Cozy warm ways to spend freezing cold days

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      EUGENE, Ore. Our December cold snap is leaving many Oregonians shivering. Fortunately, you don't have to venture far to find a mug or a mitten. Plenty of places in Eugene will help you keep warm even on a bone-chilling day.

      On a chilly day some would call frightful, barista Thomas Howard is making something delightful.
      "If we won't drink it, we won't serve it," Howard said. "That's the rule of thumb here. We'll dump the drink out and remake it."

      That attention to detail has made the Wandering Goat a favorite spot in the Whiteaker neighborhood. In seconds, Howard can turn a quick pour of steamed milk into a tea leaf or an angel.

      Does that mean it's heaven in a cup? Many fans of the Wandering Goat would say, yes.

      "We'll serve a lot of hot chocolate and drip coffee," Howard said. "People just want a hot cup of coffee to hold onto."

      Meanwhile, on High Street, Soup Nation owner Mark Stern is watching several hungry diners join the line.
      "Our time to shine has always been when the weather is poor outside or just simply chilly," Stern said.

      No one feeling chilly is denied chili at this High Street lunch spot. With rotating recipes every day, Soup Nation frequently draws in hungry soup lovers eager to sample.
      "I got the tomato, the chili and the beer cheese, because I couldn't decide which one," Samantha Myron said.

      "Probably, our signature soup is a three cheese tomato," Stern said. "And it's something we have every day at both the soup cart on campus and here at the caf."

      Finally, if you're hoping to keep somebody else warm, knitting is one hobby that never seems to go out of style, especially around Christmas time.

      "Every year, it seems like a new freshman will come down and say, 'I'm teaching everyone on my floor to knit.' So they'll come down and start getting yarn and needles," Vicki Olson said.

      Soft Horizons Fibre on east 13th avenue and Mill street sells yarns of every color and tools for the job. But novice knitters can also pick up a few pointers.

      "And we offer classes. We always have help around the table, too. If you get stuck on a project or you're not sure what the pattern's trying to say because it's kind of like a different language sometimes," Olson said.

      Just a few ways you can get warm and cozy even as the official start of winter draws near.
      Both Soft Horizons Fibre and the Wandering Goat are open every day of the week. Soup Nation is closed on Sundays.