then and now

Boy, has this been a hot summer! But we have been making the most of it, spending it outdoors by the paddling pool or near the beach. Every day has a new adventure in store when seen through the eyes of a toddler!

Thought I’d pop in to share a fun photo “then and now” of Jackson. I love doing these, so please forgive me haha🙂

Jackson has one of those red, plastic “Cozy Coupe” cars that is big enough to ride in. I snapped a picture of him riding in it back when he was 12 months old (on Christmas Day, actually). He was bundled up in a jacket and his legs were covered by a blanket in the base of the car:

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And today, I snapped a new picture of him, at 19 months old, as he was steering it himself in his bathing suit (with his feet through the floor of the car) and giving me his best “serious” face:

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What a difference seven months makes! We are trying to enjoy each moment with our little guy as it arrives, because the moment also passes so quickly.

I hope that you’re all enjoying the weekend. I’m also working on a new knitting design, and hoping to make more headway in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

xoxo Danielle

patternfish

patternfish-384c889dec3c24a308ed4ed89882dd63June is disappearing quickly (too quickly!) but before it’s over, I’m happy to share that many of my self-published knitting patterns are now also available on Patternfish!

Patternfish is a great online resource for buying knitting, crochet, and weaving patterns. It’s very easy to navigate, with a huge selection of patterns for every skill level and every style.

And I just found out that I have been featured as one of the new designers in their latest newsletter! Here’s the link to the newsletter, which is chock-full of other newly-added designers, seasonally-appropriate patterns, and interviews that you’ll want to check out.

In case you want to skip straight to my collection with Patternfish, just click this link instead. You’ll also find a button in my blog sidebar that will lead you to the same place.

Thanks very much to Gayle Clow and all of the folks at Patternfish for such a warm welcome!

Happy 4th of July!
xoxo Danielle

the vagaries of gauge….

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Hi all and happy Summer!

I hope that you had a lovely Spring and are looking forward to some warm sunshine and green grass for the next few months. Time is certainly flying here and we are loving the process of watching Jackson grow and change right before our eyes.

I’ve been meaning to share a quick post on the subject of gauge for a while and, well, today’s the day!

Backstory: I visited my mom a few months ago and, during our visit, we crocheted some potholders. I love having these in the kitchen because they’re sturdy, safe, and machine-washable. If you’re interested in making some, here’s the pattern that we used. I had located some great variegated colors of Lily Sugar ‘n Creamyarn, a 100% cotton yarn perfect for this project.

None of this sounds very exciting, does it? Well, hang on. I followed the pattern, and sized up one hook because I crochet tightly (probably because I’m not a very confident crocheter. Or because I just need to relax haha). Here’s my finished potholder:

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Cute, right?

My mom used the same yarn, the same pattern, and the same number of stitches. She even used a smaller hook than me because she’s a VERY good crocheter, having decades of experience under her belt. Here’s her finished potholder:

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Also cute!

But the eagle-eyed among you will see where I’m going with this. Here are our potholders, side by side, with mine on the left:

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That’s right. These two beauties are completely different in size.

Crazy, right?! We had a very good laugh about the outcome and, luckily, the relative sizes of the two potholders wasn’t all that important.

Note to self: let this be a lesson to ALWAYS CHECK YOUR GAUGE. Even if you really really really really just want to get your project started!

Happy early weekend and happy early 4th of July!
xoxo Danielle

Mad May Sale!

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It doesn’t really feel like May here today, but no matter!

With the return of May, you knitters know what that means: the annual Madelinetosh MadMay party over on Ravelry!

To celebrate, use the coupon code madmay2016 in my Ravelry Pattern Store and get 20% off any of my self-published patterns through Sunday, May 15th, at midnight EDT!

Here are just a few of my designs featuring this great Texas yarn company, including:

Jackson's Blanket

Jackson’s Blanket

Augusta

Zuni

Avian

Shipshape

and Sugarplums

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Danielle

an anniversary and a facelift

Or, should I say, a blog-iversary!

This little blog turned five years old last week, and while I don’t post as frequently as I used to, I still love having a space to share my creative work. And I hope that you have enjoyed reading the posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

To celebrate the milestone, I’ve given the blog a bit of a facelift: a new blog header! I know how much you all loved looking at Coco wrapped up in my Augusta Shawl pattern, but it was high time (past time) for a new header that better reflects my blog and my designs in a more professional manner.

Thank goodness for the graphic design talents of my good friend, Elizabeth Green Musselman of Stitch Definition. She dreamed up the header that you see above, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out.

Here’s to five more inspired years!
Have a great week,
xoxo Danielle

sledding trails hat

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Hi all! I hope that, wherever you live, your winter has been passing quickly (and tolerably)!

It still gives me the same thrill every time I’ve got a new pattern to share, and today is no exception. Meet my Sledding Trails Hat!

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This was one of those designs that came to me rather quickly, but only under very specific conditions, if you will. A few months ago, I felt inspired to do another hat design, but I also felt that it needed to be more traditional in style. As we all know, I like a lot of texture in my patterns, and what’s more textured (or traditional) than German twisted stitch patterns? The exact pattern took me a few tries to design. But I eventually settled on what you see here: ribbed panels offset by beautiful, winding cables that reminded me of (you guessed it!) the trails that sleds carve into newly-fallen snow.

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(Aside #1: I have some fond, and not so fond, memories of various sledding adventures as a child, so every once in a while as I was knitting the samples, I found myself giggling at those memories.)

(Aside #2: the more scientifically-minded among you might say that those cables look a lot more like DNA strands than sledding trails in fresh snow. I know, I know.)

In keeping with the feeling of tradition (and maximum use-ability), I wanted a snug beanie fit that hugged the ears and the crown. I’m a big fan of the foldover brim for double the ear coverage! So you’ll find that this pattern is sized with negative ease to fit tightly and perfectly for whatever sledding adventures might come your way. The pattern also includes three sizes for children, small adult heads, and large adult heads, to suit everyone in the family!

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Next, I needed the right yarn to make the texture pop and bring my idea to life. Luckily, I had two great options this time around. The green sample that you see above is knit in the wonderful Spirited Fibers Merino SW, a 100% merino, worsted-weight yarn. I’ve used this yarn before, for my Lakeview Hat, and I love working with it now as much as I did then. It is a high-quality, tightly spun, solid-colored merino yarn that is smooth to knit with and so soft to wear. I particularly love this “Mojito” colorway, but then again, people with green eyes and red hair are probably partial to green yarn!

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(And if you’re in the Pittsburgh area during the weekend of March 4-6, 2016, you can see this sample in person at the 12th Annual Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Show, in Sue Coffrin’s Adirondacks Yarn booth! Sue is the distributor of this lovely yarn, and she has many gorgeous samples to check out.)

I also knit another sample in the hardworking Lion Brand Wool-Ease Yarn, in their rich “Cranberry” colorway. I love this yarn: it holds up beautifully during knitting and loads of wear, it comes in a huge variety of colors, it washes well without losing any quality, and is widely available. Here’s a snapshot of my red hat:

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As you can see, the design translates well across many solid colors. I would definitely recommend staying with more solid-colored yarns, so as not to lose the texture of the stitch pattern. Since red is my mother’s favorite color, I had to send this hat to her. (Besides, she was a co-adventurer on some of those sledding trips and her memories are as vivid as mine haha!)

Finally, any good traditional hat needs a really good pom-pom, and I made one for each of my samples. I used the largest pom-pom maker that I could find from Clover to make that pom really stand out! The pom-pom is completely optional, and you’ll find that the hat pattern spirals nicely into a simple crown closure that is both elegant and easy.

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That’s it! I hope you enjoy this little cutie as much as I do, and I hope that it keeps you warm on the very coldest and most blustery days.

As usual, the pattern is available for purchase on MWD here and is also available on Ravelry here (but you don’t need a Ravelry account to purchase the pattern).

And as always, a hearty thank you to my friend, Elizabeth Green Musselman of Dark Matter Knits, for her keen editing and lovely layout skills. And thank you to Andrew for his great photography skills. In another life, he was a knitwear photographer HA!

Until we chat again, stay warm folks!

xoxo Danielle

happy holidays!

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Well, we’ve got the baking nearly squared away around here, with my very favorite gingerbread cookies being finished up yesterday. Decorating isn’t my strong suit, but they still taste good🙂 And I’d say that we could use a little snow to get us in the “White Christmas” mood, but I don’t think that that’s going to happen with 70+ degree temperatures!

I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas, and a New Year filled with creativity, good health, and lots of laughter.

Happy Holidays!
xoxo Danielle

one year old

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December 13th again already! How the last year has flown.

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Happy happy happy first birthday to my sunny, funny boy, who has taught me more about love, laughter and patience in the last 365 days than in all my previous years put together.

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His birthday sweater is Oscar, knit in Madelinetosh Vintage (colorway “Baltic” to match his eyes), size 12-18 months, with three “leather” buttons sourced by my mom from our favorite button racks.🙂

Happy weekend!
xoxo Danielle

black friday – cyber monday sale!

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Happy Holidays, everyone!

Hope you all had an enjoyable, restful, and food-filled Thanksgiving yesterday. This weekend marks the beginning of the holiday season (at least to me), so what better way to celebrate than to keep the pattern sale love going?

As you might recall, I wrote last week about the indie designer gift-a-long sale.  Well, that sale is set to end tonight at midnight, but I decided to extend AND expand my pattern sale for those of you just picking up your knitting this weekend🙂

And it’s not just any pattern sale: I’m one of many, many designers participating in the knitting/crochet/craft sales promoted all weekend long by the MarlyBird website. (Be sure to check out the full list, it’s enormous.) With so many wonderful vendors from throughout the crafting world participating, you’re sure to find a sale that catches your fancy – all while supporting independent designers from around the world!

For my part, get 25% off ALL of my self-published patterns (click HERE to view) from now until midnight Eastern on Monday, November 30th with the coupon code: CYBER.

Happy Holidays and Happy Knitting!
xoxo Danielle

2015 indie design gift-a-long

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Howdy, everyone! I’m happy to say that I’m participating in this year’s Indie Designer Gift-A-Long!

What is that, you say?

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6-week knit-a-long and crochet-a-long of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by 335(!!!) independent designers. From November 19th at 8pm (EST) through November 27th at 11:59 pm (EST), the participating designers will be discounting some of their knitting or crochet patterns at 25%.

This is a great way to pick up a knitting or crochet pattern you’ve had your eye on, or discover a new designer and some great new patterns. The Gift-A-Long is also a wonderful way to promote and support independent designers everywhere during this holiday season.

There are numerous knit-a-longs (KALs) and crochet-a-longs (CALs) to participate in as a crafter, as well as prizes of all sorts that are given out! The Gift-A-Long KAL/CALs will run from November 19 through December 31, 2015. To find out more about all of the designers that are participating, as well as all of the KAL/CAL/prize details, please visit the Ravelry page devoted to the Gift-A-Long HERE.

When I was deciding which of my patterns to include in the Gift-A-Long, I focused on designs that could be knit up quickly as holiday gifts, since we all know how quickly those last few weeks of the year seem to fly, right?

They are (in no particular order):

Zuni Shawl

Lakeview Hat

Grace’s Sweater

Avery’s Sweater

Syringa Shawl

Avian Shawl

Winesap Mitts

and the Shipshape Shawl

To get the 25% discount on my Gift-A-Long patterns, just purchase the patterns you want directly from my Ravelry shop between 8 pm US EST on Thursday, November 19th and 11:59 pm on Friday, November 27th, using the coupon code giftalong2015 at checkout.

Then join one of the KAL/CAL threads on Ravelry and away you go!

Here’s to a fun and productive season of knitting and crocheting!
xoxo Danielle