Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawl is on through Sunday, September 25.

A Ramble in the Woods

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Dear Kay, Oh, come on, the news is grim, so let’s leave it all behind and go for a walk in the Tennessee countryside. I tend to walk early in the morning, when there’s still a breeze. The moss is so much better than the mushrooms this year. I have not seen a single mushroom. The frog pond is low, too. Not far from my cottage is a ruin of a stone house. There are people around who could tell me the story of this place, but I...

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Free Recipe: Birthday Cocktail Cake


Dear Kay, With Thanksgiving upon us, I’d like to offer up a holiday recipe that we’ve been discussing over on the Instagram. You may say: “No photo; didn’t happen.” Well, I’ve got the pix to prove it. Birthday Cocktail Cake, from Monteagle Sunday School Assembly Porch Party Recipes, out of print and out of this WORLD! (Free Bonus: Beer Cheese recipe which actually sounds damn fine.) A couple of summers ago,...

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Travelogue: I Can’t Believe This Place Exists, but It Does

Travelogue: I Can't Believe This Place Exists, but It Does - 1

Dear Kay, I’m up top the mountain in Monteagle, Tennessee, where the hooting dog still hoots, the rooster down the road continues to launch his fake-sounding “cockadoodledoo” at 4:53 am, and swifts have taken up residence in our chimney, chattering like bats all day long. It’s so LOUD up here. I had a note from Lily, an 18-year-old knitter who is Sewanee bound this fall. She wisely has begun sussing out the yarn situation...

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Family Baking Project of the Week

Family Baking Project of the Week - 1

Dear Kay, This was a summer of alt crafting. I mean, I was knitting steadily, but there were serious detours into other time-consuming and weird fun activities. “Baking” My brother Clif and his wife Mary Neal‘s family arrived en masse at the Assembly just in time for Week 8, also known as The Quiet Week. Which meant there was plenty of time for perusing the Assembly’s 29-year-old cookbook. I’ve discussed Porch...

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Cool Heads on a Hot Day

Cool Heads on a Hot Day - 1

Dear Kay, The Cottage Tour and Bazaar! Sometimes a day is a little too big. But it was all a good kind of big. At one point, as I was wheeling visitors around on a borrowed golf cart, a fellow golf cart driver told me he’d just toted a batch of knitters who’d come all the way from Evansville, Indiana, after reading about the cottage tour on the blog. I tried valiantly to track them down, but they were too fast for me. It’s...

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Extreme Makeover, Carriage House Edition

Extreme Makeover, Carriage House Edition - 1

Dear Kay, One bad piece of planning for the Cottage Tour was when I asked two of my neighbors if they would be willing to put their adorably and recently renovated cottages on the tour. Frannie and Amanda said yes in a cheerful way, which was great. The bad-planning part is that my shed is directly across the street from their cottages. Which means that hundreds of people are going to be coming down Maple Avenue next Friday and having to pass by...

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