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Dear Kay,

In recent days, we have noticed a bunch of folks knitting up beloved patterns—go-to options for that sweet spot of easy and interesting. I have made all these projects multiple times. They never get old.

I’ll list them here today in case you crave a bit of new knitting.


Fancy or plain, these are among the greatest of all knitting projects.

Portable. Useful. Colorful. Clever.

Check out the 16 sock designs in MDK March Mayhem 2020 for some fresh fun. And MDK Field Guide No. 11: Wanderlust is our guide to getting started with socks. Lifelong learning!

Our sock yarn offerings are at a peak of sublime and frisky. Scroll down to see them all.

Ballband Dishcloth

It’s a square. With a two-color slip stitch pattern.

On Ravelry, knitters have posted 10,300 Ballband Dishcloth projects.

Find the free pattern right here. You can make the full-size one or the stunningly innovative Kelley version, details here.

We can set you up with Rowan Handknit Cotton—we just received 19 new colors. Crazy combinations look great, we have found.

“You may find yourself knitting more than one,” says Kay Gardiner, Her Serene Highness of Dishraggery, who has made hundreds of them.

Log Cabin Blanket

It’s important to have a log cabin blanket in the works at all times.

It is satisfying to start, fine to put down for a while once you’ve made some progress, and delightful to rediscover when you excavate that tote bag months down the road.

Settle in with MDK Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin to learn everything you need to know. The practice projects are six dishcloths, and our Rowan Handknit Cotton is a) tasteful, b) colorful, and c) not unlike a box of crayons.

Parallelogram Scarf

This is one of the great examples of Perfect Pattern/Perfect Yarn.

I was wearing my Parallelogram Scarf the other day and marveled anew at Cecelia Campochiaro’s elegant knit-purl pattern that results in a swath of texture. This design and other beauties are featured in MDK Field Guide No. 5: Sequences.

And the yarn! Tina Whitmore’s Freia gradients change so gently that you keep knitting madly because you want that green to happen. We carry Shawl Balls (430 yards, a few in stock now) and Yarn Bombs (860 yards, we have a bunch).

And with that, I’m going to go fix that cable that I screwed up. With considerable relief, grateful to have a little problem that can be solved.




  • Knitting a log cabin baby blanket from wool left over from the last two I knitted. Really good first projects. I found the MDK book some years ago in a charity shop. One of my best finds!

  • I just got hooked on the Ballband Dishcloth. Can’t stop, won’t stop…love it.

  • I have my box of Freia minikins waiting in the wings, but I am going strong on my Savage Heart Cardigan. Trying to be a more focused knitter. Seeing the picture reminds me of how much I want to get it started.

  • Is the throw that the dog is on a Log Cabin? It looks different. Thanks

    • I think Olive is sitting on parts of Kay’s Nine Patch Blanket, from Field Guide #4, “Log Cabin”.

  • Just finished blocking my latest Hadley. After 3 yarn crawls, 9 yarn fair, 2 New York Wool and Sheep and yarns bought from you, I may restock my cedar chest.

    • I am knitting gradient socks, a lovely scarf, a lovely shawl, and have dishcloth cotton and 3 dreamy sweaters on deck, but am already considering another Main Squeeze!!! Knit on, with hope and confidence!!!

  • I tried a Ballband Dishcloth as a between-project respite and keep casting on “just one more.” These are dangerously addictive!!

    • I love the little guy. Even more instant gratification.

  • A post after my own heart: repeat knitting patterns you can knit without thinking! Where your only decision is which color to use.You didn’t include mitered squares, Ann!

    I’ve been thinking about a good pattern to use to teach some friends and children how to knit while being Safer at Home. I think the dishcloth pattern would be a good start once they learn the basics because they are pretty and you feel happy and accomplished when you make one. Do you have a teaching video on the knit and purl basics in your How-tos?

    Take care, you two. xo

    • Judy, Lucy Neatby (.com) has a downloadable video called The Brand New Knitter on sale for $1 Canadian, which is $.75 US. Regularly $20.00. Comes in short teaching segments which I found very clear both visually and in explanation. Perhaps this would fulfill your needs and can’t beat the price.

  • I love the parallelogram scarf but it was too long so I made it wider and I have a parallelogram shawl!

    • Oh, I did the same! Added 30 stitches. Still a scarf, but much cozier. I have lost count of how many I have made

  • Thank you for the great post, Ann! I got the warm and fuzzies just reading about those favorite patterns. They are truly great to make turn and turn about. With regard to Sock knitting, I would like to say that MDK’s new sock yarn called Uneek has the most mesmerizing and beautiful stripes. I like the fact that what is put up in two balls for those who like to do two at a time socks.

    • I second that! I’m on my second Uneek sock and just love it. Ombre stripes are so much fun! You guys sent the yarn to me so fast: I saw it in your blog and the next thing I knew, it was in my hands. This is my indulgent, frivolous project in between all my other WIPs. It sure makes me smile.

  • That Freia yarn is the greatest! I have a big wrap made from it (Fissure by E Elliott) and it is SO soft and squishy, and beautiful to look at. And yes, mitered squares should be on the list!

  • My favorite is the MODERNE LOG CABIN blanket . I’ve made it dozens of times, even out of sock yarn on a #5 needle. Sometimes I go rogue and change directions sooner. But that only makes it fun.

  • Thank you for this letter. I believe it was the Parallelogram Scarf that you mentioned in the Knit Stars segment. I was smitten the moment I saw it!. Be safe y’all!

  • Hats every time – started on a hat marathon almost 2 1/2 years ago and there is no end in sight!

  • I went back to an old pattern that Rosemary of The Green Mountain Spinnery designed for comfort after a divorce. It’s an oversized pullover that was knit for comfort and that is something we all could use.

  • I’m sure I’m not the only who has knitted a an entire bath towel but it’s really a fun project. Its nice to have a handmade towel made from a good cotton or linen-cotton blend. It’s an especially good project for times like these just to lift the spirits as well.

    • A bath towel! A LINEN bath towel! What a great idea. Thanks Carrie!

  • Lol, I have 3 of those on needles. Also a Knitted Knocker

    • Gifted a stack of the Ballband dishcloths this past Christmas, my log cabin blanket is draped in the couch next to me (it’s my husband’s favorite), I have The Medley wrap on my needles for gifting this coming Christmas. The family member it’s for came to spend the day, so it got hidden and I was able to knit a C cup Knitted Knocker while we chatted!

  • A more portable variation on the log cabin blanket is Fringe Association’s Log Cabin Mitts. (I make fingerless with some adjustments to for a longer thumb.) Almost instant gratification, many admiring comments, almost mindless like dishclothes, fun to play with colors, easy to churn out pair after pair!

  • I just started by first ball and dishcloth. I had to order some more Rowan cotton from you- I think everyone will be getting these for the holidays!

  • “Her Serene Highness of Dishraggery” – hahahaha! Thanks for a moment of true laughing out loud.

  • I can’t stop knitting Ballband dishcloths! The ninth one is on the needles. I love the smaller version; it’s allowing me to use up some odd bits of leftover yarn.

  • I guess you know you’ve gulped the MDK cool-aid when you have made or currently have on your needles all but one of these? 🙂
    Note to self, log cabin something. My closest to log cabin knitting so far is the mitered cross squares for the blanket teams. Another cheery few dishrags will be great in this new experience of all cooking and eating at home, all the time . . . (she dramatically mops her brow).

    This is definitely a great list!

    • MDK Cool-aid! Perfect.

  • Stress-purchased dishcloth cotton a month ago. Have now completed 2 ballbands. I like the 33 stitch version. I have also reached the point where the Coins pattern has become mindless (cowl).

  • i definitely love the Log Cabin Baby Blanket.

    i might have knitted about 34 over the years, in 3 forms – mainly Joseph’s Blankie but also Moderne and Courthouse Steps.

    and it was a pleasure to be able to thank Ann and Kay in person for the pattern inspiration at EYF 2019 .

  • I have two pair of socks going, first time doing two at a time. And there’s a couple of yarn bombs barking at me from a basket to start (uh restart actually) the parallelogram scarf. One day — I will learn to just do what the pattern says… day…..

  • I just started my first log cabin blanket and I’m using one of my favorite yarns: Lopi! It’s a win-win and the perfect comfort knitting project for these crazy times. Log cabin forever!

  • I have knit at least 7 hats this spring using purl soho’s classic ribbed hat pattern and whatever DK yarn I have lying around. Love them all.

  • I would love to learn do you have something for beginners.

  • So far since we started isolating, I have made a scarf, a hat, a shawl, and a water bottle carrier (crochet, original design). I picked up Elizabeth Zimmerman‘a “Knitting Around” and now I’ve started a tricky dickey, and I’m thinking about making Norwegian mittens and a modified bog jacket. Loved the musings of your lost dishrag. Knitting that you can do mindlessly is very appealing, so I’m thinking now about more dishcloths.
    It is lovely to read about the knitting adventures of all of us. Thank you.

  • I am a senior low on money and want to knit my niece’s baby a bib and burp cloth. I had the patterns and used it many times but can’t find it. Wondering if you could please please send me the 2 patterns. I would so appreciate it. Thank you so much.

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