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Welcome to June’s MDK Gem, a monthly feature in which we shine the twinkly high beams on an MDK Field Guide project that has gotten out there in the world, made good, and endeared itself to knitters.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever—and MDK Gems is here to remind us of that truth. We have a ton of fun choosing each month’s gem.

This month’s MDK Gem is what my late, great torts professor Willis L.M. Reese would call a cream puff, a real bearcat. If we dial the slang forward by 60 or 70 years, it’s the absolute bomb.

I’m talking about the mellifluous, the transcendent, the scrumpdillyicious: Garter Stripe Shawl, by Kaffe Fassett.

What the name lacks in poetry, it makes up in accuracy.

It’s garter stitch.

It’s stripes.

And it’s a shawl—although the generous size puts it well into legal throw territory, which is why it makes such a great template for a temperature blanket.

Ever since this design’s debut, we’ve had to hustle to keep Garter Stripe Shawl Bundles for the original colorway in stock. Ashley had to set an alert so she’d know when it was time to make up more kits. It’s always a great team-bonding exercise to put together 30 balls of luscious Rowan Felted Tweed, in 14 colors. I believe there is now an official chanty for this activity: Soon may the Rowan man come, and bring us Barbara and Celadon!

Did you catch that? I said “original colorway.” You know what that means: as of today, there’s a brand-new colorway.

Gentle knitters, by popular demand, we proudly introduce the Garter Stripe Shawl Bundle, Cool colorway.

Get ready to swath yourself in blues, grays, and pops of spritely brights.

This is half the full length of the finished shawl; we’re still knitting. Stay tuned!

It’s a Deal

The Garter Stripe Shawl Bundle is priced at a savings of 10 percent off the single-ball price of Felted Tweed, one of the greatest yarns of all time.

Plus! Free shipping in the United States.

There’s more! A free download of MDK Field Guide No. 13: Master Class, a jumping-off point to the immersive color playground of Kaffe Fassett.  Field Guide No. 13 includes the pattern for the Garter Stripe Shawl, plus a stitch dictionary of Kaffe’s stranded stripe colorwork designs that you can plug into any of the other designs in the book. Your download link will arrive instantly in your order confirmation email, and will be stored in your MDK account for easy access anytime.

Now all you need is a comfy knitting spot and a fair few hours to spend with the most relaxing and colorful project we know.

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  • Love, love, love!!! I’m on my 4th striped shawl/garter stitch. I’m in love with this yarn and all the beautiful colors. Field Guides 13 and 16 are a shatters (good thing I have the digital too). I may be starting chemo treatments soon and these projects will pull me through. Thanks MDK for all your wonderful efforts to bring amazing resources to knitters all over. We connect through you, God Bless.

    • Diane, my very best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    • @ Diane, Best wishes for good health and happy knitting! And the same for all of us.

  • Just FYI: The link from “Read On” doesn’t work, but tapping on the photo does.

  • These colors are magnificent!

  • Just finished the garter stripe shawl as a blanket wedding gift. I will try and put a pic in the lounge.

  • I’m working on a variation of the garter stripes throw but with more blocks of color than stripes. I’m using up stash yarn and thought I would stop at 5 feet long. Well I enjoy it so much that it’s a good 6 feet long now and still growing. I used an i cord cast on and edge to make it fancier. Love it even tho it’s a bit warm to sit with so much wool in my lap. If I do 2 rows a day it’s good meditation time!

    • I like the i-chord Caxton idea. Have to try that.

  • @Diane — best wishes on whatever may be going on health-wise. My hub is a pathologist and just this morning I was commenting on how lucky I have been. (He’s been super busy at work)
    I LOVE the new color way!! Magic!!

  • As a relatively new knitter (7 years and counting), initially I thought knitting blankets took too much time and effort. Now, having knit two , the most recent of which is Cecile’s Color Explosion Throw made with MDK’s bundle of gorgeous felted tweed, I believe making blankets is the ticket to longevity of appreciation of a knitted item. Not to mention more frequent use than just a piece of apparel gets. So while the price tag of the bundle for this garter throw by Fasset made me gulp, my head and heart know it is a bargain and when all is knit and done, one will have had a lovely good long enjoyable knit (such delicious yarn in the hand and for the eyes) plus a family heirloom. BTW, the Color Explosion Throw is one of the very few things I kept for myself and so glad I did.

    Diane, may your treatments go smoothly and good health be your future. My heart is with you.

    • I recently made a little one-color, garter-stitch blanket for a newborn and thought I’d die of boredom. It took a month! Otoh, I make a Stranded Striped Throw (Field Guide 13) or a Kites Throw (Field Guide 16) or any other big, complicated project using a jillion colors of Rowan Felted Tweed and I have to force myself to stop long enough to get some occasional sleep.

  • Looks like this is next on my list. Thanks for the reminder. I’ve been wanting to make this for years.

    • I already have the book, and some of those colors for the cool version. Which colors on the blue go where?

  • I am really new knitter, 9 months. I know how to use circular needles but not so good at joining yet. I can change cars but that is about it other than knit, purl and cable. Can I handle this with such limited skills? Would live to make this my temp blanket. Ty.

    • You can definitely do this. It is straight knit stitch. The circular needle is needed for length. You will be knitting back and forth on the circular needle. Regular straight needles are not long enough.

    • You’ll find support for joining yarns right here: You can definitely handle this.

  • I just ordered the Cool Striped blanket yarn. will there be directions for how to sequence the colors?

  • This new bundle is groovy, but I have to ask: Did Kermit help put this colorway together? I think I see the some of the colors of his favorite birds in this bundle…bluebird, goldfinch, blue jay, canary….

  • I have the original pattern and adore my finished blanket. Will there be an adaptation for the cool colorway?

  • This is the kind of TV watching knitting I love and Rowan felted tweed is gorgeous to the hands and eyes (don’t ever take this away from us Rowan! I haven’t gotten over Rowan denim discontinuation).. I have made a garter stripe throw for adult humans, baby humans, dogs, cats… and it’s still so pleasurable every time.

  • I’m on my third! The first was the original color way, the second my own version of your new Cool colors, and now a blacks/greys/whites version. Perfect TV and car knitting!

  • I think a garter stitch object is beautiful in its simplicity with unexpecten random striping. And also the back where the change in color causes little dashes is so neat and tidy. Reminds me of a hand quillted piece running stitch. I love the color choices in this garter stitch shawl

  • After a year-long cardigan project for my SIL, I’m having an excellent deep dive into a garter stitch blanket project which is just SO good! It’s a neutral based version of the Moderne Log Cabin, using stash. I have a good stash of Felted Tweed (Xmas present 2021) which would make a great blanket. Maybe a Temperature throw??

  • Wherever he is, I’m sure Professor Reese would be tickled by your shout out. Woo woo woo woo!

  • I made the original Garter Stripe shawl substituting a few colors based on preference (I wasn’t into vaseline green or pink bliss) and what I had on hand from previous projects, staying close to the color theme. I loved making it, and it quickly became my favorite blanket when I needed an extra cover on my side of the bed, or the warmest lush shawl over my shoulders. That said, I LOVE the new colorway. I might need to order it now for my next birthday present – in December it will be the perfect time for mindless, colorful knitting on my lap to keep me warm, after the Christmas presents are finished. Thanks for the new temptation!

  • Meant to write this earlier – I feel smug having this Field Guide on my shelf for when I accumulate enough Felted Tweed and/or similar to complete a mini-shawl/wrap with Kaffe’s instructions. His philosophy of just doing the knitting equivalent of putting one foot after another has been his most powerful influence for me. Others have said it, too, of course, but he has a unique voice because of his color exuberance which speaks to me. Also thanks to a link Christina, I think, provided in the comments, I was able to purchase Season 3 of Knit Stars and have been enjoying it quite a bit. Love your episode. It’s like getting to know you,

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