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Dear everybody,

Today’s the day!  It’s time to cast on a project from MDK Field Guide No. 18: Beginnings

Or keep knitting on a project you’ve already started; that’s totally allowed.

The theme of this Field Guide is beginning—whether that means knitting for the first time, or experiencing the thrill of starting a new project for the umpteenth time. That new-project feeling never gets old for us.

There is something for everyone. Karida Collins has designed 6 projects, from mitts to sweaters. The photography samples are all knitted in Karida’s uniquely beautiful Organic Studio line of merino yarns, in weights from sock to DK to worsted to chunky. The techniques are the basics: knit, purl, simple increases and decreases, and one solitary, simple cable. This is stick-it-in-your-bag-and-go summer knitting at its finest.

For this knitalong, the K in KAL is for Karida!

Let’s review the possibilities, shall we?

Scarf-Cowl Duet

A gorgeous swath of knits and purls. This is box stitch, a classic stitch pattern that creates a chewy, reversible fabric. The texture is the story here. Make it as a scarf or as a cowl if you sew the ends together.


Diagonal Mitts

Mitts are one of the most satisfying projects to make and to give. They go really fast, and you can be done in a day. When you give a pair to a friend, you will be hearing from that friend for years to come, about how cute their mitts are, how they can’t believe you made them, how they’re so special, how brilliant you are.

These Diagonal Mitts begin as simple squares of garter stitch (all knit stitches, no purls!) worked on the bias—simple increases and decreases form the square. A quick fold and a seam transform the squares into cute little hand warmers. There’s even a thumb hole.


Everyday Cowlette

Here’s a short masterclass in some of the most elemental techniques in knitting. This project shows what happens when you change needle sizes, when you go from knitting flat to knitting in the round, and when you work knits and purls in a flat rib pattern. It results in a cowl that we really love: textured, distinctive, and fast to make. It’s only June, but we can’t help thinking of what a welcome holiday gift this little neckwarmer will be. (Kay has already banged out her first one, in a couple of days, so her pile o’ presents has its first layer.)


Simple Swoncho

Sweater + Poncho = Swoncho. As a first sweater or your fiftieth, this modern pullover combines so many things we love: knitting in the round, an inventive silhouette, and decorative stitch moments along the way.  (This will be Kay’s KAL project.)


Debut Pullover

Knitting in the round can be done from the neck down or from the hem up. Here we begin at the bottom and knit upward, getting the hang of it. Sleeves come next, then the swirly knit-purl pattern that lends texture and dimension. Up to the neckline and voila! It’s the sweater you’ll reach for all the time. (This is Ann’s KAL project.)


Flash Cap

Low-dose colorwork is one of our favorite things. This zigzaggy design comes and goes in a flash, and it allows for no end of color experiments.


Listen Up: The Rules (They’re Easy)

The knitalong will officially end on Friday, August 30—although everybody knows that a good knitalong just keeps going and going. There is no time pressure.

The Instagram hashtag is #Karidalong. Go on ahead and follow it on Instagram. Or if you prefer, post your progress photos in the MDK Lounge. We are keeping our eyes on both places.

There is no need to sign up to join the knitalong. Posting a photo, either on the Instagram hashtag or in the MDK Lounge, will put you in the running for juicy prizes, with winners to be announced here shortly after the knitalong officially ends.

You do not have to finish your project to be eligible for prizes. Like we said: no time pressure. It’s about inspiration, learning, and fun, and sharing that with each other. Prizes are awarded for photos that inspire and/or amuse, and we also draw a few winners at random, to mix things up while keeping the pressure low and the mood high.

Any project from MDK Field Guide No. 18 is eligible, the small projects that take almost no time and the ones that will be your companions through a summer of good knitting.

As with all MDK knitalongs, all yarns are welcome.

We’d be thrilled for this knitalong to be your introduction to Karida’s extraordinary artisan yarns, which both of us have knit with and have carried in the MDK Shop for years. You can dip a toe into these lovely waters with a single skein of Organic Studio Sock for the Diagonal Mitts, or two skeins of Organic Studio Chunky for the Everyday Cowlette.

The MDK shop has all four weights, a rainbow of colors, speedy shipping, and excellent customer service. Shopping with us supports all the daily fun on MDK, and we’re very appreciative.


As with all MDK knitalongs, there will be cheerleading and technical support, in equal measure and in a variety of ways.

We’ve got a new topic set up in the Lounge, our online forum: Come share your schemes, dreams, and plans for this knitalong at Karidalong!

For starters, we recommend Jen Arnall-Culliford’s video tutorials on the magic loop technique for knitting in the round and joining without twisting. Handy for the cowlette, caps, and sleeves of Field Guide No. 18!

And there are more tutorials to come—starting tomorrow with a red-hot Simple Swoncho tip from MDK first knitter Nell Ziroli.

We’ve got more fun and support in the works—we’re just getting started—so be sure to open your Snippets email every Saturday, and keep an eye on the MDK Lounge, where links will be posted for easy reference.

Now let’s get out there and begin our Beginnings!


Note: Our Comments are on the fritz at the moment, alas! Please leave your comments in the Lounge, right here.


  • Skeining stash for the Simple Swancho as we speak….It will be good to have friendly incentives.

  • Where do I find the patterns for the scarf on the clothesline?

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