Tag Archives: writing



Can this really be my 700th post?  That’s absolutely bananas.

But, when I think about it, I’ve been writing this blog three times a week for the last four and a half years.  So, yeah, the math checks out.  Wow!

It’s amazing to me that anyone reads this thing at all (and it really freaks me out when people in the real world bring up things that I’ve mentioned here).  It’s a really strange feeling.  Writing a blog is such a public thing-it’s shared with hundreds of people every day, but it’s also really private.  I work on it at home, first thing in the morning, usually when there’s just Ollie here to keep me company. Anyway, this is all to say thank you for sticking with me all these years.  I know I’ve said it before, but I never thought I’d be half as successful in this endeavor as I’ve turned out to be.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for commenting.  I really appreciate you guys!

Happy Knitting!

(And, if you have any ideas for blog posts, I’d love to hear them!  After 700 posts, I’m starting to get writers’ block!)


Hi everybody!  Guess what today is!

It’s my 600th post!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACrazy, 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!

Project Tea Cozy: Let’s Begin

I’ve got the gauge, I’ve got the stitch pattern, and I’ve got the design in my head.  It’s time to start getting this pattern on paper.

I’ll start by measuring my teapot.  19″ around the fattest part, which, with some math, can give me my stitch count.

img_3316Then I’ll sketch out my design, adding in notes about all the details- where the increases will be, what stitch pattern to use, etc.  I’m going to make this tea pot like a modified hat.  So, I’ll start from the bottom and work up, but I’m going to knit flat (until I make it to the “crown”).  That will make it easy to make the big hole for the handle; I’ll just sew up an inch or so at the hem, and voila!  Tea cozy.  (Or at least that’s the plan.)img_3331Then, starting with the cast on at the bottom, I write a first draft of the pattern, knowing that a bunch of it will be wrong.  But that’s OK, that’s what first drafts are for!img_3337Then, I finalized the stitch pattern…

Oh.  Except…

I totally used up most of the yarn I was planning on using (I got excited about another project and used up almost all the red and yellow and blue… oops!)img_3323Well, I’ve got lots of neutrals, so I guess this teapot will be more neutral than bright and colorful.  Ooh!  I can use neutrals for the stripes and colors for the dots.  That should look cute!img_3342OK, now that everything’s set up and beautiful, it’s time to start knitting!  (And time to start figuring out where all my mistakes are!)


Because I cant help saying “yes, and” to any challenge that crosses my plate, I’m doing NaNoWriMo again!

I’m very excited!  This will be my third year doing NaNo, and this time I am not nearly as prepared, so it’ll really be an adventure. (Eep!)

crest-05e1a637392425b4d5225780797e5a76For those of you who aren’t familiar, NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) happens every November, when people across the country (and the world) sit down at their computers, laptops, typewriters, or notepads and commit to writing 50,000 words of an original novel.  It’s actually pretty fun (difficult and time consuming, sure, but also fun, especially if you were the kind of kid who thought doing elaborate school projects was fun).  Some professional novelists use NaNo to get a jump on their next bestseller (Water for Elephants is a famous NaNo novel), but most people who participate just do it for their own entertainment, like me.  (No one is ever going to read my stories.  I just about die from embarrassment even thinking about it!)

I took a writing course at my local community college last year to help prepare for NaNo, but this year I’m flying solo.  I don’t have my entire plot mapped out, but I think that’ll be OK.  I hope!

I might not know where my story will go, but I bet there will be knitting involved!

Have you ever tried your hand at writing fiction?  What other creative projects do you enjoy?

NaNoWriMo 2014

It’s November, again!  And you know what that means: it’s NaNoWriMo time!

nanowrimo-crest[1]Last year, I did NaNoWriMo for the first time, and it was so much fun!  I never finished my story (because plotting is hard.  My main characters kept ending up in jail.  And it’s difficult to save Chicago from a jail cell).  But, I more than passed my 50,000 word goal for the month.  I learned a lot about my writing style, and how to maximize my productivity.  (I know it’s weird, but it turns out that I am most productive when I work in my car.  Something about not being able to access the internet, combined with a not too comfortable seat.  Who knew?)

This year, I’m  feeling pretty good about my prospects.  I am taking a creative writing class about writing a novel, and while some of the information is pretty obvious, I’ve learned some things that will really come in handy.

I’m working on a small-town murder mystery, this time around, and my goal is to actually finish the story, not just make it to the 50,000 words.  So keep your fingers crossed for me!

But what that means for you, dear readers, is that I’m going to be busy writing away on my novel, and might be a little slow to respond to comments, emails and other shout-outs.  I haven’t forgotten you, and the posts will still come, although they might be a little shorter than usual,

Wish me luck!  I’ll see you all in December!

A Call for Ideas

As much as I try to be more, I am only one person, with one person’s ideas.  So, I wanted to ask you a favor.  It would be awesome if you could let me know if you have any questions, ideas, thoughts, or other knitting-related ramblings you want to hear about.

Do you have a project you want to make, but can’t find a pattern for?  Do you want to learn how to do a specific technique?  Did something weird happen to you the last time you worked on a pattern, and you want to share?

Or, do you have an itch to try writing yourself?  Do you want to contribute to an On the Needles guest post?  Did you write a pattern, that you want to get a little more exposure?

Email me (knittingontheneedles@gmail.com), tweet at me (@on_the_needles), or contact me through the blog if you have ideas/questions/submissions.  I’ll have my people talk to your people (in other words, we’ll chat).

Let’s make On the Needles bigger and better than ever!

Because I Haven’t Got Enough on My Plate

nanowrimoHave you guys heard about this cool group of online nerds called NaNoWriMo?  It’s short for National Novel Writing Month, and it’s an organization of folks that get together (in real life and online) during the month of November and they write first drafts of their novels.  It’s 50,000 words in 30 days and it’s kind of insane.  But also, amazingly popular.  This year there are almost 300,000 participants (of course, not everyone finishes, but still).

I heard about it years ago, back in high school (which is now more than 10 years ago…eep!), when a friend of mine attempted it.  I thought it was sort of crazy, sort of cool, and promptly forgot about it.  But, this year, I thought hey, why not?  I’m only working part time, after all, and I do like to write.  And, I thought, it might be a good way to exercise some creative parts of my brain that I don’t use too often.

Anyway, if you notice the blog being a little neglected this month, comments going unanswered, a few less patterns going up, that’s what’s happening.  I’ve only just started, and I don’t know if I’ll reach my 50,000 words by November 30.  And even if I do, I have no doubts that story will be way to terrible to let other people see it.  But, I thought it was a cool concept, and a great way to get my creative juices flowing in a totally non-crafty way.

What do you do to stretch your creativity?