MDK – Refresh

MDK field guide refresh cover

Introducing Refresh

I’ve been dropping hints for the last few weeks about the collaboration I’ve been working on with Mason-Dixon Knitting, Field Guide No. 14. At long last I can share the details with you as it has been revealed – welcome to Refresh! MDK were such a joy to work with, enthusiastic and thoughtful and the editor Melanie Falick is just amazing. I’ve never seen such beautiful photos!

Nua Yarn

mdk swatch collection

You may notice also that this collection uses Nua Sport yarn. Ann and Kay just loved the yarn and were very excited about using it for the Field Guide. The photos they took of the yarn for the book are some of the most astonishingly beautiful yarn photos I’ve ever seen. They someone managed to capture the essence of the yarn and put it into an image.

Inspiration from Ireland

Putting together a theme for the book ended up becoming a mix of my design aesthetic and where I’m from. It’s no surprise to anyone that I love working with cables, however I like to use them a little differently. Cables can create a geometric, 3-dimensional design by raising the stitches off the fabric and moving it across the surface of the work. This can create a clean, architectural feel to the designs even though the starting point of cables has such a traditional heritage, especially in Ireland!

Design Introductions

For now I’m going to give you a very brief introduction to each of the four designs in the Field Guide, over the coming weeks I’ll explore each of the designs in more detail with tutorials on different techniques used.

Twining Wrap

twining wrap mdk refresh field guide
© Elysa Weitala

Starting at the tip, this wrap uses a set of repeating geometric cables to create a create a dramatic statement. The wrap uses a delicate picot bind-off for a soft edging contrast that give lots of stretch to block the shawl. Sample about shown in Nua Sport Rolling Bales colourway.

Trellis Top

trellis top mdk refresh field guide
© Elysa Weitala

We all assume that cables are big and dramatic but the simple one by one cables used to create the textured stitch in this top show what a different effect can be created with a subtle stitch. Small cables create a lightly textured surface that allow the fabric to be textured but not heavy or stiff. Minimal shaping allow you to really focus all your attention on the stitch pattern for this top. Sample about shown in Nua Sport Chalk and Plum colourway.

Transom Cardigan

transom cardigan mdk refresh field guide
© Elysa Weitala

We’re back to big geometric cable effects with this cardigan again. Running the cables in different directions allows a simple diagonal cable to really become the focus. The cardigan uses one of my favorite sleeve constructions; saddle shoulder shaping with short row set-in sleeves. Sample about shown in Nua Sport August Storms colourway.

Arcade Cap

arcade cap mdk refresh field guide
© Elysa Weitala

I had so much fun designing the cables for this hat. I wanted to use cables in a very architectural way, using nested arches to create a feature on the hat.  I’m particularly fond of how the cable design flows straight from the ribbed edging. Sample about shown in Nua Sport Cerebellum colourway.

Where to Buy

You can find the digital version of the book on Ravelry here.

Print copies of the book are available through MDK here and you can also find their stockist list here.

Nua yarn is available from me directly here, from MDK or you can find Nua stockists here.


What design will you knit first? Keep checking in to get all the details on each design!