Category Archives: About the Blog

Grateful 8

Y’all. It’s been a year. Actually, it’s been 8 years. Which… I can hardly wrap my head around.

Last year, I was shocked to have made it 7 years, and surprised I’d kept up the blog and pattern writing with a kid in tow.

Well… HA! Now I’ve got two kids and have managed to keep everything going during a pandemic. Which is, frankly, deeply shocking.

(Apologies for the terrible photoshop… I usually make myself a “birthday candle” for anniversary posts, but I’m in the process of moving all my stuff to the basement (the baby has taken over my office), and I have no idea where the supplies for this are. Let’s just say, my papercraft skills are far superior to my digital art skills.)

Anyway,

Pros of being a knitter during a year(s) long pandemic:

  1. Easy to keep busy.
  2. You can’t have an existential crisis and learn German Short Rows at the same time.
  3. A great excuse to use up your stash.
  4. Plenty of time to burn through your audiobook/Netflix cues.
  5. Knitting really lends itself to the whole “Preparing for the end of the world” vibe. (Might I add, I also took up vegetable gardening and making my own jam this year.)

Cons of being a knitter during a pandemic:

  1. Knitting seems like the only way to keep busy.
  2. It’s freaking hard to stay creative while also trying not to let the dread creep in.
  3. I’ve managed to use up almost all the “good” yarn in my stash, and I haven’t been in a real LYS since March.
  4. I’m basically through all the shows and books I wanted to read (Seriously… any recommendations?)
  5. You know… just being in a pandemic isn’t great.

Anyway. It’s been a hell of a year. I’m glad I’m still knitting. I’m glad I’m still blogging. And, I’m glad I’m still writing patterns (albeit less frequently). It’s nice having at least one small thing that’s been “normal” this year.

Keep on knitting on.

WIP #2

I’ve got some exciting news. It’s good news (and we all need more good news these days), and it’s big (at least for me and my family)!

I’m having another kid! Wild!

Am I crazy? Maybe. Am I worried about being pregnant and having a newborn mid-pandemic? Absolutely (though, for what it’s worth, this whole ball got rolling before Covid really set in). Am I beyond excited to meet the little dude? Definitely.

And, since this kid will be a fall/winter baby (he’s due in a couple weeks!)- more excuses for knitting teeny tiny sweaters! (You know I’m only in this parenthood thing because of the tiny knitting opportunities.)

What will this mean for you? Hopefully, not much (except that there will probably be more baby sweaters on the blog in the immediate future). I’m working on building up a backlog of posts to cover me when it gets really hairy, but I’m still hoping to keep the blog going, posting once a week. And, I’m still planning on keeping my freelance pattern-writing going, though that might slow down for a bit. But, who knows what the future will hold? I can’t imagine I’ll have more free time going forward. Ha!

Do you have any favorite baby knits? Sweaters? Pants? Blankets?

7 and counting

It’s funny.  Had you asked me 7 years ago if I’d still be writing patterns and blogging, I probably would have laughed at you.  Heck, had you asked me two years ago (with the kid just around the corner) if I’d still be writing today, I’d be kinda skeptical.  But, here we are- still cruising along. IMG_2674

I know that knitting is definitely one of those things that I will always do, in one way or another.  It’s my favorite way to get my creative juices flowing.  It lets me express myself and clothe my family (and myself).  It gives me something to do with my hands while I’m binging the next Netflix show (by the way, Next in Fashion is a delight).  It’s so much a part of me that I don’t know what I would do with myself if I (for some reason) was not able to knit.

But, I always thought that knitting would be “just” a hobby.  Something I did for fun, on the weekends, and while waiting in boring meetings.  I never thought it would become the thing that I defined my professional life by.  It’s been a wild ride.

Anyway, thank you for following with me on this crazy 7-year-long project.  It’s probably (definitely) the longest I’ve worked on a single thing, and while it’s nice to see the follows and the likes on my posts, the satisfaction I get from seeing my body of work is even better.

It’s been 7 years, I’ve written (almost) 900 posts, published 88 patterns (with a few more in the works),  been featured in 25 collections, 1 magazine, and I’ve written my own sock book (which just got re-printed, by the way!).  I’m not usually comfortable tooting my own horn, but after 7 years, well… Toot toot!

My Favorite Distraction

Please indulge me for a minute while I get sappy.

It’s my prerogative, after all, to get sappy when my BABY TURNS ONE! This is ridiculous. He can’t be one!  I still only half-believe that I have a baby at all.

It seems like yesterday he was just a tiny little nugget, wearing his tiny Captain Picard sweater.  But he grew (and is still growing) so fast, he barely fit into it a month after he was born. (Pro Tip: never actually make the “newborn” size for babies.  They fit for about fifteen minutes.)IMG_20180423_163616976He put up with my ridiculous knitwear designs and questionable color choices.  (Although, to be fair, I put this sweater on him the other day, and while it’s still not the best sweater I’ve ever made, it’s much less ridiculous now that it kind of fits.)IMG_20181106_164347481He posed for Christmas pictures with my Arne and Carlos Christmas balls (which he was a big fan of).  And look at that poofy hair!  I miss that hair.  It’s gotten too long to stand up on its own now.IMG_20181128_084112346He got over his dislike of hats (most of the time).  He’ll even happily wear his hat if it means going out to our favorite diner for pancakes.IMG_20181209_090601434_HDRHe wore the heck out of this adorable little fair isle sweater while he learned to crawl.  It’s a little small on him now- it’s hard getting it over his GIGANTIC HEAD, but it fits well enough once it’s on, so I only break it out when we’re both in the mood for a wrestling match.IMG_20181210_161920040And now he’s ready to go on adventures!  (Ollie is less than enthused about adventures.  He’d rather be comfy at home .)IMG_20190226_112451188It’s been a crazy year of knitting (and not knitting).  The boy is definitely cutting into my knitting-and-blogging time, but I don’t mind (most of the time).  I can’t believe we’re already a year in!  It seems like just yesterday I was wrestling him into his first sweater.

(Thanks for bearing with me.  And, don’t worry, I’ll be back to my regularly-scheduled knitting programming next week!)

6 years (and counting!)

Can you believe it? (I can’t!)  On the Needles has been chugging along for 6 years!IMG_1286It’s been a long time since my first “Hello World”, my life has changed significantly, and I’ve learned so much, both about knitting and writing (and writing about knitting).  I’ve written dozens of patterns and grown in my confidence as a designer.  I’ve made a whole stack of sweaters (my entire family is very warm these days).

I just wanted to say thank you to all my readers (and knitters), if it weren’t for you, I would probably be doing something very different with my life.  I’d still be knitting, sure, but it certainly wouldn’t be my “day job” (something that I never would have anticipated before starting this blog).

So, thank you!  And thank you for putting up with the slower post schedule- that 3-day-a-week schedule was fine when I was just me, but some weeks it’s hard to get out a single post, now that I have a kid (that for some reason wants my attention!).  And, get ready- because I’ve got a bunch of patterns in the pipeline that will be coming out over the next few months.  I’m really proud of them, and I think you’ll like them, too!

Here’s to another year!

Permission

It’s Christmas Eve.  You should be listening to carols, nibbling on cookies and generally relaxing while soaking in the Christmas-y vibes.  But, if you’re like most knitters (me included- I decided a couple days ago that I had plenty of time to knit just one present, because I’m a little bit of an idiot), you’re probably stressing yourself out, trying to power through that last few inches of scarf or finish up the ribbing on that sweater.

I’m here to give you permission to stop.

You’re allowed to put your knitting down if it’s stressing you out.  You’re allowed to help your grandma make cookies or drink a cup of mulled wine with your uncle.  You can go play bingo with your nieces and nephews or make a snowman with your siblings.

Don’t hole yourself up, hiding as you finish your last few gifts.  Your family will understand if they don’t get a totally finished gift on Christmas morning. (There’s no shame in wrapping a half-finished project, still on the needles.)

And if they give you trouble, just hand them this permission slip from the big man himself.  It’ll totally get you out of any trouble you might find yourself in.Permission slip

Print yourself off a Permission Slip, and go find yourself a plate of cookies and a glass of eggnog.  Relax, and have yourself a Merry Christmas (or just a really nice Tuesday, if you’re not a Christmas person).

FO

So, have you been up to anything exciting lately?  Cool!

Oh, me?  Not that much.

Just hanging out with this dude.Everybody!  Say hi to my son!  He’s pretty much the best.He’s a huge, healthy, and hungry baby boy, born on April 14th.  He was just over 9 pounds at birth, and surprisingly tall and skinny- over 20″ (he takes after his dad’s family in his body type, but his face looks just like the babies in my family).  He’s a big fan of staying up all night, drinking lots of milk, and riding in the baby carrier when his dad and I go for walks.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be a big fan of hats and is currently too small for the sweaters I’ve made for him, so his appreciation of knitwear is a bit limited so far.  Though, he does like his garter stitch blanket, especially on car rides.I’ve still got a bunch of posts in the chamber, ready to go.  So, you’ll still be hearing from me “from the past” for the next couple months, but I wanted to stop in and give you an update while I recuperate and the boy learns that nighttime is for sleeping.

Maybe in a few weeks, I’ll manage to find some time to get a little knitting done, too.  Who knows- miracles can happen!

See you soon!

800

Pardon my French, but holy balls, you guys!  This is my 800th post!

That’s a lot of posts.

That’s a lot of photos and a lot of knitting.  A lot of patterns (both my patterns and other peoples’ patterns), and even a bookI know I say it every time that I reach a milestone of one sort or another, but holy cow, you guys!  Thank you!  It’s insane to me that I’ve been at this for so long, and that people like what I’m saying enough to continue to follow along.

But here’s the thing.  I’m writing this from the past, in preparation for my maternity leave.  I still have my brain more-or-less in tact, and have been (usually) getting enough sleep, and I still have trouble coming up with new ideas for posts from time to time.

So, is there anything that you want to see?   More patterns?  Different patterns?  New tutorials?  More pictures of my dog? (That one’s easy.)Holler at your girl and let me know!  And let’s do another 800 posts! Woo!

An Update About Updates

In Monday‘s post, I mentioned that I was still “writing from the past,”  and I was- I finished the Papaya Sweater (and wrote that post) about three weeks ago.  I also mentioned that “by the time you read this post, I should be less pregnant.”

Well, I’m writing this on Tuesday, and I am not less pregnant.  I didn’t think it was possible, but I am in fact more pregnant.  I am almost a week past my due date, and my kid seems determined to stay put until he finishes high school.

But, by the time you read this, I should have had my baby (for some reason, my doctor seems to think that staying pregnant for the next 18+ years is not a great idea… I can’t imagine why), and I will officially be on parental leave!  Exciting!

But what does that mean for the blog?  It means that I’m going to be cutting down posts to once a week (on Monday mornings).  I’ve already got a nice buffer built up, and should have enough posts to carry me through until the beginning of summer at a once/week schedule.  I’ve also got some plans for easy projects that I can start working on when the little one is sleeping (that’s a totally reasonable thing to expect… right? I’ve heard that babies are totally great at sleeping), so you might get a couple extra posts and updates here and there, outside of the usual once-a-week schedule.Also, if you have questions about anything (via email, or through the comments section), just know my response time is going to be a little slow, but I’ll still try to do my best to check in every couple days.

I’m a little sad to be cutting back on my blog time (and my knitting time!), but I’m so excited to get started on this next big project!  Parenthood is going to be interesting!

Wish me luck!

Happy Birthday!

Can you believe it? I’ve been at this blog for 5 years!

That’s absolutely nuts!  I don’t really know how long I expected to keep this bad boy going, but it certainly wasn’t 5 years.  It’s been a huge learning experience for me- the patterns I write today are head and shoulders better (or at least less full of typos) than the ones I came up with in 2013.  I’ve learned a lot about my style of knitting/designing, and I think I’ve become a better writer and teacher.  You kind of have to get better when you work on the same project three days a week for 5 years!

Of course, On the Needles is going to start changing a little bit, what with the whole “baby-on-the-way” thing, at least until I get my feet under me.  Starting next week, I’m going to switch from my usual 3 posts a week to a slightly less insane twice-a-week schedule (Monday and Friday), to give me a little slack so that I can get some posts prepped so that when I have to go on parental leave, I won’t leave you blog-less.

It’s going to be crazy to see what the next 5 years has in store!  Talk about changes!