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Dear knitters,

A hearty hey there to all, and welcome to the May edition of MDK Gems, a monthly feature where we show you MDK designs that have become favorites, and offer you a dazzling little deal.

Today we return to two pillars of our long and happy knitting lives: log cabin knitting, and dishcloths.

The featured pattern for May is cheery, practical, and ridiculously fun for summer knitting: Log Cabin Cloths.

This series of 6 little cloths is the foundation of MDK Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin. The finished squares will be whatever you need them to be: washcloths, dishcloths, or the start of a beautiful blanket. As a bonus, making a set of these lovely little home helpers teaches you all the basic techniques of log cabin knitting.

Log cabin is one of the best kinds of knitting, for all levels of experience. It’s fun and flexible, an easy technique for playing with color and making it up as you go along.

When you want to knit, but don’t know exactly what to knit, cast on a log cabin square, and see where it takes you. It’s going to be someplace very fun.

A Special Offer

Save 10% on open stock skeins of Handknit Cotton, Rowan’s classic, colorful yarn for the ages. No coupon code needed—we’ve discounted the price on the listing, so just pick a few colors that will be the best match (or the best clash!) for your kitchen, bath, or baby, and off you go.

Looking for a pre-picked pack of colors? We’ve got those too, and they’re already discounted 10 percent off the single-skein price. We proudly present our colorways:


But wait there’s more…

We’ll include a free download of the ebook version of Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin with your Handknit Cotton or Log Cabin Cloths kit order. This special offer runs through the end of the day on Monday, May 30. If you’d like the print copy, you’ll find it here.

Get to Know Handknit Cotton

Handknit Cotton is the ultimate cotton yarn: soft and smooth, but durable and pill-free.

Rowan has been making Handknit Cotton for decades, and Ann and I have been knitting it for almost as long. In the early 2000s I must have knit a hundred skeins of the stuff—no exaggeration. In an era when I didn’t knit a lot of wool, Handknit Cotton was my Old Faithful.

Rowan’s legendary palette-pickers keep the color choices ultra fresh, and we carry the full range here. It’s so pretty!

You’ll see hundreds of patterns for Handknit Cotton on Ravelry. There’s no better yarn for the notorious, wildly beloved Ballband Dishcloth, for example, or for a log cabin baby blanket. That pattern is easy: Start with the first of the six Log Cabin Cloths in Field Guide No. 4, and just keep going until it gets to the blanket size you want. All the instructions for joining, edging, and other techniques are in MDK Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin.

Pick a pattern, pick a color (or 28), and set yourself up for perfect warm-weather knitting and wearing.

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  • Just me testing comments. Could be that everyone is busy building log cabins.

  • Dare I suggest that this would make an awesome temperature blanket. Or a Blanket of Joy. It’s a great yarn!

  • My husbands mistaken musing, “ who would want those?”. His family soon and loudly corrected, “ we do, we do!” He was soundly corrected by seven siblings.

    • Oh, that’s a great story!

  • I better pull out this WIP from two years ago… I purchased some of this cotton yarn from you to practice on log cabin dishcloths. Thanks for the reminder! This will be a great summer To Go project.

  • I believe there is a mistake with your “Betty” and “Martha”. I was going to order one of them and I noticed when you first show it they are one set of colors and then when I went to order, they are reversed. I am waiting to see if it is corrected so I can order. Thank you!!

    • I got Martha and wanted Rose. I thought I had ordered incorrectly. Now I’m not so sure. Perplexed.

    • Thanks, Merry! The product page is correct.

  • I am following Lucy and Kay’s lead and doing my temperature blanket in little log cabin squares. I am amazed at how doing the same little square over and over has me really looking at my work and I am improving!! My first squares are more rectangular — not exactly sure why.This is my third or fourth restart of the temp blanket, so I think I’m gonna find a way to make them work.

  • I went down the Log Cabin rabbit hole over a very stressful 2021! It really helped and what started out as a few dishcloths has become a big beautiful stack of blanket squares!

  • I love log cabin knitting!! Thank you to MDK for introducing it to me!!

  • I’m a huge log cabin knitting fan. I’ve knitted lots of dishcloths and several blankets. Such a fun and easy pattern. Handknit cotton is a wonderful yarn for log cabin knitting too. Love all the pictures!

  • I LOVE log cabin-ing!! Several years ago I knit a queen size MDK Moderne Log Cabin blanket from the pattern in your book. Alas, since I didn’t know how much I would love it as THE PERFECT summer blanket, I didn’t think about the quality of the cotton yarn I used. I’m now thinking I need to make another one in good cotton. What a prescient post!

  • Thanks for this article. I broke my right wrist and ty Houghton I couldn’t knit. But thanks to you and field guide no.4 I changed from continental knitting and the log cabin gems are just right to knit. Thank. Goodness 7 days without knitting is too long.

  • I loved the pink & black stripped dishcloth that was shown earlier in the week. . Is that pattern included in the 6 log cabin patterns?

  • Hi! When I go to the Rowan Handknit Cotton colorways you have, there is only one in stock (Joanie). The article above states pre-picked colorways are available. May be a problem with the shop? Just wondering.

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