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Dear Ann,

Old dogs love their old tricks. One of my favorite things to do is to start a project for a vacation, and knit like heck to see if I can finish it during that vacation. It has to be a special project, a memorable one—because it will always be a souvenir of a specific place, time, and mood.

This project definitely qualifies. It’s Dee Hardwicke’s Blossom Stripe Shawl. I loved it from the moment Dee first shared her sketch with us. It’s perfect vacation knitting, with long, relaxing rows of plain stripes and predictable decreases. Just one moment of showing off: the blossom-bedecked stripe in stranded colorwork, worked flat.

To paraphrase Ann Shayne, I can do anything for 20 rows. This will be a plate of cookies.

A couple of weeks ago, as I was scrambling out of MDK World Headquarters to catch a flight home, you grabbed four colors of Atlas for me: Pear, Cedar, Natural, and Navy. That makes it special too. In part because I think it means that you will gladly adopt the finished product; this piece will vibe with Ann’s Closet (and that yellow Stasher Tote) suspiciously well. Not that I’m planning to give it away! But I might be persuaded to lend it.

Here’s where my progress stood as Team MDK headed for the exits last Friday.

I was finishing up Stripe Pattern A, about to jump into the charted colorwork stripe.

I paused to consider whether to knit the colorwork in Cedar and Natural as prescribed, or Navy and Natural. I hadn’t thought this through when assigning letters to my colors, but I have enough to do it either way.

I don’t know why I’m being mysterious: you know I’m going with Navy and Natural despite a little awkwardness due to the last stripe of Stripe Pattern A being in Navy. I’ll figure that out!

I’m leaving a space here to show where my progress stands on December 28:

Status: 12 rows into the 22 row Blossom Stripe chart. If that seems like slow progress, it is. Baby’s first case of Covid landed this week, and it took away taste, smell, and drive to knit. I’m doing great otherwise!

OK, back to knittin’ and nappin’!




  • Santa brought me the Blossom Stripe Shawl kit for Christmas! I have been swooning over this shawl for months and after my own first bout of Covid (the Grinch left that with us just in time for Christmas), I was finally able to cast on yesterday afternoon. This is going to be a fun!

  • I love your choice of colors for the colorwork, it looks great! It goes really well with the navy stripe before it. Feel better soon.
    Sara Denbo, from now Atlanta, was Decatur AL

    • Oh no! Feel better soon. Don’t be alarmed if it takes a while to get back up to full energy level. Luckily, there is so much good knitting material on PBS Passport.

  • Navy and white looks great. Sorry about the COVID. I hope it is not the long kind.

  • I almost forgot that was on my ‘to knit’ list … present knitting got in the way.
    Also first time got the plague – my iteration was like a mild cold. Lots of tv and knitting occurred.
    Feel better soon – sending virtual chicken soup and cups of tea.

  • Hope you will be feeling better and knitting again very soon.

  • Looks great!

  • The shawl looks wonderful! Hope you feel better soon, lots of sleep and cold meds was how I got through my 3rd bout in Nov. No end to this thing!

  • Take good care of yourself. The knits will wait for you to be ready!

    • Totally love those colors together! SO sorry about the Covid!

  • The end of the year urge to knit one more project hit me late last night. The “I must make something right now” had me mentally scavenging the stash. I settled on a dog sweater using leftovers from my temperature blanket. Also, way chuffed for y’all that the year end sale is going so well. Several items I wanted are gone including the Stasher Tote. Sale Shopping Santa is going to be first on line next year!

    • Stashers were the first thing to go; Field Guide subscribers get first notice of everything – they knew about the sale on the 19th and JUMPED! So if you’re not a subscriber, there’s some
      good motivation!

  • Relax. You’re heading into the easiest part of the pattern, just past the colorwork. Olive could knit it (if she had opposable thumbs). Hope you feel better soon!

  • Knitting is slow. My husband and I contracted Covid, for the first time, the week before Christmas. Needless to say, all the family Christmas activities are moved to New Year’s Day. I started a new scarf pattern a couple of days ago to brighten my heart. I’m knitting with Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn. The pattern is a 4 row, pique rib stitch.
    Better health and more knitting in the New Year!!

  • Shawl looking fabulous! Covid, darn it. A lapful of Atlas is probably on the official list of things that will bring comfort and healing during cold and illness. Wishing you the speediest recovery, Kay!

  • I’m still present knitting, but I have this shawl queued up and ready to go as soon as I’m done! I love your colors, Kay!
    May you recover quickly and easily from the COVID. I’m so sorry you caught it.

  • Get well soon!

  • Kay, I am sorry to hear about your Covid-19, but I love the work so far. The Pear really sets off the rest of the colors. Hope you feel better soon.

  • May your year end knitting and COVID both finish quickly! Looking at those tiny needles on your photo gives me heart… After three swatches for this loveliness and consultation with MDKs own Nell I had settled onbut not
    cast on for knitting this on wooden 3s, thinking those needles are impossibly small.

    You have inspired me Kay, feel better quickly.

  • Covid crept into our house last week, testing all the time and not positive yet. I’m hoping the slight crappy feeling is my booster kicking covid’s ass! Going over my Christmas yarn and dreaming of projects!
    I hope you are feeling great and casting on soon!

  • Everyone who has survived the last three plus years seems to be finally getting Covid at the moment. Like many responders here, we haven’t had Christmas yet because some of the extended fam have it. Hoping they don’t keep passing it around or we will be sweeping up pine needles from the already dead tree until July. I’m not sure if you are an empty nester now, but let me know if you need someone to bring in supplies. I am planning on a run to Trader Joe’s at 93rd tomorrow (Friday) afternoon and can drop off anything. I think you are somewhere near Knitty City?

  • Hope you are feeling better and got your knitting mojo back. Happy new year!

  • Love these colors, sorry you have COVID. And sorry about the knitting drive (also taste and smell). May all return with good health, soon. Maybe before the new year.

  • Love this project and these colors so much … Pear is forever a fave! Please rest up and hope you’re feeling better soon, Kay.

  • So sorry about the covid, Kay – I hope you’ll get all the deep rest you need, so you can feel (and smell, and taste) better as soon as possible.

  • My Christmas has been postponed, due to half of the family travelling, we are celebrating today. The other half got Covid so they’re coming in another week. I too like the color combination for your shawl.

  • Dear Kay,
    So sorry to hear the Covid bug snuggled in and made himself at home. Darn it!
    I hope you feel better soon. Rest is best.
    And I love the navy and white Blossom stripe.

  • Oh crudddd (re. COVID). Hope you are feeling chipper soon! The shawl is already beautiful!

  • Those colors are so good. Bookmarking for a project.

  • Feel better! Love your colors for the shawl. I hope to purchase yarn for it in the coming days and cast on soon.

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