I have a new address come check me out

www.whatzitknitz.comOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I miss u

Hi everyone I am  missing you — recently Michael decided to surprise me by designing me a logo and updating the look of my blog which you can see here.

Who Is Michael? Michael is one half of the wonderfully talented team behind  VINI. Michael is also married to my daughter Alice(the other half of the VINI team) which makes him my son-in-law. Son-in-law is a term I don’t like to use and now I have written it twice – the words make me think he is only my son by law. which isn’t true I would rather think of it as I now have 3 wonderfully talented kids.

Micheal and Alice are also editing and designing my new pattern which I should be publishing today or tomorrow.

I love everything he did to my blog. All my old posts are here and he added some widgits on the side. My pictures are larger and clearer now. I recently wrote about this owl I made of Noro yarn on my new blog. Here is a picture of  the owl….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow click on my new blog and check out the picture of him.

So much better – bigger and brighter and more detail. I love it because when I am knitting and looking at patterns it really is all about the details-being able to see clearly how the stitches interact with each other and how it is put together.

Now look at this star I made. Pretty isn’t it. It looks a little  like a patchwork quilt. Now click right HERE and be prepared to be dazzled by the size of the picture and how much clearer it looks.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So while I am glad you are visiting me here come and see me on my new blog I think you will like it better – I do.

***And all my old posts are right there too****

new digs

So what do you think of my new look????


I am over the top in love with it!!!

this was a big surprise for me…I received an e-mail yesterday from my son-in-law Michael. I can’t think of a better present than this.

You can still find me at my old address  but you ought to come see what I look like on the new page    http://whatzitknitz.com/

Mini obsessions

So I have completely and utterly daffy  over tiny little foxes and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I told myself the obsession was over and tried to work on something else but found myself dreaming of foxes again.


I found a potbellied stove at the thrift store which means I have to make a fox den so I have a mini kitchen to put it in. And of course mama fox will need an apron to wear while baking little gingerbread men for her children to eat.

So instead of finishing a cardigan that just needs a sleeve and half of a front I started a fox den. Even this wasn’t going fast enough so I cast on a faster knit last night. It is a aerie I got it knitted up in one evening. And in the morning I added a roof and knit a floor.

P1010006I found the roof at the thrift store it was on an incredibly  ugly stein. It was very easy to get it off the beer glass and even better since the mug wasn’t damaged it will go in my donation bag for goodwill.

This aerie was supposed to be a home for an owlet who lives in the tree it could  be a tower bedroom  on top of the fox den. But one of the minis has already claimed it as his own.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANone of this will keep me warm but it seems that I must get it out of my system or it will haunt me.

Now I have to get a couple of chores out of the way so I can watch the Packers play the Vikings. Lets hope they play better than last week.

Soft Molasses Cookies

We are close to releasing a new pattern. Alice is working on the pattern layout  and my sister Peg has a fox on her needles right now.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This fox has been knit multiple times. I have churned out 7 hats with tails and 3 large fox toys and a slew of mini fox toys. The mini fox takes only a small amount of yarn so I played with the dimensions and shaping while knitting it.

Short rows are perfect to form the large ears that stand at attention on the fox. A fox is always alert and listening when you see them in the wild. They are ready to pounce at a moments notice. They are very cat like in this regard.

I played with traveling stitches  to define the brows and decreases to make the snout. The way the stitches line up on the face makes the eye placement so easy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I found a gingerbread man  button at the local Ben Franklins I knew it had to be part of my fox toy. I am sure every child knows the story of the gingerbread man that ran away from home. He could run faster than anyone except for the clever fox whom he asked to carry him across the river.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I sewed a gingerbread man to the back of the hat so  you can button and tie the fox tail onto the hat. This way if a child doesn’t want to wear a tail on his hat he or she could take it off. Or maybe somebody would want to tie the tail onto the handlebars of their bike just like in the 50’s teens would tie a raccoon tail to a roadster and when they drove it would flap in the wind.

On the toys I sewed the cookie onto the pocket of the fox because we all know a little fox needs to have a snack in their pocket.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

while waiting for the fox pattern I thought it would be fun to share my family’s favorite gingerbread man cookie. I have tweaked this recipe a bit — the original recipe was printed on a card that accompanied a plate of cookies I bought at my son’s school bake sale.

Occasionally I will substitute sorgum for the dark molasses.If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute yogurt or make sour milk by adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to milk. You could roll these out and cut them into squares or make drop cookies but cookie cutters are so much fun. I love old cookie cutters and find myself checking the bin of cookie cutters at St Vinnies every time I go there. There is just something about all the cute and unusual cookie cutters that draws me in. Who cares that my family is on a gluten free diet– I still add to my cookie cutter collection when I find an old one I don’t have.


cream 1 cup butter, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 large egg

add one cup molasses(or sorgum)

sift 4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt,  2 tsp baking soda

add flour alternately with 1/4 cup buttermilk

refrigerate to chill mixture(about an hour)

roll 1/4″ thick and cutout. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350* for 10-12 minutes.

be prepared for the wonderful spicy aromas that will waft through the kitchen as you bake these. I might have to make some of these even though I can’t eat them so I can enjoy the lovely smells. Maybe I could half the recipe and then give them to my neighbors to get the tempting cookies out of the house.

If you are a fan of spice cookies check out my TRIFECTA GINGERSNAPS for another tasty treat.

clearing out older projects this week. there was  an old green sweater in the closet–one I never was quite happy with. the yarn pilled every time I wore it. It was a nice design but the cheap yarn was a mistake so I frogged.

and finally the old sweater was just a memory.

…….still it can be hard to let go completely

so I decided to add it to a project that I have been sketching out in my head for awhile. I don’t know if it will work but at least if I knit it I can get it out of my head.

next I dug out a pair of mittens that have been sitting unfinished since last year. I like this design and originally started these for my husband but they were a little on the snug side so I started over again in another yarn and thought I would finish these for myself later.  Now a year later they are finally off the needles. they are thick and warm with nice long cuffs but I don’t know if I will keep them for myself.

next up is a pair of miter mittens from EZ knitter’s almanac. Its been years since I knit a pair of these. I love the pattern. I made these extra long also. The yarn is special to me — my daughter spun this yarn. It is the first yarn she ever spun so it is a little uneven. She wasn’t sure what kind of wool this was and she didn’t care much for the colors of the batt and hated the way the colors muddled once spun. But I think the end result is lovely. the wool softened up quite a bit when I washed them. I knit them extra large so I might even felt them the next time I have to do wash.  these aren’t fashionable mittens they are  working mittens the kind you wear when you are going to be shoveling the walk or walking on the ice in febuary ….they don’t need to be pretty – just warm.

I finished another fox scarf now I just need to sew in all the ends

there is a hat to match but it needs a pair of eyes.

four watchman caps are ready to be mailed to a charity group I belong to.

I also uncovered this sad excuse for a granny square blanket. and decided that maybe I should finish it and put it out of its misery. It was hidden in the bottom of the closet. I was trying to teach myself to crochet when I started this. the stitches are all wobbly and uneven.  I used leftover yarn and my combinations are anything but wonderful. I really don’t think I have a knack with color.  And its been so long since I worked on it that I will have to look up directions to figure out how to do it again. I have 10 squares started but not added to the blanket so I think I will add those and then start a plain border around it to make it a little larger. Then if I just plain hate how it looks I will throw it in the washer and felt it and use it for a rug by my side of the bed. It doesn’t have to be pretty just needs to keep my feet warm when I get out of bed.and speaking of fugglaly things ……this whatch-a-m-call it  keeps growing nicely.

Its been a busy week


I had a letter this morning from a friend at the cabin with spectacular pictures. Look at this beautiful blue sky. Debbie and Paul live just up the road from me and live full time at the lake. This is the view behind their house. They have a rock bluff in their back yard.

but wait Debbie wasn’t just sharing a photo of bare oak trees, blue skies and  grasses….look closer what is peeping over  the rock.

She blends in so closely to the fall colored grasses and the stone that you have to look quite closely or you could miss it.

Can you see it now……a beautiful red fox sunning herself on this fall morning. Looks like she is half asleep but those big pointy ears are keeping track of everything that is going on below.

The fox was content to sit her for several hours and watch the coming and goings of Debbie and her family and their 2 dogs Buck and Hunter.

aren’t these pictures spectacular…………….but there is more…….lookPaul and Jeff were in the garage and suddenly the fox was up there investigating.Her nose must have picked up that the two hunter were butchering a deer shot earlier. this lucky vixen shared a meal of venison.

and I am lucky to have good friends that keep me up to date on what’s going on at the lake.

is there anything quite like waking to a perfect saturday morning?


dusky pinks and pale lavender hovering on the horizon


the water so still and quiet doubles and reflects into a never ending pool of color


coots swimming in send ripples through the image and interrupt the dreamy, misty image


 I want  to share pictures of the morning but what do you call a post of sunrise pictures. in my book they are perfect well not perfect photos just beautiful colors and feelings. mornings like this where the colors are so faded and mist is rising as you look across the lake but in the bay the water is so still that it mirrors the sky and the trees doubling the beauty it is like waking in a fairy tale.

time for a walk and then breakfast. but the perfect morning doesn’t end here. Meva is so happy and content – she had a nice walk and an even better breakfast. her belly full she decides to sing her appreciation of our morning.


listening to her sing always makes me happy. her song starts out low and escalates until she hits her high note and then it quivers and warbles and descends down into a low note that hangs in the back of her throat.

She throws back her head and closes her eyes like a choir boy singing a solo. at the end of her solo she keeps her eyes closed listening to hear if anyone will join in and sing about their morning.


in the distance I here a couple of other dogs sing out a chorus to her solo. she listens too and then sends out another aria. finally I have to remind myself that others may not find Meva’s singing as wonderful as I do and we head inside.


I realize Meva is right – sometimes there are no words to describe what we see and feel and a her song is the only way to describe it.

Photo shoot

I have been working away on this toy fox pattern. I have been playing around with a new computer program to write my charts and they are almost done. Yesterday was very cold but it was sunny  so I went out in the yard to take some pictures. I had lots of help….Meva needed to check out every angle. She has lots of her own stuffed toys and leaves the ones I knit alone but she did find it odd that I brought my toys outside in the yard.

She is a big ham and when every she sees me with a camera in hand to take a picture of a flower or anything else she always gets front and center so she can be in the picture too.


Here she is striking her ‘look at me I am so much prettier than those stupid toys that you have been knitting for a month–take my picture’ pose.



Of course part of the problem might be those antlers that I found..she is fascinated with them and even though she won’t take them off the coffee table or the shelf where I keep them she has wondered about them. Now that I put them in the yard to take a photo of she is hoping she will get the chance to have a much closer look and maybe be able to gnaw on them. Eventually she gave up and wandered off to watch the coots swim close to where she was sitting on the pier. All the while muttering to herself  ‘stupid fox-I am much prettier-Mom should knit a wolf toy that looks like me!’


Doesn’t this look beautiful?  It is an oasis of green in a block of warehouses.

Read more about it here


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