Winter Wools

All sweaters are not created equal!

I heard a vlogger mention that she only would buy sweaters with significant wool content.  She obviously lives in Britian!  I on the other hand, prefer to not buy a sweater with any wool content!  Do you agree?

For me, several light layers are more practical for a Texas life!  A thin cotton sweater, which can be worn during a normal Texas winter is all that I need.  If we get a really cold spell, like last year’s snowmageddon, then all I need to do is add a silk thermal shirt underneath.  If that isn’t sufficient, then I do keep a few wool cardigans that can go on top of it all.

If I am venturing outside, such as to take Archie out or to get some snow for snow ice cream (hopefully not from the same spot that Archie visited!) then I will add a ski jacket or long coat over all the other layers.

The outfit may not match or even look attractive, but we Texans usually cancel school, work, and all outings if there is snow or ice in the forecast.  So no one is going to see my brown, purple, ivory, and blue layers.  If they do, they are probably wearing the same sort of outfit while risking their lives on the slick roads!

On bottom, usually a pair of silk thermal leggings under jeans will do the trick.  A thick pair of socks to keep my feet warm and a pair of water-proof boots complete the outfit!

I love the chunky cable knits and fair isle sweaters that come out at the holiday season, but if there is even 5% wool in them, I avoid them!  I move around a lot during the day, since I no longer have a desk job.  The movement keeps me plenty warm on a regular day.  The slightest hint of anything intended to keep me warm will find me dripping with sweat.  Even when I do have to add layers, it is best if I am seated at a computer or reading a book.

I do miss wearing scarves, hats and other woolen accessories, but trips to visit my husband’s family in Missouri give me an opportunity to pull them out of the cedar chest and let them have an outing.  Thankfully these sorts of accessories don’t go out of style!

Even polyester, acrylic or other fibers can be a bit hot in Texas, depending on the weave.  I try to stick to all cotton sweaters, if possible.

Do you prefer wool or cotton sweaters?  Do you read the label for the content before you purchase a new sweater?

Bonus Information:  Did you know the weave of a sweater determines if it is an Aran sweater, an Argyle sweater, a cable knit sweater, or a fair isle sweater?

An Aran sweater is not only a specific weave but is also made from wool that still has its protective lanolin, thus making it waterproof.  It is a traditional fisherman’s sweater in a solid color.   Patterns are passed down from generation to generation of weavers on the Aran Islands.  Weaves within the sweater may include cables, baskets, lattice, etc., and each have a meaning such as fisherman’s ropes, fisherman’s baskets, and success, respectively.

An Argyle sweater has distinctive diamond patterns created in the stitches by colored yarns.  We tend to see them on golf courses or when preppy fashions are in style.  This design is often used on socks.  Its origins are from the Campbell clan located in the Agryll region of Scotland.

A cable knit sweater generally is woven in a single color with ivory being the most common color.  The designs within the sweater may vary, but one will be cable motif.  It is a variant of an Aran sweater.

A fair isle sweater typically has a solid color main body with colorful yarns creating a patterned band around the neckline and shoulders. The body may have a small repeating design, such as dots, woven in a contrasting yarn along with the pattern around the neckline.  A classic color for the main body is ivory, while the decorative patterns will be in a combination of two or more colors.  This design hails from Fair Isle in Northern Scotland and is also used by fisherman.

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