On the Needles is 4 years old! It’s potty-trained, running around, and getting ready for pre-school. It’s probably learning its letters and is getting the hang of drawing.
Or whatever 4-year-olds do. I’m not an expert in 4-year-olds.
But, It’s exciting! I’ve been at this way, way, waaaaaay longer than I expected to be when I started this back on 2013. I’ve written more patterns, and met more people than I planned. I’ve even turned this whole knitting/pattern-writing thing into an actual part-time job, which I never thought I could do.
It’s been fun, working on my writing skills and my knitting skills. I love sharing the projects I’m working on, and I especially love sharing my patterns. I love teaching you guys techniques and skills that I use every day (and I hope you like that, too!). I’ve even enjoyed learning how to take not-terrible pictures (sorry about today’s, though- it’s crazy foggy here, it’s almost 10, and I’ve still got all the lights on inside the house).
I’m going to keep going as long as I can still think about things to talk about. I hope you’ll be willing to come along with me. And, of course, please let me know if you have questions about anything, suggestions or ideas- I’m only one person with one brain, and sometimes it gets a little empty, so help is always appreciated.
Here’s to another 4 years!
OK, guys, you know the drill! It’s Giveaway Day (again!)
I’m really excited about this one! This collection is hands-down gorgeous. I may be a bit biased, since I love anything with a cable on it, but for real- it’s beautiful.I even love the shawl that I made- enough to make you look at it again. I’m super proud of how it turned out! I mean, look at it!
OK, OK, enough of me showing you pictures you’ve already seen! Let’s get to the good part!
A whole bunch of you entered the drawing, so I rolled over to Random.org, and did a quick drawing.
And the winner is… Comment number 7!
Alison! You’re the winner! (I’ll send you an email, so keep an eye out!)
If you didn’t win, don’t worry, you can get your own copy of Woodsmoke through the Knit Picks website. And, of course, I’ll have more drawings in the future, so keep your eyes peeled!
It’s giveaway day! My favorite day of the year (or, well, month might be more accurate-I’m always giving away books around here)!
Just to remind you, today I’m giving away a copy of Knit Picks’ new collection, Quick and Cozy. It’s chock-full of extra-fluffy hats, scarves, cowls and mittens. All the patterns are super cute (and super cozy)And, I’ve got a pattern in this book! It’s the Gradient Hat and Scarf! I’m pretty proud of it.But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here for the giveaway!
20 of you lovely folks put your names in, so I’ll pull out my lucky 20-sided die (which I have because I’m a nerd), and…
5! The 5th comment was from Jen!
Congratulations, Jen! I’ve sent you an email, so check your spam folder, just in case.
If you didn’t win today’s giveaway, you can buy your own copy of Quick and Cozy through the Knit Picks website.
And, don’t forget to sign up for my other giveaway! That winner will be announced on Friday.
Happy New Year (yesterday), everybody!
Hope you’re all having a nice, hangover-free morning. Did you make your New Year’s Resolutions yet?
No, not the “Loose 10 pounds,” “Watch less TV,” and “Eat fewer sweets” kind of resolutions. Those are boring.
I want to know about your knitting/crafting resolutions!
- I want to spend more time knitting just for fun. I have a tendency to take on too many assignments (design work, gifts for other people… you know, “work knitting”), and I prioritize that over the knitting I do just for fun. I don’t want to burn myself out, so I need to make sure I’m still having fun. (And maybe I’ll throw in a couple non-knitting craft projects, too!)
- I want to keep making my bears! I love their stupid little faces, and they’re the perfect in-between project. I did 11 this year, let’s see if I can do 12 next year-one each month.
- I want to spend more time sketching. If get an idea, I want to make a point of writing it down and making sure I keep it. I sketch out some of my ideas, but not all of them. I think it’s a good idea that I just don’t follow through on enough.
Do you have any knitting/crafting resolutions for this year? Are you going to tackle that beautiful shawl that you’ve had your eye on? Are you finally going to learn lace knitting? Or, are you resolved to simply sit down every day and knit?
I’m all about pulling an all-nighter to finish a last-minute project before it’s due. (After all, I once did the edging on an afghan in the car as we drove to my friend’s wedding. It was finished about a half hour before the reception. That was a stressful day.)
But, sometimes you just have to throw up your hands, pour yourself a glass of eggnog and say “uncle.” And, I think the day before Christmas Eve counts as one of those times.
You’ve given it your all, and it’s not like you will never finish Aunt Sally’s hat or Grandpa Joe’s socks. You’ll just finish them in January. No biggie.
So, wrap up your WIPs, needles and all, and print out these tags that I’ve made just for you:
Christmas Gift Coloring Page
Break out your colored pencils or markers (or glitter glue, I’m not going to limit you), and decorate the tag to show your recipient how amazing their sweater is going to be… when it’s finished.
Then get yourself that second cup of eggnog and take a break in front of the tree. You’ve earned it!
And, of course, Merry Christmas!
Hi everybody! Guess what today is!
It’s my 600th post!Crazy, right?! It’s been three and a half (almost four) years of posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. I’ve surprised myself that I’m still going all this time later! And I’m that I still have things to say! (If you were to estimate that each post is about 200 words, that’s 120,000 words total! That’s the length of a nice long novel! Who’d have thought that there was that much to discuss around knitting?)
I want to thank you guys for reading along, and hanging out with me on the internet- it really means a lot to me to see people reading my work, knitting my patterns and commenting on my posts. Not to be too sappy, but “You like me, you really like me!”
We’re just about done with holiday knitting, so soon, we’ll be able to get back to some good old-fashioned selfish knitting. So, then the question is- what are we going to work on? I’ve got some ideas, but let me know if you have some, too! Did you get any yarn for Christmas that you just can’t wait to use? Is there a pattern you love with a technique you can’t quite grasp? I’m here to help, just ask!
Now that we’ve got Thanksgiving out of the way, it’s time to hit that Panic Button.Yup. It’s one month from Christmas. I’m going to go finish the Thanksgiving dishes, then I’m going to sit down for the next four weeks to knit. Wish me luck.
Tomorrow, families across the country will gather around their dinner tables, hold hands, and go through the slightly (very) awkward tradition of saying what they’re thankful for.
I say, why wait!
Here’s (some of) what I’m thankful for in a series of pictures from this year.
First, I’m thankful for my husband. He’s the nicest guy I’ve ever known, and he can always make me laugh. He puts up with all the Law and Order marathons and my near-constant panic about my most recent knitting project that is never going to get finished. (Don’t worry about the dog- he’s having fun. This is how he plays fetch- he never ever wants to give up the ball.)And that brings me to the second thing I’m thankful for, my pup Ollie. He’s too stinking adorable for words, and is a total cuddle monster. He’s so silly and sweet, and I’m incredibly glad he is part of our family.I’m thankful for Seattle- I mean, a beautiful city, full of delicious food and all sorts of things to do, minutes from the beach and less than an hour from two mountain ranges? Could you ask for a better place to live?I’m thankful for all our friends, both here in Seattle and spread across the country. I’m so happy that we’ve managed to stay in touch over the years and across three time zones. And, I’m still so happy we made it all the way to Yellowstone this summer- best vacation ever!And, I’m thankful for getting to knit and design patterns for a living. When I was a kid, filling out those “What I Want To Be When I grow Up” quizzes, I never thought “Professional Knitter” would be an option. So, you can imagine how surprised (and pleased) I am to find myself here.Of course, I’m thankful for much more, but those are just the things I have pictures of. I’m thankful for big things, of course: my family, the opportunity to work with amazing kids every day, and the home my husband and I share. And I’m thankful for silly little things: that it’s (finally) grapefruit season again, coffee, and trips to the dog park. And, of course I’m thankful for you guys! I wouldn’t be writing (as much, anyway) if I didn’t have you amazing readers.
So, happy Thanksgiving! Have a fantastic day tomorrow, eat too much and enjoy yourself!
OK, I promised to get back to knitting today, but honestly, I can’t. I even had a whole post-election pantsuit-related post planned out. But, watching the election last night made me sick to my stomach, and seeing the news this morning makes me want to cry.
I know Americans are better than this, or at least I thought we were. I’m so disappointed in us, that we’re stuck with all this bigotry and hatred for the next 4 years. I worry about the kids I teach growing up in this environment and I worry about the hard-fought rights of women, minorities and LGBT+ people.
I’m going to take today to be sad, to cry and whine and cocoon up in my house. But tomorrow, I’m going to start doing something about it. I’m signing up to volunteer in my community. I’m going to donate to Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center. I’m going to remember this day every time I interact with the little girls of all nationalities in my classes, and do my best to teach them that they are important and their rights matter, no matter what the voters said yesterday.
Please join me in keeping this country moving forward. Give to human rights charities, volunteer at local soup kitchens and free clinics, keep fighting for what you believe in. And most important, stay safe.
(And here’s a picture of my dog dressed up as a Beanie Baby for Halloween because I need something cute to get me through the day.)
I admit, I’m not great at social media (so who knows why I decided to start a blog). I’ve got a Twitter account that I rarely use (@on_the_needles), except to notify folks on my new blog posts. And I tried to use Tumblr for about fifteen minutes before getting frustrated, closing the computer and making myself a cup of tea.
And, since it’s 2016, I thought, “Hey! Let’s try Instagram.”
Actually, I didn’t think that. When I took my class last month with Arne and Carlos, they kept talking about Instagram and told us all to Instagram them pictures of our finished dolls.
So, I got myself an Instagram account. It’s @ontheneedles. You should come on over and see what I’m up to. It’s mostly pictures of whatever I’ve got on my needles. So there’s lots of knitting-in-progress shots. (I tried being fancy on this one… not sure why I thought a half-eaten orange was fancy.)Like, a lot. Some of them are not great pictures, but hey, they can’t all be winners.Also, about a third of the pictures are of my dog, Ollie begging for food. Because he is ridiculous. Look at that pretty face!So, if you want to get little sneak peaks behind the scenes at On the Needles HQ, follow me on Instagram @ontheneedles! And let me know your name, and I’ll follow you back!