Firing on all cylinders

I have been awarded a Blog on Fire Award.

nope I didn’t fly to close to the sun and catch on fire.

and I don’t think it means I am firing on all cylinders like a smooth running engine.

Thanks Pia at Colour Cottage nominated me – I am not sure I deserve it. I haven’t been blogging long. And I still struggle with writing my thoughts but my family encouraged me to give writing a try. And its fun to share the things I like doing by writing about them. And I get to meet new people all the time through the internet.

I love reading Colour Cottage – Pia is into a lot of the same things as I am. She knits and dyes her own yarn so it just seems natural that I am drawn to her website.. And she is starting a dye garden and later this fall I am sending seeds  from my dye garden to her garden to grow. Dyeing your own yarn is such an adventure when you use plants. You never know what is going to emerge from your pot. Just because a flower is red doesn’t mean you will get reds from the dye pot. But none the less it is fun to experiment and have unusual yarn for your projects. Part of this award means I have to tell you 8 unusual things you might not know about me and then tell you 8 blogs that I read.

so bear with me I hope I don’t bore you…8 things about me-

1. I am left handed –that might not be unusual but I have 5 brothers and 2 sisters and only me and my little sister are left handed. I  grew up when the nuns at school discouraged writing with your left hand. Well actually I had many teachers that were nuns but the teacher that tried to make me write with my right hand was my 3rd grade teacher Miss Valentine not one of the sisters.

2. People see my dog and ask me if she is a wolf. For the record she is not a wolf –wolves are much bigger than she is. But she does look a little wolfie I guess-– but she is German shepherd and huskie.

True story -we were walking her once on the rural roads near our cabin when we heard a car coming so we called her to come to us. She came at a gallup out of the woods and the van driving by stopped before she got to us and told us to hop in the car to get away from the wolf bounding out of the woods.

3. I love to play in my garden. I grow mostly native plants which some of my neighbors call weeds. I find that growing native give me more time to actually play in my garden and not work in my garden. Native plants are more drought resistant and if a weed or two creeps into my flower bed I just don’t care.

4. I knit almost everyday. I like to challenge myself to learn new techniques while knitting. I don’t consider myself an expert but I am not afraid to try anything.  The fact that  knitting has been around for hundreds of years and knitters continue to come up with new ways to twist and manipulate stitches into new designs amazes me  A new challenge for me this year is writing patterns for some of the things I make.

 5. I sometimes feel like a witch when I am stirring my cauldron over the fire outside. In my cauldrons are dyes made of native plants. It was inevitable that I learned to combine my 2 hobbies knitting and gardening by dyeing yarns with native plants. I am always astonished by the colors that emerge from my dye pots. It is  magical to pull a skein of yarn from the pot and see the colors that have adhered to it. A comical sight in my garden is when I am deadheading all the beautiful flowers that have bloomed and putting them in bags to freeze. It  reminds me of  Morticia in The Addams Family deadheading her beautiful roses in her greenhouse leaving only the thorns on her bushes.

She knits too!! Who would have thought I would grow up to be Morticia!!!

6. I had a third hobby – I love to bake. At two of the places I worked they called me the cookie queen. I have given up baking because I have given up eating sugar and flour products. Well maybe I should amend that to say for the most part I have given up flour and sugar. I still have just a few cheats but I feel much better not having it in my diet. But I might have to cheat and bake for the holidays because I like to give candy and cookies to my family and friends for X-mas.

7. I walk on water. Ok I better tell you real quick– before you think that I am stuck up–I only walk on water in the winter months. I live on a lake and when winter comes it freezes over and we take long walks on the ice. The cold and the snow transforms my world during the winter months. As the ice grows thicker and the temperatures drop we take long walks on the ice. Some times the early ice is so clear you can see fish below your feet as you walk. And early in the morning the ice talks to you, creaking and groaning as it forms, leaving designs in the ice as it heaves.   I love winter! I don’t think I could live somewhere it was warm all the time.

8. I like a simple life. I am content and don’t have many wants. We don’t go away on vacation or out to eat. I prefer my kitchen and my own backyard and the company of my husband and my dog.  Our vacations are spent at home when my son and daughter and son-in-law come to visit. During the summer you can find me out in the garden, sitting on the deck or maybe in the boat  fishing. During the winter – life slows down but I still get outside for long walks and sometimes I fish through a hole in the ice. In the evening when January winds are howling outside my window and the snow is knee deep you might find me sitting by the woodstove knitting a stranded mitt with browns, yellows, green and orange dreaming about the warm summer afternoon when I collected the plants to dye the yarns with.

wow It is hard to think of 8 things about yourself. So on to the next step- this might be even harder. There are a lot of blogs I like to check in on. Some of them are bigger names that you might read too. So I think I am going to list some that I think are great but might not get as much traffic.

1. Vini I love this site. I wish they would write more often(ok here is where you hear my kid groaning because this is the site of my daughter and son-in-law and they are pretty busy working and don’t always have time to write at their site). But you should check it out to find out about all the cool things going on in Memphis.

2. Cauchy — well suddenly I am at a loss of what to write. Here is a blog about quilting, crocheting and knitting. Cauchy is crafting is diverse and her writing is well versed. Maybe that is not well written but what I am trying to say is I learn a lot as I read her blog. Hers is not the typical crafting blog. Sure there are lots of pretty pictures of her beautiful projects but her projects also make me think and in my book that takes her projects to the next level.

3. Jana is a good friend that I have never met face to face but we have been conversing through our computers for a couple of years. I am lucky enough to be on her list for test knitting. Jana has taught me so much about knitting and her designs are genius. Even though her knit Escher designs look extremely difficult they are built on simple stitches  that combined form animals that swim and fly off the needles. You really must check this blog out I can’t express how much I love her designs.

4. Barbara Benson or you might know it as the Trumped Duck this is a design that I have swatched for and will be knitting up sometime this fall- I just need to pick out the right colors. But no matter what I pick I keep coming back to this picture this combination of blue and gold is out of this world. I had no choice but to buy the pattern and add it to my queue.  So far I have tried 4 different colors from my own dye pots and I am pretty sure I will have to have the yarn she used to make myself happy. This is another one of those designs that  looks incredible difficult but is easier than it looks. Other knitters are bound to swoon and exclaim about your expertise when you wear this.

5. Sharon  is like me laughing and enjoying life and knitting toys. I have knit her dragon pattern and am about to embark on a knitting a fancy frilled lizard. What’s not to love knitting lovely toys? In fact if a frilled lizard tickles your fancy check out this group and sign up to knit one for free.

6. Rachel at cornflower blue has great tutorials and one day I would love to crochet just like her.

7. Annie at Wattsolak – what can I say who else designs a mitten especially for her  wedding anniversary. 1st year is paper, 2nd is cotton and 3rd year is leather so it stands to reason that the 9th year wedding anniversary present would be  a wool mitten design based on  your husband’s band poster. I love the new robot mittens but I really think I need to knit the octopus gloves even more.Do you think , perhaps, I have octopi on the brain lately?

8. Lisa at lil fish studios lives in the neighboring state of Minnasota. She explores daily in the woods that surround her home and loves to dye with the mushrooms and fungi she finds.

9. Karen at sweaty knitter is another blog writer that makes me think while helping me better knitter. She was a college professor that now writes about her adventures in the world of fiber arts.

ok I didn’t stop at 8 and I could have listed a few more I like too…..but I spent a lot of time writing and now its time to cook our Friday night fish fry.   Yeah- I know it isn’t Friday but I have a big adventure planned for tomorrow and I will be to busy to fry fish.




  1. Pia said,

    September 7, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Great links to visit! I love that Escher blanket. And your wolfie ♥ . My Molly is half German Shepherd, funny how the long haired gene comes out in the mix (her parents were both short haired, dad a labrador). And thanks for making me feel more normal in not wanting to go out much, LOL.

    • whatzitknitz said,

      September 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      I love my completed Escher blanket–it looks so hard and makes me look like an expert knitter but actually it was pretty easy to do.
      Molly sounds like a lovely dog. Our baby can be a handful and keeps us on our toes but she also makes us laugh everyday.
      I think being a home body is a good thing although most of our friends find it weird we don’t go out to eat or away on cruises and vacations.

  2. Peg said,

    September 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Congratulations! You deserve it; I love reading your blog . . .

  3. Ellen said,

    September 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Congratulations! I’ve been enjoying reading your blog and especially love your photos.

    • whatzitknitz said,

      September 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks. I have been enjoying this outlet to write and talk about my playing around. It has also been a connection to new friends that I otherwise would never have met.

  4. Curls & Q said,

    September 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    What fun looking at all of the new projects that would be fun to do! The frilled lizard is awesome!

    • whatzitknitz said,

      September 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      You should check out her ravelry group — you can get the pattern for free in the month of September. And I am positive your grandson needs a octopus and a lizard ; )

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