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Dear Kay,

I’m a total goner for Dee Hardwicke’s Autumn Garden Stole.

This star of Dee’s Field Guide No. 25: Botanica has been my constant companion all week, and it’s going really fast. Looking for distraction, comfort, zen? This is your project.

The colors here are MDK Atlas yarn in Black, Shale, and Lapis—5 skeins each of Black and Shale, 2 skeins of Lapis.

It’s actually great as a first major colorwork project—the stitch motif is so simple, the rounds of 325 stitches mean you repeat the motif so often that you can get some speed up fairly quickly.

In fact, you can get so much speed up while binge watching Julia Roberts movies that you totally miss the fact that you left out a whole set of leaves.

See it? I didn’t. I discovered this little flower situation probably 20 rows after the fact.

My interest in ripping out 20 rounds of 325 stitches of colorwork is extremely low. It’s fine. It’s fine.

The steek is coming along nicely. I’m stowing the ends in the middle of the steek for the most part, where they’ll be cut away once I get to the dramatic felted steek moment of this project.

Fun to see folks getting their projects for the Botanica knitalong under way. All the details and conversation are here, and jump in—there’s plenty of time to join the fun. MDK Gift Cards will go to six random knitters, so post a photo of your work in progress in the Lounge or on Instagram with the hashtag #MDKBotanicaKAL.

May your motifs behave! Unlike mine!



PS Notting Hill remains the queen of Julia Roberts movies. Happy to discuss any and all Julia Roberts movies, including the supremely unfulfilling My Best Friend’s Wedding.


  • It’s a design feature! A few of my projects have them . It’s looking beautiful, the lapis is stunning.

    • Design feature! Of course!

  • The reply ‘both, equally’ still comes to hand in lots of situations, I find. 🙂

    • It’s about icecream and Mell Gibsons bottom, isn’t it? I’m not even sure any more 😀

  • Just repeat that row one more time, intentionally, for balance. And you’re all set. Then it really IS a design feature.

    Looks great, by the way!

    • Hi Victoria! At the rate I’m going, I’m going to forget who knows what, no blue, all blue, will be a miracle to get this thing done.

  • That is so beautiful Ann and I had to go back, twice, to see your personally designed leaf feature. I like it! Round and round you go…

    • Thanks for your support! Feeling pretty dopey.

  • Ann, I’m so glad you did this article with close up of your beautiful colorway. It went by in a flash in Lorilee’s class and I needed an up close look at it ! Thank you for sharing

    • Thanks for doing Lorilee’s class! I hope it was helpful—I know I learned at least six new tricks.

  • I’m not gonna lie, those missing leaves would bug me. I think it will be noticeable. #sorrynotsorry . On the other hand, wholeheartedly agree on Notting Hill. Eat, Pray, Love is second!

    • Eat, Pray, Love is such a fantasy, love it.

  • It looks beautiful Ann, change in pattern included! I often leave “areas” like that, so glad to hear you do also.

    • My entire knitting career is a trail of broken dreams—I mean: design choices.

      • You’ve got to be less hard in yourself. Give yourself grace, Ann!! It’s beautiful as is… no every flower is the same height in nature, anyway! Just saying.

  • I love the idea of making your accidental design change a feature. Once more might not do it….I think you need it the magic three times and it will to be perfect.

    • This is exactly what I was thinking! I was also thinking about random (or strategically placed) different colored flowers.

      • This is the notion that keeps haunting me–a random red flower or something like that. And it’s a good argument for knitting colorwork flat, because it makes it easy to change color like that.

      • Oooh – love this idea!

      • Good idea!

        • Please stay tuned, no telling where this will end up!

  • I will not comment on how long it took to see the mistake! It’s beautiful.

  • Mystic Pizza!

    Love your design variation, and I love your decision to leave it in.

    • Incredibly I haven’t seen Mystic Pizza! Missing puzzle piece!

  • Leaving out a row of Lapis flowers would be an issue.

    This is a design decision.

    Looks like you are on band 4 of 7. If you do the same thing on band 5, it will create a focus band in the middle.

    • Agree! The Lapis is kind of the thing, glad I didn’t pfaff THAT up.

  • What a great project!

  • I love everything about your shawl.

    And I adore Julia Roberts. August: Osage County is my favorite with Julia and Meryl.

  • If your OCD gets the better of you, repeat your design feature for every third set of flowers.

    • Aim like this assumes I even know iwhat day it is anymore. Signed, Frazzled In Nashville

  • Ann it’s lovely the way it is. As for movies you have to love the cousins from Memphis in My Best Friend’s Wedding. That scene is the best!

    • OK you’re totally right, Mary Sue. They’re truly great and only slightly remind me of my sister Buffy and me at my brother’s wedding in 1981 when 17-year-old sister handed out bottles of champagne to the car parkers. SAFETY GOOD TIMES!

  • I’m personally picky about “perfect” knitting but honestly, your error is unnoticeable.

    • Coming from you that means a lot, Mary!

  • Re: Julia Roberts, Steel Magnolias and Runaway Bride. I have watched both multiple times. Plus a controversial choice: Mother’s Day. Julia’s hair makes me crazy but the movie has a surprising (to me) amount of heart.

    • She’s just so … kind. I just love that about her, even in Closer where she’s trying to be so Serious.

  • I actually like it better with the single set of leaves. I may use that motif on a hat or cowl.

    • Would be great at smaller scale.

  • That’s coming along delightfully. My symmetry OCD would make me repeat that blip, just to make it look intentional. But that may happen anyway!

    I love the way you dropped the words “felted steek” as you knit past…that is a totally cool way to reinforce your steek before cutting. I love it! Learned it here, and I love telling my steeking classes about this possibility. They are always AMAZED.

  • Hmm. I actually might like the pattern better with just one set of leaves. I’ll have to try to remember that when I start.

  • Personally I love it 🙂 Having noticed a mistake in my blossom shawl, and also not having interest in ripping out a whole bunch of stitches, I have left it and it is a design feature!

  • Oh dear Ann it’s like looking at Op Art: the eyes soften and the pattern merges in and out of clarity!! It’s perfectly lovely just as it is!!

  • I can’t find it so you have no worries!

  • I love love love your colors.

    And Notting Hill.

    And Steel Magnolias and August Osage County and the Pelican Brief……

  • this is a stunner! (these colors!)

  • Ann, it’s all so beautiful that I didn’t even notice the missed leaves! Don’t fret, when that happens with me, I just let it go, in the long run who cares REALLY? The overall result of one million beautiful stitches will be stunning!

  • Ann!!!! This is beautiful! I heard that the tile makers in Morocco always make a mistake on purpose — only Allah is perfect. I love that idea.
    MBFW does have great music!!!

  • Absolutely a design feature. Beautiful!

    I am knitting the pressed flower cardigan right now, and can I tell you how many design features I’ve added? LOL

  • It’s totally fine! In fact I think you should randomly put in a few more rows of flowers with 1 missing set of leaves! Or maybe a row with 3 sets of leaves!

  • Make the two-row leaf repeat a regular part of the pattern (i.e. do two repeats of the black leaves and one repeat of the blue leaves x2, then do one repeat of black leaves and one repeat of blue leaves) and no one, not even the most fussy knitter, will notice!

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