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Fri 14 Oct 2016 08:10am


I’m  honored to have been invited to contribute a design for the Istex 25th Anniversary Celebration. You know them as the makers of your favorite Icelandic yarn, Lopi,Léttlopi, Bulkylopi, Einband lace yarn and Plötulopi, unspun roving.

For Sigla, I wanted to make a sweater that was as quick to knit as Stopover. I wanted a graphic modern geometric look, being influence from working on Geo Knits, my new book. I chose a pattern motif that I think looks better from the top down, triangles shapes – like sails. The very top of a top-down triangle motif is especially crisp and sharp, exactly what I wanted. So as a result the sweater is knit entirely in the round from the top down. I made the triangles encircle the yoke like a fleet of sailboats! Hence the name, Sigla means sail in Icelandic!

Sigla is available in my Ravelry shop where I hope you’ll buy it, and also on the Istex website.

I had delusions that I would make a new one for Rhinebeck this weekend, but no…unless I can make one on the drive there…never say never!

I’ll be signing copies of my new book Saturday.



Sigla, an Istex 25th Anniversary Celebration Design

A lopapeysa with a modern geometric yoke. Worked entirely in the round from the top down. The loose gauge promises a quick knit and an exceptionally lightweight garment.

Finished Size S (M, L, XL) Bust 37 (40½, 44¼, 48) in, 94 (103, 112.5, 122) cm.
Length to Armhole 13½ (13¾, 14, 14¼) in, 34 (35, 35.5, 36) cm.
Sleeve Length 17½ (17¾, 18, 18½) in, 44.5 (45, 45.5, 47) cm.
Yarn Léttlopi 1.7 oz (50g) balls, 109yds (100m); 5 (6, 6, 7) balls in
#56 Light Grey Heather (MC), 1 ball each in #1414 Violet Heather, #1416 Moor, #9427 Rust Heather, and 9426 Golden Heather.
Needles US 10½ (6.5mm) 16 and 32 inch (40cm, 80cm) circular needles and 1 set dpns, US 9 (5.5mm) 16in (40cm) circular needle and 1 set US 9 (5.5mm) double pointed needles – or needle size necessary to get gauge.
Gauge 13 sts and 18 rounds = 4x4in (10×10) cm in stockinette st on US10½ (6.5mm) needles.
Notions Stitch markers, 2 stitch holders or pieces of scrap yarn, tapestry needle.

Note Body is worked in the round from the top down. Stitches are put on holders for each sleeve while the body is knit to the bottom ribbing. Sleeve stitches are then picked up and knit down to cuff.

This pattern is released jointly with Istex and Mary Jane Mucklestone and is formatted with Istex branding.



MJ’s Vogue Knitting Live Instagram Takeover

Tue 11 Oct 2016 10:10am


Instagram Takeover of Vogue Knitting Live! Tuesday October 11! Celebrating the upcoming Vogue Knitting Live in Minneapolis, my @mjmucklestone Instagram followers can get 50% off all Marketplace tickets by entering the code: MARYJANE

Hope to see you there!

Vogue Knitting Live Minneapolis
November 3-6
Registration, classes, and shopping will be held in the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN.

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Hello Station Wagon Blanket!

Mon 10 Oct 2016 02:10pm

mdk-field-guide-1-stripesn-dragged-650x650 field-guide-1-station-wagon-blanket-mjmucklestone

I’ve got an easy-peasy super fun project in Mason-Dixon Knitting’s Field Guide No. 1: Stripes.
You got it – stripes – Stripes are what I always knit before I knew how to do stranded knitting. You might say stripes drove me to stranded knitting, because I eventually got tired of knitting them and branched out. I enjoyed knitting many many projects featuring stripes though and I’ve come back around to them. There are so very many variations you can do, endless joy and experimentation  with color, proportion and texture.

When I was little my grandparents lived across the Sound at a place in the woods called Harper. It was dreamy land, a little cordwood house tucked in the wilds (you can see a picture of it on my Pinterest). Of course their car was a Woody. Kids and dogs would pile in the back and we’d bounce down to the beach and spend the day. On our return, with hair full of sand, salty skin smeared with seaweed, we’d bundle in the back swathed in colorful camp blankets that lived in the car – pure comfort and shimmering stripes.

When Kay and Ann asked me to design a blanket, I thought of those endless beachy days and those blankets. I wanted the making of the blanket to be as carefree as the memories. I’d just fallen in love with stripes all over again after working on my new book (yes!) Geo Knits. Squishy 3-D garter stitch stripes are my current favorite, I love the wrong-side-is-as pretty-as-the-right-side aspect. I made a decision for the strips to be joined from the wrong side, making Station Wagon Blanket even more reversible – now each side has a “wrong side” element. Choosing the colors and experimenting with the stripe patterns was really fun, I hope you like them. There’s lots of room for your own color choices and flourishes for a custom Station Wagon Blanket.

Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guides are just my thing. I love a sweet little book, like a cozy blanket they bring comfort and a feeling of security. Honesty. I’m going to collect them all.

Field Guide No. 1 has other really great projects you’ll want to make too.

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Left: Breton Cowl, Antonia Shankland  Right: Squad Mitts, Ann Weaver

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First I Swatch

Tue 06 Sep 2016 03:09pm


For Vogue Knitting Magazine‘s Fall 2016 special issue, I was asked to make a hat, which to my delight made it onto the cover. So what was my design process? The first thing I did when I got my assigned yarn, Rowan Felted Tweed, was to begin swatching. I started with a favorite peerie pattern to get the juices flowing, knitting in the round, just as I’d make a hat, but smaller, with only enough stitches to fit on a 16in/40cm circular needle. Next I worked a border pattern, tried another peerie with couple of colors that looked great together in the ball, but not when used as pattern color and background color (hidden in this picture). Then I kind of hit the wall. I decided to just try knitting all the colors I had using a favorite “diamonds” or “peaks” pattern which is usually found framing border patterns. It is often knit using ombre tones of a single color from dark to light or visa versa. I used them in my Valenzi Cardigan… You can see on my swatch above I didn’t do the ombre until after I knit the border pattern and then I used it with warm colors. I decided I liked the last bit of the swatch, but would think about denim colors, because I really really liked them, and felt cheery when I was using them.

FairIsleKep_ShetlandMuseum FairIsleKep_ShetlandTextileMuseum

While I was swatching I was thinking about the shape of the hat. I knew I wanted a pointed hat, because I love pointed hats. I considered a traditional fisherman’s ‘kep’ or cap, from Fair Isle, the island. These have a plain lining and folded brim much like a Scandinavian dubbelmossa. There are two examples above, the gorgeous one on the left from the Shetland Museum collection is folded up the way a fisherman would wear it. On the right you can see a kep before the lining is pushed inside. This one is in the Shetland Textile Museum. As much as I love these traditional keps, knitting one is a tremendous commitment and I wanted a hat that was quick to knit and more accessible for those who might be new to stranded knitting.

YellSkipperKep_ShetlandMuseum YellFisherKep_ShetlandMuseum

Which put me in mind of the kind of pointed hat I’d knit before, and then later discovered similar ones in the Shetland Museum, two fisherman’s hats from the island of Yell. Above are replicas knit in the 1940s of hats from the 1880s, the caption explains that the bright red one was the captain’s.

So I started another swatch, using the peeries on the regular fisherman’s hat above right, the dark blue one, and practiced colors again.

I’ve got a few pointed hats in my repertoire…so I knew the style from Yell would be a little too long and require too much attention to keep the pattern in order while decreasing, but I liked the curve of the point, though I wanted it to narrow faster. By this time I pretty much knew what I wanted. I had two large swatches for gauge, only a little math to do and I was ready to go!

Vogue_Fall2016_MucklestoneCover FairIsleHat_Mucklestone_sohopublishing

Vogue Knitting is hosting a Knit-Along for my cover hat. Find out all the details on their Vogue Knitting Live Group page.

I’m casting on today! In RED. Because I’m the captain of the ship!!!!

If you’ll be attending Vogue Knitting Live in Minneapolis there will be a meet up of KAL participants on Sunday November 6. Wear your hat!!! I’ll be teaching the weekend and hosting a “Shetlandia” evening along with Gudrun Johnston and June Hemmons Hiatt.
Hope to see you there!


Find my other pointy hats! Fair Isle Sampler Hat on the left and two colorways of Elfin Peak.

Interested in making a real Fair Isle Fisherman’s Kep? Join the Facebook Group “The Fair Isle Fisherman’s Kep Page”. You have to request to join. Once in, you’ll find loads of inspiration from the many pictures of keps posted and also learn how to order a pattern designed by Anne Sinclair which is being sold to support the “George Waterston Memorial Centre and Museum”, on Fair Isle. Buying a pattern also helps the island Post Office.  Dottie Widmark of the Net Loft in Cordova Alaska, received permission for my class to use this pattern as part of The Cordova Gansey Project. We had a wonderful time making up our own versions of this fisher-folk hat. Make sure you read Dottie’s blog about the Gansey amazing journey that continues.

Jamieson & Smith has a pattern for a lined Fair Isle Fisherman’s Cap.

Handknitting With Meg Swansen includes a pattern for a dubbelmossa.