I’ll be completely honest, I am not a fan of cold. It makes my fingers and toes ache. It means I have to rely on the (useless!) buses to get anywhere because if I try to cycle I’m liable to turn to ice myself.
In my experience there is only one way to survive Finnish winter. (Other than hibernating, which I’m told is not an acceptable solution…)
Layers. Layers are very important. When it’s -30 and I have to go out to work you can be sure I’m wearing a lot of layers – leggings and a vest top (or two), followed by long-sleeved thermal top and bottoms, then whatever top I’m wearing that day plus a cardigan. Two pairs of socks (one long, one short) and my outdoor wind- and waterproof trousers. Heavy fur-lined boots. A thick scarf I knitted myself. Home-made arm warmers that go past my elbows. A thin pair of gloves followed by a thick pair of mittens. My thick, puffy jacket. And of course a hat.
Then I look like the Michelin man, but at least I won’t freeze to death. For at least ten seconds.
Sometimes I see people (mostly in their late teens) out without hats or gloves or any of the multiple layers. I wonder how they manage to not freeze and die. I think they must be snow people in disguise…
My home-made arm-warmers are a relatively new addition to the layering party. I made them myself. They started life as a very nice pair of woollen socks. Lovely and warm. Unfortunately they developed holes in the soles, and had thinned to the point that I could no longer repair them.
I didn’t want to throw them away though. Like I said, they were very nice socks! Plus the majority of the fabric was still in very good condition. So I had a think and eventually decided I would turn them into arm-warmers.
They’re not the prettiest of things, but they do the job. I’m thinking of maybe adjusting them a bit so that they have finger holes too. I guess then they would be very long fingerless gloves rather than arm-warmers… Like I said, they do the job as they are, but they do have a tendency to slide down my palm which is a bit annoying. And they are longer than they really need to be so there’s definitely fabric to spare to make the adjustments.
If you have a pair of old woollen socks, a bit of spare time, and a need for arm warmers, why not give it a go. Let us know in the comments below how they turned out!
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