Wool for Walking

The trees are bare, and here in Northern California it is the tail end of winter, with many blustery days and lots of clear blue skies.  February on the mountain often sees a blanket of snow, but I’ve known even as late as March to get a light dusting, while the temperatures continue to chill, though in the mountains we don’t get the coldest freezes as in the valley.  I love to walk in the cold, and even in the rain, with an umbrella. Rainy season is yet to come around, it’s been a dry winter.  But these photos were taken last Autumn when…

…  I began in Wovember (I talk about Wovember in this post ) to take another look at the utilitarian aspect of wool.  I began to think of wool as practical and wholesome, taking it beyond a fuzzy arts & crafts medium for playing on the spinning wheel and knitting needles.   For me, this means in particular, my obsession of late…wool skirts. I LOVE WOOL SKIRTS ! The dye-saturation which is particular to wool, means that I love concocting a custom dye-bath each time I find a new wool skirt in a thrift shop.

Photo taken in the beginning of December starting out for a walk up the ridge, and I am wearing one of my several wool skirts.   I have in fact, worn two wool skirts , almost exclusively, all winter .  This green one for walking, and a deep maroon-brownish livery colored one for going down into town, (not counting dressier skirts for gigs), which leaves one or two which haven’t been altered and overdyed yet (I am very fussy about color).

Lately my hips have been a bit sore, and stiff constricting jeans just won’t do.  Winter weight fabric pants just make me feel so *not* in the mood to go for a walk. So I thought to just be the Old-Fashioned sort, and allow myself the distinguishable difference  and somewhat retro-feminist statement of hiking out while wearing a skirt. This one below I over-dyed mossy emerald tones on a light brown fabric, and it is 100 percent worsted wool weave, cut on bias which yields best to movement and makes for *very* comfortable walking !  I Love it !!!  (Little known fact about me: Throughout my 20’s I owned only a couple of pairs of pants ~ my wardrobe was almost entirely skirts and dresses. I even bike commuted in skirts! )

Needless to say, I feel at once back to my old self .  Here I am ,  up close with my  hill-walking companion Emma.