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Dear Everybody,

Today we’d like to celebrate something fresh and new in knitting books.

It’s Knitstrips: The World’s First Comic-Strip Knitting Book by Alice Ormsbee Beltran and Karen Kim Mar.

This new book is a tour de force, an epic achievement in melding knitwear design, instruction, and advice with interactive graphic illustrations. It’s a new way of seeing how to take a ball of yarn and a pair of needles and transform it into something tangible, useful, and beautiful. It’s bursting with life and the love of knitting.

Inside, the book is organized into four chapters, or issues, each of which gathers a handful of designs by different designers.

These are not conventional patterns. They are yarn-neutral, meaning that the authors guide you through choosing your yarn, but the choice really is yours. You’ll learn how to adapt the pattern you’re making to the gauge and other qualities of the yarn you’re using. In contrast to the prescriptive approach of a typical knitting pattern, the Knitstrips approach is open ended and full of learning. As I read through these energy-filled pages, I had renewed appreciation for how much thought and engineering goes into the most familiar handknit.

The Authors: Alice Ormsbee Beltran and Karen Kim Mar

We have sentimental reasons for jumping up and down with glee at the publication of Knitstrips. In a very real sense, Knitstrips first saw the light of day here on MDK. We can take no credit for the brilliance of the idea, but we will claim every last bragging right for realizing that the idea that Alice Ormsbee Beltran shared with us was very exciting.

And when the first Knitstrip appeared, the reaction from knitters was incredible. There was an avalanche of downloads of that first Knitstrip, and each of the ones that followed.

So: we send our heartiest congratulations to Alice and her co-author Karen Kim Mar on achieving this amazing book. The mere idea of doing copy edits and technical edits on patterns that are drawn by hand—by brilliant illustrators Laura Irrgang and Michele Philips—makes us want to take to our beds for a week or so. This is a major work of vision and of writing, illustration, and editing. Most exciting of all, Knitstrips is going to introduce so many new people to the joy of knitting, the challenge of knitting, and the satisfaction of having handmade garments and accessories in our lives.

The roster of designers, which includes the authors, is stellar:

Ana Campos

Casey Rich

Cecelia Campochiaro

Hikaru Noguchi

Jeanette Sloan

Julia Farwell-Clay

Julie Kornblum

Lauren McElroy

Natalie Warner

Norah Gaughan

Rebecca McKenzie

Shery Cook

Are we proud to see MDK Field Guide designers in the mix—you bet we are!

A Peek at the Projects

Double Feature by Julia Farwell-Clay and Lucky Hat by Cecelia Campochiaro.


Wowl! by Jeanette Sloan and Quest by Rebecca McKenzie.

We can’t wait to see photos of Knitstrips patterns popping up on Instagram and Ravelry. Sharing is caring!

A Special Treat for MDK readers … Download The Darcy

We’ve come full circle: it’s time for us to offer MDK readers a download of one of the patterns from Knitstrips. It’s The Darcy by Karen Kim Mar, and it’s one of the most inventive uses for 350 yards (320 meters) of yarn we’ve seen. A lovely, versatile neckwarmer that is made without shaping of any kind.

Allow us to say how ardently we admire and love it.

Thanks to Alice, Karen, and the gentle publishers at Abrams for this exclusive downloadable PDF. (Click on the link to download the pattern.)

PS Even more Knit Strip goodness (free downloadables!) can be found here.

MDK receives a commission for purchases through links in this article.

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  • Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! MDK adds so much enjoyment to my life! Even though I’ve been out of the country for 3 months, I read your posts every day!!

    • thank you for free downloads!! I saw on IG Tuesday book was available to order good old Amazon ordered and received yesterday Wednesday. Such a creative way to get people to take a peek at the fiberworld ❤️

  • What a cool idea (great pattern!)

  • I bought the book and it is wonderful cant wait to use my STASH – skeins that are still here. LOL

  • I got the kindle version. May need to double dip for the book. I feel like it needs more focus and flipping!

  • Knitstrip what a fun comic book for knitters!

  • Yes! Love this! Gonna buy this today. And bonus points to Kay for the Mr Darcy quote!

  • My husband chuckled when I told him there is now a comic book for knitting! I love it! Thank you for highlighting Knitstrips.

  • My birthday is coming up I may “need” an early present.

  • How Fun!! Ordered mine!!

  • Well you have done it now. I only knit socks. ONLY socks. But now thanks to you I find I must knit The Darcy.

  • Oh, I wish MDK was selling this! I don’t support Amazon anymore, so I’ll have to persuade my LYS to carry it – probably won’t be too difficult! Thanks for the PDF download.

  • Loved the pattern in the download but I have a concern that may be addressed in the book. If you chose a lighter weight yarn (fingering or sport) you would probably need more yarn than specified. That said, I love the idea of setting the expectation that you, the knitter, are in charge and not required to blindly follow a pattern!

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    How fabulous sounding – wow! That said – I was disappointed to see that the only link for purchase takes one to Amazon. The book is available through independent, local, bricks and mortar bookstores too. I’ve attached links to two options, one of which is a great one in Nashville – which I know is MDK’s warehouse/shipping location. Would it be possible for MDK to establish a relationship with some independent bookstore alternatives to Amazon so that you can get the commission and we may have another option? Thank you.
  • Why isn’t MDK selling the book?

  • Absolutely brilliant! As a fan of comics, graphic novels, and knitting (natch), how could I not LOVE this? Come to think of it, how can anyone not love it?

  • truly inspirational. Just as EZ said knitting is boundless or something like that

  • Woo Hoo! This book is such a wonderful addition to your knitting library, thanks for the fun Alice and Karen.

  • This is absolutely amazing..I have my download now its time to read..I can’t not stress how thankful I am for all rock…you share with our community over and over and it’s much appreciated..thank you thank you Again.

  • I just bought it, although a little hesitantly from not so nice Amazon. But Comics plus Knitting equals JOY!!!

  • Looking forward to reading!

  • OMG genius! My bien aimee aran in aimee’s sweater is calling me…

  • OMG What an amazing idea!!!! LOVE IT and can’t wait to get my hands on these.

  • Very fun! Thanks!

  • What fun! I just ordered the book.

  • The best advice it took me way too long to follow…swatch! I’m looking forward to reading Knitstrips❣️

  • Want there a book like this a few years ago that was all dying through illustration?

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