Thursday, January 16, 2014

The soothing power of sweaters

If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all. It’s so hard to live by that “rule”. When it comes to January I am tempted to say nothing at all.  This year there have been record storms, freezing rain, power outages, and disastrous roads.  Right across the continent, it’s been colder than usual. We’re not even halfway through it. 

Never mind: there are three things I really like about January (and we’re not talking closets here). I have more time to read and knit and the chance to wear those sweaters I’ve collected over the years.  In the depths of winter, I enjoy knitting sweaters  for my family which of course includes my dogs.

 And my grand dog.

Makes me feel good.

There's something so comforting and soothing about the right sweater. Although I like to knit them, I  tend to buy my own. 

My favorite sweater is eighteen years old. I am ridiculously fond of it. I bought it in January 1996 in a consignment shop in England while on an outing with an old friend.  It was charcoal cashmere, still had the tags on it and I paid less than twenty dollars for it (ten English pounds to be more accurate.) Every time I wear it, I remember how much we enjoyed our trip to the village of Winchcombe in the Cotswolds and our troop around historic Sudeley Castle and its grounds.  I remember laughing in the rain and being glad to have that sweater in the damp and chilly climate. I also remember that it’s time to work around the six hour time difference and call my old friend in England.

All to say, that sweater has a certain power to make me relax. So, let it go to minus 30. Let it blow. Let it snow. I may not be happy about it, but I will be ready, reading in my comfy chair with my ancient sweater with the happy history.  Thank you, January.  
I hope you all found this sufficiently snuggly. But what about you? Are you attached to a piece of clothing? Does something you wear have special memories? Does it make you happy?  Let’s hear about it!


Lynda said...

I love what I call "sweater weather", but this year we haven't had much of that. The weather in California has been gorgeous, but I wish it wasn't. I wish we would get (some) of the weather the rest of the country has had (I'm not crazy enough to want ALL of it). We are in the middle of a major draught. Everything is dead and water rationing is already being imposed or proposed. We have had only a couple of wimpy rain systems this whole fall/winter and very little snow in the mountains (ski resorts have had to shut down). Farmers are worried about crops and ranchers about water for their animals. At a time when I should be bundled up in a snuggly sweater, I am wearing short sleeves and using the car airconditioner. I know it seems strange (especially to those of you who are so tired of extreme cold) to be complaining about such beautiful weather, but we're just too worried to enjoy it. With our luck, we will, all of a sudden, get torrential rains and then we'll have flooding and mud slides. A little moderation every where would be nice.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I agree, Lynda, moderation is what we need, Mud slides would be terrible and not much a sweater could do to help. I think droughts are tragic too.

You've made me decide to enjoy the good days and hope for the best.

Fingers crossed your drought ends soon without the torrential rains,



Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Adorable sweaters for the pups, I love them! For some reason, my cats resist the idea of sweaters. Not sure why, but then, who can understand the mind of a cat? Thanks so much for posting these terrific pictures.

Aurian said...

I have a love thick gray vest I wear almost every evening at home, as I get very very cold inside when sitting still behind my computer or reading. I do wish that winter comes soon, as I am tired of the gloom and rain here in Holland.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I know that the European winters seem very gloomy. Right now, I'd trade you. But I know I would miss the sunshine (if not the ice).



Mary Jane Maffini said...

You are welcome. Cats do not care for clothes in my experience, but dogs are quite vain, Mine love wearing sweaters and coats but the camera makes them nervous. The dog picture was titled Don't Point That Thing at Me.



SueAnn said...

30 years ago, my then boyfriend, now hubby, took me shopping for my birthday...I am a January baby, a week after Christmas! I remember thinking..oh...engagement ring....!!!! He took me to a boot shop. A BOOT SHOP!!!! Bought me the best pair of hardy winter hiking boots ever...!!!! Still going strong! LOVE those boots..although..back then..I was thinking I needed to reconsider my "guy choice"!!! LOL!! I wear those boots and think of the care and time he took to make sure my feet would be warm, dry, and able to keep up with him!!! People still compliment me on my boots! Which makes us giggle....he remembers I was wishing for a ring!! I DID get it..but a few months later!!!
I think knitting is the most relaxing, mesmerizing activity......plenty of time to relax the brain, and to think things out too....I will never get over the fact I a taking a piece of string and turning it into a large article!!!