommy’s lentil and barley soup.
    5. Baking guilt free…a few extra winter pounds are allowed.
    6. Modest clothes.
    7. Sweat-free days.
    8. A good reason to stay in bed covered up with the aforementioned kitties and espresso drinks and baked goods.

  174. I know this will sound like a “mom” thing to say, but your hair ought to be bone dry before venturing out in this weather. I don’t care what science says, I KNOW that it causes colds, at least for me. Take precious care and dry your hair!

  175. Things I like about winter:
    1. layering up in my handknits, of course
    2. candlelight soaks in the tub
    3. hot cocoa/tea
    4. sinking into a warm bed at night
    5. winter break when you work for a school district
    6. felted slippers and wool socks
    7. watching the snow fall outside, when I’m inside by the warm fire
    8. a good book or knitting project
    9. Burt’s Bees lip balm (the original beeswax one is the best for soothing chapped lips)
    10. the Madrona retreat!! (Don’t forget to bring copies of your books for the teachers’ gallery)
    11. a pot of hot soup waiting on my back porch after work…my mom spoils me
    Also, angora does wonders in the keeping warm category, too. If you can deal with the fluff it creates. I just made a new pair of felted slippers from Classic Elite “Lush” 50/50 wool/angora. They’re the warmest ones I’ve made yet. I always have cold feet, but not with these babies!
    Quiviut, cashmere, and any of those yummy down fibers should do the trick, too. Can you imagine quiviut socks? Oh, sweet, warm toes…

  176. Yet another winter list:
    — The ability to wear a big, long coat and a big, long scarf out to the store and chuckle at the people who stare. (And they do. I knit myself a 7-ft. Gryffindor scarf several years ago and don’t go anywhere without it once the snow starts.)
    — Hand-knit socks, which I don’t wear in the warmer months.
    — Hot coffee/tea/cookies/muffins/bread/anything edible.
    — Fires in the fireplace.
    — Christmas!
    Hey, that cheered *me* up a little. I don’t like winter, either, so it’s nice to know there are some things to enjoy while waiting for the elusive springtime…

  177. After all this time, I feel that your furnace has become part of my on-line experience. I wonder if we can get a picture of the “octopus” to sort of, you know, put a face with the name?
    Looking forward to your completed leaf-socks. I keep thinking of a costume for Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Maybe it’s just me.

  178. Sounds like you need to make a trip to South Florida. It’s mostly been in the high 70’s or low 80’s. We keep turning off the air conditioning only to have to turn it back on because it is too hot in the house. Come on down and we can go to the beach.

  179. I hate winter too. I live near Toronto, and I have to work in it. I drive a bus, and all day I couldn’t wait to come home to warmth, and not have to fight this terrible day.
    So now I am home, and I am going to knit, now I am happy 🙂

  180. Winter is every woman’s best friend when they’re in the epicenter of a hot flash! And hey, there’s no mosquitos. And you cool off your baking in nano seconds…

  181. Ah, if you want sun, come here to Cheyenne, Wyoming. It may be cold (1 degree C) and “breezy” (currently 25 MPH gusting at 35 MPH) but we have SUN, tons of sun. It is one of the few things that makes the long (September – May) winters pass by relatively fast. Plus, the snow doesn’t stick around for more than a few days, and we do get into the 50s and 60s F in January, even if it comes with wind in the 50-60 MPH range.
    Oh, I also have to mention that I’m loving these socks, and they are inspiring me to be a more fearless knitter.

  182. I also love shovelling. Something about making a perfect, clean space. I hate skiing, skating, sleighing, and all other winter “fun” activities, but give me a shovel and I’m happy for hours. I also enjoy my bird feeder, hot chocolate, the first snowfall, and frosty patterns on windows.

  183. When I was a preteen, my family lived near Toronto for 3 years. We then moved back to New England. We still call the clear blue winter sky that we get so rarely a “Canadian Sky” I love the light the comes on those clear dry days.

  184. Somewhere in New England is a season called “Six Weeks of Bad Sledding”. I forget when and where.

  185. no spring skips it’s turn, eh? hmmm… out here in windy ol’ st john’s it does… as you know we just get winter right up until may and then boom. a cool summer for about 6 minutes and then a lovely fall. 🙂

  186. 945 ft! Damn you, woman! I’m thrilled if the dang pillow hits the hamster. I’ve got 56 ft.
    Must make hamsters fly longer!

  187. Okay so here in Scotland, it’s cold, actually it’s snowing and it will continue to be cold right up to March (although I appreciate not quite Canadian levels of cold) but it is February now and that means when I left work just after 5pm it was not completely pitch dark! After 2 months of it getting dark at 3:30 or not really get light at all you have no idea how cheering that is.
    But apart from that I rather like winter. Knitting, wool, crisp clear skies(when you can see them).

  188. Lots of snow here in North Idaho, but the wind has been kind. I am a back to school college student so having two “snow day closures” this week have been a real gift to study ahead. Ahem, that is after multiple cups of leisure coffee, reading two new patterns, knitting a swatch for my first big person (for me) sweater. Oh, and one really quick dash out for the yarn for said sweater. Ever notice how snowy days make your local yarn store smell sweeter and feel cozier? Candle lite, homemade lemon chicken soup, and peach blueberry cobbler from last summers bounty in my freezer. Oh, yeah, and more time to study…*sigh*

  189. French Onion Soup made correctly (not too much salt)
    My blue angora lace shawl (which is too warm any other time)
    Sunny winter days (today was the 15th sunny day since October 1st– it was like spring! Even tho it was -2F. A million people were out)
    Days my boys can downhill ski.
    Days I can crosscountry ski.
    Planning my summer garden (receiving seed catalogs– as good as receiving yarn catalogs)
    Blizzard days when I don’t need to feel guilty about spending the entire day knitting
    And lastly having friends be amazed that we’ve gotten 180 inches of snow since the end of November, with about 45 inches on the ground.

  190. I like winter. You can curl up with a hot cup of tea and knit or read. You can go ice skating( can’t wait for the new ice skating rink to be up and running in Great Falls, Mt. It is so much better than our summer in Montana. We were all ways going ” do you smell something burning”! We had fires all around us and they came at 1pm one night and told us we had 30 minutes to get out as a fire might be coming through our area. Needless to say we started to leave a packed bag with things that we needed out.
    I checked with the knitting shop in Great Falls and you can still order the pattern book Street Smart Patterns by Patons.

  191. What I like about winter:
    Snow and more snow. 🙂
    wearing nordic sweaters.
    Knitting nordic sweaters.
    making homemade soup and bread
    baking as an excuse to heat the house
    skiing (did I mention skiing already?)
    teaching my toddlers to ski
    snowball fights
    falling in the snow after my dog bites my gaiters for laughing at her when she got stuck
    falling face first in the snow when my dog tries to jump on the backs of my skis because her feet are “cold”
    the scenery after newfallen snow
    How clean my yard looks when the snow buries all the toy dinosaurs and trucks that are laying about.
    having my kids help me shovel the walks (which usually turns into a snowball fight)
    Maybe it’s that I grew up in Southern California where we still surfed on christmas day. I love the changes in the seasons.

  192. Thank you so much Stephanie! I have gotten exactly NO knitting done since I started playing Flight of the Hamsters! I love it too much.
    I’m up to 300 ft now!

  193. Gotta agree with Denny about alpaca. My baby suri lace stole keeps my neck warm. It keeps my face warm too when I burrow in it like those Arctic foxes burrow in their tails when it is super cold and windy.
    Hamsters? Love that the optimism of the soundtrack persists no matter how many times my hamster misses the pillow. I think I’m at 400-and-some. (That’s distance, not number of times I’ve made a hamster miss . . .)

  194. Another wonderful winter soup.
    Chicken Pot Pie Soup
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 tsp Italian seasoning
    1 cup chopped onion
    8 cups chicken broth
    1 cup diced carrot
    2½ cups diced peeled potatoes
    1 cup diced celery
    2 ½ cups diced cooked chicken
    1 minced garlic clove
    1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
    ¼ cup all purpose flour
    2 cups ( 4 oz) wide egg noodles
    Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour and Italian seasoning over vegetables; cook one minute. Stir in broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender. ( about 25 minutes ) Add chicken, milk and noodles. Cook 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Yields 8 one cup servings.
    This will warm you up. Especially if you shake up a Cosmo for yourself while you’re working on it.

  195. Alpaca, Particularly Baby Grande Alpaca is the way (Plymouth yarns I think…Rams, I know you will know.) It’s a nice bulky that comes in some solids and some varigated and it is WARM and SOFT. My father the wool-resister loves the very long scarf I made for him. Long and wrappable over his neck, bald head (no, I’m not done with the hat yet) No grouching about itchy wool (yes, he is 76. He really will not let me convince him that other woolen things I have made him are not synthetic.)

  196. Like you, I have angst about our furnace and I HATE the continual sound of that thing every day, all day etc etc etc. It never seems to shut off!!
    Unusual for Vancouver- we were snowed in a few days ago. I felt that wonderful coziness that you described – lots of food in the house, and lots of time to knit. I even warped up my weaving loom, stirring every storage cupboard I owned to retreave the equipment and supplies to weave. Think I’ll spin some alpaca now. Bye

  197. For a knitter there is one very good thing about a real winter. You can knit as many warm woolly jumpers (sweaters) as you like and get to wear them all and not have to justify them to yourself! Where I live thick jumpers are almost too hot for winter and it almost never goes below 0 degrees celsius. Sounds like you live in a knitter’s paradise to me.

  198. It IS pretty cold in Edmonton (although today was a practically balmy high of -19).
    But you know what people who don’t get snow and cold don’t get?!
    When it’s ridiculously cold and the snow is fresh, the air is so cold it hurts to breathe and your nostrils are freezing together…. and you walk through the snow. The sound of your boots against that snow… the squeaky, creaky funny noise….
    I LOVE that!

  199. Reasons I love Winter (at least until Summer):
    1) Lovely hot drinks: tea, hot lemon toddys, hot cocoa, hot chai latte, hot coffee….
    2)Hockey: Go Canucks (I live in Seattle- but Vancouver is our closest team)
    3)Wonderfully heavy, warm blankets, most of them wool, and snuggling.
    4)Really warm slippers
    5)Winter is the perfect time for breaking out the really heavy wool- both for knitting and wearing. I have a sweater from Iceland I can really only wear for about 1 month in the very dead of winter.
    6)Flannel Sheets
    7)Folding warm laundry is comforting, instead of a pain in the arse.
    8)My daughter brings us “snow cones” from our backyard
    10)Fires in the fireplace
    11)How I get to feel really skinny when the long underwear comes off, but I’m still wearing the same clothes. (end of winter)
    12)Everyone thinks I’m much more clever when I knit in winter
    13)Hot soup, Hot bread, hot pie. It all tastes better when its cold outside.
    14)The oven makes the house warm, instead of hot.
    15)Hats, Scarves and Mittens – its a whole additional wardrobe that only get used a few months of the year.

  200. And PS Lene and Harlotta…I cannot crack 300 on that Fletching hamster game. The coasting is not helping me. I’m glad my knit and purl hand eye coordination is better. Poor little splatted hamsters!!

  201. I don’t care much for winter. In my corner of Tennessee it’s cold, grey and rainy, and rarely snowy. The knowledge that in 4 weeks the daffodils will be blooming is what is keeping me going right now… that and the hamsters. My daughter and I had a lot of laughs, especially since I have horrible hand to eye coordination. My record was, I think, 48? By the way, my daughter wants to know how you managed to freeze your Carmex.

  202. Alpaca IS the answer. To all questions.
    I can’t figure out how to make the hamsters fly. There might be a problem with my mouse.

  203. Another shout out from Victoria.
    Winter what’s that? Oh wait, it did go down to -1 degree C. today, but it was sunny and sometimes raining, and most of the day the temperature was about 4 or 5 above. But that’s really cold for these parts. The grass is green, the almond and plumb trees are starting to bloom. The annual flower count will be on this month. It just doesn’t feel like Canada. I miss snow.
    Love how the socks look.

  204. I live in Edmonton, I’ve lived here forever (in the house I grew up in) and I can’t cope with winter. This year more than ever. The thought of relocating is creeping into my mind more often. Thank you for your post, it helps to hear that I’m not the only one who’s having trouble dealing…

  205. i live west coast of florida
    winter here can be a relief
    from the summers of intense
    heat and the wicked storms
    of summer lighting capital
    of the country and hurricanes
    and the heat
    i was born in the north -fireplaces
    to warm ones back hot potato soup
    cold feet -watching the snow fall at night
    drifting under the lamp lights
    the full moon on the ice and snow
    and the snow plow burying the car

  206. I am amazed to know I am not the only person who loves shoveling, something about that cleared out spot, nice clean sidewalk or drive right in the middle of that snow covered landscape.
    I like winter because I am like meat, spoil in the heat and keep better in the cold. But in Ohio the keyword is change, no matter that it was cold today, tomorrow could be sunny and warm followed by freezing weather the next day. It is like weather has fear of commitment around here.

  207. Bittersweet: waking up and hearing the snowplow slowly going by. knowing that it is snowing outside, and i am inside snuggly warm in my bed. then again, knowing that a snowplow is going by, and it is snowing outside…

  208. May I humbly suggest that you post (or re-post, you’ve probably done it already) a list of the wonderful reasons you stay in Toronto? Because otherwise this winter stuff would really seem to be reason to leave. It gets cold where I live, and I can occasionally “like” winter, but we don’t have the lake effect. If we did, I’d be right out of here.
    happy knitting, and stay warm.

  209. When I was in junior high school back in Massachusetts many years ago, we attended school in split sessions – senior high in the a.m. and junior high in the p.m. One of my favorite things about winter was walking home from school (uphill both ways – there was a hill in the middle!) and seeing the porch light on and the golden glow of lamps shining out the windows of our house. At Christmas it was even better – we had those electric candle things. Once inside the house it was usually only a matter of minutes before my mom had dinner (yummy-smelling) on the table.
    Now, I sit in Cali and am knitting cotton socks – and they keep sliding off the $^)#*@@ needles!
    I think I’ll go make a pot of tea and remember New England winters. And rejoice that I don’t have to be there…

  210. Yay! I got a snow day off from work. Good for tea and knitting and reading!
    Amazing how the squirrels got through when they changed the border access rules only yesterday. Must have had passports….
    Winter makes wool garments seem even better. Though alpaca is always worth considering.

  211. I’m going to be trying that Chicken Pot Pie soup tomorrow.
    And finishing up reading the Long Winter. Here’s to central heat and indoor plumbing!!!

  212. I have to share this: I was at work today, talking to the daughter of the Big Boss Man, and I got this text from my roomie: OMG, I just hit an alien ship with a hamster! And then I had to explain to her why I was almost curled up on the floor laughing, only all I had the breath to say was “hehehehe he hit an alien ship with a hamster!” Happily, I still have a job.

  213. soup: barley,lentils and kale. delicious!
    i love shoveling snow.
    i am grateful for my warm bed.

  214. Wow, I just read the Long Winter (Laura Ingalls Wilder) like another commenter. I think that book helped me appreciate how good I really have it.
    But then, I live in the San Francisco area, so I think there aren’t too many people that would pity me. LOL I get cold in 20 degree (C) weather, though. I really only warm for a couple months.

  215. One hand sweats while holding the mouse, the other grips the cotton shorts as it soaks up the sweat, the two younger children and husband have gone to the school pool. Just finished my first pair of socks last week – my husband can’t believe how warm they are! It doesn’t snow in Auckland but I still reckon it gets cold. We do a lot of rain though.

  216. What I love about winter:
    The ever so brief respite from the stifling heat that is Mississippi.
    It is over all too soon for me.

  217. Thanks all for the soup recipes and ideas. I love soup in winter, too. I’m missing a certain Barley, Leek and Potato soup recipe. I, too, would like more detail.
    And Rams, thanks for pointing out the proximity of yarn and coffee! One winter shiver and it could be a disaster!
    Love the socks and leaves and the coming together.

  218. Love Hal Borland too. I found his Book of Days in my partner’s office closet one day. It belonged to his grandmother. I dusted it off and read it at breakfast every day for a year.
    Can’t wait to see the socks finished!!!

  219. If you are tired of winter, hope that Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow Saturday morning! (That means an early spring.)
    Jan from Punxsutawney

  220. Things that I totally love about Canadian Winter that aren’t already on your list
    (and now that i misss the most having just moved)
    . watching the snow swirl through the sky
    . even in a big city, the lovely quiet when the
    snow is falling at night
    . the magical view of the snow piling up against your window panes
    . catching snow flakes on your tongue. let’s never be too old for this one.
    . the cosy and decadent feeling of going out for cafe or chocolat on a freezing day when everyone is still shovelling out from the last big storm. and having your hot coffee (or chocolate) served to you in a bowl.

  221. I live near Toronto so I’m feeling the wintery blast as well! I don’t like all of the winter but I do like the storms as long as I don’t have to go out. The snow is swirling by and everything is covered by a fresh white blanket. The kids and I are catching up on our movie watching and eating popcorn. I’m working on my knitting and the storm is a great excuse to stay home and not to run a million errands.

  222. I guess where I live, would seem tropical to you in winter. I could count the times I’ve seen snow on both hands and feet. I grizzle about the cold here in winter, but we just get the odd frost. So….when are you moving to Australia? :o)

  223. Good things about winter:
    Since 12/21 the days have been getting longer.
    That’s all I can think of.

  224. I lived in Vancouver for 7 years where it rarely gets windy but can get to 10 below in the heart of winter.
    Now I live in Melbourne, Australia, where it rarely gets below zero but we get a good blast of southerly winds for much of our winter (OK it’s only two months but I digress).
    Guess where I feel colder?!! Problem is we don’t dress for winter very well here either, but I’m totally with you on the wind thing…

  225. Things I love about winter (and I do live in – okay, near – Edmonton):
    1. Hoarfrost in the trees
    2. Frost lace in the windows
    3. The dog leaping through snowdrifts and coming in with fresh snow on her snout, grinning like only a happy dog can.
    4. Two long-haired cats cuddling with me every night.
    5. It’s the only season I will let my hairy husband cuddle with me at night (sweaty body hair – ugh!).
    6. Lots of time for Ravelry surfing. And catching up on blog reading.
    7. Less daylight (I’m hypersensitive to sunlight, so have to wear hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves before I’ll even consider going outdoors in the summer, and usually still get a headache).
    8. No weeding.
    9. Hot chocolate becomes a socially acceptable beverage for adults, too.
    10. I haven’t sighted a single belly-shirt or pair of thong cleavage pants on a teenager for months. Ah, sweet relief.

  226. You gotta put your Carmex in your bra to keep it warm. I know you might think it won’t stay…but it will. Try it!!
    If it doesn’t work and you lose the Carmex…let me know. I’ll bring you a tube this summer.

  227. I like winter, I really do. It’s got something to do with hoping for snow on my birthday in december,any other day as well. I’d love not going anywhere because of snow, or storm. The problem is, I’m Dutch and the Dutch don’t give in to weather. So you see these crazy folks cycling around with 110 km/hour winds in their faces and when they get where they wanted to be, they’ll proudly say : quite windy, don’t you think?
    So, I’d like to stay in. If possible till march. Oh, and I’m not joking about 110 km/hour winds.

  228. I’ve lived in R.I., Wisconsin, Tennessee, and now Ohio. I prefer the first two. Best pants to wear in winter is LL Beans fleece-lined jeans. My usually cold son-in-law loves them since I bought him two pairs. Now he can tolerate the cold outside.I really didn’t learn how to dress for below 0 degree weather until I moved to Wisconsin but I learned fast-layers!! Hot chocolate is best not with marshmallows,but with marshmallow fluff. Sometimes it’s hard to find but definately worth it.

  229. I hate winter too! At least this year I do; too cold, too little snow.
    Things I like? My legs are hidden. Planning my garden for spring. That it’s too cold to clean the garage. My daughter’s and sisters’ birthdays. Christmas. The joy of a flower blooming on the windowsill. Things I hate? Cold toilet seats uber alles. Love your quote. Love the socks and your posts about same. In fact, your blog has been something to look forward to every day of this long, freezing winter. THANK YOU!!!!

  230. Back in our Madison WI days, dh rode his bike into campus for his grad classes all winter unless it was colder than 10 degrees out. Then he splurged and rode the bus. We lived 5 miles off campus. BRRRRRR.

  231. our winters here in southern california are nothing to what you get. but my being a native makes me a huge wimp here. i just figured out the art of layering at the age of 45.
    here’s what i love about winter:
    enjoying soup
    fires in the fireplace
    knitting larger things and not getting too hot under them
    letting go of vanity just to be warm enough
    clean air
    lower electric bill (but the gas goes up)
    looking forward to summer

  232. We haven’t had a decent winter in CT for about two years now. But I keep knitting hats, mittens and scarves, cuz I know it’s coming!!!
    Love the maniacal Mary Lou Retton grin. Great visual.

  233. The only thing I have that absolutely does not allow the wind to enter is my Lopi sweater/jacket. That stuff is amazing. Remember the Icelandic people wear it all winter and go ice fishing wearing Lopi sweaters. Mine has a pattern which makes it even thicker and in the windiest day keeps me nice and warm! I promise!

  234. I’m with you on the winter thing. I live in Toronto too so I know what yesterday was like. I have been in Yellowknife during winter and I’ll take T-Dot anytime. Soup, yup that was on the menu yesterday too, potatoe and leek for us. I hear Wiarton Willi didn’t see his shadow so that means an early spring, he he…ciao

  235. I hear quivut is the way to go for warm and light. I once saw the most beautiful lace shawl that the owner swore kept her toasty in the coldest winters. Go figure musk ox probably need to keep warmer than most 🙂

  236. We had one of those storms Thursday night into Friday. The kids had the day off–even my husband got to stay home. We baked molasses cookies. I finished knitting a lovely alpaca hat. We danced like maniacs to music that the 3-5 year old set listens to. And when the snow died off and the temperature wasn’t too bitter we went outside. We’ve been sledding, made snow angels and a big old snowman. It’s been a blast. Now, I’m ready for spring.

  237. my favorite things about winter:
    it gets cold enough for toe socks for about a week.
    it sometimes snows once in february.
    if it freezes a couple times the mosquito population diminishes the next summer.
    my kids wear the hats i knit all year.
    you don’t have to worry so much about a tornado.
    it’s cold enough to have a real bonfire and roast marshmallows.
    did i mention i live in texas?

  238. The thought of Monday coming is bearable because I can hope for a photo of the finished Clarets…
    And I concur with many commenters: those hamsters are EVIL! 611, once I figured out that starting out with a glide near the orange sunset-line n gets you into a good horizontal groove.

  239. Arrgh!!! Winter!!! Front page news of our local newspaper in Elko, Nevada — “No joke … more snow on the way. Northeastern Nevadans will have a deja vu experience this weekend when yet another storm brings a chance for significant snowfall — up to 10 inches on the valley floors. Winds of 15-30 mph could create hazards. Some drifts will make it difficult.” Ya Think!!
    It took my hubby three hours to dig a path wide enough for the truck to get through. That was from the gate to the street; an area about 4X6′.
    He seriously considered calling in for a vacation day.
    On the lighter side: In Juneau, Alaska, where we lived for five years we got SUN days. The State of AK gave their employees the day off when the sun came out. What does that tell you??
    In Yuma, Arizona where the tempatures reach 128-132 degrees in the summer, I got the day off when it rained (once).
    The view from my livingroom is the Ruby Mountains. At sunset they have a pink glow (hence the name) and provide hours of ever changing scenery. The sun filters through Pogonip (Indian word for Ice Fog) giving the snow the appearance of being sprinkled with glitter.
    And like the rest of you, I can sit and knit, knit, knit without feeling guilty. Finished a pair of socks for my hubby. I don’t know who was more thrilled; me because he wore them, or him because he got to show them off to his co-works. “Look what my wife made.” His co-workers were filled with awe and bafflement that someone actually knitted socks. That put a big grin on my face.
    FYI – Reading you daily blog is one of the high-lights of my day. When the winter weather is getting me down, reading your blog & seeing your photos is a great pick-me-up.

  240. What I do like:
    1. The sound of snowmelt
    2. Heating up the kitchen with baking
    3. Soup and popovers for dinner (see no. 2 above)
    4. Sleeping with a feather tick
    5. Thriving in spite of it
    6. The aloe blooms for me when I bring it indoors
    7. It’s a thrill to skip out to the mailbox
    What I don’t like:
    1. Gray snow
    2. Cold yoga
    3. Running out of washer fluid in the car
    4. Air travel delays
    5. It’s a thrill to skip out to the mailbox
    No hamsters flew for this girl. All zeros.

  241. I grew up in Georgia and can barely stand the winters here in Virginia. This time of year, I spend was too much time in bed with a cup of coffee and the dogs. It’s one of my coping mechanisms.

  242. What do you have against Edmonton? lol, that’s where I am, and I don’t know what your temperature is like, but it’s finally starting to warm up here (after, of course, the good old -40 ish stuff we had).
    For the record, I don’t like the cold either.

  243. Jo,
    for yarn in Edmonton I recommend “Wool Revival”. I can’t go into it without indulging my yarn habit.
    Favourite winter things
    1. Even if it is super-cold in Alberta, it’s a dry cold and is much more bearable. It’s often very sunny here in winter and I love that.
    2. Snow squeaking under your boots when you walk.
    3. You need to eat more to stay warm.
    4. Wearing my handknits and watching other people look envious and cold.
    5. Lots of different soup recipes to try.
    6. The trees are so pretty when it snows.
    7. Skating outdoors.
    8. Cross country skiing in the river valley.
    9. Having to eat lots of yummy food after partaking of items 7 & 8 (just to stay warm you see).
    10. Snuggling with cats on your lap, while you’re swathed in warm blankies.

  244. Winter is
    1. Snow and lots of it so we can build a snowman
    2. Coming inside to a warm fire in the fireplace and hot chocolate
    3. The smell of a stew cooking in the crock and homemade bread warm from the oven
    4. Playing a board game
    5. Picking up the knitting and swearing there will be many more knitted socks finished by this time next year

  245. What I love about winter (but I live in VT so I can sympathize with you about it starting to wear on you after a while): trees outlined with snow, sitting in front of the fire and knowing I don’t have to leave, how good coffee tastes when I come in from the cold.
    I personally like winter, I hate the sloppy, slushy mess that is the end of winter right before spring really starts.

  246. Stephanie, I’m amazed each Canadian winter when you write about the temperatures and trying to get around outside. I consider it to be very very very cold if the temperature here reaches (in winter) 44 degrees F.
    I wonder how long the average Australian lasts a Canadian winter? 🙂

  247. Here in London, my favourite thing about winter is that there are almost no tourists! And now that we have a smoking ban smokers have to go outside to smoke and I feel like I am finally getting revenge for decades of tobacco-induced asthma!

  248. Hiya! I, too, am thoroughly deep in the doldrums of winter- so much so that I am holding a contest- for a fine sheep bag and some yarn-to come up with some ways to banish the blues (I even had one suggestion to dance with a bulldog- just to see its butt wiggle) (Yeah, I don’t get out much) Go enter, if you wish- Draw on Feb 10!

  249. My favorite thing about winter is the first day when you go outside and the birds are finally unfrozen enough to sing, and you can smell the dirt and the growing things, and you know the winter is mostly behind you. It usually happens in March here in Wis. A close but definite second is jumping into bed when the electric blanket has been on High for about 2 hours.

  250. Alpaca is so incredibly warm. For Christmas I received some EXTREME Alpaca socks. After making fun of the name for a while, I put them on. Man oh man, were my feet toasty. They’re the kind of socks I can’t wear inside for too long, because my feet will be too warm. They’re also the kind of socks that I can wear to walk through the snow in tennis shoes, and think, “Man, my feet are cozy. I’m glad I’m wearing these.”
    The unfortunate thing is that they have a pretty hefty price tag, at least for socks. But then again I suppose if you’re used to buying hand-painted sock yarn to knit socks, it’s not so different.

  251. Took Susanna Hansonn’s bohus knitting class in KW yesterday. It was awesome. She made these women come alive. Wouldn’t have known about it if it weren’t for your blog. So thank you.
    BTW, during the storm, while you were warm and cosy at home, we were driving to Susanna’s class. 3 hours, plus break at McDonalds. Their french fries have never tasted so good. There will be no guilt.

  252. My favorite thing about winter is I don’t have to cut the grass or garden or do outdoor maintenance for 8 freak’n months of the year. I live in northern Canada where the winter is very long and very cold. We don’t shovel snow very often because we’d never stop. Mainly it just gets packed down and about 3 times a winter we hire some kind of machine to do the driveway.

  253. 1436 ft!!! Including one run of 799 ft!
    That’s after so many runs of around 400 ft total I can’t even tell you how many, then one random run of good luck!
    I’m seriously addicted to the flying hamsters, and my 3 year old daughter laughs hysterically at the beginning!

  254. i guess it is a case of discontent with our lot. i live in australia i was born and grew up in new york , i miss cold and snow . after a week of 38 C or so with hot northerly winds i could just lie naked in snow! mind you we have been having a wet muggy summer this year so this summer i am not complianing . not this year anyway!
    happy knitting

  255. oh dear. Whenever I read your wintery posts, I feel vaguely guilty about the whining I do about how cold it is in Northern California and how I have to wear gloves and a hat and scarf (when it’s 50F out) just to walk to the car from my office and how when it gets so freakin’ cold like this (40F) that I talk about moving to Mexico and how this year I just couldn’t take it anymore and I bought a timeshare in Maui. Of course, it is all relative. I was in Maui at Christmas, it was 79F out, and the locals said it was too cold for swimming.

  256. My list of favorite winter things:
    1. My son’s birthday
    2. Realizing I have to wear the scarf he knitted, because he took mine.
    3. Having to knit with baby alpaca for my daughter’s sensitive skin.
    4. Knowing that despite her attitude against wool, my daughter will happily wear handknit wool mittens and hats to play in the snow.
    5. Catching my daughter with yarn and needles under her blankets. It’d cold and wool is warm, she says…but can’t explain my size 4.5mm knitting needles!

  257. Just last week we had to realise that this is probably going to be another winter without snow and without even one day of freezing cold temperatures. Another season of 5-10 degrees Celsius, grey sky and rain. Enjoy the cold while you have it! *sniff*

  258. I hate to say this, but I love winter. I’m an Australian, and for me, winter means that the grass is green instead of brown and mostly dead, brilliantly blue skies with thick frost sparkling beautifully on the grass in the early mornings, and that I can actually have a garden that isn’t wilting in the heat. It also means that I can have a lapful of knitting all day and not overheat, and that I can snuggle up in bed under the quilt.

  259. I know I’m getting in a little late on this post, but I have to put my two cents in. What I love about winter:
    *the weight of blankets on me
    *wonderful, soft sweaters
    *flannel pajamas
    *fires in the fireplace (and a half-melted, fully content cat on my blanket-covered lap)
    *the beauty of the world when covered in a fresh snow
    *feeling just fine about taking a day to snuggle with hubby on the couch and watch three movies in a row
    *very rarely being too hot
    *the trembly, anticipatory feeling when you notice that your chives are about to sprout and spring is actually still planning to come around

  260. We live in the Boston metro area … we get some great winter storms off the Atlantic called Nor’easters … they can dump feet of snow and the winds will howl. What to do on those days is hunker down at home and :
    soft flannel jammies and handknit socks are the attire of the day;
    a hearty soup in the crock pot such as a spicy turkey barley veggie;
    bread, yes, a dense bread such as dark Russian rye baking and filling the whole house with it marvelous aroma;
    warm drinks like coffee or teas;
    some quality time with that man o’mine;
    jazz on the stereo;
    and of course a really challenging knitting project to surround me in my favorite chair!
    Oh yeah, I guess I should mention now that the children are all grown and gone their way, we get to do all the shovelling too between the knitting and the bread baking and the soup cooking and everything!

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