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The Great Botanica Knitalong is in full bloom. Tap your way above through palettes, swatches, WIPs, and FOs of Botanica knitters in the Lounge and at #MDKbotanicaKAL. Vines and flowers and houses gloriously bursting out everywhere!

What’s on our needles?

Kay, swatching up a storm, and Ann, going for a flash of Lapis, each have an Autumn Garden Stole in progress. In Field Guide No. 25, we’ve included instructions for knitting it up in the round and for knitting it flat. You know what those two steek fiends are up to. We’ve got a tutorial on needle felting by technique pioneer Gretchen Funk right here.

The second of six panels of my Cottage Throw is almost done. I’m freewheeling my color choices. Atlas colors all look so good together, my only “rule” picking trios is that the motif colors stand out against the background. Do you know about the black and white filter trick for detecting contrast?

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Oz anymore.”

Take a picture of your yarn with your phone. Tap the picture in your album, then tap “edit” and you should get a choice of filters, including black and white. See Seaglass blue and Clementine orange in the upper left corner? They are surprisingly close in value when filtered in black and white. They’ll look great as motif colors against their Mallard teal neighbor.

At first I winced at the idea of knitting stranded colorwork flat—it had been a while since I’d done it. By halfway through the first panel, I was cruising through the reverse-side rows and enjoying the feeling of having pushed past what I initially thought of as an obstacle. Two-handed purling for the win!

Next week we’ll be featuring the raptures of Jillian Moreno on working colorwork flat, and Patty Lyons has excitedly agreed to whip up a purling backwards video for her November column.

Looking for more colorwork tips? Here you go:

Handy Tips for Stranded Colorwork

Stranded Colorwork: Consider the Float

Stranded Colorwork: Keeping it Loose

Using Colorwork Charts

Color Dominance in Stranded Colorwork

Jogless Stranded Colorwork

Jogless Join

Little Lessons: Magic Loop

Got all that? You can save articles for future reference in your MDK account. Here’s how.

Support and progress pics from fellow Botanica knitters can be found here in the Lounge. We doze, but we never close.

So What Are You Waiting For?

Choose your project. There are so many gifty knits in this collection … and the holidays are on the horizon!

Ready for a power scroll? The design names below are links to each project in our handy Field Guides reference feature: the MDK Pattern Library.

Treeline Cowl. 

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Climbing Vine Mitts. 

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Flora Arm Warmers. 

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Blossom Stripe Shawl. 

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Autumn Garden Stole. 

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Cottage Throw. 

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The Yarns

Order up one of our exclusive MDK Atlas yarn bundles—we’ve created six bundles, some with multiple color options. You can shop them all in our lovely lookbook. External Link. Opens in new window.. Or use yarn of your own choosing—all yarns are welcome for our knitalongs, as always.


We’ll be randomly awarding $50 MDK gift cards, six in all, one for each of the six projects in Field Guide No. 25: Botanica.

All you need to do to be eligible is to post a photo of your Botanica project on Instagram with the hashtag #MDKbotanicaKAL, or in the MDK Lounge. We’ll be watching and celebrating your colorful projects right there with you.


Let’s knit them until December 11, when we’ll choose random winners for the six projects. The finish line is whenever you finish—we’re not fussy about that.

Gallery images by yvonnegut, sabograd, cristinabshiffman, irishpogue, nellknits, mkgvt1, nfuechsel, carmendbq, iamgatt, angelahockabout, hollyrknits, jenihankins, anowlis

About The Author

An artist in multiple media by nature and by education, Cristina Shiffman is a knitter, sewist, potter, and photographer who also draws, paints, and dyes with natural materials. Cristina has been collaborating with MDK since 2017.


  • Looking forward to Jillian & Patty’s columns to help with knitting stranded colorwork flat.

  • Bookmarked this, thank you for these great links. Also, gonna use “excitedly agreed” next time somebody covers a shift at work. eg “Anny has excitedly agreed to work Thursday night so that Clara can go to a concert” or “Kelly has excitedly agreed to cover my shift tomorrow, in case I have a reaction to my second shingles vaccine.”
    (Who’s having more fun, me or Clara?)

    • Kelly, get ready, that second shot is a doozy. 😉 JM!

  • Thanks so much for these tips! I am still allowing my fear of stranded colorwork keep me from attempting a project with it and I know that needs to end soon and I feel your great tips will give me the confidence I would like in order to get on board with it.

    Excellent presentation of the amazing color possibilities for Dee Hardwicke’s stellar artistry!!
    Now I can see more.

    Buying 2 copies today.
    I’ve followed and been inspired by Ms. Hardwicke’s deep creativity for SEVERAL years.
    So, so glad she is front and center on this knitting platform.

  • Hi all I am doing the throw which will turn out to be more of an afghan. Size 6mm needles, worsted weight yarn, Aran color for MC, a denim color and a blue/grey for some panels and others will have a dark teal and a bright teal with the Aran color. Not sure how many panels or squares I am going to make. Think I will wing it and see!

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