With a giant snowstorm sweeping up the coast, we declare a snow day for everybody. To celebrate, we present a sneak preview of our first-ever, grand gesture toward group fun and celebration of excellent knitting designers.
[Read this in echoey, drag-racing announcer voice] MDK March Mayhem.
The goal: to arrive at the Champion of MDK March Mayhem on Monday, April 3, 2017. It will require five rounds of voting over three weeks.
To be clear: today is not a day for voting. That comes tomorrow. Today is a day for browsing, for admiring, for having your mind expanded a little at the cleverness of today’s knitting designers.
The Champion will be the pattern that survives a romp with 63 other patterns. The pattern that we will likely cast on as soon as possible—and as soon as we finish that one, we’ll start the next 63.
The Selection Process
Like the NCAA basketball tournament, MDK March Mayhem begins with a selection process. This is a fairly excruciating effort, where a total of 64 patterns in four categories are chosen to be entrants. The criteria are many: these patterns were published in 2016, with two wild cards as exceptions. They are all available online, with a couple of exceptions. We stuck to four categories to keep our heads from exploding at the possibilities. And none are free patterns, with one exception, because we like it when designers get paid for their work.
The committee, aka Kay and Ann and unlimited cell phone minutes, gave up precious knitting time for this effort. This was, as you can imagine, not easy. We sort of hated this process after a certain point. We grew to mutter the word bracket like an epithet. But we persevered because a) we were halfway through the bracket and b) we kept finding patterns we loved.
Love (and LaraBars) carried us through.
The ultimate measure of these patterns: we want to make them. Every single one of them. We are in awe of the innovation, creativity, and mathy brilliance of these designers.
How the Voting Will Work
This is not a head-to-head competition, at least in the first rounds. We do not want to see Amy Herzog duke it out with Kate Davies. (Or do we?) Instead, each round of online voting will require you to choose a number of patterns from each category.
For Round 1, you’ll vote for 8 patterns in each category, and the top 8 patterns will advance to the next round. Then 4, then 2, then the winners of each category will compete for the knitterly equivalent of the Westminster Dog Show’s Best of Show.
To aid in your browsing, here is the official bracket in PDF form, which is easier to read than this eye-busting graphic. Download this PDF, and you’ll be able to click to read about each pattern on Ravelry.
To see all the patterns, we’ve created Pinterest boards for each category. (Apologies if there’s any wonkiness. Pinterest is a cruel mistress.)
We have been asked what the prize is for the Champion of MDK March Mayhem. It’s the juiciest, best prize of all: bragging rights.
We can’t wait to see what happens. So settle in, bring your knitting. Spread the word to all your knitter friends, and get ready to vote tomorrow.