MDK Field Guide No. 10: Downtown

Kay Gardiner & Ann Shayne

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Modern Daily Knitting Field Guides by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne are fabulous little books with a handful of patterns and fun tidbits that focus on a specific theme and designer. Read on to learn more about the theme and designs in this field guide, sourced from the Modern Daily Knitting website! 

About Downtown

Fresh, easy, relaxed—welcome to the world of Isabell Kraemer. A pair of pullovers and a set of cowls that let us play with texture and color. These are sweaters to love and to wear every day. Downtown, around town, everywhere. 

Isabell Kraemer is a prolific designer of sweaters and accessories who has a clear vision. Knitters recognize her work at a glance, whether it’s a pullover, cardigan, or irresistible wrappy thing. In MDK’s 2018 March Mayhem tournament of patterns, Isabell’s Humulus pullover was the champion. Out of 64 patterns in this crazy competition, each of which was a stone fox of a knitting design, knitters chose Humulus. To see an Isabell Kraemer pattern is to want it: to knit it, and to wear it. The designs that work so well for Isabell herself somehow work well for a lot of other knitters, too. When Isabell throws a curveball in terms of shaping, proportion, color, or texture, we are open to it. Her curiosity and sense of adventure inspire us to be game for something new.

One factor is the distinctiveness of Isabell’s pattern photography and styling. In her self-published patterns, Isabell is her own model, in a light-filled space that could be anywhere but actually is in a small town in Germany. Her hair is short. Her jeans are Isabell Jeans. No muss, no fuss. Just a beautiful, relaxed vibe. We want to be there with her. Our jeans need more pockets. But it’s more than styling. You can take Isabell out of the photos, as we did, of necessity, for this Field Guide, but she remains right there, clearly, in the designs.

As we pondered the theme for a Field Guide filled with Isabell Kraemer designs, we brainstormed all the moods her patterns evoke for us. Cool. Self-assured. Open. Urbane. Downtown. Isabell’s cosmopolitan designs are comfortable everywhere, doing everything. They are casual, but considered. They are garments of confidence and ease.

Patterns Included

Petula Pullover

A band of geometric color makes this a very modern yoke. Knit from the top down, this sport-weight sweater works with pretty much any combination of two colors you can think up: dark with a light yoke, light with a dark yoke, subtle or wild as you wish

Bottom Line Pullover

So simple, so artful. Isabell has created a sweater in fingering weight wool, with the result being a forever sweater that lets Jill Draper’s Mohonk Light shine in all its tone-shifting glory. The top-down construction means you’ll get to a finished sweater with minimal finishing required.

X-Factor Cowls

Juicy corrugated goodness here, in a dimensional ribbed design that you can nest one inside the other if you’re looking for extra style and coziness. The drawstring is bonus fun. 

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