It’s so fun to revisit a favorite pattern. I’m still waiting on yarns for my official Kiki Mariko Rug (2021 edition), but I wanted to start our Bang It Out knitalong on the first day with everybody else, so I improvised.
I went down to the basement craft lair and faced into the intersection of two passions: Kon Mari and Kiki Mariko. I was fairly sure that my circa 2008 leftovers of Lamb’s Pride Bulky and various fun bits of Manos and other bulky-ish hand-dyes had survived various decluttering fevers, when I had asked myself “Does this spark joy?” I loved making my first Kiki Mariko Rug, so each leftover nubbin and full skein definitely sparks joy.
I rambled through the cubbies and bins, and there it was, neatly organized into two boxes: the vintage Lamb’s Pride Bulky. One box was dedicated to leftovers from my first rug; the other box was full skeins of dark neutrals of Lamb’s Pride Bulky that I bought with a gift certificate my mom gave me to yarn shop in Omaha (String of Purls, of blessed memory). I definitely had the makings of a Kiki Mariko Rug in those boxes.
Here’s my Kiki Mariko in progress, enjoying a light snow-block after an evening’s worth of knitting and watching All Creatures Great and Small.
Things you will notice:
It’s narrower than the pattern. There’s a reason for that. I’m making a runner for Olive’s new ramp. At 11½ years old, Olive is still quite the athlete, so I thought she’d go racing up and down it as soon as it arrived, but: That was a big nope from Olive.
She acts like the surface—a thin layer of man-made AstroTurfish stuff—hurts her toenails, if not her very soul. So the ramp has not yet served its purpose of being a safer way for her to get down from the bed than leaping and skidding (good for the soul, bad for the ligaments). I’m hoping that a handknit ramp cozy, made of the natural fibers of sheep and goats, will entice her into using it. I cast on 70 stitches, and when it’s done, I will trim it to fit the ramp. (If I get a few felt coasters out of the deal, that will be a bonus.)
The color scheme is improvised. I’m working with the leftovers I’ve got, and not worrying about the order of the colors or running out of a color.
Reminder: It’s for Olive. We don’t even know if she sees color.
I used a provisional cast-on. At our Bang Out a Kiki Mariko Rug kickoff on Zoom the other night, a clever knitter suggested working a provisional cast-on. Why? So that both ends of the rug could be bound off at the end, before felting, and those two edges would match perfectly. If you’d like to do this, Jen Arnall-Culliford’s Provisional Cast-On video is super helpful. I’m looking forward to being smug about my matching cast-on and bind-off edges, even if this refinement is not very visible after the rug is felted.
Where to Find the Tips and Also the Tricks
Several knitters have written in asking for tips on how to work stranded knitting. In another video, Jen Arnall-Culliford shows the technique that you and I both use, in which we hold one color in each hand. You’ll see Jen holding the yarns this way at the 1:50 point in this video.
Looking for more Kiki Mariko tips and tricks? Your best bet for finding them is in the MDK Lounge. We’ve got helpful links, and there is a jolly group of banger-outers sharing photos and their own questions and answers. Join us! It’s wonderful to hang out with knitters, a daily treat.
And now back to my ramp—it’s a romp. I’ll be firing up the washing machine to felt it before you know it.