Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dish Cloths

I have discovered knitting dish cloths.  During this busy, stressful time, I can't tell you how satisfying it is to knit dish cloths.  I would never have thought it, but there it is.  A humble cleaning cloth (because these could easily also be used as bath cloths) can be very satisfying and meet all my knitting needs right now.

I have made several over the past week.  They were perfect for sitting in the hospital.  I could throw them in a zip loc bag, tote them upstairs, work on them while I chatted or watched tv with Daddy and then tote them back down stairs when it was David's turn to come up.

ELNS asked where I got patterns and what yarn I'm using.  So, here's the low-down.

As part of my mental therapy getting ready for the long days in the hospital I spent days going through all the free dish cloth patterns on Ravelry.  I printed anything that looked interesting or wasn't a duplicate from ones I'd already printed.

Then I contacted Jimmy Beans Wool and asked them to recommend some dish cloth yarn.  They recommended Rowan Hand Knit 100% cotton.  I made one cloth from it and it was wonderful.  I'm glad I bought several balls so that I can make some more.  I bought pretty colors too.

I also did a little stash diving and pulled out anything that was 100% cotton and didn't look to "fancy" (i.e. would be better suited price-wise and look to be a scarf or sweater or something).  I used K1C2's Ty-Dy 100% cotton.  I think it might be a little soft, but the ball was huge and I got most of the dresses I made from it.  I love that it variegated in long strips from green to orange, so I have some really interesting dresses made from that yarn.

Finally, I shopped at Hobby Lobby, Michael's and a few other stores like that to get some readily available 100% cotton yarn.  The most available is Lily's Sugar and Cream, which is really nice and squishy and a super-great price.

While doing one pattern, I noticed the ad for another book in the upper corner of the print out.  I got on and bought that one.  I also shopped at Hobby Lobby and saw some great booklets and purchased a couple of those.  Dish cloth patterns abound...and once you get the hang of it you can always just make up your own pattern.

A few things that I think are important...garter or seed stitch edges to keep it straight.  Something interesting enough in the "middle" to keep you knitting...though total garter stitch really isn't bad.  Using wood needles is really important for most of these yarns, though I think the Sugar and Cream could tolerate metal.

And finally, just "wing it" sometimes.  I just knitted until it looked like the right size.  I figure I can't go too wrong with these things as they'll mostly be cleaning dishes or bodies or faces.

Today's picture is of the green cloth I'm working on right now.  I'm alternating 4 rows of stockinette with 4 rows of seed stitch in the middle and have a garter stitch border. I cast on 41 stitches, knit 10 rows in garter, and have 5 stitches on each end in garter.  It's pretty mindless, quick, and shows off this yarn (which I think it probably better suited to a blanket than a cloth, and may be making blocks from this yarn since I have several cones of it)...

And see...there's another benefit of going crazy knitting all these dish cloths.  In a pinch, you can put them together and make a perfect baby blanket!

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