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knit dishcloths

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Basic Diamonds Dishcloth

    Another week, another dishcloth.  This time I knitted the Basic Diamonds pattern from Nifty Knit Dishcloths.  I was pretty pumped to try out some of these patterns because this is the cover of the booklet:

    With knitting patterns, you do get to judge a book by its cover and it's awesome.  Look at these great designs!

    I love how this dishcloth looks.  It's not a difficult knit--it's just knit and purl stitches--but it's not mindless knitting either.  I had to work on this whenever I was alone so that I could concentrate on the instructions, mutter my stitch count as I worked, and avoid interruptions from laundry/baby/husband, etc. that would make me forget where I was in the pattern.

    But it was all worth it for a nice dishcloth, and nice dishcloths are important enough to me that they're what I work on when I have the house all to myself.  Priorities, y'all.

    In the end, the only negative thing I have to say about this is that it's a bit larger than I normally like and used up more yarn than I expected.  The pattern calls for 80 yards of yarn, and I thought my partial skein of Sugar'n Cream (a standard skein is 120 yards) would be enough.

    I was wrong and had to finish up before I was ready. As a tragic result, the dishcloth is not a perfect square.

    Yes, I realize these are not real problems at all.  Also?  The dishcloth looks fine when in its natural dishcloth position.

    It looks like any other dishcloth all bunched up, and I still think it's going to be a lovely gift.  I'm excited it's in my stash and I love this lovely diamond patterning.  Just lovely.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Small Pyramids Dishcloths

    I have to be honest with you.  This was not a good week for dishcloths.

    One crochet pattern, two knitting patterns, and plenty of cursing my bad luck later, I wound up trying the Small Pyramids pattern from Easy Textured Knits.

    Well, it was textured at least.

    Under normal circumstances, I'm sure this would be a fine pattern.  But this week, I was apparently not up for a six-row-repeat pattern.  There was a startling amount of unknitting, and I still messed up at some point in a way that I don't quite understand.

    Whatever, it'll just be part of the dishcloth's textured charm.

    I do like these little triangles all over the place, though.  I think they're cute, and I do like for knitted dishcloths (or any other type of dishcloth, really) to have plenty of texture.  I love the patterning of this!

    Easy Textured Knits has 6 dishcloth patterns, and I think is the fourth pattern I've made.  I like it a lot.  It was in last Friday's Free Pattern Friday emailer, so if you've been thinking about trying it I'm here to say you should!

    Because even during a pretty klutzy knitting week, I'm still pretty pleased that I stuck with this pattern.  It's charming!  And it's around 8" x 8", which is my favorite size of dishcloths.  I've learned I have a preferred size for my dishcloths, and I love the size and look of the dishcloths in Easy Textured Knits.


    This is a 'standard cotton yarn and your preferred size of needles type of knitting needles' type of knitting pattern.  I usually stick with Size 6 or 7 needles, and I used Size 6 needles for this.  It probably takes about half a skein of Sugarn' Cream yarn.  I had a little less than that, and had about 24" of yarn left.

    Clearly I had at least a little luck left!  Have a happy crafting weekend!  It's the first one of the year and I hope you have plenty of fun.  And luck.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: A Dashing Snowman

    Hi there!  I hope you had a Merry Christmas.  Now it's time for Boxing Day and the beginning of Kwanza!  I don't observe either of those holidays, but the day after Christmas is still one of my favorite days.  You can enjoy your Christmas presents, enjoy your leftovers, and if you're not working you don't have to wear real pants.  Man, I love sweatpants and pajama pants.  It's just a happy-feeling day.

    Today seems like a good day to talk about another pattern from Holiday Knit Dishcloths, and so I'm going to show you my Dashing Snowman dishcloth.  Here it is, old silk hat and all!

    I realize the knit stitches for the facial features can get a bit lost in this sea of purls, so I decided to highlight the spots for you.  It's more apparent in real life, but I get a little playful around this time of year and I'm a fan of buttons here lately.

    Maybe I'll stitch these buttons on for good and this fun little snowman can be like this all winter long!  It's a nice way to dress up plain ecru cotton, and the more I look at this the more I like it.

    I don't know if this is just for Christmas (if so, oops!) or if winter is considered a holiday.  But I really do like this pattern and it's probably tied with the Sweetheart pattern for my favorite pattern in Holiday Knit Dishcloths.  I'm really hoping it doesn't snow any time soon, but I do like having this smiling little snowman in my dishcloth stash.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Small Basket Dishcloth from Textured Knits

    I was talking to my husband about dishcloths last week, because I do that to him.  Poor man.  Anyway, I was discussing my dishcloth hopes and plans and he asked "What do you do when you run out of dishcloth patterns?"


    I didn't tell him that it's impossible to run out of dishcloth patterns, even without the glorious benefit of the Internet.  Instead, I just told him that I would buy a new pattern book if I ran out of patterns to knit and crochet.

    (I did not mention that I will go out and find new patterns to knit and crochet even if I haven't run out of patterns in my own library.)
    But it got me thinking about some patterns that I intended to try out a while ago and forgot about.  
    So I went back and checked Easy Textured Knits

    I had knit a couple of the dishcloth patterns earlier in the year, and I loved them.  So why not make another? So that's what I did.

    This is the Small Basket dishcloth, and it calls for a medium weight cotton yarn and a Size 6 needle.  The end result is a dishcloth that's approximately 8" x 8" and full of lovely weaviness.  Maybe "weaviness" isn't a word.  Whatever.  I love basket patterns in knitting, and I don't remember why I never got around to making this.  It's fantastic!

    I took stock of my dishcloth inventory last week and realized I only had about 27 dishcloths for gifts.  I was a little surprised, but then I remembered that a bundle of 3 dishcloths is my favorite hosting gift/birthday gift/wedding present.  So that explains the near-shortage.  But now I have this in the stash as well!

    It's a good one.

  • Weekly Dishcloth: Knitting the Christmas Tree Pattern

    I couldn't wait any longer.  I made my first Christmas craft.

    Two things:
    1) I can't believe I held off for as long as I did.
    2) Of course it's a dishcloth!

    I've been wanting to try out the Christmas Tree pattern from Holiday Knit Dishcloths for quite some time now and I am so happy now because I made this.

    I love the way these purls make up this simple, geometric-looking Christmas tree design.  I love the idea of making a trio of these with red, green, and white yarn.  It would be the perfect hosting gift, or just a perfect gift. 

    I definitely want to make several more of these.  I have plenty of green yarn (I bought one of those cones.  WHY DID I BUY ONE OF THOSE CONES?!?!) and this is a very quick pattern, so I have time to make plenty of these for gifts.  I knit this in a little over an hour, and I'm sure my next attempts will go more quickly now that I'm familiar with the pattern.

    And I do plan to get good and familiar with this pattern.  I love nearly every single pattern in Holiday Knit Dishcloths, but Christmas crafts thrill me to my very soul. 

    And this particular Christmas pattern? It's a Christmas tree!  In a dishcloth!  And it's just purl stitches!  The pattern is graded 'Easy' and let me promise you that it really is.  If you can work a knit stitch and a purl stitch, you can make this.  And you'll be incredibly happy that you did.  This is a lovely pattern.  You can make some pretty festive magic with regular cotton yarn and a little free time.

    Happy holiday crafting!

  • Knitting a Spooktacular Dishcloth

    Happy Halloween!  I knitted a dishcloth to celebrate.

    See?  It's a haunted house.  I made it by taking the House pattern from Knit Dishcloths, and then knitting in blood red yarn.

    Yeah.  Those could be two chimney stacks on the top, or they could be horns.  Like on a demon or a monster. 

    Chimneys of blurry doom?  Or something?

    Okay, fine.  You got me.

    I'm not a Halloween person!  I almost never watched scary movies growing up because I'm from a nightmare-prone family.  I buy my own candy now!  I don't understand all this spoopy creppy stuff happening on the Internet, even though I do enjoy it.  I have never dressed up as a sexy [profession, animal, or object].  I've dressed up as a redneck for the past 4 years  because I already had the clothes for it.

    In fact, I still haven't even finished my kid's Halloween costume!

    Actually, that is a fall activity that scares the daylights out of me.

    But the rest of it?  Meh.  I'll watch a zombie movie every couple of years and then I'm set for a while.  And since I already knitted a jack o'lantern dishcloth, I thought a haunted house would be fun.

    And I guess it is fun, but it's not particularly scary.

    Still, this might be a nice housewarming present--especially for someone who doesn't read here.  Or maybe I could give it to someone and say it's the cabin in the woods from that scary movie I never got around to watching!  What?  I have friends who would actually be excited about that.

    And the more I look at this pattern, the more I think I would like it in an off-white yarn.  Or in some nice neutral tones for an afghan made up of these squares and some of the other patterns in Knit Dishcloths.  And if knitting isn't your thing, you could Knook this!  Because if you want to try Knooking, a dishcloth would be the perfect piece to practice on.

    It wouldn't be scary.  And that's fine.  I don't think knitting should be scary, anyway.

    Happy Halloween!

  • Knitting the Bachelor's Puzzle Dishcloth

    When I was traveling to my sister's this weekend for her first baby shower, I knitted the Bachelor's Puzzle pattern from Knit Dishcloths

    Why?  Because dishcloth knitting is some of the best travel knitting there is.  It's worked flat, small (and therefor easily contained), and because dishcloths are just great.

    If you're especially travel-minded, you can also make these patterns with a Knook because Knit Dishcloths has instructions for either.  You'd have even less of a risk of dropping stitches, and you'd have some excellent Knooking practice.

    And, if you take I-40, you should bring an extra skein of yarn.  You might have time to make TWO of these great dishcloths.

    Picture slightly blurry because the vehicle was moving at roughly 5 m.p.h. I wasn't driving.

    Ask me how I know!

    I really wish I'd packed an extra skein of cotton yarn....

  • Knitting a Jack O'Lantern Dishcloth for Halloween!

    It's October!  I celebrated the first day of the month by knitting a jack o'lantern dishcloth.

     I know.  I party hard.

    I love themes!  I love holidays!  I can't stop!  I'm already planning to give this to a friend as a hostess gift.  If you love holidays, this is perfect for your kitchen.  If you know someone else who loves holidays, this is a perfect gift for that person's kitchen.

    True story: sometimes, when I'm making a dishcloth, I start to think about friends who might be moving and whether the particular dishcloth I'm working would be a perfect part of a housewarming present and then I get incredibly excited when I realize it is!!!!

    This is an actual source of giddiness.

    Seriously, if my friend doesn't scream at the novel hilarity of a jack o'lantern dishcloth when I present it to her at a pumpkin-carving party.....well, I don't know what I'll do exactly.  But a profanity-filled tirade about how I'll never make anything for anyone ever again might take place.

    (It would definitely take place.)

    I just think this is incredibly fun!  It's a dadgummed seasonally-themed dishcloth.  It's not over the top with the Halloween decor, so you can use it year-round.  But it is bright and funny, and would probably make you smile every time you see it.

    Don't even get me started on the Christmas tree dishcloths.  I'm just.....I'm so ready.

    Okay, now that my flailing is done, let's talk about this dishcloth's more relevant points.

    It's the Jack o'Lantern pattern from Holiday Knit Dishcloths and, like all of the patterns in this great little book, uses knits and purls to make seasonally lovely textured patterns.  The pattern is both written and charted.  I like to follow written instructions, but I caught myself checking the chart to measure my progress every now and then on this project.  Maybe I'm getting more comfortable with charts!

    If you're new to charts, this is an excellent introduction to following them.  If you know the basics of the knit stitch, the purl stitch, and counting, you're all set!  It's a great pattern for a newer knitter and interesting enough to keep a more experienced knitter entertained.

    This is also the perfect book for people who love seasonal dishcloths.  And if you don't think you're a seasonal dishcloth kind of knitter, stop and ask yourself "Really?"

    Because maybe you are.  I hope so, because I want to like you.

    And I want you to like these dishcloths.

  • Love is in the Air AND in My Dishcloth!

    Love is in the air and wedding dates are on my calendar.  A cousin-in-law is getting married in a couple of weeks, and a former co-worker got married just last month.  I need to send gifts to congratulate these loved ones on their happy events, and that means I'm sending dishcloths!  Home-making supplies are always my favorite type of wedding presents because I love practical gifts.  And the only way you could get any more practical than a gift of dishcloths is to show up at a wedding shower with an unwrapped bag of trash bags.

    I think I actually did receive trash bags as a wedding gift.  But it was in a laundry basket filled with cleaning products, which was a dream come true for a clean freak like myself.  Still, cleaning products can be kind of a personal choice, and I would never presume to pick out someone else's trash bags.  Especially because I buy store brands and I don't want to be judged.

    But that's not the kind of thing that happens to a dishcloth-giver! 

    So anyway, I decided the Sweet Heart pattern from Holiday Knit Dishcloths would be a perfect dishcloth to make as part of a wedding present.  And I was right!

    I love it when that happens.

    The heart pattern is some strategically placed purl stitches in the stockinette portion of this happy little pattern.  I knit through it with no problems, and it took less than 2 hours to complete.  As a bonus, this pattern has both written directions and a chart.

    Like all of the other patterns in Holiday Knit Dishcloths, the Sweet Heart dishcloth pattern would be an excellent introduction to working from a chart.  The pattern is labeled "Beginner" and I think it would be a great start for a new knitter who wants to knit something a little beyond a garter stitch or stockinette project.  The but it also has enough variety for a more experienced knitter as well--and it's just so cute. 

    And it's a great wedding gift.

    Yes, I know this is a little cheesy to give to some newlyweds, but I love love!  And hearts!  And clean kitchens!  They're all lovely things that I'd like to give to a couple starting out on a new adventure.  I'll include the Sweet Heart dishcloth with a collection of dishcloths that feel more 'everyday' than 'lovey dovey' (Oh wow--how great would a dishcloth with 2 doves holding wedding rings be?!?!?!?!), along with some mixing bowls or measuring cups.

    But I do like to think just a little extra love can't hurt.

  • In Praise of Dishcloths

    I had the lovely chance to spend most of the weekend with my family this weekend, and at one point my sister looked at a dishcloth I'd made for our mom sitting on the counter top and she said "Hey Jen, you know those washrags you gave me for my birthday?" 


    I cringed because she's not always super appreciative of handcrafted things. 

    Let me fix that: she is always appreciative of handcrafted things.  She's watched me knit and crochet for most of our lives so she knows how these things go, and she proudly wears my scarves and hats.  She always appreciates the time and effort people put into making items when they could be doing any number of other things instead.  But she doesn't always get why people would want to do that.  She seemed a little taken aback when I wore a cowl out to dinner as an accessory (rather than wearing it to keep warm).  Sometimes she sees me working on something and just blurts out "Why?" because she's nothing if not honest, and really sometimes I don't have an answer. 

    So with all that in mind, I cringed when she brought up the dishcloths I'd given her for her birthday because I was afraid she wouldn't use them or one of them had somehow turned out to be 'deficient' in some way (no, I don't even know how that would work).

    "Yeah, are they alright?" I asked.

    "I kind of put them all over my house.  Like decorations."

    I loved it. 

    I don't quite know if they're on a pile on her table, or being used as coasters in her living room, or if she has managed to find a way to artfully scatter dishcloths around her home like they're something to be showcased.  But I'm glad she likes them and they're not shoved in the back of drawer somewhere.  I had kind of been planning to give out a lot of dishcloths as gifts to friends and family and co-workers this year, but I was a little afraid people would have the same confused reaction they'd have as if I'd given them a box of Swiffer cloths or something.  This boosted my confidence a little that even the not-so-crafty people on my gift list will enjoy some nicely crafted cleaning supplies. 

    I've built up a nice collection of dishcloths this past year because 1) I maybe have a slight compulsion with dishcloths now and 2) they're kind of perfect. 

    Want to try out a new stitch?  Do it on a dishcloth.

    Need a quick gift? Make a dishcloth.

    Trying to take care of scrap yarn? Dishcloth.

    Dishcloths are pretty dang perfect and I love making them.

    I've crocheted several of the patterns from Dishcloths 

    and I think I've crocheted at least half of the patterns in the other Dishcloths.

    I knitted a few of the patterns in Knitted Dishcloths--see the blue dishcloth in the picture of the dishcloths I gave my sister?

    I just started working on a pattern from Holiday Knit Dishcloths, and so far so awesome.  (I can't show a picture yet!)

    There are so many great dishcloth pattern books out there!  Knitted dishcloths, crocheted dishcloths, and Knooked dishcloths--they're all fantastic!  You don't even have to take my incredibly biased word for it.  Even my noncrafting sister agrees.

    But I mean, look at this birthday bundle.

    How could she not?

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