children's book festival

Red Knees and Snowflake Knee Socks

In my grammar school days when the dress code was understood and obeyed without questioning—no pants for girls—tights and knee socks were our cold weather essentials. All my knee socks back then were machine made in some acrylic blend, not very warm, really. My favorites always were the ones with the snowflake pattern. I loved wearing their Nordic look.

In those days before down jackets and other forms of lightweight warmth, we piled on layers to stay warm. Our parkas were sturdy and thick. Often I wore a wool coat instead. I  remember being cold on the walk to school or waiting for the bus. And I remember my red knees, how the cold ached above my snowflake socks, which were better suited for cool fall days.

Thursday morning we were hit with our first real winter weather. Snow and wind and cold. I headed out for my morning walk dressed in my best cold busters; polar fleece sweater and leggings, smart wool socks, Gore-Tex wind breaker, hiking boots, handmade merino and mohair hat and mittens.  As I trekked over to Hickory Hill Park, I saw him, a junior high boy, running from one of the cul-de-sacs that feeds into our street. He cut across backyards, seeking the fastest shortcuts.  A few minutes later, I watched his sweatshirt flash up the hill by the park's entrance. He was still running. No hat. No gloves. And of all the wintry attire impossibilities, he chose shorts. Khakis. And red knees, I'm sure.

News and Noteworthy:

Remember the Hereville Contest is on until January 22. Click the share button on the contest post and help spread the word. For your 2012 reading pleasure, when the contest is over, I'll post a pdf with all the favorites.

My new Lion Brand essay, The Sartorialist Mittens,  appears iin today's, January 13 newletter, The Weekly Stitch.

 If you live in the Iowa City area, I hope you'll join me in and others in clebrating children's books at The Children's Book Festival this weekend.  Do stop and enjoy an author reading.

  • 9:00am - Claudia McGehee - Where Do Birds Live?
  • 9:30am - Dori Hillestad Butler - The Buddy Files: Case of the Lost Boy
  • 10:00am - Wendy Henrichs - I AM TAMA, LUCKY CAT: A Japanese Legend
  • 10:30am - Tess Weaver - Frederick Finch, Loudmouth
  • 11:00am - Kathryn Erskine - Mockingbird
  • 12:00pm - Michelle Edwards - Chicken Man
  • 12:30pm - Jeni Reeves - Pocahontas (Illustrator)
  • 1:00pm - Jill Esbaum - Tom's Tweet
  • 1:30pm - Linda Skeers - Tutus Aren’t My Style
  • 2:00pm - Ana Merino - Hagamos Caso Al Tigre
  • 3:00pm - Linda Gerdner - Grandfather's Story Cloth