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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

on staying warm and sweater tunics fit for a little knight

So. It is cold here. Like super duper arctic cold. And it has been for weeks. This does not bode well for February, nor the length of winter, but I digress (...into self-pity and general loathing of the State...)
tough knights on the lookout for dragons!
Instead of huddling on the couch wrapped in a blanket all winter I have taken it upon myself to outfit my little family in as many layers and as much wool as humanly possible. We bought wool socks for the kids, dada too, and another couple pairs for myself. They got new undershirts and long johns too.

Warmth is important for little people. All that growing and developing requires that their little bodies stay warm to use needed energy for growing and developing...rather than staying warm. That sentence came out all topsy turvy but you get the gist, right? One author in one of the articles below noted that a family with an underdeveloped child living in NH reported that their child gained two pounds in the first week that they dressed him daily in wool underwear. Poor thing wasnt growing because he was using his energy to STAY WARM. Think about it. Have you ever crouched on a wood or tile floor in winter for awhile picking something up or washing the floors? Its COLD down there! And, as an adult, when you are cold certain things are just harder to do - work is harder to focus on, typing is harder, anything that requires extra energy feels like a chore.  How much more so for a little child who is growing so rapidly on top of it all! Here is a link to an article to read more on warmth. And another is here.

little miss - back in her baby days - decked out in wool overalls
and pilot cap...weren't they so tiny and cute then??

 I am the type that cringes at little 6 month old baby girls who are dressed in cutesy little dresses and shoes and socks with cold little legs hanging down. BRRRRRRR…get that baby girl in a sensible sleeper! And a hat! With an undershirt under it and a sweater over all of it! Makes me crazy. I generally think, as I have said before, that babies should be dressed like babies. With the key being comfort, warmth and natural fibers. Not like little adults in button down shirts and jeans and frilly dresses. There is a time for that as they get older. I love this company for wool underclothes and other baby clothes even though I have admittedly never bought from them (EXPENSIVE! Hence all my wool craftiness)

In any case (off of soapbox), despite dada saying
"he is warm blooded like me! He doesn’t need all those layers!" I have been layering up my kids this winter with a renewed passion. A good rule of thumb I have read: feel their toes, hands, and ears. Now feel their little fat tummies. Is there a big difference? There shouldn’t be. Go put another layer on that kiddo!! I have read two layers on the bottom (tights and wool pants) and three on top (undershirt, shirt, and sweater). I don’t follow this daily. A typical outfit is wool pants or leggings. Socks. Indoor shoes (post to follow on how to make these! The best baby shoes ever!!) And then an undershirt, long sleeve shirt, and a sweater or vest.

So, this is easy to do for little ones. They – for the most part – let us pull on layer upon layer without a fuss. Bigger kids present more of a problem. So, this is where the knight tunic comes in.

I made several little sweater vests for little miss, with varying degrees of success. So I thought maybe a little shirt out of an old wool sweater to pull on as a final layer for little man? Luckily the sweater in question was a grey thick wool sweater with a pattern to it. CHAIN MAIL.

my brave knight brandishing his sword
he was so pleased with this picture!
Of COURSE it is chain mail.

I simply cut out a little short sleeve sweater out of the big sweater, sewed up the seams, and voila! I didn’t even bother hemming up the neck or arm holes. The raggedy look makes it all the more chain-mail-esque, so says dada anyway.

And the result? Little man was THRILLED.


Of course, I just look over to see it on the floor and he says “I was TOO HOT.” HA HA.

Well, one can try.

In fact, I am gonna go chase that boy down and wrangle it back on his head. Wish me luck.


  1. I absolutely love Little Miss' expression in the first picture--girl has her game face ON! Those dragons are toast. :-D And huge points to you for the chain mail sweater--seriously creative!

    Regarding the layering issue: my family is convinced that I am mostly cold blooded--I've been known to wear ski pants in winter...inside the house. This leads to many arguments with my daughter, who is perpetually hot. One winter's day, after forcing layers on her while giving her the "Mom look," I realized that the poor child was sweating puttyballs as she played around the house! Definitely counterproductive. So while I completely agree with the feel-the-temperature-difference approach, my children are living testament that some people's thermostats just run a little differently!

    ...and I am eagerly awaiting the house shoes post, so I can make a pair for myself!

  2. tracy - agreed. but i still like to bundle them up whenever i can. little hands and feet are usually cold even when they insist they are warm!

    shoe post is in the making!


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