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All Work and No Play Makes Ann a Dull Girl

Dear Kay,
I don’t . . . know . . . if I can write . . . a whole post . . . Things are . . . dire . . . here . . .
We had a night of frozen stuff clicking against the windows which brought to mind the Big Freeze of ’94.
Why, the Big Freeze was the sort of event we’ll be talking about for another ten years. All the trees fell over, limbs cracking in the night like gunshots. It was like somebody got out a giant firehose and coated the entire city in a half inch of glassy ice. On the third day, Hubbo and I got so sucked into the idea that our entire civilization was coming to an end that we bought a gallon of antifreeze and filled up the toilets. Our next-door neighbor, an incredibly decent guy who was the World’s Most Prepared Boy Scout troop leader, told us this was necessary.
It wasn’t, of course, but we did learn how very BLUE antifreeze is.
It took five days for us to get power back, and weeks for anybody unlucky enough to be out in the country. It was one of those times when everybody was all excited at how terrible the whole thing was, even though we knew it wasn’t anything more than a big mess.
Today’s ice event hasn’t sent me to the auto parts store yet, though it did make the cedars droop like a tuckered-out shopper at the mall:
The illusion that we are stranded today has me feeling all Ma Ingalls (when I’m not feeling all Jack Nicholson in The Shining), like I need to make do with the meager stores we have put away here. Thank God I remembered to stash five tons of yarn over the past year! Rooting through the inventory for a little something to start, I came across:
On the left is Lang Venezia, which is half mohair and half acrylic. At the right is everybody’s favorite, Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I’m going to try some scribble lace on 15s. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE scribble lace? Especially in these rugged times we’re facing down here?
I’m going to check the larder to make sure we haven’t run out of Breakfast Blend and biscotti. Please! Send a St. Bernard!



  1. The positive side to this ordeal: it does make for some beautiful photographs.

  2. I just started re-reading Little House in the Big Woods last night. Ma Ingalls sure did know how to make it through a winter.
    Best holiday wishes to both Ann and Kay!

  3. It would be terribly tragic if you were out of Breakfast Blend or biscotti.
    Remember that episode of Little House where Ma Ingalls had to take a hot poker to herself? Some sort of infection? Now I’m feeling a little freaked out. Hang in there!!

  4. I’m curious…what is “scribble lace”? I’m outside of Boston and it is warm and soon to be very wet!

  5. I’m recalling the one in the series (for the love of God it’s only been twenty years since I’ve read it and I can still recall certain episodes as if it were yesterday) where they are house sitting some swanky house for a year and the winter is PARTICULARLY severe (unlike the only rilly severe ones in all the other years). I mean, so bad they have to twist all the hay into logs to keep the fire going. I mean, so bad Pa has to tunnel into the stable to care for the livestock. I mean, so bad they have to subsist off fancy oyster crackers Ma found in the larder. Laura thinks it’s such a waste.
    I’m happy you’ve not had to throw hanks of yarn on the fire to keep warm. Scribble lace seems just the ticket to keep your mind off starving to death. Cheers!

  6. Scribble lace! Oooh, aahhh – it’s unexpected knitting. Can’t wait to see your answer to the ice.

  7. ooooohhhhhh i love the pictures. the weather may be unkind, but the effect is breathtaking. happiest of christmas holidays to you and your family.
    it was 54 degrees here today and raining. i was in the subway in a sweater and jeans – i have had more than enough of our weirdo weather. i envy you, believe me. it may be my mom’s wisconsin blood but i’m not happy unless christmas is cold and snowy. she hated it, by the way, so i guess it is my grandmother’s austiran blood.
    ho, ho again and again.
    best to you,

  8. I seem to remember an episode where Laura had to hold her hand over the horses noses to unfreeze them… I loved all those books, they connected me back to the US after I’d been transplanted to England when I was 7. A bit odd since it was 1970 not 1870 and I grew up in Florida, not exactly the snow capital of the world!
    Have a lovely Christmas, both of you & your families.
    Love Sarah W.

  9. Another Florida girl here – but they’re predicting snow today! If it brings all that light in the windows like your photos, I don’t care.

  10. We got the cold without the icy experience. I can see why you would want to bond with that Kidsilk — so soft and warm!
    That color is beautiful….is it an older color? I’ve been moaning about the fact that Rowan seems to have discontinued all the best colors in that yarn (chuckle, best by my definition, I guess).
    Keep warm and happy holidays!

  11. Mariko–I don’t remember the hot poker! Must go find that. And yes, Rachel! The hay twisting in The Long Winter. And Sarah! The horse noses when Laura is coming home with the foxy Almanzo from her dreadful teaching job. Oh, boofreakinhoo!
    Theresa–You of all people have intimate knowledge of Kidsilk . . . The shade is 582 Trance, which is amazingly close to the Lang Venezia. It’s a current shade–Yarnmarket seems to have it.
    I love how this yarn can be used in so many ways. I might just double it with something else, if the ice doesn’t melt soon!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  12. d5ee0ba0fc6320eacb1ae171e380f8a6 b401c7d034edd1abc63782cd184.


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