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Dear Kay,

Really, I will never tire of the moment when a new sweater comes off the blocking board and onto me.

What a swell feeling, trying on something that I made myself, start to finish.

This Grace Notes Pullover from MDK Field Guide No. 22: Grace had my name on it from the moment Joji Locatelli sent her first sketch of it.

Notes and Thawts

I’ll start with the last thing first: blocking. I cannot overstate the transformation that comes when you block this MDK Atlas yarn. Will it all smooth out in the blocking?

The answer was a resounding yes.

I gave this a good half hour in the sink with cold water and a dose of Soak, our favorite laundry wash. The scent this time? Celebration, which the Soak folk tell us is inspired by the essence of red rooibos tea. Not being all that familiar with rooibos tea either red or whatever other color it comes in, I’ll just say this: it smells wonderful.

It’s one of the small special moments in knitting—a sweater I just finished, getting a bath in a small special sort of laundry wash.



MDK Atlas yarn puffs up in a way that is truly lovely.

The neckline is brilliant. Of course, Joji Locatelli would finish her design with a tidy, perfect V neck.

You’ll want to figure out how to space the stitches along the V neck and back of neck—the stitch counts in the pattern are spot on, but it’s not a one-to-one ratio when you’re picking up the stitches.

I found that knit 5, skip 1 got me what I needed. This will vary, of course, depending on what size you’re making.

My sleeves are long. In storebought clothes, my sleeves are never too long, so I am luxuriating in the length I ended up with.

They grew about an inch after blocking, so Picky Me would get in there and take out an inch. Actual Me is not going to do that, at least right now. These sleeves feel cozy. They’re fine.

The fit makes me happy. I made the third size. It’s boxy in the body, slim sleeved. I’m mostly going to wear a layer under this. But it feels great next to my skin, if I decide to wear it without that layer.

The color. I love this color so much. Atlas in Shale is a warm gray, medium. Joji’s twisted stitch cables really shine in this color.

Conclusion: a complete success. Five stars! Worth a detour!




  • Beautiful !!!

  • That’s beautiful.

  • Y’all (you AND your new sweater friend) look just lovely.

  • It’s gorgeous! I love that pattern! But how many sweaters does one 72 old woman need?

    • My guess is, just one more…

    • Not sure, but I have at least 100, acquired over many years. I love the colors, textures, patterns.

    • One more…always one more

    • Countless. IMHO.

    • From this 71 year old…any amount you want!!

      • I second that!

  • So good – perfect fit, perfect color, perfect sleeve length!

  • Stunning. Enjoy that cozy sweater!

  • Gorgeous! I definitely need to make a sweater in shale. I finished a sweater in Atlas, and the sleeves have crept up over time- Perfect Me would add an inch!

  • Great design, well executed! Enjoy!

  • That sweater WAS made for you!! It looks custom made for you…which, of course is exactly what you did. My sleeve dilemma is the opposite of yours. The joy is having sleeves that fit, rather than reach to my knees!

  • It’s lovely, don’t change A thing!

  • Love it!

  • I didn’t know Soak comes in a red rooibos tea scent. I’ve been drinking that tea for a decade ever since a church friend clued us into the joy that was the Teavana store in Green Hills. The sweater is lovely!

    • I miss that Teavana store!! Can’t find anything online that compares.

      • Have you tried Upton Tea Company, in Hopkins, Massachusetts? I have been ordering from them for over twenty years, very reliable and wonderful tea! (

  • It’s lovely on you—design and color. Enjoy!

  • Okay. It’s not a sin to not know about red rooibos tea, but I can tell you precisely how to overcome this deficit in your gastronomic life. Simply pick us the first book in Alexander McCall Smith’s endearing series The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and straight away, you’ll be sipping a cup with Precious and wondering why you hadn’t read this series before. And speaking of tea, it feels selfish of me to not recommend to every knitter on the planet Lesley Manville’s audio version of The Thursday Morning Club and its two sequels, in which tea, murder, charmingly British humor and sweet life lessons weave together brilliantly. I cannot get enough of these books….I’m on color #3 on my Blanket of Joy, which will be given to Granddaughter Four as her high school graduation present, and I think I will listen to them all over again! And yes! Atlas is an absolute dream to work with!

    • I loved the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I anxiously awaited each one for years. Thank you for your other suggestions.

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you, Barbara. I’ve read all if The #1 Ladies Detective Agency. I am near the end of listening to the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny and was wondering what to listen to next as I knit. I’ll give The Thursday Morning Club a try. Oh yes, Ann that pullover is stunning.

    • Did you mean The Thursday Murder Club?
      I have downloaded the 1st No.1 Ladies Detective Agency though, so thank you. I’ve been looking for a new series to get into 🙂

  • So understated.….both the pattern and the yarn. It’s magnificent.

  • Ok, I’m about where your first photo shows. Just after the underarms join. I, too am knitting size 3, and after seeing the photos, I’m going to rip out and knit the fourth size. I think it’s going to be too small.

    • Would it be worth putting stitches on waste yarn so you can try it on to see it’s fitting? The drop sleeve sort of confused me as to where my sleeves were going to hit. It fit better than I’d anticipated when I gave it a try on early

    • I’m a bit worried about that too, especially whether the arm holes will be big enough for my slightly fat arms. I did add extra rows beyond the 6.5” called for in the pattern, before doing the underarm join. First try-on soon.

  • Ann, you are an inspiration. There might be a Grace Notes Vest in my future. In Slate. (I really do have too many sweaters in my life, some even not yet worn). Rooibus Tea figures significantly in the The No. 1 Ladies Detective series so it has a warm spot in my heart but drinking it – for me – not so much. Maybe I would enjoy the Soak version. (Going now to inspect Joji’s vee neck instructions for Grace Notes. So glad for those tips!).

  • Beautiful!

  • Looks great. I’m always tempted to knit this but I don’t like deep, wide V-necks. I’m small and I don’t know how to modify, yet.:-)

  • Just read Barbara Alfond’s Comment. My daughter gave me the Thursday Murder Club #1 for Christmas. I had never heard of it. Thank you, Barbara. An audio version should make great knitting listening.

    • Thursday Murder Club #2 is also really good; more background on the characters.

  • Did you tighten up the neckline?
    The before wash and after look different. It looks like you’re wearing the longer neckline but did you close it up?
    It’s something I’ve always wanted to do with too much V but can never do well.

    • Good eye! The Before photo was before I worked the neckline edging, and yes, it snuggled up the V neck in a great way.

  • Ann, both you and your Grace sweater are lovely!

  • It’s absolutely beautiful!

    • On the front neck right and left sides the pattern uses the term “work”. Does that mean I’m working the cable panel?

      • That’s right–the cable design travels up the back, over your shoulders, then down the front where the two cables eventually meet below the V neck.

  • Congratulations Ann! It’s gorgeous!!!

  • Ok, I will definitely knit this sweater!! I adore how the cables enhance the V neck. But what color? Decisions, decisions!

  • Blocking is magic.
    And, you look terrific in your own Grace.

  • Beautiful! Good job Ann! It is stunning on you!

  • This sweater is on my list for much later this year or for next year, after I’ve busted some stash. I do love working with Atlas — it is such a fabulous yarn! The color looks great on you, and yes, Shale is a beautiful colorway!

  • It’s so lovely! Thank you for the tip on picking up stitches – I’m at the point of all the picking up and have to find my courage and power through it. Your blocking before/after pics are just the motivation I need!

    • It took me a couple of tries to get the stitches to land on target!

  • Wow. The sweater looks great, and Shale was the perfect color to choose. We can’t see the Kermit floof – although we know it’s in there. Shale also works well with all sorts of other colors. (What color are those trousers, anyway? Dusty salmon? Faded watermelon?)

    • Whimsical Millennial.

  • Simply gorgeous!

  • Looks great! Still on my list.

  • I just finished my Grace notes and blocked it
    It is in a color way called seashell, a pale variegated soft watery pink
    I love it
    Fits great and my sleeves are also a bit long
    I used a Rambouillet yarn from here in Washington State
    Love this design so much!!!!

  • Thank you for the tips, especially that the ribbing at the V-neck should help support those edges. My narrow shoulders don’t do well with a gaping neckline. I could add a discreet insert across the bottom of the V, in st st, if still a problem.

  • I love it. And it’s so beautifully knit as well.

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