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Dear Ann and everybody,

It’s day four of this week’s tour of  Erika Knight’s designs for MDK Field Guide No. 20: Atlas

Today’s theme is scrappy. And quilt-y. And old-school.

In both the Stepping Stone Throw and the Scrap Tote, Erika reached into the way-back of our beloved and storied craft. She fished out an old-school technique called entrelac, shook it off, and made it fresh and new.

Before we saw Erika’s designs for these projects, I think it would have been fair to call both of us entrelac-averse. I’d tried it, many years ago, when there was an entrelac stole making the rounds of the blogs. I loved the technique, because it reminded me of log cabin knitting: it’s modular, blocky, and easily memorized. But it was kind of a one-and-done technique for me.

Until I saw Erika’s sketch of the Stepping Stone Throw.

The Stepping Stone Throw has a graphic pop that makes it both fun to knit and a modern statement piece for the home.

In addition to the fun rhythm of the entrelac technique, the four different block styles change up their stitch patterns and colorwork, for the constant knitting entertainment we crave when knitting a big project. For the Stepping Stone Throw, our motto is “one more block”—you just don’t want to quit. The ribbed blocks give dimensionality to the finished blanket, but they can also be blocked flatter, if that’s the way you roll.

To make it easy to get stone-stepping at a savings, we’ve got Stepping Stone Throw bundles in three colorways: Original, Mellow, and Bold, which you can check out here.

sneak peEk: the Mellow colorway.

If you’re wanting to cook up your own Stepping Stone Throw colorway, you’ll need 4 skeins each of colors A, B, and C, and 3 skeins each of colors D and E. There are so many wonderful possibilities with this modular block design.

Good and Scrappy

When Erika designs a collection, she concludes with a small project to use up as many leftover yarns as she can. It’s a process that resonates with us as long-time knitters: there are memories in our precious scraps, and we long for a small, palate-cleansing project that turns them into a keepsake.

Enter the Scrap Tote. Erika combined her Atlas leftovers into a project whose small size belies the big fun of making it.

A satisfying exercise in resourcefulness.

Proper knitting patterns give precise directions to make the object in the photographs. We are nothing if not proper, so the Scrap Tote pattern specifies the six colors of Atlas that Erika happened to have on hand at the end of the other projects. It instructs how to make the front, back, and handles of a bag that is sized so that an ordinary cotton shopping bag—the kind you sometimes get as a freebie—fits perfectly as a lining.

You can replicate Erika’s bag exactly, row by row and single-row stripe by single-row stripe. One benefit of having a proper pattern is that you don’t have to wait for leftovers, you can start with full skeins. This will be big fun and we are definitely going to do it.

You can see where Erika’s scraps of Atlas in Barn Red came from.

But: if you’re game for some easy improvisation, you can treat the pattern as a recipe or guideline. Use leftovers and oddments, in the actual amounts you have left over, and make a bag in whatever dimensions you like. I’ve got my heart set on a tiny one, for a funky evening bag to dangle from my wrist, holding my phone and a lipstick. (Stay-at-home evening bags—let’s make it a thing!) Whatever you do, have fun with it. Forego the handles, and make it a cushion, or  keep going with full skeins, and make it a baby blanket! This is a fun, freeing way of knitting, which is what we crave right now.

Love,

Kay

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10 Comments

  • I am “starting with” the bag. II live at the beach and it reminds me of nautical flags. Might make the blanket to match, and then the wonderful sweater and the scarf……I love them all! And I can’t wait to try out your new yarn!

  • I love that little stripe in the tote. It makes it look so…happy, sonehow.

  • Kay, I remember that entrelock stole! It was called the lady Eleanor Stole, no? I think I remember that you were knitting it during a trip to California, and using yarn yarn that reminded me of Neopolitan ice cream (chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla). The Stepping Stone Throw is a great updated variation of entrelac, with the four different block styles. I think the Mellow Colorway is especially appealing.

    • Yes! I remember getting that yarn at Vogue Knitting Live, they were about to close the show on a Sunday!

  • I bet Atlas felts beautifully! I could make that scrap tote and felt it! Felting adds so much structure to a bag. I think I’m on to something

    • Felting the bag sounds fabulous! Post some pictures in the lounge to show how it turns out!! Please!!

  • All of these projects spell FUN to me. I LOVE the evening bag idea, Kay. I so look forward to your posting about this!!

  • You had me at the liner for the tote! I hate to stretch out knitwear, it’s just wrong.

  • Love the bag idea! Massive fun, no matter the size your leftovers allow!

  • I am having the worst time starting the Scrap Tote!! So I start casting on color 2 then color 1. Knit triangle 1 then 2-they are not connected. Start the side triangle in color 3 attached to the color 2base triangle. The rectangle is knit off of color 3 side triangle. When is the first knit color 1 base triangle incorporated. Confused

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