Unbeknownst to you and before we ever met in real life, you were my knitting companions. Long distance, sure. Virtual, yes. But I heard your voices through your writing. You opened my world to many new knitters/dyers/designers and shared your lives through your stories and correspondence. I felt a certain comradery that I think is understood by many a knitter. This hobby is more than a hobby. And all the people who share your love for this hobby are extra special.
Hold up. Time for the back story. Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner are the women behind Mason Dixon Knitting, also known as MDK. You probably already knew this, but in case you didn’t let me explain. Kay lives in New York City. Ann lives in Nashville. They talk every day, as true knitting friends should. They have been blogging about knitting since 2003, back when knitting blogs were scarce if nonexistent. All these years, they’ve been writing each other letters on MDK. (They were internet pen pals who had originally met on the Rowan message boards.) In the beginning, they’d never met in person but that all changed when they ended up writing a book and turned MDK into the site it is today, which provides (fantastic) daily reads for knitters.
Anyway, Ann and Kay … back to you. For many years, I have been waking up to your stories and bits of knitting wisdom. I’ve been reading MDK since I started knitting in 2008 and I’ve learned so much about knitting from you and your contributors. MDK is often the first thing I read in the morning with a cup of coffee as I get my kids ready for school, and what a way to start the day.
Because you share so much more than just knitting tips. So much more.
Your blog has taken me on so many excellent adventures. I’ve devoured your ‘How to Rhinebeck: A Primer’ and though I’ve never been to Rhinebeck, I can almost taste the cider donuts. You’ve introduced me to the magic of Samantha Brunson/Bobble Club House – I pored over her post about the student knitwear at FIT, more than once – constant inspiration. Your book was one of the first knitting books I ever owned, which resulted in several extremely cute Ballband Dishcloths in my kitchen drawer. Years later, those dishcloths are still one of my most favorite projects to knit. Thanks to you I’ve had the chance to admire Dana Williams-Johnson’s work – her 200 sweaters and fantastic style edits. At my house, Saturday mornings with coffee, PJs and Snippets is a real thing. (I know I’m not the only one.) And the knitalongs! Oh, the knitalongs. I do love a good knitalong.
Why YES, I would like to have a Yo-Yo Ma musical marathon … the morning after I go to a Slipknot show. (#balance) I’d love to watch an Alexander McQueen documentary, listen to ‘LeVar Burton Reads’ or think about thinking in pictures with our beloved Temple Grandin while knitting a few rounds on my sweater on a Saturday afternoon.
Intarsia. Stitch Fiddle. The love of log cabin knitting. Knit to This. Sheet pan suppers. Lazy Sundays and Julia Child on PBS. Paul Simon/Obvious Child. Ballbands are liars. Laugh through the knitting. I’ve learned how to fudge. (A real, actual knitting technique that every knitter needs to know.)
Over the years, you’ve helped me see that we all do things our own way, learning as we go. No one’s the #1 expert at everything (except for maybe Patty Lyons, whose expertise is quite amazing) and there’s always a bunch of different ways to do something. (Just look in the comments!) It’s okay to improvise and make things our own. We are different. We are the same. Thank you for that.
Today you revealed that somehow, this girl from Iowa who loves a wearable, modern knit is the designer for the MDK Field Guide No. 12.
What’s the Theme? More will be revealed when this Field Guide launches on Friday, September 6. How did I get here? I do not know. But I am honored and 100% thrilled to be a tiny part of MDK. This is a dream. I have done several super embarrassing happy dances around my kitchen during this process and I have a feeling the best is yet to come. (After all, I follow MDK’s Rule No. 1: Knitting is supposed to be fun.)
Have you signed up for MDK’s weekly Saturday newsletter? You won’t regret it. Sign up here. (Plus you’ll get updates about this latest Field Guide, knitalongs and more!)