Wednesday, July 11, 2012

knitting again

It’s been months since I picked up the knitting needles. There was a little sweater last fall with lots of stripes that got mostly finished when I decided the many color changes were just too much of a hassle. I gave myself permission to scrap it. Then I mostly finished a tiny cropped sweater in a luscious yellow yarn but it got hot a little quicker than I thought and it seemed pointless to finish. I think it will likely fit next spring, so I let myself off the hook there too.

The fact is I've been obsessively sewing for myself since about February, though I haven’t been able to share much of it, and not knitting at all. But faced with a two day drive to my parents’ house, I needed to sort out a knitting project fast. I very responsibly decided to work with yarn I already have or finish long hibernating projects.

I have been meaning to try wash and dish cloths for some time now. It took me a long while to understand the fascination of knitted dishcloths. Have you noticed how some people are positively obsessed with them? My mom bought some dishcloths at a craft fair and I saw that scrubbed pots shockingly well. Later, someone gave me a washcloth from a bridal shower. It felt shockingly luxurious in the tub. Previously, the work to reward ratio on hand knitted washcloths seemed unbalanced. Hours of boring knitting in exchange for a quick-to-wear-out and cheap-to-buy-in-stores utilitarian item? No, thank you. Now that I've tried them, it seems perfect. A few hours of a relaxing hobby for a guaranteed-to-turn-out-perfectly small piece of luxury? Yes, please!

They can be done quickly, inexpensively and if it goes wrong, it’s really no big deal. Anyway, it’s not going to go wrong. It’s just a square of knitted fabric. After a little consideration of stitch – soft stockinette for a washcloth versus bumpy garter for a scrubby dish cloth –  and not too much surfing through Ravelry, you’re on your way. I didn’t bother with expensive organic yarn. I just used the natural color of Lily Sugar and Cream. Perfectly soft enough, though I’m sure the Blue Sky cotton they use would be heavenly.

This simple stockinette cloth with a seed stitch border comes from the Purl Bee. I liked the little crochet loop they added.  You can always count on the Purl Bee for a tasteful modern update on a classic. I’m really pleased with these results.  I may try a little eyelet pattern with the next one, but I do think the stockinette is essential to the luxurious feel of a wash cloth. I have a plan to make a few of these and then convince the kids to help me make soaps to wrap up as a mother’s day present, shhh!

This afternoon, I’m getting some pictures taken of my dress from the Fashionable Stitch sew along. I can’t wait to share them!  On Thursday, there’s a signing for Dana Willard's book at Whipstitch in Atlanta I’m considering driving down for. Is anyone else in the area going?

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