February can be a hard month. The rush of the holidays is over, the burst of productive energy from the start of the year is starting to wane, and it’s COLD, like 20s in Florida cold. When people think the “dead of winter,” they’re probably thinking of February. It’s enough to make you want to want to hibernate like the fat bears in Alaska.
That’s why this month, I’ve decided to focus on comfort. In recent years, even before the pandemic started and everyone spent way more time in their homes, there has been a movement to create more coziness in our lives, and it’s no surprise that they often come from cold, snowy Northern European countries that are often listed as the happiest in the world. From Denmark, the idea of Hygge is probably the most well-known, but there is also Lagom from Sweden, Gemütlichkeit from Germany, Gezellig from the Netherlands (and many, many others). All the traditions emphasize comfort, friendliness, and simple living, things we could all use more of in our lives.
This February, I’m making a point to bring a little bit of these ideas into my life and my sewing. Over the years, I’ve realized softness is the key to my comfort, so this means toasty slippers, blankets, and comfy pajamas. I’m also trying to incorporate my other senses into this feeling of simple living and reassurance. It’s all combining to make me feel soft and safe, even as the world is cold and chilling.
The current keys to my comfort right now include:
- Warm drinks like spiced wine, chai tea, and cider
- Cheery music. St. Paul and the Broken Bones makes me think warm thoughts right now, but also Bon Iver (hey, he wrote an entire album stuck in a cabin in winter), and Fiona Apple.
- Comfort TV that I’ve watched a dozen times before and whose familiarity has a soothing effect, i.e. Gilmore Girls, Silicon Valley, Cougar Town
For sewing, I’m focusing on two different types of projects. On the one hand, I’m planning to make a few quick knit tops, like the Turtlenecks that go out to subscribers this week, so that I can stay dressed in coziness for the next month. I’m also still working on my slow sewing projects from January, like a flannel jacket and my new quilting endeavor. Each type of sewing gives me a different hit of sewjo – accomplishment for the knits, technical prowess for the jacket – and they are keeping me going through the cold winter months.
Comfort means different things to everyone, so what brings me joy may be very different from what I'm looking for. So, this month may be a good opportunity for you to see what brings warmth, simple living, and coziness to your life. Is it connected to your senses? Time with friends and family? How you spend your free time? And is there a way to bring this sense of coziness to your sewing? What projects would create that sense of “hygge” or comfort?
Lots to think about in the short month of February, but since it’s cold outside, now is a great time to reflect on what brings you warmth in your life. I hope you find it a chance to form a deeper connection to your own sense of joy and comfort.
Until next time (and our zoom gathering!) . . .