Keep warm & in-style with hand-knitted hats & scarves

by Liberty Starkweather

One thing about Michigan is that we know the weather is only going to get colder. The best part about getting colder weather is snow angels, cocoa, and dressing your family in stylish attire. Over the years, knitting and crocheting has made a steady comeback. It is actually one of the fastest growing and traditionally popular practical hobbies. But why is it so popular? You can learn here. There are so many fun and new designs and ideas for hats, scarves, and mittens! If you haven’t already done so, it’s a great time to take up this budding hobby, or ask a favor of a talented family member.

Our friend, and fellow Great Lakes Bay Mom, Jill Zielinski, aka Knitterella®, is a mother with a passion to knit.  Jill is a work-at-home-mom in the Great lakes Bay where she lives with her husband and two young sons. Between cookie-breaks and kissing skinned knees, Jill finds a way to incorporate knitting and design in her daily life.  Jill her talents and love of knitting lead her to create fun, bold, and whimsical stationary for knitters. You can check out her fantastic card line here. Jill is also a terrific knitwear designer. Through her patterns, she creates stylish and simply constructed designs. They are head turners! With some downtime over the holidays, check out her patterns and get to knitting, we are sure you will find something you love. Her patterns feature fantastic ways for you and your family to stay warm and stylish during the cold Michigan winter. Two of our favorite patterns are the Mojave and the Smocked Slouch hat:


Jill says that “bundling up with handknits is my favorite way to dress my kids and me”. She is excited to feature her own knitting patterns, but also excited to share all the resources found online for this wonderful hobby.  Jill is showcasing samples of fun and stylish knitted/crocheted hats that are made from FREE patterns found online.  To get a copy of your FREE patterns, please visit Jill’s blog and follow the links listed under TV25. As Jill states in her blog “Sounds like fun, don’t you think?”, and we couldn’t agree with her more!

Bundling up in the proper attire, like Jill’s stylish hats and scarves, is key to dealing with the weather. In Michigan, we also know that at any given moment the temperature and precipitation can take a turn for the worse, or the better. As the weather starts to turn, Wikihow reminds us of these tips:

Dress in layers. Use many thin, warm layers rather than a few thick layers. This will help insulate you better and allow you to strip off layers if the temperature climbs.

Dress for the appropriate activity level. Dressing for an active day of skiing will be different than dressing for a sedentary day of ice fishing. Make sure to send your kids to the bus stop or to school with proper attire. Cold Michigan winters make for a cold Michigan recess.

Buy or find a pair of insulated boots. Ideally, the lining should be wool or synthetic–not cotton. Linings can be purchased separately. You can purchase boots already with the lining, or use boots two sizes larger than usual, and use a lining.

Wear winter socks. Warm winter socks are important in keeping warm dry feet. Wool is best, although good synthetic “fleece” socks often do the trick. You can layer socks, but be careful that your feet are comfortable and the circulation isn’t shut down.

Use a good quality coat, parka, or jacket.  The thicker the better, whether it is a synthetic ski jacket, a wool pea coat, or a down jacket. Just try not to dress your children like Ralphie from the Christmas Story!

Wear a base layer. A “base layer” is long johns, union suit, long underwear, or whatever can provide a warm, light base to your winter gear. Merino wool products are recognized as one of the best base layers available.

Wear a hat. Remember – heat rises, and you don’t want to lose it. Keep your heat in your body with a stylishly knit hat!

Wear gloves or mittens. Fingers and hands are very vulnerable to the cold, so keep them covered. Very thin gloves (like “magic gloves”) are better than nothing, but comfortable, warm gloves are important.

Protect your neck!  Why a scarf? Because they insulate heat so you are warm! It’s also a great way to change the look of your same basic coat. You can also pair them with sweaters when you are layering.

Hand warmers can be useful, especially if you don’t have shelter handy. They can be purchased at any outdoor or hunting store. Never use these as a substitute for dressing warmly, however.

Wear more than one layer on your legs. Oddly, some people will wear five layers on their torso, and only one layer on the legs. At minimum, have a base layer like long underwear and an outer layer, like snow pants.

Keep dry. Being wet will cause chill to set in more quickly than if you’re dry. Have waterproof or at least water resistant outer layers.