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Knitting to Barf By

January 24, 2008

Knitting truly is a pastime that is suitable for almost all circumstances. While I don’t think it would be appropriate at a funeral or a wedding except possibly the wedding of an avid knitter, most other occasions easily lend themselves to knitting. I have knit at soccer and tennis games, at lectures, at concerts and at movies. I even read that EZ knitted on the back of a motorcycle, though I might have to see that one to believe it. Not questioning EZ’s integrity, I just cannot seem to wrap my mind around the dynamics involved in knitting on the back of a motorcycle. Knitting truly is a versatile pastime.

So what do you knit when you have to sit up with a child who is spending most of their time bowing at the porcelain throne (throwing up for those not familiar with that euphemism)? Ideally, you would need a pattern that is fairly simple, easy to memorize and very easy to put down in mid-row – that rules out lace as that is definitely not something to put down in mid-row. It helps if the project can be knitted in low light – forget those dark colors and fine yarns. It needs to be something that is easy to frog for the times when sleep deprivation prevents you from comprehending the simplicity of “Knit to the end of the row” – toss Fair Isle and other complicated stitch patterns. Also it needs to be something that is easy to pick up those inevitable dropped stitches – so long creeping and splitting yarns. And most importantly in needs to be washable in the event of an unexpected hurl – goodbye delicate wools, silks, cashmere not that I had any of that.

So what does that leave for knitting? Enter the humble dishcloth. A dishcloth is a project that is quick to finish, the rows are short, the patterns are short (usually one page), and generally easy to memorize, the worsted weight yarn is easy to see in low light and easy to “read” if you have to stop in mid-row or pick up those dropped stitches. And best of all the yarn is sturdy, reliable cotton. So if disaster happens, cotton is supremely washable – you can even bleach it if necessary.

So while my youngest has been sick with one of those nasty stomach bugs, I have been knitting dishcloths and bath puppets. I had forgotten how much I like the feel of cotton yarn. Don’t get me wrong. I am not ready to give up my wools, alpacas and cashmeres just yet. But cotton has a special place in my knitting heart. Could be the fact that I grew up surrounded by cotton fields. Okay, I didn’t live in a cotton patch but lots of the people who lived around us grew cotton. My favorite fabric to wear is denim. And the biggest project I have knitted for myself is a cotton skirt. You could say cotton is in my blood.

This pattern is the ever popular Ballband Dishcloth – also known as the Textured Dishcloth. The pattern can be found on the ball band for Peaches and Creme yarn (hence the name Ballband) or in the book Mason Dixon Knitting. This is a great cloth for using up little bits of yarn left over from other projects. Think I used up bits from four different skeins in the blue and green one.

These are bath puppets. My kids love these. The patterns are modifications of some from Briley Knits. I altered the Chick pattern slightly to make a duck. For the snake I pretty much copied the frog pattern and added the tongue because the printer didn’t want to print the snake pattern.

I have gotten a little bit of SOTSii done when I am not delirious from lack of sleep. It is sad but better than nothing at all.

I am also working on another Easy Hunting Scarf only this one is in black instead of the dreaded camo so I guess it would be an Easy Black Scarf.

And am making a little progress on Jerry’s New Socks. There is a story that goes with these socks on my spiritual blog.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. DawnK permalink
    January 25, 2008 8:57 am

    Those ballbands are so cheerful looking! They are a good way to use up some of the scrap yarn. I love that you used white or ecru for the “mortar” rows. It shows off the colors of the variegated yarn more! I made a cloth for my niece with faded winterberry and white, for Christmas. I picked winterberry because it’s blues and pinks made me think of winter.

    Nice job on the socks, too!

  2. DawnK permalink
    January 25, 2008 8:57 am

    Those ballbands are so cheerful looking! They are a good way to use up some of the scrap yarn. I love that you used white or ecru for the “mortar” rows. It shows off the colors of the variegated yarn more! I made a cloth for my niece with faded winterberry and white, for Christmas. I picked winterberry because it’s blues and pinks made me think of winter.

    Nice job on the socks, too!

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