Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Keeping Warm

Keeping Warm Mosaic

It's been a strange several days. Our school schedule continues to suffer the effects of this roller coaster ride of colder temperatures. No one has seen fit to decide which thermometer should be used to determine school closure. Since the actual temperature depends on which side of the village you happen to take the reading, the fate of the school day has become rather ambiguous. Classes were dismissed after lunch on Monday and today they were canceled altogether. As much as I appreciate the unexpected day off, it's frustrating to imagine how much more instructional time will be siphoned away before someone realizes we are living in the Arctic!

In the meantime...we're keeping warm.


This photo was taken at Thanksgiving. The outfit that she is wearing is not warm enough for the temperatures that we are experiencing right now, but that's okay because she would be inside of her mother's parka anyway. Notice her hands...neat idea!

November 2007 069

This is the traditional way to carry a baby regardless of season. The mothers wear a belt on the outside of their parkas, so that the baby/child doesn't slip down and out the bottom! They will carry their baby this way until it is literally too big for the parka or a younger sibling has come along to demand the space. I have seen a mother with one in the back and a tiny infant in the front.
November 2007 066

This infant parka is the only one that I've ever seen. Babies are ALWAYS inside of their mother's parka. However, this photo was taken in August, so that may account for her being able to be "out" in her own parka rather than tucked away.


The fur ruff isn't just for show. The fur around the hood breaks the wind before it hits the face. It won't prevent frost bite, but it certainly helps.
Aiken Parkas


Bryan said...

These are just too cool! Are the parkas lined? The ruff is fairly obvious, but how is the rest of the parka constructed? As a collector of coats, I'm just curious.

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Bryan! There are lots of variations among parkas. They are all lined, but WHAT they are lined with depends a lot on how much time/energy the one doing the sewing wants to invest, as well as the financial constraints. Some parkas are lined with quilted fabric. Fur is, of course, more expensive and more difficult to sew. With fur, much of the sewing has to be done by hand. The colorful/fabric part that you see on the outside can be easily removed/replaced. I'll try to take some photos of mine with the cover pulled back so you can see the fur lining underneath. Because I bought my parka second-hand, the cover is fairly worn. I've considered having a new cover made, but have hesitated. Although I really don't like the pattern of the material very much (I'd prefer something solid), I really DO LIKE the idea that this was the original fabric chosen by the seamtress who made the parka for herself. It just seems more authentic with the old cover...rips, bare spots, and all.

Bryan said...

Hm, the same reason that I go to the local, family owned hardware store here in town instead of Lowe's, why I prefer finding the book in the used bookstore that has some of the pages bent by the previous reader. There is a history that something brand new out of the store just doesn't have. I may not know the history, but sometimes I will hold the object, and let my mind drift through the possible stories that it could tell.

Kimberlee said...

Okay, I have to admit that I do like the scent of fresh new books! But, I really love the "feel" of an old one. And, yes, that's exactly how I feel about this parka!

Thanks, Bryan.

Steve said...

That baby parka in the carrier/seat is really beautiful.

How do the mothers put the babies in their parka backs? It looks like it might be a two-person job.

Kimberlee said...

Hey, Steve. Good question!
I have seen mothers receive help, but I've seen MORE of them manage it on their own. When the babies are tiny they are always carried in the front. When they get too heavy for that method, they are shifted to the back. How they actually accomplish it is a little difficult to explain. They do make it look easy, though.

How about I make a short video? That would probably be much more satisfying than any description I could put together. I'll post that in a few days with some photos of my parka for Bryan-The-Coat-Lover to inspect. :)

Rose Mary said...

Love the children's faces surrounded by the fur...so sweet. Maybe one day I'll be able to help with your parka. Would love to see it.

And I've never seen a denim-slayer around here, but there must be alot of them here in the US! But some of the denims have been really shot up pretty bad; but they aren't wasted. People are still making things out of them anyway. :)

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Rose Mary! Thanks for stopping by! The kids really ARE precious in their parkas. Well, actually, they're just plain precious! :)

Yeah, I've seen some of that hole-y denim. The product of poor shooting, I guess. :)

Bryan said...

The problem lies, I think, in the juvenile denim itself. At such a young age, it has not had the chance to develop the thicker, tougher, outer layer of skin that the adult has.

Kimberlee said...

Oh, thank you Great Denim Slayer for your wisdom. You have much to teach us. I can see how the older denims WOULD develop thicker outer layers, especially after feeding on all that South Carolina baloney!

Johnny Rae said...

The fancy parkas caught my fancy. I guess PETA would take offense~
What are the special occasions for which they are worn? Are they handed down within families like heirlooms?