When does something become a tradition? A few years back, we were inspired by Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Stopover sweater—so named because a focused knitter can whip it up over a long weekend—to send out the call to bang out a pullover, start to finish, in the shortest month of the year.
This year, the tradition will continue, with a new twist. Our mission, and we do choose to accept it, is to bang out . . . a Kiki Mariko Rug!
This pattern, a new-and-improved gem from the archives, has everything we need to be able to bang it out:
Honest-to-goodness quickness. The Kiki Mariko Rug (in the spirit of swiftness, we may need to abbreviate that as KMR) is knit up using a thick yarn, Lamb’s Pride Bulky, on U.S. 15 (10 mm) needles. It’s just not that many stitches to the rug of your dreams.
A simple stitch pattern to speed you along. You know how some colorwork patterns actually go faster than plain stockinette? (It’s science!) You will memorize this two-color geometric pattern in the first few rounds of knitting. It flies, while the swapping-in and swapping-out of colors keeps you entertained.
The return of a favorite technique. We haven’t felted our knitting in years! We’re going to be excited to get to the end of the knitting, and then throw a huge tube of colorful knitting into the washing machine. The pattern has been updated for the age of the front-loading washing machine. Our sample knitter felted the sample in a front-loader. (Fingers crossed that I’ll be felting my giant tube of colorfulness in the same top-loader I used to felt my first Kiki Mariko, back in 2005.)
The thrill of a steek. And this is no ordinary steek: the scissors come out only after the piece is safely felted. It’s a steek for everybody, including the lifelong steek-avoiders.
A truly beautiful FO. The Kiki Mariko Rug is a fan favorite of the home-dec category of knitting. Take a look at the project gallery over at Ravelry: it always looks good, and the firm ‘n’ cozy felted texture gets raves.
We’ve got kits! For our 2020 holiday shop, we launched a Kiki Mariko Rug Kit that sold out almost immediately. We got on the horn to our friends at Brown Sheep Yarn Co., and they came through with a restock of Kiki Mariko Rug Kits, in the colorway used for the photography samples, which we’re calling Original, and in two new combos: Heather and Blue. The kit includes a PDF download of the pattern, so you’ll be ready to go on February 1. If you want to join us but are all set on yarn, the pattern is offered in the MDK Shop and also on Ravelry.
Heather. Allison is working on a sample of this colorway, so stay tuned.
Blue! Sample forthcoming, but it might be a week or two.
The pattern has been updated to include charts for all three kit colorways.
All Are Welcome
MDK is an ever-expanding tent of knitting love that is open to all knitters, every day of the year.
An MDK knitalong is a great place to jump in and have a great time, yakking away and making new friends.
If you want to knit a glorious felted rug, in good company, but don’t think you have a hope in heck of finishing in 29 days . . .
If you can’t start on February 1, so you think it’s impossible . . .
If you want to use a different yarn . . .
If you know the basics of knitting, but you are not sure you can really knit a project this big . . .
If you’re nervous about felting, steeking, or anything else about this project . . .
If you’re not on Instagram . . .
If you just want to knit quietly on your own and read along . . .
. . . we welcome you.
“February” Is a Flexible Concept
We talk a good game about banging it out, but knitting is never really about speed. It’s about fun.
This will be our sixth February bang-it-out knitalong. While we know the Kiki Mariko Rug is achievable in 28 days, we also know that the fun is in the trying, and the glory is in finishing—in your own time and on your own terms.
It’s a delight to see projects that were started in long-ago Februaries, whenever they pop up on the #bangoutasweater hashtag, or in real life. If you’ve wanted to make a Kiki Mariko Rug (we know of at least one that was started in 2008 and has been aging and ripening as a WIP since then)—you will have a great time working on it in the company of other knitters.
Ask Allie Kat: a dense, woolly rug feels good underpaw.
Sharing and Caring Ahead
Where can you share your pictures and ask your questions?
Two main places:
- The MDK Lounge, in the thread “Bang Out a Kiki Mariko Rug.” This is typically a very lively place, where you’ll get help when you need it and enthusiastic likes when you post photos of your progress.
- Instagram, where we will use the hashtags #bangoutakikimariko and #MDKbangoutasweater2021.
There Will Be Prizes
We’ve got goodies in store! Stay tuned for details.
Get ready: It’s going to be a great February!