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Dear everyone,

Now it begins! Giddy with excitement for the fun ahead, we proudly announce the arrival of MDK Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings.

Order your copy here.

The Designer

Karida Collins is a star in the fiber world, where she is an innovator as both a designer and a dyer.

Because we know that you want to know: Karida is wearing Rebound by Spout Knitting Design. The yarn: Organic Studio Worsted.

Her exquisite Neighborhood Fiber Company yarns, hand-dyed in Baltimore, are beloved by knitters and designers all over the globe. We fell hard for NFC’s subtle and saturated colors—it was love at first sight. We have been proud to carry them in the MDK Shop since the start of our business.

At any fiber festival, we make a beeline to the Neighborhood Fiber Company booth, to see Karida, of course, but also to see the sweater she’s wearing for the occasion. If you know Karida’s way with a handknit-forward outfit, you’ll understand why the idea of combining Karida’s designs with Karida’s yarns was irresistible.

And if Karida’s work is new to you—or heck, if knitting itself is new to you—you are in for a treat. We can think of no better way to jump into the wild love of knitting and color than by making these designs.

The Theme: Beginnings

We’ve been knitting a long time, and talking to knitters for just as long. One thing we believe in our bones, and hear affirmed constantly by our fellow knitters, is that simple, elemental knitting can often be the most satisfying knitting. We crave this kind of knitting. While we love taking up the challenge of a project that has tricky bits, we return again and again to the relaxation and beauty of knit and purl and simple shapes. The joy of simple knitting has everlasting appeal, even to experienced knitters—especially to experienced knitters!

And of course it’s also great to have a set of designs that we can recommend to beginners as their first projects, because we know they can succeed with basic skills, and we know they’ll be happy and proud to wear the results.

This was the idea that Karida ran with for Field Guide No. 18. It’s a challenge to create knits that are simple but sophisticated, and Karida met that challenge. We will be knitting and wearing her creations for a very long time.

The Designs

With MDK Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings, we celebrate the idea of a new start, that joy that comes when trying something for the first time.

These projects require nothing more than knit, purl, decrease, increase, and yarnover. There’s a simple cable in there, too, and that’s as fancy as it gets. But look at what amazing effects can come from these most basic of stitches.

Knitting is forever new—each project has its own moment when we decide we’re going to jump in. Have a look at these six ideas—there’s endless fun to be had here.

Scarf-Cowl Duet

A gorgeous swath of knits and purls. This is box stitch, a classic stitch pattern that creates a chewy, reversible fabric. The texture is the story here. Make it as a scarf or as a cowl if you sew the ends together.

The yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Organic Studio chunky.

Diagonal Mitts

Mitts are one of the most satisfying projects to make and to give. They go really fast, and you can be done in a day. When you give a pair to a friend, you will be hearing from that friend for years to come, about how cute their mitts are, how they can’t believe you made them, how they’re so special, how brilliant you are.

These Diagonal Mitts begin as simple squares of garter stitch (all knit stitches, no purls!) worked on the bias—simple increases and decreases form the square. A quick fold and a seam transform the squares into cute little hand warmers. There’s even a thumb hole.

The yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Organic Studio Sock.

Everyday Cowlette

Here’s a short masterclass in some of the most elemental techniques in knitting. This project shows what happens when you change needle sizes, when you go from knitting flat to knitting in the round, and when you work knits and purls in a flat rib pattern. It results in a cowl that we really love: textured, distinctive, and fast to make. It’s only June, but we can’t help thinking of what a welcome holiday gift this little neckwarmer will be.

The yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Organic Studio Chunky.

Simple Swoncho

Sweater + Poncho = Swoncho. As a first sweater or your fiftieth, this modern pullover combines so many things we love: knitting in the round, an inventive silhouette, and decorative stitch moments along the way.

The yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Organic Studio Worsted.

Debut Pullover

Knitting in the round can be done from the neck down or from the hem up. Here we begin at the bottom and knit upward, getting the hang of it. Sleeves come next, then the swirly knit-purl pattern that lends texture and dimension. Up to the neckline and voila! It’s the sweater you’ll reach for all the time.

The yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Organic Studio DK.

Flash Cap

Low-dose colorwork is one of our favorite things. This zigzaggy design comes and goes in a flash, and it allows for no end of color experiments.

The yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company Organic Studio Worsted.

A Knitalong? Heckyeah!

We’ll give you a little time to ponder the array of options here and get your yarn game set. (Our advice: make one of each, and multiples of the accessories!) The official needles-up start date will be Thursday, June 17, and the knitalong will run through the end of August. Watch for details. (Early starting is encouraged—don’t postpone joy!)

Yes, there will be prizes—of course there will!

It’s been a joy to work with Karida and to see what her sense of color and signature style have brought to life. We’re looking forward to knitting with you in the weeks to come.


Ann and Kay

Looks like the start of a vibrant summer. All You Need for MDK Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings is here.


  • I love launch day!

  • Can almost feel the texture of the Everyday Cowlette. Ordered the Studio Chunky in red, deep red, and am eager to begin. (Can’t believe you’re at 18 in the Field Guides.)

  • Gorgeous designs. Congratulations on another awesome field guide ladies <3

  • Yay! A knitalong.
    Yay! Launch!
    So need this connecting … with yarn and other ways.
    Looking forward to it.

  • Love the designs in this new field guide-can’t wait to start! Also would love to know the pattern name kardida is wearing in her photo

    • The pattern is Rebound by Spout Knits. Lots of great patterns.

  • Where can I get the pattern for the poncho Ms. Collins is wearing in her pix?

  • I have been previewing these designs and enjoying the process. I am so glad that I decided to subscribe to the Field Guides.

  • I think the pattern for the mega cowl Ms Collins is wearing is

    • Pam is right-it is which is very similar to Echo (I’m knitting an Echo right now, and I’m enjoying the process).

      • I just finished my Echo. Unfortunately, it is way too warm to show it off.

  • I finished my Everyday Cowlette and tried turning it inside out and upside down- voila! A super thick cozy alternative way to wear it!

    • Like a collar! I love it. I’m at the halfway point (which means I’m almost done).

  • What a great idea for a Field Guide. I’m about to head out for a weekend with friends (take that Covid!) and I’m looking at what knitting to take, but everything is too fussy to work on while catching up on the last year. Love the idea of simple knitting!

  • On zoom this afternoon, can Karida talk about “superwash merino without the chemical process”? Thank you;)

    • Will do! I keep thinking there must be sorcery involved.

  • You could do some fun additional things with those Diagonal Mitts like add a frilly or lacy cuff, same or different color. Great new Field Guide!

  • I love that you created a beginner MDK Field Guide! It’s what I crave now, just simple knitting, but with beautiful patterns!

  • I want that poncho she is wearing! So many cute patterns.

  • I’m so glad you all teamed up with Karida Collins for a field guide. I was lucky enough to chat with her at Stitches West some years ago. Very cool person, and such a talent, both for design and color.

  • That Debut Pullover is a definite keeper! I can see that easily becoming a favorite.

  • I love this field guide. I’ve never purchased one. This looks like a great one for me. The designs are all lovely.

  • Thank you so much for this book! I might FINALLY join a KAL withou fear of giving up because it’s too involved ( read that as new and difficult)!!!

  • these mitts can be suncovers also!

  • Such a brilliant theme for a field guide. I’m an experienced knitter but I really enjoy straightforward knitting.

  • Those mitts! I never knew garter stitch could be so sexy.

    • I wonder about the knitted sea shells on the cover? Are they significant? In the book? Thanks! Aloha from Big Island…

  • I love the swancho ! I must knit it !

  • Y
    Those are some good lookin’ knits.

  • So excited for this!

  • is the pattern for the gold colored pullover cape karida callins is wearing in the field guide #18

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