When I was 19, my mother gave me a heavy wool, intricately cabled sweater she had spent years knitting and I was certain I would never wear. I was living with my then-boyfriend in the coldest place I ever lived — and anyone who knows me knows that means something. The beautiful old farmhouse was at the end of dirt road in southern Vermont. In one half of the house lived a single mother and her young daughter (I cringe now to think of what abysmal neighbors we were to her), and my friends and I housesat the other half.
The house was heated by a wood furnace. It was December, and the wood supply we had been left was nearly depleted. I certainly knew nothing about heating with wood. I was greener than the wood we burned.
I wore that sweater for the entire month I stayed there. I slept in it. I wore the sweater so hard and for so many years that only pieces of it remained when I moved from my last house.
What taught me to love scratchy wool? Cold Vermont.
5 below zero this morning….. Could be much colder. ‘Tis the knitting season.
Use It Up. Wear It Out. Make It Do. Or Do Without.
— Calvin Coolidge