What Got Me Through the Winter?

I am not a cold weather person. And this winter was cold, even by New Jersey standards.

Growing up, they would tell us in school that New Jersey has a temperate climate. What they did not tell us was this: The temperature in New Jersey can range from zero to 100, sometimes in a 24-hour period. The average, therefore, is 50 degrees, making this a temperate climate.

This winter was on the dark side of temperate. The worst was the 4 degree mornings, walking across the parking lot at work. I had to make sure my coat collar was turned way up and my hat way down before starting off. No matter how well I arranged a scarf, though, the cold managed to get in. I had to come up with a better way to keep my neck warm.

Somewhere I had seen a photo of a cowl lined with fun fur yarn. Yes, I know. Fun Fur. The ban of serious knitters and the fall-back position of grandmas knitting for little girl grand-babies, the yarn snobs would say. But fun fur is soft. And squishy. And nice to bury your face in.

I had wanted to try out the oak leaves and acorns vine pattern and determined this would be an excellent chance. I used a Lion Brand sock yarn in the colorway “Root Beer,” and a cream-colored fun fur called “Lady.” Instead of a cowl, I made a button front neck gaiter.

neck gaiter 01

The outer layer is knitted as 40 stitches cast on a size 2 needle. I added a cable to each side.

neck gaiter 02

The fun fur lining was 28 stitches cast on a size 7 needle. This compacted the yarn just enough to make a solid piece without too much give.

neck gaiter 03

I sewed the two strips together all the way around and added 3 button loops. I found some antiqued-gold acorn buttons and voila!

neck gaiter 05

I would drive to work with the top button open, which gives the piece a wing collar effect. I buttoned up before getting out of the car. The neck gaiter worked like a charm at holding in heat and keeping out the cold.

neck gaiter 04

And, I got to try out one of my favorite stitch designs. This has opened up a whole new line of thought on straight designs I’ve been wanting to try. I may wind up with a whole wardrobe of neck gaiters next winter!




4 Responses to What Got Me Through the Winter?

  1. Jess says:

    I love the leaves and acorns! Where are they from?

  2. The chart is in a booklet called The Great American Afghan that Cascade 220 yarns put out a few years ago. The pattern is about 11 inches long, so I repeated it for the length I needed. I also added the cables on either side.

  3. Margo says:

    Have looked at books with this title but not seen the lovely acorn and oak leaf pattern. I would love to knit something using it if I can find the pattern instructions.

  4. The oak-and-acorn chart is in The Great American Afghan book published by Cascade Yarns in 2007. It is design #16 beginning on page 40: Julie Hoff-Weisenberger is the designer. The original design was two side-by-side vines. The chart is for one vine; it is 48 rows, so for my neck gaiter, I just kept repeating the same chart until the piece was long enough.

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