Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Utiliknit

It's -23C with a wind chill of -33C (-27F), and it's snowing, to add insult to injury. I'm telling you, this is THE WORST winter since we returned to Canada in 2007. Yesterday was James' 25th birthday, and because the weather is so absolutely dreadful, I gave him (among other things) a "utiliknit". A utiliknit is any piece of knitting that is utterly boring to make, but so essential to have that it might save your life--or your face, in this case. I made him this:

What is that, you ask? It's a neckwarmer. In fact, it's a neckwarmer with flanged shoulders, to make it fit better without any gaps to let the cold in. A neckwarmer is different from a cowl. A cowl is loose and drapey and all about fashion. I always think of author Louise Penny's description of Inspector Beauvoir in her first novel, "Still Life", when she describes the young Quebecois detective as "loosely wrapped, but tightly wound".
A neckwarmer, on the other hand, is what you wear when it's so cold you don't give a damn about anything but getting to your destination with all body parts still intact. It must be made in wool, or possibly wool and alpaca. Never superwash, because this garment is all about warmth. This particular neckwarmer is long enough to come up over the nose if necessary. It can also be folded down to make a sort of turtleneck in less extreme weather. Initially, my intention was to knit a straight tube, but at around seven inches I got bored and decided to expand the lower rim into flanges. The yarn is Cascade 220, leftover from the other birthday knit, a replacement "Turn a Square" hat (don't ask what happened to last year's model). I know, I know, I said I was going to knit Veronik Avery's "Brig". I started, but then realized that "Turn a Square" was perfect and I should stick with it. Here's the replacement hat.

The ribbing is actually the same colour as the background behind the stripes; it's just the way the light caught this photo that makes it look like a lighter colour. The stripes are in charcoal/almost black and dark chocolate brown. Boring colours, but that's what most men want, unfortunately. Now, I think I might head downstairs and crank out a neckwarmer for myself--but maybe with cables and in something less subdued.
P.S. Just learned that it was the same temperature as here today at the South Pole. Yikes!

1 comment:

  1. Well, it IS summer down at the South Pole...............