Monday, October 10, 2005

Special Delivery and Lesson Learned

Il est fini!

I finished my mother's blanket last week. I tossed it into the washer on the gentle cycle and the blanket showed no signs of stretching, fading, or tearing. I'm also pleased to say that it was machine-dried, on the normal settings, with no problem. I was a little concerned since this is a lace pattern but I needn't have worried.

Late yesterday afternoon, I delivered the blanket to my mother. She was very excited. If all knitting gifts will be so well received by my mom and my son, they'll always be on the list of people for whom irons will be on the fire. I'm already thinking about what I can knit next for her.

Dishcloths and Washcloths

When I first started knitting, I figured a dishcloth/washcloth would not be something I would ever knit. Sure, some that I saw were pretty but I figured if I was going to knit something pretty, it would be worn or displayed.

Then, a few weeks ago, we visited with someone who knits dishcloths regularly. She pulled out a few that she had recently knit and they were indeed lovely to see. She told me that the hand-knit dishcloths cleaned so well and dried so quickly that she wouldn't use anything else. My curiosity was piqued. I decided then and there that I would knit at least one so that I could decide for myself. Maybe I had written-off too hastily a project that was portable and could possibly provide solace for me in times of the desire for a quick-knit.

A few days ago, I cast-on for my first dishcloth. I chose one knit in the round rather than the little squares one often sees. Since I want to make one of the pinwheel blankets one day, I chose a dishcloth pattern similar to it. The pattern, "Doily Style Dishcloth," is found HERE.

Oddly enough, it reminded me of knitting a hat from the top-down. I may try doing this at some point. I'll start with fewer stitches than this pattern. It could be interesting to do the increases (as opposed to decreases when knitting from the brim up) and stitch patterns this way.

This is a progress shot, showing where I left-off yesterday. Most likely I'll be finished it today, if I continue it.

It was engaging to knit, but I kept thinking about how it was a dishcloth. I just couldn't get really excited about it. I kept think of other things I could make knitting from the inside of the project to the outside. I was thinking about how many patterns there were that maybe worth converting. It could prove useful in the event you are a little unsure of just how long you want your hat to be, or the circumference of your shawl/tablecloth/doily.

During this experiment, I also learned that I don't like having over about 25 stitches on a size 7 double-pointed needle. I seem more prone to losing stitches from the needles not in use. I know now that for me, although I enjoy dpn's, that's the time to switch to circulars. I also know I need more practice on projects that use dpn's with a small number of stitches. The needles feel very unstable for me and I need to use them more to get comfortable with that scenario. I don't want to be frustrated every time a start a project on dpn's that says "Cast-on 8 (or less) stitches and join."

It's not likely that I'll be knitting many more dishcloths/washcloths. I'm sure I'll knit at least another. They are good practice for me with the small stitch count on dpn's.

I do understand, a little, the appeal of the little cloths. I don't knock making them. I just think they aren't really the project for me. If the one I'm making turns out to be a little miracle worker in the kitchen, I may change my mind.


Blogger Kimberly said...

Looks great! I couldn't knit to save my life!! My grandmother used to always knit me clothing for my barbie dolls. I did knit a "scarf", but other than that, I'm worthless. From what I've seen you do amazing work, keep it up!

October 10, 2005 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Mrs.Curvy said...

That a cute start there on your dishcloth/washcloth! I like already and you have even finished it!(grining here). Glad your Mom really loved her gift! Outstanding job on it! I have seen some cute patterns for knitting them. I'm thinking about even trying them. They will be great for me to learn knew stitches on and to use too!.

October 10, 2005 at 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made that dishcloth for my MIL, and she refuses to use it. She says it's too pretty to use to wash the dishes! So she uses it like a doily in her kitchen bay window.

October 11, 2005 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

The afghan looks great! I do love the color choice. Glad your mom really loved it as well. Hmm. That dishcloth looks very familiar. I don't like dishclothes for my own house either, but this was a really quick one to knit up. I bet it would work well as a washcloth too. Great job!

October 11, 2005 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

The afghan looks fantastic! I love the colour.

I use to crochet dishcloths all the time. They were fun to make and quick, but I found it hard to wash my dishes with something so pretty and those I gifted them with did too. My MIL tacked hers to the kitchen wall to display. LOL

October 13, 2005 at 9:38 AM  

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