Today is the day we pull back the curtain to introduce a project that we have been working on for the past year—and for the past 20 years.
It’s a small book that distills our decades of knitting experience into 9 simple lessons.
It’s called Skill Set: Beginning Knitting, and we are thrilled to share it with you.
Order a copy here.
Scene: Ann’s Kitchen Table, December 2019
Back in the Before Times, we held a knitting getaway in Nashville, and our friend and editor of the Field Guide series Melanie Falick was in town to be a part of it.
We don’t often get the chance to brainstorm with Melanie—we’re usually working on a Field Guide at a granular level. So when she said, “What do you want to do next?” it just sort of burst out of us: we’ve always wanted to write a how-to-knit book.
But we didn’t want to write an encyclopedia of knitting. We didn’t want to stuff a bunch of patterns in there. We wanted to make a book as short and clear and distilled as we possibly could.
In other words, we had to stop typing so fast, and boil the gigantic world of knitting down into as few lessons as possible.
That is easier said than done. We have a lot to say about knitting, as our blog dating from 2003 amply illustrates.
Short Is the Way
So that’s what this book is. We all know that knitting is a vast, never-ending universe of dazzling things to explore. But that first moment, when knitting is just a possibility of a new little hobby to try? It needs to be as uncomplicated as possible.
Small is all you need.
It’s the same size as our Field Guides, 5.5″ x 7.25″ (14 x 18.5 cm).
Nine lessons. 108 pages.
Clear and simple drawings, by the exquisite hand of Patti Pierce Stone.
A book design by Lily Piyathaisere that is clean, modern, and beautiful.
Lessons that are, in the words of a famous Nashville guitar teacher, all killer no filler.
This book is the result of Melanie’s superb editing skills—and our belief that the world needs more knitters, more love, more fun, more joy.
The Skill Set Box of Joy
Part of the fun of learning to knit is discovering a new world of beautiful materials.
So we have created the Skill Set Box of Joy. You’ll find it in the MDK Shop, right here.
It’s our brand-new kit with everything a new knitter needs to make the swatches that are at the heart of Skill Set: Beginning Knitting.
We’ve been sweating over this thing, making sure every single component is beautiful, excellent, and necessary.
In it, you’ll find:
• The book. (We are also offering the Skill Set Box of Joy without the book, in case you already have one.)
• A matchy-matchy zippered canvas pouch.
• A supercute tin filled with matchy-matchy stitch markers, circular and locking.
• Straight needles.
• Circular needles.
• Double-pointed needles.
• Small, sharp scissors.
• A tape measure. (Matchy-matchy.)
• A crochet hook.
• Cable needles.
• A tapestry needle.
• Three skeins of the most beautiful yarn we could possibly find.
What’s That Yarn?
Atlas. By Modern Daily Knitting.
It’s the first yarn we have ever developed ourselves. It’s brand new.
The Skill Set Box of Joy is the first place we are making it available.
It’s Rambouillet wool, as soft and lofty as a new knitter could ever want.
It’s 100% U.S. made, climate beneficial, light worsted, three ply.
These three skeins are enough to set up a new knitter to make all the swatches in the book.
The full range of Atlas will launch later this year. But there was no way we could have a Box of Joy without including this exclusive new yarn. Start as you mean to go on, we’ve always said. Atlas yarn gives the new knitter an experience with the loveliest of natural fibers.
And, of Course, the Skill Set Tote
Because the new knitter needs to understand the importance of a good tote . . .
We cooked up our favorite, sturdy Baggu bag in a new colorway to coordinate with all things Skill Set. You’ll find it here.
Each One Teach One
If you’re reading this, you probably already know how to knit. And you probably know someone who would like to learn to knit.
A few months ago, we sent copies of Skill Set to 241 MDK readers, so they could teach someone to knit, and try out our new book.
The response has been gratifying to hear. New knitters are springing up like daisies, and we hope this is the start of something great.
It’s a big day for MDK. Thank you for your encouragement along the way! And thank you for sharing the news of Skill Set with the soon-to-be-knitters in your life.
Ann and Kay