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knit dishcloths

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting a Bee-autiful Dishcloth

    I knitted the Bee Skep dishcloth pattern from Garden Dishcloths and it's bee-autiful.

    I had to Google what a bee skep was, though, because I've only seen beehives.  Bees can build their own hives, obviously, but it's tricky to knit some little flying insects swarming around a hollow spot in a tree.  And people build beehives and those just look like boxes, although some people build them with little roofs on top and that's cute.  But again, not especially picturesque for a picture made up of purl stitches. 

    But a bee skep is a dome basket that houses a hive.  They're not very practical anymore (you have to pretty much destroy one and maybe kill your bees) to harvest your honey and having a standard hive where you can pull out frames lets growers keep their bees a lot safer because, well, a box is usually sturdier than a basket.  But bee skeps are awfully darn cute. 

    And they look nice on a dishcloth.

    This was a pretty quick knit, with worsted weight cotton yarn and #6 needles.  There are 56 rows to knit and none of them are very tricky.  I know something like this shouldn't be tricky, but sometimes I see things like "P 4, K 12, P 1, K 1, P 1, maybe P 1 again, are you sure you're where you're supposed to be" in the instructions and it all gets away from me.  I am willing to swear that I have totally seen instructions that say that, and I bet you have to.  But knits and purls in this pattern tend to stick to separate groups and the result is a nicely set out picture in knitting.

    Let's take a moment to talk about how irritated I am that I haven't managed to work a "busy bee" joke into any of the last three paragraphs.  I'm incredibly irritated, you guys.  Mad as a hornet, even. 

    I really enjoy the sweet nature-themed patterns in Garden Dishcloths.  I love flowers and being outside and the feeling you get from spending time with nature, whether it comes from working in your garden, taking care of your one potted plant, or just from remembering to bring in little bits of the outdoor world inside to enjoy. 

    I don't think I'll be tending any hives any time in the near future, which is a bummer because bees are so important, but I do like this cheerful little dishcloth.  I'll probably give it to my mom because my parents used to raise bees.  She likes bees a lot, and she's always appreciative of dishcloths. 


    I'm sure she'll be buzzing with excitement over it.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Variegated Dishcloth

    I have made another fairly impractical-looking dishcloth because they're my favorite right now!  It's summertime and I am full of whimsy.  This time I made the Variegated pattern from Dishcloths by the Dozen.
    I don't think I'd ever seen a dishcloth with drop stitches before, and I remembered a few years ago when tons of scarves were made like this.  I didn't want to try it out because I like for scarves to be more solid, but when I saw the pattern I was intrigued.  In fact, I was even a little more intrigued after reading the less-than-glowing reviews of the dishcloth on Ravelry.  It's not that anyone had complaints with the pattern itself--they just didn't like how not-solid the knitted fabric of this dishcloth was.
    This is made with tons of yarnovers and then knitting (or purling) two stitches together on top of all the long stitches.  It's basically a lace dishcloth.  I don't care, okay?  I don't care!  I love when dishcloth patterns are written with variegated yarn specifically in mind, and I thought it would be fun to knit the Variegated pattern from Dishcloths by the Dozen with the same yarn I used to crochet the Variegated pattern from Dishcloths.  It's summertime and I'm full of silly ideas like that.
    I like my silly ideas.
    And I like this dishcloth!  I like the yarn, which is some I Love This Yarn! (a Hobby Lobby brand) cotton yarn that a friend gave me. I like these colors.  I like the construction of this dishcloth.  I liked knitting it because I went ahead and used #7 needles (I love #7 needles, but they give me a pretty loose gauge with cotton yarn) because I figured that it wouldn't matter if my stitches seemed loose when this was already so open.  And it didn't matter.  I think this will still be a fine dishcloth.  Not the scrubbiest or sturdiest, but still a good dishcloth.  And that's really what I like making: a dishcloth that's fun to work on and tough enough to use while still looking pretty.  I think this fits the bill just fine!

    I'm already scheming for next week's dishcloth.  I don't know if I can top this in terms of silliness, but I just don't feel up to making another salt-of-the-earth, super humble-looking dishcloth right now.  So I'm going to stay fancy for a couple more weeks.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting a Flailing Frog!

    I knitted the Frog dishcloth pattern from Garden Dishcloths to Knit.  There are so many dishcloth patterns--especially in this book--that seem incredibly summery to me, and making a bright green dishcloth that features a froggy flying through the air felt like the perfect type of dishcloth to knit in June.

    On my mother-in-law's metal swing in her yard. There is so much summer in this picture!

    It's also my first pattern to knit out of Garden Dishcloths to Knit!  There are twelve sweet little patterns in here, and I do mean "little."  Each dishcloth is made to be around 7" X 7", which isn't super tiny.  But it's not overwhelmingly large, either.  This is an oddly tidy-looking dishcloth and I love it.

    The designs in the dishcloths are created with purl stitches. My purls tend to get a bit sloppy, which is why I think the frog's little hands and feet look a bit....indeterminate?  Still, most of the body stands out amongst the stockinette stitches, and I think you can tell by looking that this is a frog leaping.  Into what?  We'll never know.  He's suspended in my awkward purl stitches forever, flailing in a cottony eternity.

    Sorry.  I picked this because it seemed like a pattern that was full of summer whimsy and now I feel like I just made things weird.  I'm definitely rethinking my plans for the ladybug pattern!

    I used Sugar n' Cream yarn in Hot Green, and this took approximately 60 yards.  The pattern calls for #7 needles, but I used #5 to reach gauge.  I enjoy this garter stitch-bordered creation, and I like that each pattern gets its own page.  That feels like a ridiculously minor detail, but I wanted to mention it.  The instructions are written out, row by row, and there's no chance of you reading the wrong line and knitting the instructions from a pattern on the previous page.  Sometimes little things like that can make a tremendous difference, and that was a little thing that made knitting this dishcloth a much happier and clearer experience.

    I made this is in about an hour and I'm already getting excited about trying out another pattern from this.  There is a beehive dishcloth in here that looks incredibly adorable, and I have some dark yellow cotton yarn that would be perfect.  I love summer, and I love summer projects.  I hope you do, too!

    Happy crafting.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Pink Diagonal Washcloth

    I knitted the Pink Diagonal Washcloth from Knit in a Day for Baby!

    Except I didn't have any pink yarn.  Or off-white yarn.  So I used red and blue yarn.  Other than that, this is nothing special.  In fact, this pattern turned out to be the most standard dishcloth ever.  This what I've always seen knitters work on when they're knitting plain ol' dishcloths.  What really surprised me was that I've never made this type of dishcloth before!  So strange!  Especially since I love a garter stitch project. 

    This was fun.  You increase with one stitch on every row until it's time to decrease one stitch every row.  That's it.  That's the whole dishcloth!

    Still, I think it would be fantastic to work on something like this just any old time.  It was a fun project to have in my hands while I watched TV and the stripes mixed it up a bit for me.  You carry the yarn loosely on the side, and it seemed like it was incredibly obvious and terrible while I was working on it.  But now that I'm looking at this, I don't think it's that big a deal at all.

    I think I'll add this to my regular stash of kitchen dishcloths because it seems a bit large for a baby washcloth.  But I think these bright blue and red stripes will be a cheerful addition to someone's kitchen.  Okay, maybe mine.  I love blue and red, and this even looks good from the 'wrong' side!

    It looks beautiful from either side, I like the colors, and there's garter stitch.  This simple stripey dishcloth turned out to be the perfect project!

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Eyelet Rows Dishcloth

    I knitted the Eyelet Rows pattern from Nifty Knit Dishcloths, and it's just what it sounds like.

    There are plenty of rows of eyelets!  It's a cute and quick dishcloth pattern.  I knitted this in a few hours last night, and I made a few modifications. The biggest modification is that the pattern calls for purling every row, and I decided to knit.  The finished product looks roughly the same, and why purl when you can knit?  Especially when we're talking about knitting on a deadline with worsted weight cotton yarn--75 yards' worth!  That's nearly a full skein of cotton yarn!  I don't know where it went in this pattern! Oh, and with #4 needles.  Because that's what I did.

    The pattern calls for #7 needles or whatever you'll need to get a gauge of 5 stitches per inch.  I needed to go down several needle sizes.  And now my arms and hands hurt a bit.  I'm sure I'll be fine.  I hope.  But whatever, because I'm sure this was worth it!  I would probably make this again, but I'd go ahead and use larger needles because I think this would be fine with a larger gauge.  And I think I'd use different yarn.

    I used Sugar 'n Cream's Faded Denim because I thought variegated yarn would look nice and would feel a little less boring to knit all those garter stitches.  But I think I'd go ahead and use a solid color, or maybe just a different variegated yarn.  I crocheted the Variegated dishcloth from Dishcloths last year, and I think I would have liked the project a little better if I had used different yarn.

    I don't know what it is, but I should probably stop buying this yarn when it's on sale.

    I bet I'll buy some more of this yarn the next time it's on sale.  Maybe I just haven't found the right pattern yet.  But!  I do enjoy this pattern, and I don't even think I'd mind knitting this again in a solid color.  It's full of garter stitch--now that I've made it a garter stitch pattern--and there's some nice variation with the eyelets.  I think you should make it!  You could even knit the purl stitches like the instructions say to if you want.  It's the weekend.  We can get crazy if we want.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Bee Stitch Dishcloth

    I knitted the Bee Stitch dishcloth from Kitchen Bright Dishcloths!

    In all honesty, I feel like I've made this before.  Probably because I did.

    I tried this in variegated yarn because the picture on the cover uses variegated yarn, but it didn't look that great.

    Then I tried it with some sunshiny yellow.  But I wasn't paying attention and messed up about a third of the way through.  The pattern repeat is simple, but I got a little mixed up and repeated one of my rows twice.  It was a noticeable mistake, and I did it a few times.  So I made it a third time.  Third time's the charm!

    I actually almost unraveled this again when I realized that this pattern was much larger than I wanted.  The finished size is supposed to be around 8" square, but my project came out a little larger than 10".  It's not an excessively large dishcloth, but it felt way too big for some reason.  Still, it's a lovely stitch pattern.  Rows upon rows of it isn't a bad look.

    If I made this again--and I probably would, after taking a little break--I would cast on thirty-one stitches instead of forty-one.  Gauge is five stitches to an inch with worsted weight cotton yarn and #7 needles.  I used #5 needles and nearly three-fourths of a skein of Sugar n' Cream.  Oh!  And I knitted two stitches together on both ends of my bind-off row after a reader left that super-helpful tip on a post about binding off so that my corners wouldn't be too pointy.  Man, that was a great comment.  I love readers' comments, especially when I get to hear about what other people are trying on their projects.  I was pretty excited to try that out, and I think it helped!

     This pattern calls for knit stitches, purl stitches, and knitting into the stitch below.  I'd never tried that one before, and I liked it!  It makes a really interesting raised stitch.  I love it.

    The back looks pretty good, too!


    Oh, and the border is seed stitch.  Which I love

    I think seed stitch makes such a pretty border and wish it was in more of the dishcloth patterns I knit.  I'm going to be looking through Kitchen Bright Dishcloths to pick out another pattern with a seed stitch border for my next knitted dishcloth.

     Even if I do have to make it a few times to get it right.  I think it will be worth it.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Simple Weave Dishcloth

    I knitted the Simple Weave pattern from Nifty Knit Dishcloths, and it was simple.  Thank goodness!

    Springtime is lovely, but my allergies are not.  After messing up a couple of other patterns, this one went smoothly and I thought it turned out beautifully.

    I don't know why some of these pictures are sideways, or why the colors in this blog post are not nearly as vibrant as they were on the computer.  Let's just go with it, okay?  The yarn is actually a very mustard-y yellow.  I used Bernat Handicrafter's Harvest Home Collection in the Maize colorway and #6 needles. 

    This is a really cheerful looking dishcloth, at least in real life!  I love the garter border, and the stitch pattern repeats were pretty intuitive.  Plus, I love this weave pattern!

    I'm always surprised by the number of people who comment on dishcloth posts and say that the dishcloth would make a good afghan.  Who sees afghan patterns everywhere? Afghan-makers, that's who!  But now that I've made a few blankets (or maybe I've just been listening to those mod-happy crafters!) this year, you know what I was thinking with this pattern.

    I actually took a picture of this all folded up just so I could imagine it as an afghan.  This stitch pattern would either be boring, or incredibly relaxing in its steady and reassuring monotony.  These stitches would look lovely with a super bulky weight yarn.

    I should probably go ahead and mention that this is also a good dishcloth, though! It's plenty textured and has a just-dense-enough knitted fabric to look nice and do a good job of cleaning.  But yes, before you say it: this would definitely make a nice afghan. 

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting A St. Patrick's Day Dishcloth!

    St. Patrick's Day will be here before you know it, and I wanted to be prepared.  And by "be prepared" I mean "knit a dishcloth."  Is there even a holiday out there that doesn't have a corresponding commemorative dishcloth?, you may ask. According to Holiday Knit Dishcloths, no.

    For everything there is a season and a dishcloth, and St. Patrick's Day is no different.  I love that this pattern has letters on it.

    I think if I had knit this at a slightly tighter gauge--fine, the gauge at which this was meant to be knit--the letters would look better.  But I was knitting at a good enough gauge with #6 needles, and knitting cotton yarn with #5 needles feels like I'm pulling my fingers out of their joints.  I'll go through some discomfort like that for Christmas, or maybe Easter, but St. Patrick's Day is a holiday this American Protestant recognizes only because I think I look good in green and don't like being pinched.  I think the knitted fabric will tighten up a bit after a trip through the washer and dryer, so that may take care of everything.

    Still, this is a really cute pattern and it would be a great gift for someone who does get excited about St. Patrick's Day.  Or maybe if you wanted to wish a newlywed couple luck.  Or if you know some hardcore gamblers.  Or maybe don't do that if the gambling is a sensitive subject.

    Maybe I'm being insensitive just bringing this up.  Ah man, I'm so sorry!

    No more jokes!  Just pictures!

    Moving on!  Knit this dishcloth if you feel comfortable doing so!  It's a pretty simple project with just knit and purl stitches!  Both the instructions and the chart are clear and comprehensive!  It's fine!  Everything's FINE!

    Anyway, this takes up about an hour or so of time and 70 yards of worsted weight cotton yarn.  The pattern calls for # 7 needles, but my gauge is ridiculous so ignore what I said about # 5 needles.  I'm sure you'll be fine.  I love the four-leaf clover design and I love that I've found 2 projects to make for this year's St. Patrick's Day.

    The other project was the Shamrock Hat from Knit Hats for Babies, which I definitely recommend to anyone who still wants to make a quick St. Patrick's Day project.

    But if you don't know any babies, then you should definitely try out this dishcloth.  Who wouldn't want to try this?!  It has luck literally knitted into it!

    I'm having second thoughts about a lot of things I wrote in this post, but not that joke.  Plus, I think all knitters could use a little luck in our projects now and then and maybe actually knitting the word "luck" into your work could be perfect.  I hope this brings you lots of luck and holiday joy!
  • Weekly Dishcloth: Trying Out a Free Pattern Friday Pattern

    Okay, have you signed up for Free Pattern Friday?  I feel like I talk about this a lot, but I also want to be sure that you know about it.  So, just in case: Free Pattern Friday is this glorious thing that happens when you sign up for the Leisure Arts weekly newsletter.  When that happens, you get to click on some boxes about your interests and decide if you would like a free crochet pattern each week, or a free knitting pattern each week.  So in addition to finding out about new titles,  sales, promo codes, and a featured blog post, you also get a free pattern.  It's a win-win-win-win-win situation.

    And last Friday, the featured pattern was the Knit Dishcloth and Potholder pattern.  Yes, I know that clicking that link takes to you the download page and you'll have to pay for it.  It's only free through email.  Which is how I got it.

    I'm repeating myself a lot because I love Free Pattern Friday and I love dishcloths and I love garter stitch.  So Friday's email was just full of happy surprises for me.

    Also, I love mixing up pink and red and the Valentine season gives me free reign to do so.  Fantastic!  I used red dishcloth yarn as my main color and some scraps of pink and white variegated yarn for the contrast.  There's a row of yarnovers and K2TOGs to give this dishcloth a little bit of pattern variety, but the rest of it is pure and simple garter stitch.   My favorite.

    I like the simplicity of the stitch, I like how well it cleans, and I honestly like how garter stitch looks.

    The color changes in yarn are just carried up a bit, and they would barely show even if you didn't crochet single crochet stitches around the edges.

    I liked that little detail, and I think it really tightened up the look of the dishcloth.  Does that makes sense?  I hope so.  At the very least, I know it made the whole thing look a little more put-together than just a square of garter stitch rows.  And chances are that even if you're mostly a knitter, you have a crochet around somewhere for something just like this.

    This took about a half-skein of regular Sugarn' Cream yarn, and a negligible amount of the contrast color.  I used Size 6 knitting needles and a G hook.  I think this would look nice and summery in some more muted solids, and maybe I make this again in plainer colors--especially if I need a nice hostess gift this summer.  But since I firmly believe anything can become a holiday pattern if you use the right colors, I love how this looks with the pink and red.  Yes, love it.

    Hey, can I mention Free Pattern Friday again?  I'm going to mention Free Pattern Friday again.  You should sign up and then you can have a free pattern on Friday.  It will be like getting a Valentine from Leisure Arts.  Let's be honest, if you're not getting yarn for Valentine's Day you may as well get a pattern.  It's going to be a lovely holiday indeed.

  • Yes, More Afghans Would be Lovely

    There are those who would say that it's unwise to start another project while one has so many WIPs cluttering up the living room.  Those people are probably correct.

    They can just hush anyway.

    I realize it's probably not my best idea to get started on another afghan after I've already started two others, but I'm not too concerned.  I'm not hurting anyone and I can stop any time I want to.

    Besides, this is for my baby blanket stash.

    What baby blanket stash?, you may ask.  Oh that's right!  I don't have one!

    Honestly, not having a gift stash of baby blankets is probably a pretty dumb move on my part.  People all around me are having babies with an alarming frequency and they tend to have these baby creatures in seasons.  There's a period of time where there are no babies and I get lulled into this false sense of security and go on about my business of knitting hats for myself or cowls for friends and then, WHAM!  Babies everywhere.  And with those babies come baby showers.  I guess I could show up at a shower with something I bought off of a registry and save myself the time of NOT making something from an adorable baby knit or crochet pattern, but that's just crazy talk.  Nope, I have to make something with my hands if someone I love has gone to the trouble of making a whole dadgummed baby.

    There are drawbacks to this approach, of course.  We don't have to revisit this time last year when I realized I would be attending 3 showers for 4 babies in the span of a month because I still feel kind of frantic and twitchy thinking about it even now.  Unlike hats or little baby sweaters, baby blankets are automatically the perfect size and fit.  And I'm discovering that if I'm not knitting for a specific person, I'm more freed up to make something simply because I like it.

    And I really like making small baby projects, even if a baby blanket is bigger than an item like a sweater or hat.  I love being able to smooth the whole thing out, fold it up carefully, and pick out a big enough gift bag to hold this wonderful creation.  I love being able to hand the present to a mom and watch her unfold the whole thing, demand that everyone in the room look at it, and then drape the blanket over her belly.  It's one of my favorite things--that moment when someone you care about confirms your suspicion that you've made something just right for them and they love it.  The best!

    I went to a baby shower for a friend last weekend and gave her the Blue Striped Blanket from Knit in a Day for Baby.  She was so excited that she cut her husband off in the middle of whatever he was saying and passed the blanket to him so that he and a cousin could stop talking about football and check out the blanket and feel its squishiness.  I love this woman dearly and was so glad she liked my gift for her son.  I was so excited the whole time I worked on this because I knew she would like this.  As a bonus, she told me this would match his nursery! 

    And when I went to visit my one and only nephew for his first Christmas (and yes, kind of hover over my sister) and saw this blanket on the rocking chair in his perfectly color-coordinated nursery even though I think the yellow was too light?  I was so happy!

    The Colorful Circles afghan from Baby Afghans booklet.

    So yay for baby blankets!  Sort of.  I just have a square for this venture. 

    It's the King's Crown pattern from Knit Dishcloths.  The patterns can be knitted or Knooked, and there is a suggestion in the back to knit them up and stitch them together for a blanket.

    So I think I will!

    I bought a pound of this mustard yellow the other day because sales at Michaels will be the end of me.  I'll only make 9 squares for a good-sized baby blanket, but I think I'll come up with plenty of uses for this worsted weight acrylic.  I love how it looks here.

    I used Size 8 needles, and the square is about 9 X 9".  It's slightly taller than it is wide, but that's fine.  Most baby blankets don't turn out to be perfect squares anyway, and I think this will even out just okay after a washing.  I don't know who this is for, but I think that's one of the most exciting things about this project for me!  There's no deadline on this either, but I don't think it will take very long to finish up.  I really enjoy knitting these patterns when I'm making dishcloths, and I think I'm enjoying myself even more when I make these squares for a blanket.

    And look!  I've even started another one.

    Things are moving right along.  Starting another blanket project was clearly a great idea. 

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