The Cult of Wool

February 14th, 2007 | View Comments

Alternate post title: Preaching to the Converted

Pittsburgh has been slowly getting buried under a steady stream of snow, slush, and ice for the last two days. Pitt actually canceled classes between 4pm yesterday and noon today due to weather, which means I got to go home early yesterday and sleep in this morning. CMU is still running, but a lot of non-essential staff stayed home today rather than risk skidding off one of Pittsburgh’s fifteen thousand bridges on the way to work.

It’s weather like this that makes me appreciate wool.

I walked part of the way home yesterday—when the roads are this bad, walking is often the best choice in terms of both speed and safety. I was just wearing regular sneakers to trudge through several inches of snow and slush, but my new Hederas kept my feet sufficiently warm. I’d also wrapped my neck with my giant angora wrap and topped my head with a good wool hat, and I was positively sweating, despite the freezing rain coming down all around me.

Rogue and Big Sack have both gotten a lot of wear recently as the outermost of three layers.

And the Ombre Blanket has been wonderful to have these last few days. It’s been traveling from couch to bed to papasan back to couch, wherever I feel the need for some extra warmth. I had four blankets on my bed before finishing the blanket: a thin fleece blanket, two standard cotton-y comforters, and a down comforter; the Ombre Blanket alone is sufficient to do the work of the first three combined.

I never noticed wool’s superior ability to trap and retain heat until I became a knitter. I had noticed that a lot of store-bought hats and gloves, particularly the cheap ones designed for juniors, were pretty worthless against real cold. But I had no idea that wool was so much better.

As winter has progressed, I feel like I’ve become some sort of weird Wool Evangelist to my non-knitting friends. “I’m cold,” they say. “Haven’t you heard? Wool is much better for trapping heat against your body!” I say, “Wool will set you free! Come, come to the woolly side, where you will experience warmth like never before!”

They just look at me funny and walk away. Pretty soon they’re going to start turning the lights off and hiding behind the couch when they see me coming.

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CogKnition posted this on February 14th, 2007 @ 4:27pm in Life as a Knitter | Permalink to "The Cult of Wool"


  1. Stephy says:

    That’s funny–I didn’t appreciate wool until I started knitting, too. How did we lose our wool knowledge as a culture? Never mind–I know how. Sheep don’t have the enormous marketing apparatus that petro-chemicals have.

  2. Charity says:

    I was the same – didn’t notice how important wool was before. Now, I feel how warm my hands are as I go about my day, and am so grateful for wool! :0)