But I am toasty warm, thanks to my gifted friend, Jen. How do you write accolades about your friend’s knitting skills without totally embarrassing her or sounding like you’re waiting for people to say, “Enough, already!” I am in awe of knitters. I just cannot get over how they can make the most interesting clothing from one very long string of yarn. The only knitting that I’ve ever done was for a kids’ club project when I was about 10 years old. It was a very simple project: knit a couple of rectangle to make a simple pair of slippers. My mother used to knit endlessly and probably thought I would be easy to teach, but I just didn’t inherit the ability to knit. My poor rectangle looked like a distorted quadrangle of some sort or other, but was never able to be made into required slippers. I can’t remember what I did for that project instead, but the wariness of knitting has stayed with me ever since. (I’m also terribly afraid of learning the skill and enjoying it; drooling over colours, textures, patterns; and then having to stash the yarn and the patterns and the……. *money pit* Can’t go there!)Jen picked the pattern from the 2010 autumn issue of Vogue Knitting– I was in full agreement – I loved the collar and back detail and the “chunkiness” of the design – but we knew it needed to be any colour other than grey. A trip to Romni Wools on Queen Street West was in order. I’ve been into the store a few times, most recently to help DD1 benefit from their expert advice on the appropriate (and affordable) materials for a lacy tank she wanted to crochet over the summer. I can negotiate a fabric store pretty well, but Romni Wools is totally overwhelming with colour and texture that I am not so familiar with. It’s worse than being in a decadent haut chocolat boutique with instructions to choose only one! We went in July in the middle of a 3H (hot, hazy & humid) heat wave. It was so weird looking at big, bulky toasty warm wool while sweat was dripping down our backs. I remember thinking there was something wrong with the sensory experience – wool and hot humidity. Oh, and did I mention there’s no air conditioning in Romni? Nope. Just the odd fan placed in the odd corner. But it was worth it! We arrived during one of their elusive stock-reducing sales – a bonus!
After looking at the discounted yarns and waffling between greens, purples and browns, I settled on Rowan Drift in Fire. It’s a heathery wool with purples, oranges, ruby and scarlet. After all, red goes with everything, right? My favourites? The shorter sleeves that won’t get dragged through everything, the big deep pockets, and the back detail. This is one winter that I’m not going to be cold.