Designing, Knitting

cousins collection

Hello, all! You may recall that, last year, I blogged about two different sweaters that I had designed and knit for each of my new baby nieces. Well, it’s a big day here at MWD, as I am finally ready to release a collection of three knitting patterns that includes those two sweaters and a third design that I created especially for Jackson.

It’s the Cousins Collection! (Aptly named, don’t you think?)

First up: Avery’s sweater!


This design is my take on a traditional color work sweater and was inspired by the mountains near Avery’s home. A simple but striking one-color pattern is knit across the yoke of the sweater, making this design equally appropriate for boys or girls.


IMG_0627As you can see above, the sweater, knit in a toasty DK-weight merino wool (yes, of course this is Madelinetosh yarn, and more particularly, their Tosh DK yarn) is finished with simple garter edges, including a split hem.  And perhaps most importantly, now that I’m dressing a newborn baby and can truly appreciate such things, the sweater features a button at the back neck to make it easier to pull on and off your wee babe.

This is a traditional yoked sweater, worked in one piece from the bottom up. The body is knit first, and then the sleeves are knit and joined to the body to form the yoke. I chose the luminous “Button Jar Blue” as the main color and “Paper” for the contrasting color because these tones suited Avery’s beautiful complexion.  But I’d recommend any solid or semi-solid color for the body and any contrasting solid color for the colorwork to really make the motifs pop.

The sweater shown above is in a 6-9 month size, but because babies grow very fast (another detail I’m only starting to fully appreciate), the pattern also includes a 12-18 month size and a 24-month size. And of course, each size is designed with plenty of positive ease in mind to allow for wriggling and growing and a t-shirt or other layer underneath!

Next up: Grace’s sweater!


Grace’s sweater is that heirloom-inspired cardigan for the wee girly girl in your life.


A bodice of daisy stitch is joined with a simple stockinette yoke and garter edges for a sweet, but timeless, garment!


The sweater is finished with matching buttons for a traditional look, but I would also happily recommend using contrasting buttons to give the cardigan a modern feel and energy.

Grace’s sweater shares many basic details with Avery’s sweater, not least because I thought that that might make for a cohesive collection of designs (and also because I wanted the girls’ sweaters to share a common thread – no pun intended!) Like Avery’s sweater, Grace’s sweater is a traditional yoked sweater worked in the same manner.

Grace’s sweater is also sized for 6-9 months (which is the size shown), 12-18 months, and 24 months, again with the same emphasis on positive ease for the baby’s comfort and growth, and uses the same yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK (in one of my all-time favorite colorways, “Rose”).  I chose this semi-solid color to highlight the elegant texture of the daisy stitch, but obviously a lighter solid color would work well, too.  However, I would recommend against a yarn that is too variegated, as you could lose the impact of the daisy stitch against the smoothness of the stockinette stitch.  And while the two sweaters use the same yarn, they use slightly different needle sizes, which just goes to show that the design process reveals interesting characteristics about a given yarn: the fabric that works well in colorwork/stockinette for one design might not be the right fabric for a more textured design.

And finally, last but not least, I’m happy to debut the cozy blanket I made for my own little guy to complete the Cousins Collection: Jackson’s Blanket!


The inspiration for this one was simple and straight from the heart: just classic, timeless knitting.  Designed to work equally well in the nursery of a little boy or girl, Jackson’s blanket is all about traditional knitting textures that will never go out of style.


Moss-stitch columns highlight two different cables, each of which also features moss stitch set against a crisp stockinette background.


I also unexpectedly took inspiration for the color of this blanket from Jackson’s own nursery.  Even before I knew we were having a baby boy, I knew exactly the color I wanted for the nursery.  But you know how it goes: what you see in your mind’s eye may not exist in painting reality.  After several trips to the local Benjamin Moore paint store and many, many samples of green paint on the walls later (just ask Andrew…), we found just the right shade of peaceful silvery-green for his room.

Once I finally decided on the design of his blanket, I thought I had chosen the right yarn but it did not swatch up at all as I expected.  Somewhat frustrated, I dove back into the stash mountain and couldn’t believe what I discovered: just the right amount of silvery-green worsted-weight merino yarn!  I knew immediately it would be the perfect fit of yarn, color, and texture.  Once again, Madelinetosh (this time Tosh Vintage in “Celadon”) saves the day again.  I might also point out that this entire story proves the point that you should amass an enormous stash of yarn because you never know when it will save you from knitting failure.  🙂

As you can see, “Celadon” is a semi-solid color which highlights both the yarn and the texture of the blanket.  Any lighter solid color would also work beautifully, and I could happily see this worked up in a classic ivory or white shade as the ultimate unisex baby shower gift.

Jackson’s blanket is worked flat in one piece and is shown in a modern carriage blanket size. But don’t worry: in case you’re in love with the pattern, but don’t have any babies to knit for right away, the pattern also includes a larger lap throw size.

So there you have it. Three different patterns for three equally special babes born less than eight months apart and united by family and knitting.  I hope that you love this Collection as much as I do.

For more specific information about yarns, yardages, and other details, head on over to the Cousins Collection page on MWD here, or find the info on Ravelry here.

As always, I would be remiss if I did not thank Elizabeth Green Musselman of Dark Matter Knits for her excellent technical and layout editing as well as her lovely schematic and chart-creation skills. Thank you, Elizabeth!

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Danielle

6 thoughts on “cousins collection”

  1. Every time I think that you have “outdone yourself”, Danielle, you prove me wrong…! The collection is simply beautiful and quite marvelous, but then, I am a HIGHLY prejudiced Mom and Nana, so proud of you and your work!!! XO’s in abundance…….

  2. Your blanket is exactly what I would expect from you, loaded with texture and cables. The entire collection is wonderful. Congratulations on yet another successful design.

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