Skip to content

This week we’re looking forward to finally being able to celebrate a collection that we’ve been loving in secret for the last few months: Karida Collins’s simply gorgeous knits for MDK Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings.

These are simple knits: knits you’ll love to knit, and knits you’ll love to wear.

We begin with the Simple Swoncho.

But first: what (the ever-loving heck) is a Swoncho?

Knitters are trailblazers. Knitters are not content with the traditional menu of handknit garments that have existed since the dawn of sticks and string. Knitters want new garments, garments that combine a little of this and a little of that other thing, and come up with a new and exciting delivery system for yarn, stitches, and time.

We love the easy-going flow of a poncho, the way you can pop it over a whole other outfit and be ready to get out there and look fabulous. We love the way you can wear a poncho over a sweater or even a jacket, because there’s plenty of room in there, and no under-arms to get too tight.

But you know what would make a poncho even easier to wear? Sleeves. Not sleeves that go all the way up to your armpits. Little sleeves that allow you reach out of your poncho and hold a bag, or fill your grocery basket.

If you mash up the easy shape of a poncho and the sleeves of a sweater, you get a swoncho. And it’s a good thing. Everybody on Team MDK wants a Simple Swoncho (Ravelry link). We’re swoncho-crazy at the moment.

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.

This deep fuchsia shade is called Truxton Circle.
Neutrals anyone? This gray is called Thomas Circle.

See the shaping? That’s what gives this garment its poncho-like ease. But the long ribbed cuffs let you wear it like a sweater, and carry things with ease.

We love the simple, dimensional cable that runs between the raglan increases in this top-down construction. And we’re also having a great time thinking of alternative textures for that slim lane of opportunity. Stay tuned: fun times ahead.

The Yarn

The yarn of choice for the Simple Swoncho is Neighborhood Fiber Company’s new Organic Studio Worsted. Organic Studio Worsted is milled from GOTS-certified organic wool, which is machine washable, but without the chemical superwash process. The 100-percent merino wool is minimally processed and butter soft. The hand-dyed palette (shown in the gallery above) ranges from deep neutrals to zingy brights.

Swoncho weather is the new sweater weather, and we’re going to be ready!

A Knitalong? Heckyeah!

The official needles up start date will be Monday, June 21, and the knitalong will run through the end of August. Watch for details. (Early starting is encouraged—don’t postpone joy!)


  • 2questions. . .Is the yarn available in the UK?
    Does the fit allow you to reach for a jar from the top shelf without exposing your midriff??

  • Y’all need to stop dangling shiny things in front of me! I’m going to try to use stash on this one and am thinking out knitting the Ragland flat and then embroidering some flowers (Hello Jen and Jeanette.). This is going to involve a trip to the basement and perhaps a bit of gauge adjustment which could get interesting. We’ll see what’s downstairs in the bins.

  • Humid summers in OH are not “I gotta whole lotta yarn in my lap” time. But this swoncho WOWS me!!!! Yarn is ordered and needles at the ready. This will be my first sweater…, swoncho. I hesitated to spend this amount of money on the organic worsted and thought about subbing yarn. Then I watched your interview with Karida via Zoom. (Thanks for recording!) She has such integrity in all she shared from yarn processing, yarn color, paying a living wage. Who cannot support that? I bought her yarn and cannot wait to begin this project.

  • This is very creative and as you said, the best of both worlds! You know those pills you get under your arms on your favorite sweater? They’ll be almost nonexistent on this swoncho. I may have to knit this one using some yarns in my extensive collection.

  • I am attracted to the Swoncho too! If cables are involved, I’m definitely going to knit it. Love cables although, Cristina Schiffman’s version is interesting too! Reverse stockinette I think?

  • I love the look of this garment. However in Chile New England, we need to put on jackets and even coats. The garments it’s cut like this doesn’t work under an outer garment. Any suggestions?

  • I obviously should have proof-read my post. Let me try it again.

    I love the look of this garment. However in chilly New England, we need to put on jackets and even coats. The garment’s cut doesn’t work under an outer garment. Any suggestions?

    • Hi: You need to make a cape for your cold weather. This will allow you to wear ponchos & swonchos and layer up for Winters.

  • I was just looking at this pattern in the book and trying to convince myself that I DO NOT NEED A SWONCHO! But I guess maybe I do….. As much as I love Neighborhood Fiber Company yarn, I’m hoping I can find something in my stash for this, and I’m pretty sure that all the NFC yarn I own is fingering weight.

  • I absolutely love hand dyed yarns and Karida’s yarns and her colors and the designs in FG #18 are right up my alley. I’ve already received enough DK for the Debut pullover and after the Zoom meetup I ordered chunky yarn in 2 colors and one skein of sock yarn. Now you are tempting me with the Swoncho and I’m debating color choice.

    When will I get my holiday knitting in, I ask you?

  • Love this design. I am wondering how to determine what size to knit. Is there a recommended ease amount?

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    So it’s a sweater with dolman sleeves? It looks quite awkward
  • How can I tell you how much I appreciate MDK❤️

Come Shop With Us

My Cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping