Wool weather

Good morning and happy Saturday! If you haven’t got your hand knit hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves out yet, then what are you waiting for? More snow? Snow in October is not an uncommon thing, nor are the great variances in temperature from one day to the next (or even within the same day). Please don’t take that as a complaint. These fall temperatures are one of the main reasons I love this time of year here in New York, and I always plan way ahead. It was mid-September when I pulled the bag of winter accessories down from the hall closet, and my supply of wool sweaters (some hand knit, some purchased) out of storage. We hadn’t even been back from our vacation in the warmth of the Sunshine State for a full week, and we were still in short sleeves and shorts here that week, but I wanted to make sure it all got washed and dried and made ready for use.

My pile of wool laundry

Each year this task gets a little bigger and more involved than the year before because each year, I have a few new hand knit wool accessories, and maybe even a new wool (or cashmere) sweater to add to my collection. My routine is the same every year. I skip sending anything to the dry cleaner, even my cashmere sweaters, and everything goes into the washing machine here at home. (I heard that gasp!) Yes, into the washing machine. Even my very basic top-loader from Sears has a hand wash cycle that is perfect for all my wool hand knits, Basically, it’s a soak soak cycle with just a light flick of the agitator every couple of minutes. It’s nowhere near enough movement to cause any felting whatsoever, but it is enough to give everything in the wash an occasional quick shake.
This year the routine required three loads of wash instead of two because of the new items I added and acquired throughout the year. Washing wasn’t the challenging part though. The challenge was finding places around the house to hang all of my wool items up to dry (come one now, you didn’t really think I was going to use my dryer too, did you?). The extra items that added only one extra load to my washing made a significant difference in how much space I would need to hang everything up to dry. I needed to make sure these items were in locations where there was at least some airflow, but more important than that, safe from the dogs because they have a history.
So now here we are at the end of October. I didn’t need any hand knits to keep me warm at Rhinebeck, unlike last year when it was snowing in Rhinebeck on Sunday. But I have made use of a number of scarves throughout the month, particularly in the chilly mornings. Just this past week when our temps dipped again, I needed gloves in the morning, and it was chilly enough outside and in the office that I got to wear sweaters on a few days.
Colder weather is coming soon, and I’ll need some of the heavier scarves and sweaters. Maybe even a hat. Throughout the winter, when there is very little to do outside, I’ll be working on a few more more items to add to my collection of hand knit winter accessories. When it comes time to bring everything back out again next fall, I may have to cull a few of the older and less frequently worn items and donate them to the local homeless shelter so they can continue to be put to good use.
That’s it for me for this morning. I am awfully tempted to try and go back to bed for awhile this morning. My head didn’t hit the pillow until almost 2AM, and the dogs woke me up at their usual time to go outside and do what they need to do, and then come back in to eat their breakfast. As tired as I am, I’ll still do a little spinning this morning first. Have a great weekend!

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