I know: I'm a knitter, I should love winter. Winter should be the season in which I, wool-mad needlefreak that I am, should come into my own. Cozy sweaters! Toasty hats! Sweet widdle mittens and cunning widdle swippers to warm your chilly fingerses and toeses! Oooooh!
This little body is built of genes drawn from the sunny pools of Lebanon and Sicily. I'd make a capable camel herder or tuna fisherman. But I'm not so good in the cold. When the first arctic blast hits town I start to shrivel. By June, when this misbegotten city finally starts to thaw, I'm just a chewed bit of wet string fit only to serve as a cat toy.
I learned during my first winter to just forget about looking presentable for three-quarters of the year. In Boystown, where I live, the fellows generally gird themselves against winter in the snappy fashion here modeled by Cody, fresh from the hottest brunch spot on Halsted Street, where he always gets a good table because his boyfriend Schuyler's best friend Ramon slept with the host and has threatened to tell his wife.
Cody is sporting a thin, short jacket; elegant leather gloves; a silk scarf; a jaunty, little hat; and kicky Italian leather shoes. No bulky insulated coats here, no sir. They spoil the trim line of the figure.
A couple of years ago, in November, I tried walking to the grocery store dressed like that. I got diptheria. This is my typical winter silhouette.
Franklin is wearing a schlubby earflap hat, Thinsulate gloves, two scarves, waterproof construction boots, long underwear, three sweaters and an everything-proof ski parka from L.L. Bean that his parents bought him when they noticed his lips were turning blue. He is still cold.
And now that bastard groundhog has indicated that we get the extra-long edition of winter this year. Sure. What does he care? Does he have to leap over gigantic, shin-deep pools of filthy slush at every street corner? Does he have to risk frostbite in order to replenish the household supply of Cheerios? Does he have to wait, shivering, on an elevated platform for the arrival of a downtown train that smells like butt? No, he's done his bit for 2008 and can just go back to sleep until it's time to wake up and have sex with the hot mama in the next burrow.
If I ever meet him I'm going to kick his ass.
In the meanwhile, yeah, I'm knitting. Tom has asked for a scarf and hat to keep him warm while walking the dog, and so I'm working on a watch cap for him using Elizabeth Zimmermann's variation on brioche stitch, which she calls Prime Rib.
It looks at first glance like regular k2/p2 ribbing, but it has slipped stitches and k2togs and weird yarn-overs in it, and the result is a bizarrely stretchy, bulky rib. Cuddly in excelsis. I figured there must be something special about it, because this hat is knit flat and then sewn up–and you know Elizabeth is not one to recommend flat knitting and seams without a darn good reason. So far it's a soothing knit for frazzled nerves.
Oooh, the perky television weather lady just said it's going to warm up tomorrow–32 degrees! Excuse me, won't you, while I go dig out my bikini?