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MDK Field Guide No. 8: Merry Making

by Kay Gardiner, Ann Shayne

For the designs in this Field Guide, we turned to one of the most skilled merrymakers we know, the inimitable Thea Colman. Thea took to heart the idea of designs that can be made quickly, easily, with enough variation that they never get old, and in lots of sizes. You’ll see in these designs all Thea’s signatures: a crazy cable, graphic colorwork, juicy texture.

Appleseed MittsWe hereby anoint you an ambassador of fingerless mitts, a Johnny Appleseed spreading mitts throughout the land. And in the case of these decorative, becuffed mitts, making them is fun, with an addictive little purl twist stitch.

Appleseed Coasters: Are mitts a bit more than you have time for? Sometimes we want to knit something small, yet useful and fun. When this mood strikes, swatch up a set of Appleseed Coasters. All the fun of that purl twist stitch, in a tasty little rug to slide under your coffee cup.

Slip-Stitch Cap: We almost do not believe how quickly this hat knits up. It’s partly because of the yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Company’s Studio Chunky lives up to its name, and big stitches mean fast knitting. But it’s also a fact that slip-stitch colorwork, in which only one color of yarn is worked at a time, actually speeds up your knitting. (SCIENCE.) Do human heads even come in six sizes? Well, this cap does. It’s stylish for anyone, no matter what their style is, from toddler to overgrown teen. This could be the hat you knit for four generations of the family. 

Stranded Diamond Hat: Let’s say you want to whip up a quick hat, but you’re fancy, so you want to do a spot of real stranded colorwork. The Stranded Diamond Hat is the hat for you. It starts out with a field of solid-color stockinette in the round, and then breaks into a clean, graphic, and vaguely nordic two-color motif. The crown finishes with a short stretch of the second color. And a pom pom. We live in a great age of pom poms.

Chalice CowlThe fun-to-knit chalice-shaped cable is the star here. Its unusual, figurative form is deep and chewy, and stands out against the thick garter-stitch background. Because it is worked on the bias (brilliant choice!) this cowl holds its shape while gently cupping the head and neck. And it’s reversible, so no matter how quickly the cowl is slipped over the head or, in the longer versions, twisted into a double thickness, it still looks good.

The print edition includes a free digital download at Ravelry—your unique download code is on the inside back cover. 

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