Making (frozen) Lemonade


I am of two minds when it comes to this cold weather we are having. I have absolutely no tolerance for the cold. In fact, there was a time in the not too distant past in which that I carried a hot water bottle with me wherever I went to avoid my tatas getting cold. (Cold tatas are the worst! Amiright?!?) A recent trip to REI during which I outspent the GDP of some emerging nations on outerwear has ameliorated the need for the need for heated accessories but only just. (Since I know that my fellow cold sufferers will want to know I bought this vest and this coat. Both were on sale, and I’m an REI member, so they weren’t as expensive as they seem. Also, the vest was perhaps the greatest purchase of my life. I have worn it every. single. day. since I bought it. I’m wearing it right now as I type this post. If you see me between now and May, I will have it on. It’s heaven.)

On the other hand,  Susie the Shepherd is thrilled to pieces to have the temperatures dip below freezing for days on end because all that cold will help ameliorate the parasites our flock of sheep and goats have to deal with come spring time. So, you see,  there is a silver lining to all this hateful, wretched weather.

But wait, there’s more! If you live in one of the areas that is experiencing bitter cold temperatures right now, you may be able  harness that cold to make sure your stash of woolens is moth-free going into 2014. You’ll just need a safe, covered area to place a bin of your finest wool garments and or yarn stash, a plastic bin to put it in and a cold-front that keeps mercury below -4 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s -20 degrees Celsius) for one full week. According to Lisa Stockebrand, JMF’s resident textile archivist and moth-proofer, it’s better to put your wool in several smaller bins or bags so that they will cool faster. Once you’ve removed everything you are moth-proofing to nature’s freezer,  “take everything else out of the closet/shelves/area and clean it. Vacuum the crap out of it – paying special attention to floor baseboards, corners and other cracks where dust accumulates then seal and throw away the vacuum bag.”  That way, any eggs containing moths-in-waiting will be removed before they can hatch and lunch on your yarn and/or sweaters.

Those of you who are lucky enough to live where the temperature doesn’t often get below zero should thank your lucky stars and check out Lisa’s original post for more helpful tips.


  1. I’m glad that you found a cozy new vest and coat! I pulled a basket with hats, scarves and mittens out of a closet the other day – and found a bag with 10 “pairs” of HotHands in it! I immediately thought of you, and your tatas!

  2. If the temperature drops to -4 for a week to hell with the moths, I’ll be ded!! In all my woolen wear, ’cause that’s what it’s for!! Thanks for the tips and stay warm. Oh, the vest and coat – even if you paid full price they’d be worth every penny!!

  3. I have a medical sensitivity to extreme temperatures and living in Iowa sometimes it feels as though that is all we have! I got a women’s Carhartt vest that I have been living in as well as a BUNCH of wool socks. Also a heated mattress pad may be the most intelligent $50 that I have ever spent in my life!

  4. Oh Sarah, my heated mattress pad is the only thing that has kept me in northern California since 2000. I thought I would die trying to warm my bed every night after I moved here (SF Bay) from So Fla after thirty tropically warm years. then I had a massage and bought the table warmer right on the spot. Not a night has passed int he last twelve years that my bed has not been turned on-mostly so it’s warm already when I crawl in but it heats up rapidly too if I forget to pre-warm. You are so right about it being the best money spent. I’m curious-where did you find one for that low price-I paid over 70 a decade ago.

  5. If it gets below -4 for a week at a time?!? Hah — it was -24 this morning. Its been awful up this way since the beginning of Dec. I’m so ready for Florida. LOL I guess I could take advantage of it though.

  6. I got a down coat last winter. It is soooo awesome! Down and Wool are amazing materials!

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