It’s a brand-new year, and we’re ready for a deep, refreshing dive into Kaffe Fassett’s designs for MDK Field Guide No. 16: Painterly.
We got a good start back in November, but those first projects left us longing for MORE. Now, free of the distractions of the holidays, we’re ready for big intarsia fun.
Yes—we said “intarsia” and we also said “fun.”
If you’re new to intarsia, or if intarsia has seemed scary, this is the knitalong that is going to reveal to you the joy of painting with wool.
You know how would-be runners do training programs called “Couch to 5K” and “Couch to 10K?” We think of this as the first-ever “Couch to Couch” knitalong. You start on the couch, and you end on the couch, but in the middle (yes, on the couch) you master Kaffe’s liberating way to intarsia colorwork.
Today, we begin a short, intense, delirious romp through this sublime colorist’s accessible, geometric intarsia designs. Like last year’s festival of Kaffe Fassett stranded colorwork, we’re calling this knitalong the Kaffe-along. Pick a colorwork chart, pick one of the Field Guide’s simple templates—scarf, cushion, cowl, or throw—grab some jolly colors of Felted Tweed, and off we go!
Village Scarf. It takes a village to get a knitter started on intarsia.
Since the launch of Field Guide No. 16 in November, we’ve reveled in the outpouring of knitterly love for intarsia. The big news: knitters are loving the freshness, simplicity, and joy of Kaffe’s geometric designs, and they’re finding his no-nonsense techniques for knitting intarsia—chief among them his “pull from the tangle,” bobbin-free method—to be as do-able as we say they are.
The Watercolor Cowl is a great project if you’re an intarsia newbie, and also if you have a lot of Felted Tweed leftovers in your stash.
Kaffe Fassett is a master, to be sure. But in Field Guide No. 16, we see a master at play. Kaffe is applying his surefooted color sense and evolved patterning in a way that is very of-the-moment. Like the year, it’s brand new.
Rhapsody in blues: the Cityscape Scarf.
It’s so fun to knit with Kaffe. Where else but in knitting could we get to share an artist’s vision, so directly and personally? It’s the most exhilarating knitting we know.
A tale of three I-cushions. Top to bottom, the patterns are Kites (Bright), Kites (Cool), and Cityscape.
C’mon! It’ll Be Fun!
Will you join us? The fun of this knitalong is that there really is a Kaffe for every knitter. Field Guide No. 16 provides charts that range from satisfyingly quick knitting candy—cushions, cowls, and scarves—to full-on, love-of-your-life projects that will bring delight in the knitting, and reward you with an heirloom at the end of the road. It’s an adventure that will be more fun together.
The knitalong will officially end on Friday, February 12—though everybody knows that a good knitalong just keeps going and going. There is no time pressure.
Posting a photo, either on the Instagram hashtag or in the MDK Lounge, will put you in the running for juicy prizes from our friends at Rowan Yarns, with winners to be announced 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.
Any project from MDK Field Guide No. 16 is eligible. Also eligible are projects using any of the charted motifs from the Field Guide on a project of your choice. (There’s already a Villages sweater version happening out there, and we love to see it.)
As with all MDK knitalongs, all yarns are welcome. You do not have to knit your Kaffealong project in Rowan Felted Tweed, although it’s Kaffe’s favorite, and ours, for its rich, flecked colors and long-wearing, well-behaved ways. If you’ve been wanting to try Felted Tweed, this is the universe inviting you to do it now.
That’s our knitalong policy here at MDK: the more the merrier. The goal is to have a good time together, sharing the joy of knitting designs by one of the all-time great knitwear designers, spurring each other on with inspiration and ideas, and learning a few neat knitting tricks along the way.
We would tell you what the criteria for prizes are, but we don’t know a prize winner until we see it. If you’ve followed our knitalongs in the past, you probably know that we are suckers for a gorgeous photo, a sassy caption, a good story, or a heartwarming moment. Any one of these, or something else entirely, can capture our imagination and make us say, “This wins a prize!”
Need Provisions? 10% Savings on Felted Tweed Kits and Bundles
With Kaffe’s designs, color is everything, and more colors equals more fun. To help get everyone’s Felted Tweed palette in shape, the MDK Shop is stocked way up on this favorite yarn.
And if you order one of our kits or bundles for Kaffe’s designs in Field Guide No. 16 or Field Guide No. 13, the bundled price is at a 10 percent savings off the single-skein price.
See all the kits at the one-stop shop page for Field Guide No. 16.
Is this your first foray into intarsia? It’s easier than you might think. Jen Arnall-Culliford has made some super-useful short video tutorials to get you started:
Stay tuned—there will be more to come.
Now let’s get out there and get this color party started!
Ann and Kay