I have to confess that I haven’t met one of my goals.
Back when we launched MDK Field Guide No. 1: Stripes, I declared that I would knit every project in every Field Guide. I was obviously high on Sharpie fumes at the time, but sometimes the greatest ideas come under the influence of smelly office products. (Remember Liquid Paper? Remember ditto paper? Remember rubber cement?)
Maybe I thought we were going to publish exactly one Field Guide and be done. Maybe a whole series seemed like a fantasy that could never come true.
Well, here we are, on the cusp of publishing the eighth volume in this series. (Watch for it next week! It is the jolliest Field Guide yet.) For the past few days, I’ve been looking through all the Field Guides, waxing nostalgic while seeing them anew.
Working with a Great Editor
These books have come together through the attention and care of our creative director and editor of the MDK Field Guides, Melanie Falick. If you ever want to see what a disciplined, meticulous editor with three decades of experience can do, these little books are a good example.
Melanie infuses every Field Guide with thought and care, from the first moment of developing a color palette (here’s her post about how she does it) to the press check when the Field Guide is at the printer. Having worked in the world of words and paper for a long time, I really treasure the chance to see Melanie in action.
(At the bottom of the page, you’ll find articles that Melanie has written for MDK. At the moment, she is about to send her manuscript for her book Making a Life to the publisher, so light a candle for her! It’ll be published next fall, and you will hear a lot from us about it.)
What I Made
What strikes me is that I have actually made a lot of stuff from the Field Guides.
Half of a Station Wagon Blanket by Mary Jane Mucklestone (from MDK Field Guide No. 1: Stripes)
Squad Mitts by Ann Weaver (from MDK Field Guide No. 1: Stripes)
More of a Hadley PULLOVER by Véronik Avery than you can see here (from MDK Field guide no. 2: fair isle)
Two pairs of Après-Anything Socks by Ann Budd (from MDK Field guide no. 2: fair isle)
Three Colorwash Scarves by Kirsten Kapur (from mdk field guide no. 3: WILD YARNS)
Three Easel Sweaters by Sue McCain (from mdk field guide no. 3: WILD YARNS)
Three and a half Leif Cowls by Dianna Walla (from mdk field guide no. 3: WILD YARNS)
A Sommerfeld Shawl by Ann Weaver (FROM MDK FIELD GUIDE NO. 4: LOG CABIN)
A gargantuan log cabin blanket featuring sequence knitting from Cecelia Campochiaro (IN DONEGAL TWEED) (FROM MDK FIELD GUIDE NO. 5: SEQUENCE KNITTING)
A Parallelogram Scarf by Cecelia Campochiaro (I’M CURRENTLY WORKING ON A TOP-SECRET VERSION, SO HERE’S KAY’S, WHICH IS VERY FINE.) (FROM MDK FIELD GUIDE NO. 5: SEQUENCE KNITTING)
A Shakerag Top by Amy Christoffers (FROM MDK FIELD GUIDE NO. 6: TRANSPARENCY)
A Cockleshell Cardigan by Amy Christoffers (FROM MDK FIELD GUIDE NO. 6: TRANSPARENCY)
An Albers Shawl by Amy Christoffers (FROM MDK FIELD GUIDE NO. 6: TRANSPARENCY)
A Sail-Away Shawl by Julia Farwell-Clay (from MDK field guide no. 7: ease)
When I’m knitting, I think about these designers throughout the knitting of their patterns. These are all ideas that that emerged during the creation of each Field Guide, tweaked, refined. It turns out that these designs really are as addicting to make as we had hoped they would be. They’re timeless joyrides in the world of knitting—patterns that have good, manageable challenges and make the most of beautiful yarns.
It has been such a delight to see so many knitters making these projects, collecting Field Guides, getting into the whole thing. Please know that we have a cornucopia, a smorgasbord, a country kitchen buffet of Field Guides in the works. Amazing delights are on the way.
But seriously. I have more knitting to do. I haven’t made the Freak Flags. What is wrong with me?