Stitching while ice fishing

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I live in Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes where the summers are short and the winters are long . . . and cold . . . and snowy.
We aim to make the best of it during the winter months. As soon as our little lake makes enough ice, it becomes populated with a village of fish houses. My husband and several of the neighbors become evening and weekend fishermen. Occasionally I bundle up and venture out onto the ice as well, so I can keep him company.
Now don’t feel too sorry for me.  We are hardly “roughing it.”  This is my husband’s fish house, a 16-foot Ice Castle complete with an oven, television and cozy places to curl up and read a good book. It’s also a great place to snack or take a nap.


Oh, and fishing, of course the fishing is really important too.

It dawned on me recently that the fish house would be an awesome place to do some handwork, so I’ve decided to get back into counted cross stitch. I haven’t stitched for over 20 years, but the patterns today are so beautiful! My first project will be a wintertime sampler kit from Fat Quarter Shop called Jack Frost’s Tree Farm by Little House Needleworks.

The kit includes all seven patterns in the Jack Frost series, the 30ct linen fabric, and all threads.  I will be stitching the series together to make the overall sampler, but a person could also stitch them individually as shown in the photo above. I took my kit out to the fish house to look it over, and now I can’t wait to get started.


This past Saturday we spent several hours in the fish house, fishing and watching NFL football. The Minnesota Vikings lost in the playoffs, which was a bummer. But somehow the loss was easier to take due to our surroundings.
My sister and I used to go ice fishing with my Grandpa Ed when we were little, and I loved it. Grandpa had a curve-top vintage camper that he renovated into a fishing shack. He would rig up all the lines and send them down the holes. While we hoped to catch a bluegill or crappie, what we really enjoyed was playing cards and making jiffy-popcorn on the stove top. When we got restless, Grandpa would send us outside to skate on the ice. (For all you non-fishing folks, a crappie is a small panfish that makes a delicious fish fry meal. And just so you know, crappie rhymes with poppy.)
Someday, I hope we have grandchildren so we can carry on this tradition with them. In the meantime, I will enjoy reading, stitching or watching a football game with my hubby as he works to reel in his catch. I suppose I could become a fisherwoman myself, but I really just enjoy being out there.
Are you thinking about getting back into stitching? The Jack Frost patterns can also be purchased individually, in case you\’d like to do a smaller test run. All of the Little House Needleworks patterns are so pretty!

Thanks for stopping by, quilting friends! I\’ll keep you posted on my stitching progress.



42 thoughts on “Stitching while ice fishing

  1. I really enjoyed your post! I'm not a fisherman and I don't like COLD icy weather! But your setup looks quite cozy and doable. I thought the ice hole was so amazing… fishing from inside?! Interesting!I used to be a cross stitcher YEARS ago, too, so that was soooo fun seeing what you're working on! Very nice!

  2. I have never seen such luxurious ice fishing before :)! I always picture a little shack with a bench and a hole through the ice :)! Our uncle out west has always been the fisherman in our family and my aunt cans hundreds of jars of different types of fish. It seldom freezes out where they live though (or even snows) – so a boat is all they need. Enjoy your stitching – those are lovely cross-stitches!

  3. Not only do I love your patterns, but this post is awesome!!! Along with quilting and cross stitching, I LOVE to ice fish!!!! We have always talked about staying on the ice for the weekend to fish!

  4. Thanks so much Beth! My husband, son and some of the guys go way up to northern MN to the big lakes for the weekend and do the overnight thing. We haven't done that on our little lake yet, because I can walk 1/4 mile to my house and sleep in my big bed. Ha! But some night we should do it just for fun!

  5. Ha ha! You are right. And actually, when the ice is thinner and they can't bring out the houses, a lot of guys just sit on their 5-gallon pale and fish. This is luxurious fishing to be sure. But we decided we're old enough now that we deserve to fish with ease. So happy for my husband!

  6. Hi Deb. I hate the cold too, but I am pretty darn bundled up for the short walk there and back. It's been more than 20 years since I've cross stitched, but I really feel excited to take it up again. Maybe you will too?? 😉

  7. Very WOW We do not seem to have these where I grew up in Phoenix,AZ…nor where I spent 20 years in Miami…Now in Charlotte, NC….again, I am missing out…This post of yours is amazing.

  8. This is really cool! My husband would love it. We do have a small motorhome, though, which we both love. And I do my hand stitching projects on our motorhome when we're just loafing in the camper.

  9. That's so cool, to have a built in fishing hole 😀 what kind of fish would you catch ? Crosstitch is very relaxing as long as no one talks while you are counting. Have funGlenis xxx

  10. That place looks so cozy!!!!!! I grew up in upstate NY and the weather is similar. My husband's brothers go ice fishing every year.Love those patterns! How cute. I love cross-stitch as well but don't do it much anymore. I'm looking at the ones you're doing!!! 🙂

  11. I have never seen an ice fishing set up like that before! That is so neat!! I'd have no problem hanging out in something like that. It's like camping on ice and catching supper, too! Very fun!

  12. Hubbs and I looked at your pictures…. Wow, Taunja. You are living the good life.Here we sit in the suburbs of Washington DC – fortunately, pretty far west in northern Virginia. We are envious but also feeling very incapable of doing something like this. What a wonderful day. My hubbs grew up in Michigan and there was a lot of ice and ice fishing there.I really enjoyed reading about your life in Minnesota. It is super cool and completely different that life in wimpy Virginia.We do take long walks along the Potomac River at Algonquian Park and that is fun.

  13. Hi I’m from Tennessee and I’m intrigued by ice fishing!! It barely gets cold here and my family and I just went fishing at the lake last night. To the side of it though ours isn’t frozen!! Wishing for a little of ur snow here!!❄️ I love ur blog and I also cross stitch and crochet while my husband fishes. Thanks for sharing!!😊

  14. Thanks so much for reading and sharing your own story. I just love that! While I do like winter for the most part, and freshly falling snow is pretty, I am not looking forward to the below zero temps we are to be getting this weekend. UGH! Maybe I can send some your way! 😉

  15. Oh Rosemary! So good to hear from you. I would love to visit VA, and I've never been to Washington DC. Someday! My husband has been there 3 times. Yes, I could my blessings to be living a good life with a happy healthy family. Wishing many blessings on you as well!

  16. Hi Sue! It sure is cozy! Last night I did a little practice piece to get back into the groove. I admit, my eyes aren't as strong as they used to be, even with my progressive lenses. Think I'll be investing in a good light with magnifier! 😉

  17. Hi Danette. Sounds quite similar, I'm just camping in the winter . . . minus the whole \”enjoying the out of doors\” part. ha ha! Loafing around is the best! We all need that now and again!

  18. Wow! I don't think I've ever heard of a fish house!!! Looks all snuggly warm, except does it get a bit cold when you are next to the fish hole? And I've taken up cross stitch this year again. It is nice to have a \”just sit and stitch\” project that you can sit and watch TV with. 🙂 Hugs, H

  19. Hi Helen! It is snuggly and warm, and probably is a bit cooler near the holes but we wear boots. What I didn't mention or show in the pictures is that there are actually 6 holes in the house. But they all have lids and you only open so many at a time. This has been a fun story to share with people! You are so right! Love having hand work at the end of a long day while watching TV! Hugs back!

  20. ''the patterns today are so beautiful''The patterns have always been beautiful. I collect cross stitch charts from 2011,being particularly on the look out for freebies which most designers offer generously in large quantities, providing for several lifetimes. LHN is one of the trendy brands that has never been generous with free patterns. As for their quality, for years they have stayed alike – repetitive and primitive. + unreasonably overpriced. I do not like seeing promotion of greedy companies in our hungry world which precisely greediness has led to its modern apocalyptic state

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