Thursday, December 18, 2008

Scarves and gloves

Scarves and gloves, extra warm, we all dug them out this week for sure. The psycho weather that our city always experiences certainly changed its mind on an hourly basis this week, cycling between sun, rain, sleet, frizzle, snow, thunderstorms, frigid cold, balmy warmth. But, mostly, it was just cold and miserable.

I dug out my many scarves and gloves this week, and even had to go for the heavy artillery one day when it was 16 degrees with a minus 0 wind chill. The heavy artillery for me is a very long double layer fleece coat I made about 10 years ago, made it from an idea copied from a catalog, in which the prototype was over $450. Mine cost about $50 and it is bullet-proof in cold weather, and gets lots of compliments. It can only be worn in freezing cold weather, because if a coat can be too warm, this one can get that way quick if it isn't absolutely frigid.

During the next school semester, we are hosting 60 students from South East Asia to our school. Most are coming from tropical countries, where winter means it may get to down to 50, if that. We are worried that many of them will not only suffer from culture shock, but may be unprepared for our midwest January/February weather.

So I volunteered to sacrifice my fleece collection for their comfort, and I am making 60 scarves and matching them with 60 pairs of gloves for our guests. They were probably going to have to purchase this stuff once they got here, so now they won't have to spend their per diem money on those items. I was originally committed to making them only for the 20 students who are coming to our campus, but it quickly escalated into doing it for the entire group.

I cut out 45 scarves the other day. I have fleece to do the rest, just not the time without back pain to do it. I hope to get to it today. Each scarf needs to be fringed, so I may get my house guests to help me with this project once the Christmas day festivities are passed and we are bored with things.

I hope our guests appreciate my offering. I had done this on a yearly basis for my students in my little elementary school in the country, because they never had warm hands or heads when we went out for winter recess. I embroidered names on each of their scarves because they would have lost them if they weren't personalized. Since some of these SE Asian students have names that are 15 letters long, I won't be doing that for this group! Besides, I hope college students can keep track of their stuff a little better than first graders can.

My work is ahead of me to finish this project. Hopefully it will be a pleasant reminder of their visit to the US, although I can't see a Vietnamese kid wearing a fleece scarf as he goes through Hanoi! What they do with them afterward, I don't care, I just want them to have some comfort while they are here.

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