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Dear Kay,

Still hibernating down here in Nashville, even though the eight inches of snow has finally melted. It’s been just Hubbo and me for the most part, hunkered down, doing everything we can think of to max out on coziness.

I made the New York Times No-Knead Bread. A lumpy triumph—I’m new to bread baking.

I fed birds, including a gang of bluebirds who are all in on the mealworm menu I just introduced, thanks to the suggestion of Hannah Jones of MDK who’s an excellent birdwatcher.

Speaking of Hannah, I’m spending a lot of time with her painting of a moody apple—I scored big in the MDK Secret Santa this year, lucky to have one of Hannah’s oil paintings. My photo doesn’t do it justice (but look at that snow!).

Her Instagram shows how truly beautiful her work is—be sure to follow her and get yourself a moody cantaloupe or a thoughtful peach.


Bathroom fixing is afoot, so stuff like this is starting to happen.

Been staring at bare trees, thinking about what a gift it is to see them so pared down. This willow oak is the queen of our yard.

Thinking about the monochrome of a snowfall.

And the way it allows for crazy skies. (No filter!)

And yes, a week bunkered up in a house makes for good knitting.

It’s catnip, total catnip. I could not resist the temptation to dip into one of Hélène Magnusson’s new designs in Field Guide No. 26. Which is launching on February 9.

If you’re a Field Guides subscriber, you’ve just received your ebook edition and know what this design is. I don’t mean to be a tease, but if you’re looking for midwinter joy, this is pretty great. All will be revealed on February 9, when the new Field Guide launches. But if you want first dibs on the yarns and the designs, subscribe now, and your ebook Field Guide will land in your in box snipsnap just like that.

And finally, wallpaper dreams . . .

These are from Svenskt Tenn, the Swedish company that continues to produce work designed by Josef Frank decades ago. (His life story is fascinating, if you’re in the mood for a Viennese architect who lands in Sweden in 1933.) These are 1940s designs. Which one do you like best?

Here’s the Svenskt Tenn site—enjoy a quick trip to an amazing design house.

What’s everybody up to? I’m eternally in search of new ways to cozy it up around here!




  • Oh, a wallpaper survey! We really need to know what room (and how big the walls), but assuming it’s the previously mentioned bathroom, for me the first, high-color one would be great, but on one wall only – otherwise I would feel surrounded. The neutrals version of that doesn’t do much for me. I could live with either of the bottom two for a long time, but the simplicity of the clovers appeals to me, so I’ll vote for that, though I might like it better in subtle greens.

    • I concur with your thoughts on the wallpaper. I do love the top left, but agree that it depends on how large the room is and on how many walls need papering.

    • p.s. We had about 8″ of new snow here (in southern Maine), and I doubt there was more than an hour or so of hunkering, but it was very pretty.

  • Driving to the beach today to celebrate my brother’s 69th birthday!! As he has been hospitalized twice in January for pneumonia and pulmonary edema, I’m happy he is home and well enough to rip open a few prezzies.

    Then back home to hunker down and knit/sew/embroider.

  • The wallpaper – I love the design in the lower right! I quite partial to that blue / green / gray. I see it a quite neutral. I suppose it depends what other colors you have going on in your house. It is always pleasing to carry or let elements from the same palette flow throughout.

    And, Oooo yes! Hannah’s apple painting is stunning. I too would spend a lot of time with it!

  • Beautiful post, Ann, and thanks for the info that Subscriber e-Guides are delivered digitally. I had thought you needed the code from the hard copy. I must have misunderstood….You have a way with words. I really feel your cosy although I am not in a cosy-needing part of the world right now. That green work-in-progress photo really makes me want to knit!

  • Oooh, wallpaper! Fun stuff. I love the brightest, top left corner, so happy, it would put a smile on your face every time you walked in the room. Love the graphics of the top 2. My rating follows clockwise, not that it matters. Choose what you love.
    The world is upside down, no snow and 48 degrees yesterday here – this is MN, last year we had 90 inches of snow, whew.
    The latest field guide – love it, beautiful projects!

  • Good morning from upstate New York,
    First, send us your SNOW please!
    Second, visit the King Arthur flour company and click on recipes. You’ll be baking amazing breads , anything your heart desires ,and you can ALWAYS call the “hotline” with questions and predicaments ( I’ve had a few )

    You can even take classes there at their Norwich, Vt. store. It’s a gem!

  • Bluebirds!
    Oh, and snow…
    Yesterday, after another appointment with my brother, we drove around part of Sacandaga Lake – every slightly horizontal surface was snow-covered, the lake was iced and shades of grey, as was the sky. It was a wonderland, breathtaking and yet serene.
    As for your wallpaper, I’m the outlier so far, favoring the upper right. xo

  • Do you have a groundhog? We have one who winters in a den under our deck.

    I like the upper-left wallpaper best, but in case you think that’s too bright, I like the neutral version on the upper right too.

  • What a lovely reflection on the rhythms of winter, and taking the time to look at something as commonplace as a leafless tree. This post was a real gift today.

  • For a small space, upper left. Otherwise lower right.
    I’m planning on spending the morning moving wood from the shed to the porch – not exactly hibernation, but a vital job this time of year. I’m so sad January is almost done, it’s my favorite month!

  • One of the wallpapers in the top row for sure – spark some joy everyday!

  • You have beautifully described my winter days here, in Dover NH. Lower right wallpaper. A holy trinity of bread, bluebirds, and snow. Your oak is an elegant queen!! I have a hap in progress, a la Gundrun Johnston…an ancestral cosy embrace to come. Thanks for you!!

  • Based on my monitor’s colour rendering, and my assumption that you’re aiming for an accent wall, my runaway 1st place is bottom right. It’s just the right colour coordination with the background wall paint, busy enough to add interest to a room without being overwhelming and neutral enough to allow for a wide range of some FABulous seasonal colour pops to liven things up. 2nd place is bottom left with most of the same winning characteristics, but a bit more background off-white which is currently dropping it in my standings. 3rd &4th places go back & forth between the top 2. Both are busy to a level that would really limit where and how they might play harmoniously with a total room atmosphere if what you’re aiming for is nesting, cocooning, hibernating… The cool greys (top right) are not playing as nicely (for me) with the warm grey in the background wall, although also not to a level of being offensive. The louder colours in the other (top left) would also limit the colour pops that can be used (at least for me as I’d feel obliged to find accents for the room that play up the accents already in that composition). You asked for my thoughts… there ya go!

  • Ohh! I don’t know! (Re the wallpaper) I think top left…

  • Good morning Ann! Love the bottom 2 wall paper samples. I have a couple rooms I want to wallpaper but first need to find someone to do it!
    I love the green yarn in the picture; give it up – what is the design?

  • Depending on what other colors are already there, I love the upper right and upper left swatches. I get migraines sometimes, so for me the colorful one might be too much when I have a migraine. Or just do one wall with it, as someone else suggested. Our 8 inches of snow in MD is long gone, even the piles; we had a 75° day just a few days after a week of low 20s, plus days of rain. *sigh* Everything is squishy now and creeks and rivers are high. On my day off I intend to go to a park to wander along the Kingsley Schoolhouse trail. There’s a picnic area by the old schoolhouse, a perfect place to knit and relax.

  • Oh my goodness, that site is a real rabbit hole! Gorgeous

  • I like the wallpaper on the top left

  • I make the no-knead bread all the time and have just gone to putting it in a loaf pan for final rise before baking. Much easier since no transfer is necessary, just pop it in the oven.

  • I’m in upper east TN and we too had a recent snowbound and very cold week, although it is melted now. Our car was in the ditch *twice* on our own winding, mountainside driveway (we managed to get it out the first time, then it got bogged down again) and it was over a week before we were able to go anywhere…even the towing company claimed they would not be able to help us.

    I finished one knitting project – socks – and started another, the Selbu Rose Beret from Ravelry.

    Our youngest son, who learned how to knit recently as his Christmas present to me, is now also learning how to make bread. The bread has been delicious. But he says knitting is much easier to learn than bread-making, So far he has mostly been knitting dice bags for himself and his friends who are into role-playing games. The first one – his very first knitted project – was a flat garter-stitch rectangle folded over and seamed up the sides, with drawstrings run between the stitches around the top edge. The second and subsequent ones have been knitted in the round on circulars, and have ribbing (since he now knows how to purl) with YOs to make holes for the drawstrings. On his own (i.e. without my knowledge until he showed me the end result) he even knitted the word “DICE” into one, using purl stitches. He wasn’t 100% satisfied with how it came out, but it is legible if you look closely, and he learned some things for the next time he tries it, which in my opinion is the point of the experiment. Ultimately, he decided this DICE bag was a bit large for the purpose, but when he found a ball of yarn would fit nicely into it, it became a yarn cozy, which has already earned some envious looks from another male knitter who hadn’t yet thought of making such a thing for himself…

    So we, too, have spent part of the past month of extreme weather in knitting and making bread!

    • I love everything about this, but especially your son who is a knitter. My son is also a knitter and has recently made a 6 foot long scarf for his very tall girlfriend, as well as beanies for himself and his roommate. He is currently attending technical college, and while that is a decidedly male environment, all his buddies have fully embraced his knitting, and several of them are planning to learn! Let’s hear it for young men who knit AND let’s hear it for the mother’s who taught them!

  • Ann, Love this post. Communing with your appreciation of color in the gorgeous sky and the contrast of your regal oak. Appreciation and awareness of nature is heightened for me this year as I started painting this month. I take in everything with wide eyes. Bread making is a beautiful journey!tis the season of starter! Do check th King Arthur website. A wealth of info! And knitting to deepen the calm…..
    My vote for wallpaper is the top two. Considerations of space, size of room and background color. Have fun with it!

  • The snow was beautiful here in Nashville. It’s been awhile since we had a good snow. I started a new knitting project of knitting a doll and it’s dog, based on a friend of mine and his constant companion, a chocolate lab. I try to make the dolls “resemble” the people I make them for. So far people have been delighted.

  • Cozying it up in Baltimore by drinking tea while knitting, with cats bundled in next to me. The snow is all melted, but it’s still winter, so coziness is on the menu. Baking later, a blood orange/olive oil/polenta upside-down cake (Amelia Saltsman’s recipe). The wallpaper? Upper left is for a summer camp shirt, just what I’m looking for, but in fabric. As for wallpaper choices, I don’t know how to choose! I always go for paint, solid color, usually a neutral. My house is small and the rug designs are busy. But for the gray background, I’d say lower left. I like the clovers and wispy grass.

  • Beautiful photos. I, especially, loved the winter, snowy view there. I sure wish we got that down here in Houston. Funny enough, my 15 yr old has a girls hockey tourney there in Nashville this coming weekend.

  • The temperatures here are way too warm for late January, but we had lots of snow and below-zero wind chills earlier in the month. I hunkered down working on what will (someday) be a blanket for a queen-sized bed — I had s***tons of leftover yarn to use up. The willow oak is gorgeous and your knitting really is the color of fresh catnip. Wallpaper doesn’t do a thing for me. Instead, I’d paint the wall in a rich burnt orange or lacquer red. Hope you have good luck fixing the bathroom, rather than finding all kinds of unwelcome surprises!

  • I think that both the wallpaper selections in the top row are extraordinary, and the ones in the bottom row are nice, but much more ordinary!

  • I love the upper left the best and upper right is pretty amazing indeed.

  • Ann,
    Thank you for the winter pictures. There is a peacefulness about the bareness of tree branches, no distractions. I love the top left wall paper. We had a very warm day here in Columbia, Md (near Baltimore) a few days ago and the birds and squirrels were so excited. I saw bluebirds also. It’s back to more wintry weather and cloudiness. We finally had our family Christmas celebration this past Sunday. My husband and I had Covid the week before Christmas. Thank goodness we are all “well” , at the moment. Happy knitting everyone!!

  • Oh my, you sent me on a little treasure hunt on the Svenskt Tenn website. Wow! So much color! It helped to see them on the wall scenes there. I love the exuberance of top right, and the peaceful happiness of the clover pattern at the bottom left.

    Our snow is gone and we’re having gray foggy days, mostly. Days that NEED the cozy but are less inspiring of it. But I have cookies to bake, and that will input a little hygge, even if they’re not really for us.

  • Love the painting! The wallpaper is beautiful. I would use the lower right, but my favorite is the upper left. I am a subscriber, so I already got the new field guide, but I can’t wait to see what you are knitting. The color is beautiful!

  • We also live in TN, and have been hunkered down quite a bit. We couldn’t get out at all for about 10 days. I made a whole fair isle dinosaur sweater ( for me! Who doesn’t want a dinosaur sweater?). There’s always something positive to be found. Then, probably from the bitter cold, a pipe started leaking, in my closet. The plumbers, as you can imagine, are way behind. My husband put a temporary fix on it, but my clothes are out of there. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, so the answer is to knit. Another Dino sweater, because my son saw it, and he wants one, too. He’s 37. I love the two swatches on the top. They’re gorgeous!

    • A dinosaur sweater? Ooooo… what’s the pattern?

  • As someone mentioned above, your post is a lovely reflection. Noticing details of living is a treasure and brings one so much joy. Thank you for the link to the Swedish design house. I especially enjoyed seeing the many textile placemats — I just participated in a fun weaving workshop with Sarah Bixler (Redstone Glen) and am hard at work making a set of placemats for a daughter, though in very different style of course. Nevertheless, it is inspiring to be inspired! A very nice way to start a morning, indeed. Oh yes, I also wanted to mention that I ordered the Moss Field Throw and am very much looking forward to months of meditative knitting. Blankets do take this slow knitter a long time, but I figure they will last generations. Subscribing to the Field Guides is a treat I gave myself but also a way I can support MDK, because I appreciate all you give to us.

  • Around here, we hunker down when it rains. And rains . . . and rains . . . After today, the second of two unseasonably warm days, we’ll be looking at rain through to next week. Knitting, soups and stews is the plan.

  • Wallpaper wise, I like the lower right.

    Hibernation wise, the weather continues to be a bit crazypants in the PNW. We had a week or so of incredibly cold (with SNOW!) in areas that generally just don’t do that. Then we had two days of unseasonably warm: low 60s in Salem, mid 50s in Portland. And now the weather guessers are guessing unusually cold for the weekend.

    We are semi hibernating. My husband and I have managed to get sick at the same time again, but in a surprise twist, two different ailments! Normally we share. So it’s been a lot of hibernating, sleeping and cat snuggling, but not a lot of knitting. Sadly, I’ve had to stay away from the MDK store and other fun places like that because certain meds + internet shopping is a dangerous proposition!

  • I am solidly Team Bottom Row for the wallpaper – and love those pretty close to equally — would have to pick between them by size of the room and the mood desired. The white space allows the whimsy of 4-leaf and loopy clover-age on the left vs the bustling color- and bio- diversity of the right. They are both amazing!

    • P.S. After a seemingly endless spell of shortest days, deep freeze, and dripping faucets and open cabinet doors (pipes just aren’t protected the same way here, y’all!), followed by rain, we have a blessed two days of 70° sunshine in Dallas (and associated what do we wear for this ‘season’?). We’ll resume winter soon with our requisite Feb colder snap. . .

  • Lovely post, Ann! It always more fun to see other people’s home improvement projects rather than deal with my own. My favorite wallpaper is the upper left because I love multicolors, but I’m sure any of the 4 will be gorgeous. Happy decorating!

  • Top left corner for the win

  • Those wall papers are lovely! While the clover in enchanting I like the top right best for an accent wall or the bottom right for a full room.

    • This are my thoughts on wallpaper also.

      I really envy you your bluebirds! When I put out mealworms I got cowbirds.

  • Wallpaper vote: top left!

  • Thank you for the view of the beautiful oak. Your landscape looks intentionally naturalistic, multi-layered and lovely. Are you perchance a native plant gardener?

  • Top left for me

  • I love Svenskt Tenn! The shop in Stockholm is just to die for. During my last visit my friend and I had tea there and it was fabulous. You can’t go wrong with their wallpaper.

  • The joseph frank designs:they are all beautiful – too hard to pick one.

    Here on long Island we are snowless. Bald winter. all gray. and cold and rainy boo hoo. it feels more like november than february.

    Coziness = podcasts and audiobooks. If you have a liking for “tartan” crime and mysteries, JD Kirk is your man. I also like Gatward and Dalgleish, and anything read by Angus King. All written from different parts of Scotland. I am addicted. They are my cozy.

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    There’s nothing like fresh baked bread! I’ve not made it in quite a while, but the itch has come back upon me lately. I use the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes master recipe. They lie, it’s not 5 minutes a day, but boy is it delicious & reliable. Recipe –
  • I’m genuinely missing the snow here in MN. My favorite no-knead breads are from the website, and her book Bread, Toast, Crumbs. Her cinnamon swirl bread is on high rotation at the moment, and her sourdough loaf is my current favorite “crusty loaf”, but her mother’s peasant bread is where I started and WOW – it is so great. Her foccaccia is a favorite for impressing dinner guests.

  • Love the top left wallpaper on one wall. If I wanted a flexible color palate I would choose one of the bottom two. They are a neutral and as the season changes, so can the color of the accessories. Assuming this is for the bathroom, that would be a good excuse to buy a collection of colorful towels to switch up with the season!

    Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  • So fun that you know SvenskTenn! I lived in Sweden for several years and have come away with great appreciating for all things Josef Frank. I have several trays with his designs; pretty affordable and just beautiful. His way with TULIPS is amazing!

    (I like the first sample in a limited space!)

  • So much to unpack in this post! Love that moody apple & will investigate …Joseph Frank & Viennese + Swedish style to check out… in wallpaper! Loved him in design school, will revisit. When the trees and sky look like that, I always get out my “Bare Trees” album (Fleetwood Mac).
    The comment on camp shirt fabric for top right was spot on! But for a small bath w/o a window, perfect & cheerfull; larger space with more happening, bottom right.

  • For a visual spacious effect: Love, love the Bottom Left with 4 leaf clover;

    For a rich botanical feeling: love, love the Top Right with gray.

    Beautiful. I love his motifs and that school of design.

  • I love the one in the upper left corner! I wouldn’t care how big or small the room.

  • Top right. Just do it!

  • Love that bread. I often make the no knead bread to serve that crunchy goodness with soup or salad. Look delicious.
    The wallpaper patterns are unique, being vintage. Lower two at the bottom are lovely for a smaller room such as a bathroom.
    Photos are beautiful. Snow as melted with an odd warm spell of 40’s. Feels like Spring, but somehow I don’t believe winter has gone here in Wisconsin. Mother Nature is teasing us.
    Not much knitting since my right arm is problematic but determined to try.
    Warm greetings……

  • We just became Empty Nesters as both of our girls are in college. Now we can eat out wherever we want and cook whatever we want! Our go-to cookbook is the fabulous “One Pan, Two Plates” by Carla Snyder. It features tons of recipes for cozy, winter meals!

  • My favorite wallpaper is the brightly colored one in the upper left hand corner. I love color and that one is so cheerful.
    I agree with you about winter trees. So very different from the leafy beauties we see in spring and summer. We just had all of our trees trimmed (a one and a half day job!!) and, sadly, had to say goodbye to four dead ones. The abundance of trees was one of the reasons we chose our house!!
    Cozying? My goodness, yes! Here in California we’re having lots of rain, so cozy is essential. My cozy things are cats, my knitting (of course), tea, good books and soft, warm clothing. Oh yes…and lots of warming soups!! Bundle up and cozy on!!!

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