This is one of the secret projects I’ve been diligently working on behind the scenes. As you may know, this year Malabrigo started a new program called the Malabrigo Freelance Pattern Project. Each month, an independent designer will release an ebook of Malabrigo patterns. I’m Miss April!

Understory is a collection of six accessory patterns with a woodsy theme. They are available individually, or all together in ebook form. (If you purchase the ebook, you will get an ebook and each of the individual files as well.) All patterns were test knit by a pool of knitters and tech edited by Lauren Cross.

Lichen Beret

Lichens and mosses are so miniscule and usual that they can easily be overlooked, but these tiny not-quite-plants are truly beautiful and fascinating. The Lichen Beret celebrates these Lilliputian wonders in larger form with a simple lace faggoting pattern that mimics some of the patterns of lichen fronds. Knit either in smooth Malabrigo Twist, or luxuriously fluffy Malabrigo Angora, very different looks can be achieved with the same easy pattern. Top with a fluffy pom pom for an especially cute look.

One size fits most adult heads
18 inches in circumference at brim


  • 1 skein Malabrigo Twist 100% Merino; 150 yds per 100g skein – shown in Olive OR
  • 2 skeins Malabrigo Angora 100% Angora; 50 yds per 60g skein – shown in Primavera
  • U.S. size 7 (4.5 mm) 16” circular needle
  • U.S. size 10 (6 mm) 16”circular needle
  • U.S. size 10 (6 mm) dpns or long circular needle for Magic Loop
  • tapestry needle
  • scrap yarn for optional pom pom (Shown in Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Dove)

16 sts/25 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on size 7 needles
13 sts/20 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on size 10 needles

Buy it now for U.S. $5.00


Laetiporus is a genus of edible mushrooms that grow in brackets from living trees. The shelf like construction and bright yellow color make for a spectacular sight in the damp woods. The Laetiporus scarf mimics, with a wide and gentle garter ruffle, the broad ripples of Laetiporus mushrooms. Although the scarf pictured here is extremely long, the simple lace and short row ruffle pattern can be made to any desired length for an unsual and wearable scarf that will stand out and keep your neck toasty warm. Refer to the chart or the written pattern to meet your comfort level.

8 inches wide by 100 inches long


  • 3 skeins Malabrigo Merino Worsted 100% Merino wool; 210 yds per 100g skein – shown in Frank Ochre
  • U.S. size 10 (6 mm) needles
  • tapestry needle

15 sts/20 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on size 10 needles

Buy it now for U.S. $5.00

Amanita Muscaria

The Amanita Muscaria mushroom is one of the most iconic fungi around. The cheery red cap with the white spots disguises the fact that the mushroom is actually quite poisonous. These happy mitts have all the geniality of the Amanita Muscaria mushroom with none of the danger. The simple stranded colorwork pattern makes an easy introduction to stranded colorwork or a relaxing interlude for those already familiar with the technique. Change the colors around for a fun polka dot look. In lightweight Malabrigo Sock, these mitts are perfect for nippy spring weather.

one size fits most adult hands


  • 1 skein Malabrigo Sock 100% Superwash Merino; 440 yds per 100g skein in MC – shown in Natural
  • 1 skein Malabrigo Sock 100% Superwash Merino; 440 yds per 100g skein in CC – shown in Ravelry Red
  • U.S. size 1 (2.25 mm) dpns or long circular needle for Magic Loop
  • U.S. size 2.5 (3 mm) dpns or long circular needle for Magic Loop
  • tapestry needle
  • waste yarn

30 sts/32 rows = 4 inches in colorwork pattern in larger needles

Buy it now for U.S. $5.00


April’s lush new growth fills the woodland floors in a riot of bright young greens and fast growing leafy plants reaching for the light before the canopy fills in entirely. This shawl, composed of different leaf shapes and Faroese construction, is inspired by the verdant hues and herbage of spring. Both sizes result in a true shawl rather than a shawlette, good for wrapping around a short sleeved top or light dress on a cool evening. Both samples were knit in spring greens, but it would be easy to change the season by changing the colors. Greys or whites for frosty winter, oranges, reds, or golds for autumn, deep greens for summer.

NOTE: There are two PDFs, one labeled charts, one labeled written. These are identical in content, but have different layouts to more easily facilitate chart users or those who rely on the written pattern. Both have the charts and the written pattern.

Small: 60 inches wide, 24 inches long
Large: 85 inches wide, 34 inches long


  • 2 skeins Malabrigo Sock for size Small 100% Superwash Merino; 440 yds per 100g skein – shown in Lettuce
  • 4 skeins Malabrigo Silky Merino for size Large 51% Silk, 49% Merino; 150 yds per 50g skein – shown in Manzanilla Olive
  • U.S. size 6 (4 mm) 24” or longer circular needle for size Small
  • U.S. size 8 (5 mm) 24” or longer circular needle for size Large
  • tapestry needle

Small: 26 sts/34 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on size 6 needles
Large: 19 sts/24 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on size 8 needle

Buy now for U.S. $6.50

Light and Shade

Variegated yarns frequently call my name, but I often have trouble knitting them up. Patterns that looked beautiful in theory can look messy in reality. Light and Shade is a simple cowl designed for use with those tough but beautiful Malabrigo variegateds. The slip stitch honeycomb pattern breaks up the colors and gives a look of dappled light rather than pooling or messiness. An attached i-cord edging makes a neat, tailored edge that looks great without much effort. The button placket is a great opportunity to use some pretty buttons and the cowl sits differently depending on how many holes you button.

Small: 7 inches high, 20 inches wide.
Large: 7 inches high, 24 inches wide.


  • 1 skein Malabrigo Merino Worsted 100% Merino; 210 yds per 100g skein – shown in Jaen (Small) and Mariposa (Large)
  • 1 set U.S. size 6 (4 mm) needles
  • 1 set U.S. size 10 (6 mm) needles
  • 3 buttons (19 mm)
  • tapestry needle

15 sts/20 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on size 10 needles

Buy it now for U.S. $4.00

Woodpigeon Mitts

Spring brings a host of avian life to the woods, and the sounds and sights of birds fill the usually quiet groves and thickets. The Woodpigeon Mitts take a simple feathered lace pattern inspired by some of the feathered occupants of the forest, and create a dramatic and dashing fitted mitt that is light and warm. The elbow length mitts can easily be shortened for a more everyday look, while the longer version hints at old movie star glamour and sophistication.

Small, Large


  • 2 skeins Malabrigo Silky Merino 51% Silk, 49% Merino; 150 yds per 50g skein – shown in Cape Cod Gray
  • 1 set U.S. size 5 (3.75 mm) dpns OR long circular needle for Magic Loop
  • tapestry needle

22 sts/30 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Buy it now for U.S. $5.00

Or buy the whole collection at a discount of almost 50% for U.S. $16.00

Posted in Amanita Muscaria, Cowls, Knitting, Laetiporus, Lichen Beret, Light and Shade, Mitts, Original Pattern, Pattern for sale, Scarves, Shawls, Understory, Verdure, Woodpigeon Mitts
11 comments on “Understory
  1. Katie says:

    This is a creative and delightful concept collection. Despite everything fitting with the theme, there’s some lovely variation between the patterns. Nice work.

  2. wfuteach says:

    Wonderful!! 🙂 These look great, and I’m adding some to my queue right away! 🙂

  3. Julie says:

    I scoped out these patterns on Ravelry yesterday, they are all so wonderful- congratulations!!!

  4. Bronwyn says:

    Yay Kristen! They’re all gorgeous. I can’t wait till I have time and money. 🙂

  5. Jessica says:

    This is just lovely, Kristen. I love the concept behind the collection, and I think you interpreted the “woodsy” theme in a way that is fresh, artful, and smart. A big congratulations to you. I haven’t been able to knit in so long due to my crazy schedule, but I am going to treat myself to your e-book as a graduation gift to myself. I look forward to knitting bliss.

    Your modeling shots are beautiful too.

  6. Love love love , i bought it yesterday as soon as it hit ravelry, i would, and most likely will knit all but one of the patterns ( not a big cowl girl living in tasmania there s little need) thing is i cant decide which one to knit first ! I love your theme and the details with each chart
    just wonderful

  7. Sarah says:

    I’m so thrilled you’ve brought this collection into being! All the designs are lovely, and Laetiporus in particular is giving me that wonderful frisson of delight at something unexpected and striking. It’s nudging me right in the covetousness. Chapeau toi!

  8. Hasmif says:

    They are gorgeous!

  9. Word Lily says:

    Looks like a great collection!

  10. duni says:

    congratulations on this lovely collection! well done!

  11. Natalie says:

    More lovely patterns – and in Malabrigo, so even better.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Understory"
  1. […] Hanley Cardozo (aka the Knitting Kninja) has a lovely new e-book of patterns available for sale. I especially love the Verdure shawl, but the Laetiporus scarf and Woodpigeon […]

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