TNNA webinar: contracts for the needlearts industry

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Hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away, but I hope everyone is enjoying the autumn season!

I’m pleased to share that, on December 5th, I’ll be teaching the next webinar for The National Needlearts Association (TNNA)!

For those of you that are not TNNA members, you may recall from one of my earlier posts that TNNA is a professional organization representing the needlearts industry in all of its forms across various handcrafting disciplines: knitting, crochet, needlepoint and cross stitch, weaving, and so on. Its mission is to encourage the growth of the industry through education, industry meetings, and marketplaces where members can do business with each other.

(Want to learn more about eligibility and becoming a member? Then just click here!)

As you can see from my little blurb above, this hour-long class will be an introduction to contracts and how they can serve you and your brand in the needlearts industry. My aim is that, whether you are a designer, teacher, editor, photographer, craft shop owner, or product manufacturer, you’ll pick up valuable tips on how to read your current contracts with a more critical eye and be empowered to draft (and negotiate) contracts that benefit your business in the future!

The link to sign up for the webinar is here, and very good news: you do NOT need to be a TNNA member to attend this webinar! (If you’re a TNNA member, please spread the word!)

And if December 5th doesn’t work for your schedule, the webinar will be made available online by TNNA for future listening. I’m looking forward to having a fun and educational afternoon with you all.

Happy crafting,
xoxo Danielle

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rhinecliff hat

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I wasn’t sure if I’d have this post ready in time for Rhinebeck, but the designing gods have smiled on me and my newest design, the Rhinecliff Hat, is ready for its big reveal!

This design was one of those times where I could not knit anything else until I got this one completely figured out! Inspired by, and named for, one of the loveliest autumn destinations I’ve ever visited, the Rhinecliff Hat features everything that I love about hat knitting: classic cables, timeless texture, and a cozy brim. (And an enormous pom-pom.)

While I could see what I wanted in my mind’s eye when it came to this pattern, I went through several iterations (and swatches) of “Is this the right cable?” “Can you see this rib pattern clearly enough?” “Would this hat work for everyone in the family (and is it quick and fun to knit)?” I’m so pleased to say that it turned out just the way that I had envisioned.

I know that a huge part of why this design turned out the way that I wanted is thanks to the extra-special yarn. This is “Hudson” by Jill Draper of the aptly-named yarn brand Jill Draper Makes Stuff. Jill creates her yarns in the Hudson Valley town of Kingston, making the use of this yarn for a design called “Rhinecliff” (a hamlet across the Hudson River from Kingston), especially appropriate.

Hudson is a worsted-weight 100% merino yarn that is so smoothly and tightly spun that it makes any textural design just pop. I can’t rave enough about how this yarn behaved – it’s pleasant to knit with, it holds up very well to reknitting and washing, and (best of all) it’s made entirely from sheep to skein here in America!

So let’s talk design details. This unisex hat is worked in one piece in the round from the brim upward. The brim is cast on using an optional tubular cast-on known as the Italian cast-on, which lends the brim a round and elastic edge, but you can use whatever cast on you prefer.

Cabling addict that I am, of course I knew that the ribbing on the brim of the hat would flow directly into the featured cable. I also loved adding the little accent cables on either side.

The beaded rib panels that separate, and provide a visual break from, the cable panels lend additional texture to the hat while also being a welcome departure from the traditional 2×2 rib.

And of course, no self-respecting hat would be complete without a nice, squishy pom-pom on top!

Lest you think, however, that this yarn only comes in the typical neutral palette (although how lovely is this “Pastry Cream” colorway? It reminds me of the finest vintage Aran sweater…), let me show you the hat that I knit for Nina. The colorway is called “Bottle,” and no, I did not alter the color of this photo!

This green is multi-dimensional with darker washes of green and yellow highlights that not only makes it fun to knit with, but also makes a wonderful, cheery color for kids to wear during the dreary winter months.

Speaking of kids, that’s another important feature of this design. The pattern includes 4 sizes to cover the entire family: everyone from babies to adults with head circumferences from 16 – 23″! In the picture above, Nina’s hat is shown in the “Baby” size and my own hat is knit in the “Adult Large” size (which does not come as a shock to anyone…) No matter which size you choose, only one skein of Jill’s amazing yarn is needed, making this project a great travel project and a great gift, too!

This post would not be complete, however, without a few good outtakes. In design, as in life, things aren’t always what they seem. Especially when you’re trying to get some good photos with a shih tzu and a toddler milling about 3 feet away:

Am I wrong to admit that these might be my favorite photos of all?

Finally, it’s not all glamour in this industry. To wit: getting that lovely stone background for these photos required me to kneel on our driveway!

(Too bad you can’t see the slippers on my feet…)

I hope you love the Rhinecliff Hat and that it inspires a whole season of cold-weather knitting! As always, you can find the pattern here at MWD and on Ravelry here.

I’m particularly happy to include this latest design in my Rhinebeck pattern sale that’s still going strong until midnight EDT on Monday, October 23, 2017! Just enter the coupon code “rhinebeck” when you checkout to receive 25% off!

Happy knitting and happy Rhinebeck, all!
xoxo Danielle

2017 rhinebeck sale!

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October means two things around here: pumpkins….

and Rhinebeck, when crafters will be gathering en masse for the NY Sheep and Wool Festival.

To celebrate, it’s time for my annual Rhinebeck pattern sale! From now until midnight EDT on Monday 10/23/17, get 25% off ALL Makewise Designs patterns. Just use the coupon code rhinebeck when you check out.

Happy knitting and Happy Rhinebeck! 🙂
xoxo Danielle

nina’s blanket

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The good thing about having a baby in June? You still have time to design and knit a new blanket for her before the weather turns chilly!

Luckily, my newest design, named after my sweet girl, is finally ready. Meet Nina’s Blanket:

The central inspiration for this design was the classic herringbone, one of my all-time favorite patterns. I just love that graphic punch. In fact, the particular pattern that you see here was inspired by a pair of herringbone sweatpants that I bought for Jackson last winter. (I’m serious!)

In designing Nina’s Blanket, I wanted to create something eye-catching but timeless; always on trend without being trendy. Of course, it needed to be enjoyable and relaxing to knit. In addition, it was important to me to offer a design that could be knit for boys or girls. This striking blanket is the answer. Plush ribbed borders provide the perfect backdrop for the graphic herringbone pattern that is worked in a simple slip-stitch pattern using only one color at a time.

The bottom border, body, and top border of the blanket are worked flat in one piece. Then each of the side borders are picked up and knit in turn. The blanket is shown here in the carriage blanket size and the pattern also includes a larger lap throw size. To make an even larger blanket, simply add additional repeats of the herringbone pattern to the width and then work until the blanket is your desired length, but be sure to increase your yarn requirements accordingly.

And now a word about the fantastic yarn that you see here: it’s the Special DK yarn from Stylecraft Yarns in the UK. This is a 100% acrylic yarn, which is so helpful when designing and knitting for babies (and their parents!) who need soft, easy-to-care-for items. And with a HUGE color palette, it was a lot of fun selecting two colors that highlighted the modern feel of this blanket and that coordinated with Nina’s nursery. No matter who you are knitting for, there are countless color combinations that will work beautifully! As just one example, I made a black and white copy of the first photo to show how well the design works in a neutral palette like charcoal and white:

Finally, let’s talk finishing. The back of the blanket will be seen frequently, and the side borders are picked up separately from the body of the blanket, so the design includes instructions to achieve this tidy finished edge of slipped stitches:

(You can also see how the back of the herringbone pattern has a neat, almost shadow-like effect with the slipped stitches.)

So that’s it! A cozy new design that I’m so glad to send out into the world and to wrap around my growing girl. Autumn is upon us and I hope that you enjoy knitting up this project on a cool evening.

As always, the pattern is available for purchase on my website here and on Ravelry here.

Happy Knitting,
xoxo Danielle

planting fields arboretum

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This past week, Mom and I (and our smallest partner in crime, Miss Nina) had a chance to visit the Planting Fields Arboretum in Brookville, only a short ride from home. The weather was perfect as we wandered around the perennial beds and open lawns (and we only got “lost” a couple of times depending on who was holding the map….)

We especially enjoyed the Italian Garden, the wicker-laden Tea House, and the pink Play House, the last of which we were surprised to see was as well equipped with plumbing and a full-size fireplace as some real homes of the era. And while the grand Gilded Age Coe Hall, which sits within the grounds of the Arboretum, was closed, we still had a chance to walk around its exterior. Some of my favorite photos are below and I’d highly recommend it anytime you might be visiting the North Shore of Long Island!

Enjoy these last few weeks of Summer!
xoxo Danielle

(PS: Yes, that fuschia hibiscus flower was bigger than the biggest dinner plate!)

(PPS: And, yes, Miss Nina was more interested in the cool breezes soothing her to sleep than the pastoral landscapes…)

goldsmobile top

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Hi all!

There definitely has been a shortage of design posts on this blog in recent memory (well, a shortage of posts in general), but I suppose that’s what happens when you’ve got a toddler and a newborn!

I’m happy to report, however, that there IS a new design to share in the Fall 2017 issue of Interweave Knits (IK): meet the “Goldsmobile Top”! (More on the pattern name in a minute…)

Photography for Interweave Knits Fall 2017 by Nathan Rega, and all photos are courtesy of Harper Point Photography

This has to be one of my favorite pieces that I’ve designed to date. Conceived as a versatile garment that can be layered over a turtleneck, a flannel shirt, a t-shirt, a dress, or whatever you choose, the Goldsmobile Top has an easy, oversized vibe without any shaping in the body. The armholes are extra deep to accommodate the layered look while the thick turtleneck creates that extra bit of coziness and warmth for the body.

To maintain the structure of such a casual garment, the front and back are each knit separately and seamed together with a split hem detail. Then the turtleneck and armhole ribbing are picked up and knit.

The pattern offers 5 different sizes, all with at least a few inches of positive ease to allow you to style your layers as you wish!

Photography for Interweave Knits Fall 2017 by Nathan Rega

Apart from being thrilled to have this piece chosen for Interweave Knits’ latest issue, I’m happy to say that the cable pattern is something I designed after wondering how many times I could twist the ribs of a traditional 2×2 ribbing pattern around each other without going completely bonkers. You know how I love a good cable!

Photography for Interweave Knits Fall 2017 by Nathan Rega

I also think that the folks at IK chose a great yarn to give the garment and the cable pattern more impact: the super bulky “Chill” yarn from Sugar Bush Yarns of Canada. This 100% merino roving-type yarn is milled in Italy and comes in a wide palette of color choices. And with such a big-gauge yarn, you can knit this Top in no time. I finished the sample in less than 2 weeks back in January, when the sunny yellow color (a perfect Autumn hue) was a welcome departure from the dark gray skies.

A bit more about Chill: I was very pleasantly surprised by this yarn. As you know, roving is soft, lofty, and gives a great rustic texture to your knitting, but it can be difficult to work with for seaming and tearing out/re-knitting purposes. Not so with this yarn. It held its structure and smoothness through a lot of handling. I highly recommend it!

Photography for Interweave Knits Fall 2017 by Nathan Rega

Finally, the styling and the name. I LOVE how this piece was styled by the editorial staff and photography crew at IK (not least because my own closet is filled with striped shirts and dark skinny jeans). The photos show how wearable the design really is. And although I submitted this design for IK’s consideration with a different pattern name, after seeing the photos, I can see why they went with “Goldsmobile” instead hahaha 🙂 Makes me smile everytime I look at this last photo!

I hope you love this design, and all of the designs featured in another beautifully curated and styled issue of IK, as much as I do. Please click here to view the entire issue and purchase it.

And if you do knit the Goldsmobile Top, please share your pictures on Ravelry or on Instagram; it’s such a thrill seeing everyone’s finished projects and I think this piece makes the perfect first Fall knitting project! (It is August after all….EEK!)

Happy knitting and happy rest of the Summer,
xoxo Danielle

TNNANews

Hope everyone is enjoying a nice Summer weekend.

Just a quick post to share that I’m excited about being a contributor to the revamped digital TNNANews for The National Needlearts Association (TNNA)!

TNNA is a professional organization representing the needlearts industry in all of its forms across various handcrafting disciplines: knitting, crochet, needlepoint and cross stitch, weaving, and so on. Its mission is to encourage the growth of the industry through education, industry meetings, and marketplaces where members can do business with each other.

As a contributor, I’ll be educating members on legal-type topics that can advance their business interests. To start, I will be dedicating a series of posts to a topic that the entire membership can learn more about: contracts! Whether you’re a pattern designer, a craft store, or a craft company, I hope that all of the readers can take away some valuable tips and lessons from this series. And if you’re a TNNA member, please spread the word and share your questions and experiences!

The link to the full article is here, but, since TNNA is a professional organization, the caveat is that you do need to be a TNNA member to read it. Want to learn more about becoming a member? Then just click here!

Take care and happy knitting,
xoxo Danielle

nina corinne

It seems like just yesterday that I was posting on this blog to welcome our first child, Jackson.  But it was already 2.5 years ago.  And now I can’t believe that I’m posting again to welcome our second child, named after two great-grandmothers and one grandmother!

Meet Nina Corinne, born on 6/25/17:

As with Jackson, she is healthy and wonderful in every way, and our little family is over the moon with happiness and gratitude at her safe arrival.

It’s going to be a hectic and exciting Summer, but I wish you many sunny, warm, and wonderful moments with your families (and your knitting!)

Xoxo Danielle

two years old

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2016 is drawing to a close and, once again, December 13th marks our favorite milestone of the year.

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(fake candle, don’t worry)

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Happiest of 2nd birthdays to my sweet, feisty, endlessly curious, blue-eyed boy. You make everything more exciting, more challenging, and more special. And you are the light in every one of my days.

His birthday sweater is Flax, knit in Millamia Naturally Soft Aran (colorways “Denim,” “Ivory,” and “Ochre”), in the 2-4 year size with a shorter body and sleeves. 🙂

We wish you a holiday season filled with family, fun, and renewal. Happy holidays, all!
xoxo Danielle

2016 indie design gift-a-long

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

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 hundreds of independent designers. From November 22nd at 8pm (EST) through November 30th 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 22 through December 31, 2016. 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.

I decided to expand my offerings in the Gift-A-Long this year to give knitters a variety of options – both quick gift projects and selfish/leisurely larger projects.

Here’s a fun collage that I made up of my patterns that are included in the sale:

gal-collage-2016

To get the 25% discount, just purchase one or more of these patterns directly from my Ravelry shop between 8 pm US EST on Tuesday, November 22nd and 11:59 pm on Wednesday, November 30th, using the coupon code giftalong2016 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