Monthly Archives: November 2015

Teddy Bear Picnic

Or at least a Teddy Bear Coffee Date.


One of my good friends, Kate, has started knitting a bear, too!  (Hi Kate!)  And so has my mom- it’s super cute!  (Hi Mom!)

Mom lives in the Great White Tundra that is the Midwest, so I can’t meet up with her, but Kate lives just a couple miles down  from my place.  That means we can meet up, visit different coffee shops in the area every week or so and get our knit on!

Kate’s a new mom, so I’m pretty sure she’s excited to get out of the house and dust off her needles, and I’m loving having a knitting buddy!  There’s something lovely about having someone to chat with while your needles click away.  (And, if you’re awkward like me, it’s nice having a friend with you so you’re not that weirdo knitting alone in public.  Double win!)

So, grab your friends!  See if they want to pull their needles out of storage, or lend them a set of your own and get knitting!  It’s possibly the best way to spend an afternoon!

What’s that?! You still haven’t picked up your Mother Bear pattern?  What are you doing!  Get it here!

How are you doing on your bears?  I’ve just started knitting Bear number 7!

The Clangers!

I did the thing the other day (and don’t act like you haven’t done it) where I was buying some yarn  from KnitPicks, and I was this close to $50, so I had to buy myself a little present to get the free shipping (even though the shipping probably cost less than the present… But it’s the principle).

Well, I was browsing the books, and would you believe it?  There was a Clangers knitting book!!!  And it was only 7 bucks!31918[1]What’s that?  You don’t know about the clangers?

Well, clearly you never were a kid in British public school.   We lived in Essex for a few years when I was in elementary school, and they showed old VHS tapes of The Clangers when they didn’t feel like teachign.

The Clangers was a kids’ BBC show from the late-60s/early-70s (which explains everything) about a family of knitted, pink, mouse-like creatures that live on a tiny, papier-mache moon and eat soup (cooked by the Soup Dragon-obviously) and blue string pudding.  They don’t talk, instead they communicate by whistling.  Also there’s the robotic Iron Chicken and tiny Froglets, who live in the center of the moon in a pool of pink soup.31918101[1]It all makes sense.


Maybe watching an episode will make it clear:


OK.  I’ll be honest.  I thought this was a really great show when I was 7.  Now, I think it’s…well…  Yeah.

But, still, there’ll always be a spot in my heart for The Clangers, and a spot on my bookshelf for this knitting book.

Have you ever revisited something from your childhood that you thought was great, but turned out to be… well… not?

Thank You!

Hi everybody, I thought I’d take a moment to do the cheesy-yet-well-intentioned Thanksgiving tradition.  You know,  the one where we all go around the dinner table (or in this case, the knitting website) and tell everyone what we’re thankful for.

CornucopiaThanksgiving[1]I know it’s dorky, but I’m in a thankful mood (but maybe that’s just my endorphins building up in preparation for tomorrow’s feast), so let’s do this thing.

I am thankful for knitting!  It’s both therapy and entertainment.  It keeps me busy and keeps me warm.  There’s something almost alchemical about turning yarn into something as complex as a lace shawl or as practical as a thick wool socks.  It warms my heart (and feet), and challenges my brain, and I love it.

I am thankful for my husband (obviously).  He puts up with having an entire room dedicated to knitting and doesn’t mind when he finds project bags scattered across the house.  He ‘s been insanely supportive with my blog and pattern design work, as well as regular awesome husband-ness.

I am thankful for my pup.  Ollie’s been an amazing addition to our lives over the past half-year, and he makes me laugh every day.  I couldn’t be happier having him in my life (even if he has chewed up a knitting needle or two… *grumble, grumble*)

I am thankful for this blog- and it’s readers!  It’s been a really fun (sometimes difficult) and interesting exercise to write something (hopefully) interesting and (sometimes) funny every other day for almost three years, and I’m looking forward to keeping it going.  Being able to share my passion with all of you lovely people is fantastic!  You’re the best! (And, there’s so many of you!)

Happy Thanksgiving!  What are you thankful for?

Inspiration: The Killing

I’ve been spending my November holed up away from the damp Seattle weather watching a TV show about the damp Seattle weather.  Because, why not!

It’s one of my new favorite TV shows:  The Killing.  (It’s not new, I’m just late to the party.)   Based on a Swedish show of the same name (but in Swedish… or at least I assume it’s the same name.  I don’t speak Swedish), The Killing is basically the show for people who think Law & Order: SVU is too light and funny.

Luckily for me, I am one of those people.

But, of course, the best part of the Killing isn’t the twisty-turny plot, the great acting, or the insanely brutal crimes.  The best part is Detective Sarah Linden’s amazing sweaters.  How amazing are they?  So amazing.mirielle2I have never seen a woman on TV rock the oversized sweater/puffy coat combo as well as Sara Linden.  mirielle1It’s kind of incredible.mirielle5This one even looks hand-knit!mirielle3I think Sarah Linden might be my spirit animal.  (As far as dressing goes.  She doesn’t smile nearly enough to be my true spirit animal.)

Want to channel your inner chain-smoking, crime-fighting, misanthrope?  Try knitting up one of these over-sized beauties.

The Killing Snowflake Sweater in Fritidsgarn by SKD Yarnsimage_medium[3]Flugeldar by Kiyomi Burginflugeldar8_medium2[1]#224 Weekend Pullover by Diane Soucy224_medium2[1]

Game Knitting

Last weekend I went to a fun little knitting convention in Seattle, and I did something awesome that I’ve never one before!

Game Knitting!


Game Knitting was originally developed by Lee Meredith of Leethal Knits, and it’s a super fun, goofy way to knit.

You pop on a favorite movie (or TV show, or podcast, or audio book), and get ready to knit.  Then, decide what “thing” you’re going to watch for.  Maybe you’re watching Law and Order and you listen for each time the soundtrack goes “chung chung!” Or, if you’re listening to a Harry Potter book, you could look for each time they say the word “magic.”  Basically, think about it like you’re doing a drinking game, but if you were actually drinking, you would end up in the hospital for alcohol poisoning in about fifteen minutes.

Anyway, we watched Clueless (one of my favorites)! And we had a whole list of “things:”  90s slang, crazy hats, baggy pants, Paul Rudd, giant cell phones etc.11168928_800[1]So, once you’ve picked your “thing” and you’ve got your yarn and needles, start knitting something small and simple.  There were folks making hats, mitts, coffee cozies, and washcloths.  I decided to make a simple garter stitch scarf with my hand-spun multi-color yarn.

Then, every time you come across your “thing” you do something to change your knitting.  I switched from knitting to purling.  Some people added a yo/k2tog eyelet, some people knit a bobble or switched colors.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy scarf (or at least the first 6 inches of it) is super cute and squishy.  The random knit/purl pattern is great with my less-than-perfect handspun, and is going to be an adorable winter accessory.  (And a great excuse to watch more movies!)

Basically, it’s a simple knitting recipe for when you want to make something silly and fun!  I love it!

Would you ever try Game Knitting?  What movie would you watch?  What would your “thing” be?

Totally Bare Bears!

Or at least one bear.

My bears are coming along!  I’ll admit, I’m slowing down a little bit, but that’s just because I’m actually working on the projects I should be working on.  You know- Christmas presents, birthday gifts, etc.

Unfortunately, that means that I’m working a little less on my bears.

This one, I believe, is number 5!   (So, still not bad)

But, there’s something missing on this one… What can it be?


Oh right!  Clothes!

I had a big, full skein of this bright shade of blue, so I thought, “Hey, why not?”  Thus was born the naked blue bear.  (I followed the pattern, but instead of changing colors for the sweater and pants, I just kept going with blue.)

The only problem is, he looks a little oddly proportioned without differentiation between top and bottom.  (Look at his stubby little legs!)

See?  Here’s one of my other bears:


I think he looks much more well-proportioned.  But, maybe it’s just me?  Or maybe it’ll look better once I stuff the bears and give them little faces and everything?

How are your Mother Bears going?

What’s that?  You haven’t ordered your pattern yet?  Click here to help out!

Well, this stinks.

Here’s the part that sucks about being a knitting blogger.

I want to share everything I’m working on (there are some really awesome things happening at Casa de On the Needles).  But, right now, they’re all Top Secret. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve got Christmas presents going for several people (quite a few of whom read the blog), so I can’t show you the beautiful ________s that I’m making for _______________ and _______________.  And I have to keep the amazing _____________ that I’m making for __________ secret, too.

Not only that, but I’m also working on a few patterns for KnitPicks.  They’ll come out in the next few months, but for now, I’ve got to keep them all on the down-low.  My feminine lace __________ __________, the adorable little _________  __________, and even my colorful __________.

I’d love to share them with you, but you’ve got to understand I can’t!  Of course, I’ll tell you all about everything soon enough (after Christmas, for a lot of my projects), but in the meantime I’ve got to hold my tongue. (And I’ve never been great at keeping secrets.)

It’s the worst!

Thanks for bearing with me.

Do you have any super secret projects you’re working on?  Can you give me any details?

A Proposal

I have an idea.  Dangerous, I know.

I want to ask you guys if you think it’s a good idea, because without your participation, it would be much less fun.

So here it is:  Would you be interested in a “Surprise Sock Pattern of the Month Club?”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor a flat fee, I would deliver a brand-new sock pattern to your email inbox every month for the next year.  The patterns would be adult-sized sock patterns in a variety of sizes and knit in a variety of styles from light, lacy, girly socks, to manly, utilitarian socks and everything in between.

Please let me know if you’d be interested.  I think it would be totally fun!  I’ve got ideas!

Feel free to explain your answer in the comments section below!


Inspiration: Taming the Jungle

My yard likes to grow.

A lot.

Especially when it’s damp and chilly.

You know what’s super not fun when it’s damp and chilly?

Weeding, pruning, trimming, and mowing.

I’ve got goosebumps and stiff, chilly fingers just from thinking about it.  Brrrr.  Especially when your jeans start to soak through, your glasses fog up and your sneakers get wet.  No fun at all.

So, I’ve got to be sure to dress properly when I go out into my yard to do battle with the blackberry vines (and battalions of mushrooms, and scores of overgrown oregano bushes).  And, because I’m me, that means lots of knitwear.

Of course, I’ve got to start with a nice mid-weight sweater to keep me warm without weighing me down.

ravello by Isabell KraemerDSC_0064_medium[1]And top it off with a lovely slouchy hat to keep my ears from catching frostbite.

Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure

IMG_0681_medium2[1]And I’ll finish it off with some pretty-yet-practical fingerless gloves.  These would be perfect for under my thick leather gardening gloves- then I’ll keep warm, and  keep my fingers from being ripped apart by blackberry thorns!

Maize by tincanknits

SC-maize-02_medium[1]Now that I’m all suited up- Once more into the breach!  Wish me luck!

Do you have a favorite outfit for working in the yard?

Mama Bear Check-In #2

I’m back and my bear pack (have we decided on what a group of bears is called?  Pack doesn’t seem right) has grown bigger!

My newest bear is an adorable little blue teddy with a little black dress on!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo be honest, I decided on this color scheme when I looked in the bottom of my bag and found that I had nearly-full skeins of both blue and black, and thought “How can I use up these colors quickly?”  But, in the end, I kind of like her goth-chick vibe.  She just needs a red scarf and an anarchy symbol embroidered on her chest.  But that might be slightly inappropriate for this kind of project.

Have any of you made skirts or dresses for your bears yet?  This is my first beskirtted bear (beskirtted is a word because I say it is), and I’m not sure how much I liked making the skirt part.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the finished product- the little, slightly ruffly skirt is adorable.  But, the skirt felt like it took forever to knit up, and used up quite a bit of yarn, and if you’re using up odd bits and bobs of leftover yarn, I could see a skirt being fairly impractical.

Of course, we knitters aren’t known for being 100% practical.  I’ll probably do more beskirtted bears, maybe just not right away.

If you haven’t started making Mother Bears, take a minute to look at the project website, and consider giving it a go!

Have you done any skirts on your bears?  How did they go?  What’s your bear total so far?