Our Spring catalog is hitting mailboxes in the weeks ahead and with it a look at some of the new things we’re doing with wool. Our new Weightless Wool collection brings the performance of our favorite fiber to active life, we added more prints for more summer tee options, and we have more lightweight wool dress options like our OD Circle dress and the Synergy Dress. But while touting wool’s benefits is often a matter of highlighting its performance or physical attributes, new designs and new features, the most useful quality of wool at this time of year is its ability to smooth over cabin fever.
Wearing wool can make the rougher days of “Spring” feel a touch better. Here in Vermont, we have long springs. That is to say we have big swings in weather that might get a less hearty stock of people down. Spring tends to roll like this: Warm and sunny one day. Snowing the next. (And the next after that.) Repeat until summer. That gets tough, especially with most people in the Green Mountain state dreaming of swimming holes and barbecues after a March of powder skiing and Polar Vortex induced temperatures. This kind of weather variability gave rise to Ibex the company, in the first place, but it takes a little getting used to. Hence we thought we’d come up with a quiz to see if you have what it takes to handle a Vermont spring. Dive in and see how you might shoulder the shoulder season in our home state:
1. Is it Spring in Vermont?
c. All of the above
2. The forecast is for 65 degrees and sunny on Wednesday. What’s the proper way to gauge the accuracy of this forecast?
a. Just read it, it will be spot on.
b. Figure it will be 55 degrees F with a light rain and gusting winds.
c. Count the cups of coffee it takes to get you out of bed on Thursday morning.
d. Layer up and get on with it.
3. Cold nights. Warm days.
a. Isn’t that a Neil Diamond lyric?
b. Mud season weather.
c. Maple Syrup weather.
4. “No passing zones” in Vermont are optional
a. True (stemming from how fast my car goes)
b. True (stemming from laws around passing farm equipment)
c. False (due to danger around spring flooding and snow melt)
d. It doesn’t matter when you drive 15 mph under the limit
5. You toss a stick to your dog, it returns with:
a. The stick. (duh)
b. A different stick.
c. A severed deer leg found in the snow melt: Spring in Vermont. Bad dog.
d. A scroll found on the back forty diagramming seven generations of your family.
6. There’s some snow still in your yard after the long winter. You react by
a. Generally being appalled.
b. Shovel it into the driveway / road / neighbor’s yard.
c. Ski it then enjoy a craft beer by campfire.
d. Ignore it as you walk over it with mud boots on your way to milk cows in the morning.
7. You have 99 ski days in by April 15th. There’s just enough snow for a final day. You:
a. Celebrate with another drive to the mountain. Lifts are still running after all.
b. Forget it. These arbitrary numbers don’t matter.
c. Hike up the nearest incline, take a run, call it good.
d. Burn your skis. Clearly, they’ve become an intolerable distraction from staring off pensively towards the horizon.
8. How many days do you wear a Woolies base layer between washes in the Spring?
a. Once for each use.
b. This is a trick question. You can go days without washing.
c. I’ve never taken it off.
9. When is it safe to plant your garden?
b. In your kitchen with pots before June.
c. In the Valley floors around Memorial Day. Wait another week if up high.
d. With as much Swiss chard and kale as possible since they don’t freeze.
10. When does summer begin in Vermont?
a. Sometime in July.
b. Early June-ish
c. When I put away the muck boots.
d. June 21st
“A” answers are worth 5 points.
“B” answers are worth 10 points
“C” answers are worth 15 points
“D” answers are worth 20 points.
0 – 50 points You’re not from Vermont and you’re not likely to move here. Should you visit in the Spring, it’s best to bring warm clothes, be on the alert for black ice and budget your time wisely between microbreweries, ski slopes and your hotel room.
50- 125 points You love Vermont in the spring but you could do with a bit more sunshine and consistency. Fortunately, a healthy dose of maple syrup and the right wardrobe will get you through.
125 – 175 You’ve been living in, visiting or spending quality time with Vermont for a long time. Chances are you remember the first Ibex logo, you know when even the Class 4 roads are ready for pedaling and you’ve paddle most of the spring runoff.
175 – 200 You are a seventh generation Dairy Farmer, a town selectman, an accomplished bird watcher and the unwitting subject of a Howard Frank Moser novel set in the Vermont springtime.
*Photo Disclaimer: The photo above was not taken in Vermont. That was shot in the Olympic Peninsula – it’s a dream of what we wish our Spring’s actually looked like. Though sometimes it does, but it might be covered in snow a couple hours later.