It’s October – and Saskatoon has already had its first snow fall! Yes, it was a little wet, but it was soft and powdery and pretty and delightful. We have some warm (well… relatively speaking) weather predicted, so this fall might not stay on the ground, but it certainly does herald the beginning of the winter season. I think I can safely bet that it’s about to get cooooold.
Fortunately, we have a whole swag of awesome stuff to help keep us warm! Just for a bit of fun, here’s a run down of our winter warmers.
Ok, I know I promised a haul post – but look how pretty the snow is! It started on Tuesday afternoon and fell for about 36 hours. I snuck out of the house early Wednesday morning and walked in the near silence to take some pics. It continued to snow for another 24 hours, so this is only a hint of what was to come.
And I made a snowman! His name is Henry and at the time of writing he is still standing, although his head looks dangerously rolly and he’s lost his nose. I may need the kids over the road to give me some lessons – theirs was much more snowman and much less snow-dog.
Morgan does not like the snow. He repeatedly comes to the window to go outside, sniffs and tentatively paws the strange white stuff, and cowardly runs back inside. This is him unimpressedly watching the making of the snowman and seemingly distasteful and contemptuous of the whole process. Gonna be a looong winter if you keep up that attitude, cat.
Stuff we bought
Alright, on to the fun stuff. We arrived in Saskatoon in March, just as the last snow of last season was melting. As it turned out, this was hugely fortuitous! Many clothing and outdoor shops were having big sales on their winter gear, and we were lucky enough to pick up some really great stuff half price from Outter Limits in Saskatoon.
This one seemed the most critical – a big, warm, wind-and-waterproof coat. I got a pretty white one! (I may live to regret this choice when I discover how easily it gets muddy…) This one is the Arcteryx Women’s Patera Parka. It’s filled with goose down to a “fill rating’ of 750 (I don’t really understand fill rating, but it has to do with the “fluffiness” of the down filling and is loosely related to warmth, seemingly on a scale of about 400 to 800… so 750 is pretty warm). The hem, collar and sleeves are lined with a synthetic insulator called Coreloft, which, unlike down, retains warmth when wet (I’ve never understood this. Surely goslings get wet? Why haven’t they evolved waterproof down??). Fortunately, the GoreTex outer shell should keep me nice and dry and safe from the driving snow :).
Best of all, it’s nice and long to cover my bum! Bren got one too – his is North Country, black, with a cute furry hood :). Baes who slay together, stay together, amiright?
Second most critical – keeping my feet warm! I’m hoping to continue to walk to work (at least on the mild winter days!) so I wanted boots that would A) stop the snow getting in, and B) help keep me from falling over (I’m very concerned about the falling part). So these were the pair I chose. Not the prettiest ones, but a girl’s got to make sensible choices every now and then; I opted for fit-for-purpose over fashionable. These are made by Keens, and they’re rated to keep my toes warm down to -40°C. They’re also waterproof, and do up comfortably around my ankles without gaping at the calf.
Of course, give a cat a box… On the other hand, teach him how to box…
While we’re talking about keeping feet warm, if there was ever a climate for Uggs, I think this might be it. For my Canadian readers, Ugg boots are another awesome Australian invention up there with polymer money and Wifi (to be completely honest, Ugg boots might have originated in New Zealand… But whatever). They’re two-faced sheepskin, with the sheep leather facing outward and the wool lining the inside. They’re blissfully warm and comfy and it is not tremendously inappropriate to wear them to the supermarket or the cinema on Tuesdays.
Finally, fingers. I picked up some awesome Primaloft mittens – wind- and waterproof and super warm so as to stop me losing a finger to frost bite. But we also brought with us from Australia two pairs of these Kathmandu chemical hand warmers – you flex a little metal disc inside to set off an exothermic reaction, and they give off heat for about an hour (perfect waiting-for-the-bus time frame). Once they’ve been used, you boil them for 5 minutes to reverse the reaction and they’re good to go again. The best part – I picked them up last December in Kathmandu’s pre-Christmas, 50% off store wide sale, so even these guys were a bargain!
And of course, the obligatory stripy long johns – mum gave us a lifetime’s supply of base layer items before we left home (I think maybe she was worried I’d be cold…). Thanks mum 🙂
Stuff I Crocheted
Some brief context: about 8 years ago, a wonderful Nana in my life (not my own, though I cared about her a great deal) gifted me a beautiful zigzag blanket which she had spent the last 6 months crocheting. It became known in the house as The Nana Blanket, and I still have it draped over my reading chair – it’s got pride of place in the photo above. I was so impressed that I decided to learn for myself – so I watched hours and hours of YouTube videos, and practiced until my fingers ached, until I finally got the hang of it!
As happens to any yarn-crafter, I had accumulated quite a stash over the years, and I was lamenting getting rid of it all before we moved. However, in the lead up to leaving Melbourne, I had the clever realisation that while taking yarn to Canada would be ridiculous, taking crocheted warmth to Canada was perfectly reasonable! So I set about stash-busting, and this collection is the result.
So, we may not be warm, exactly… or even comfortable… but I’ve done my darndest to be prepared for this winter. It might not be winter yet- it may not even be close to winter yet – but it sure does feel like the end of summer.
Wish me luck.