Where domestic skills + creativity meet, tempered with a dose of procrastination.

Getting Crafty Again

 

Ok in April I decided to knit some dishcloths. No biggie. I had some knitting cotton (Sugar n’ Cream) and I had a basic dishcloth pattern. I’ve made these before. They are not difficult but I found it’s hard for me to sit down during the day and knit. A few rows while watching something on Netflix or else I never do it. I used to do it on the train, that was ideal. Trapped on the train with nothing else to do but sit there, the knitting just grew and grew. I could knock a dishcloth over in a couple of day’s commutes.

The brown is a cotton sweater I started to unravel. It has a bit of polyester in it too so it knits up a little smaller than the red cotton yarn but the difference isn’t too great. A 100% cotton sweater would’ve been better, in terms of maximum absorbency, but this stuff seems ok. Unraveling it was a bit more difficult then you think – as it was a machine knitted garment, I discovered it had 2 threads going at once – one row then swap to next ball for 1 row, then swap over again etc.  So far I’ve only been game to unpick 1 sleeve.  To get the crinkles out – you’re supposed to loosely wind it into skeins and steam it, but I forgot that step.

As for the colours, I think I was going for that “signaling with semaphore flags” look with the red and brown. I should get some yellow cotton yarn to really make the semaphore thing happen. Anyway in April I managed to make 2 of them. Now it’s May and I’ve started a 3rd, in brown mostly but I put a fat red stripe in the middle to break up the brown. I did 8 rows in the red and should’ve done 9 (if you knit you’ll know why – it’s the row with the colour change-over – they should be showing on 1 side only). But it’s a dishcloth, these things don’t have to be perfect. These are knitted on size 5mm steel needles. I have a whole set of these inherited from an auntie, and I feel very blessed to have them. She was a fantastic knitter, I keep hoping some of that rubs off onto me!

The pattern is called Grandmother’s Favourite Dishcloth. It’s a good beginner’s pattern  widely available on the internet. Here, someone has helpfully collected variations on the pattern. Some people like the look of cream/off white/neutral dishcloths. To me that just means a yucky dingy grey thing hanging around the sink after a couple of day’s use. Stick to bright colours or variegated cotton yarn and you won’t be disappointed.

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To tidy up the loose tails of yarn, thread each one onto a tapestry needle and weave it into the knitting for a bit, then snip the end.

Just wash your dishcloths in hot water and laundry powder – no bleach – washing soda also added to the water will get them really clean. I like tea towels washed this way too – all those food stains come out easily.

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