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Curing Frostbite: Why I am a Knitter

by | Jan 30, 2014

“Let’s have a look,” the doctor said, with professional concern. Frostbite symptoms are serious, and a little rare here in southeastern Virginia.

Robby pulled off his shoe and started pulling down his blue wool hand-knit socks. He was proud to show off the socks his wife had knit.

blue socks

The doctor’s expression became even more concerned. White skin showed through at the edge of the toes. “You are wearing socks with holes? No wonder you have frostbite!” she chided.

As warm and cozy as the cuffs were, it hadn’t occurred to Robby to pitch a whole handmade sock just for a few thin places in the toes.

Well, the frostbite incident occurred several winters ago, on a cold damp day walking the trails of the Living Museum in leaky boots. And holey socks.

These days I try to keep an eye on the sock situation. My knitting needles stay hot in hopes that his feet will stay warm and dry. Twice we have made a side trip to a yarn factory in New Brunswick to choose the best warm wool for warding off frostbite. This week I completed another matching set in blue, in time for him to go to work at the VLM in cozy style over the weekend.

But just to be sure to ward off any future chilly toes, I am starting some red ones, in hopes that they will add an extra dollop of peppery warmth—a prophylactic for frostbite par excellence.