Happy Winter!

Happy Winter Outdoor Adventures!

For some strange reason, I am not obsessed this year with seeking out a "fun in the sun" winter escape (not that I am opposed to it, mind you!). I believe that there are two reasons for my uncharacteristic change in attitude.
One is my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, that I did last year in Portugal and Spain. That adventure got me walking ... in all kinds of weather, and I discovered that I really did enjoy it, and felt better, the more I walked!
The second is a group of local walkers, called The KV Walkers (KV is short for Kennebecasis Valley, where I live). This group has organized regular outings for walking and snowshoeing in our area. They have shown us a variety of routes and trails and provided information and camaraderie. One walk was done at night in very sub-zero temperatures with a brisk wind chill. Normally I would stay hunkered down at home in those temperatures. However, with their encouragement and another friend joining me, I did the walk! ..... six kilometers in the cold and I loved it! Once you get going your as warm as toast!
So, because of the above, I am enjoying winter outings. A group of my friends and I are going to make a regular thing of walking this winter in the evening (in the dark) once a week. I still do my thing at the gym and take in a few classes but I prefer "plein air"!

Snowshoeing Solo!

This weekend we had a big snowstorm that cleared in the morning with a mix of sun and cloud, leaving a thick blanket of fluffy snow. Perfect for snowshoeing! I contacted a few friends but they were busy. So ..... I headed out on my own with my snowshoes on a local trail that I had been on before with the walking group. It was perfect!

A familiar trail that someone had blazed before me.

A trail that I had to blaze! Such fun!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

All this winter walking means you have to dress for it. And ...that means you need a hat. My mother always said that I looked like "Grama Grunt" in a hat (I didn't know who "Grama Grunt was, but I knew the comment wasn't flattering). Anyway, that brings us to the discussion of winter hats.
I have a friend who says that if you can't find what you are looking for in the stores, it is probably out of style! I believe she is right.
However, the hats that seem to be in fashion at the moment, are knit with big pompoms at the top. Pompoms, lets face it, are cute on kids but look ridiculous on my sixty(ish)yearold head. Many of the knit ones tend to fit tight to the head and I need a little "bulk" ...... more hat to look at than head! Anyway, I found a fleece hat last year at a used clothing store and it kept my head warm and didn't look too ridiculous. (Purchasing things at a used clothing place is a sure sign that the item is out of fashion ... but that's okay.)
So, after a search for a new winter hat that suited me failed, I decided to try to make one myself. Usually these "projects" end up being a waste of time, but this one actually turned out okay.

I bought a half a meter of fleece that was on sale for about $3.50 (only 30cm is really needed). I found a few patterns on YouTube but ended up using my old hat as a guide.

Cut out 2 rectangles, 12" x 24" and 4" x 24", plus a circle 7" in diameter.

Fold both rectangles over horizontally, good sides together and sew.

Begin pinning the smaller rectangle (that has been stitched to form a band) to the circle, right sides together and then sew to form the top of the hat. Next, take the large rectangle and fold it vertically to form a double layered band, right sides out (see top right photo).

Sew the large rectangle, folded over in two layers, to the bottom edge of the hat. This creates a wide cuff that can be folded over. Sewing three thicknesses of fleece seems to go well.

These instructions may not be quite as good as a YouTube video, but if you sew at all, you'll figure it out. I can make one in about 30 minutes ..... and I am no expert seamstress!

Happy Winter!


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