Posts Tagged ‘dishcloth’

Something New Every Day

September 20, 2018
Part of what I love about knitting is the opportunity to learn something new — whether it be a new stitch, discovering the magic of blocking,  or figuring out how to make a too-small sweater bigger.  For at least a year, I’ve been saying (mostly to myself) that I want to learn how to crochet. Yesterday, I bit the bullet.
And boy, did it feel fiddly! The chain stitch cast on was a piece of cake, but it took me ages (well, a bunch of minutes) to figure out how to hold the working yarn, stitches, and hook. The experience gave me new appreciation for the challenges of my beginner knitting students. I discovered, pleasantly but not surprisingly, that the process began to feel easier with practice. It’s what I tell novice knitters and turns out, it’s right! I started with a basic square of single crochet using a bit of leftover cotton yarn from my stash.
I can’t yet “read” the stitches very well. Sure, I can see a couple of spots that don’t look right, but I have no idea what went wrong nor how to fix them. That’s going to take some more practice. I felt so delighted with this little accomplishment that I decided I should dive into a pattern. Ha! Lessons learned: don’t try to learn a new skill after 9pm nor after a glass of wine. My next step will be to learn a few more basic stitches like double crochet or half-double crochet (what?!) before attempting an actual project. Any suggestions for a beginner crochet project that doesn’t involve granny squares? Back in the knitting world, I’ve just finished the first Vanilla Latte sock. Yarn is Urth Merino Sock, colorway 2018. The person who’ll receive these for Christmas has bigger feet than I do, so even though I used my foot as a rough gauge, I continued a bit longer before shaping the toe.
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Girls Who Knit

December 9, 2016

For the past few weeks, I’ve been spending Monday afternoons teaching knitting to eight girls at a local after-school program. It’s the most high-energy 90 minutes of my week!

As always when I teach new knitters, a first lesson is to spot and then fix mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable, and if you can’t fix them, you’re more likely to give up. Although only a couple of the girls have tried knitting before, each of the 7 fourth graders and one fifth grader is on her way to becoming a Fearless Knitter.

They’ve started with a cotton dishcloth, casting on (knitted cast-on) about 33 stitches, and working a few inches in garter stitch.

I like seeing how each of them holds the needles and yarn, developing her own technique and muscle memory for the craft.

With each stitch, they’re becoming more competent and more confident.

“When I woke up this morning, I dreaded going to school, but then I remembered that we’d be knitting this afternoon. That gave me energy to make it through the whole school day!” A bit dramatic perhaps, but a sentiment that many knitters — including me — share.

 

Quick Cotton Dishcloth

July 24, 2016

There are times when a quick, basic project is needed. That time for me usually involves the completion of one project and some indecision on what to make next.

My go-to “palette cleanser” projects are baby hats and cotton dishcloths or washcloths (depending on the size).

Last week it was a dishcloth. Not just any dishcloth though; Mason Dixon Knitting’s Ballband Dishcloth, a simple, clever, and quick design. Lily Sugar’n Cream in Indigo and Hot Green (although I think of it as Green Apple).

Even though I’ve started a new project (stay tuned for next post or get a sneak preview on Twitter @SaltwtrHillKnit), I’ve started a smaller version, which will be a wash cloth for a lovely niece who’s heading off to two weeks of overnight camp.

What’s your go-to quick-and-easy knitting project?

Treasures from Knitting Class

December 19, 2015

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I love teaching knitting. One of the best parts is watching a knitter, novice or one with experience, work through a project — deciphering a pattern, fixing the inevitable mistakes, and finally finishing.

First up, Debbie, a beginner whose patience, good humor, and perseverance are remarkable. She has an eye for her work, which means she can spot mistakes quickly. And, as I say in every class, every knitter — even the most experienced– makes mistakes. Debbie started with a small cotton washcloth, my go-to first project. She’s now working on a scarf (more on that in a future post).

 Next, there’s my down-the-street neighbor Marcia, who’s zipping through projects like a whirling dervish. (Do they knit?!) Her first socks were finished just in time for teen daughter’s birthday. As you can see, she loves them.

 As the mother of two teenagers, Marcia’s become a late-night knitter whose found the soothing benefits of knitting while waiting up for the safe return of said teens. She recently completed a lovely and deliciously soft chromatic cowl.

 In time for Christmas giving, Pam completed a dropped stitch scarf for her teen son. He’s not usually a scarf wearer, but after holding this soft beauty, he declared that he’d definitely wear this one.

 Gillan, a fiber artist, has finished an exquisite sweater and hat for a friend’s child. Regular readers will recall Gillan’s sweater seaming challenge, which she obviously remedied.   I’m particularly fond of her choice of buttons, picking up on the fiery colors of the yarn.   I hope this gives you an idea of why I love these knitting students, whom I proudly dub “Fearless Knitters.”

Update from the Knitting Classroom

January 15, 2015

After being on hiatus for about a month, my weekly knitting class has started up again, and the New Year seems to have infused everyone with energy.

Pam, a novice but nonetheless fearless knitter, finished her first project: a cotton dishcloth (or face cloth) with a “butterfly” pattern. I love this free pattern, especially for a first project. The new knitter learns how to:

  • detail of knitted butterfly dishclothcast on
  • knit, purl
  • follow a pattern
  • make seed stitch border
  • create these nifty “butterflies”
  • bind off

All in a 8″ x8″ square (larger or smaller to suit one’s taste).

The finished product, ready to wash dishes or bodies, wipe up spills, and repeat as needed.

knit cotton butterfly dishcloth

After finishing a pair of socks for her brother and three chunky GAP-tastic Cowls for her daughters, Judy couldn’t stop herself — and created her first design in the process (although she doesn’t think she did). A friend of her youngest (16) requested a red cowl, but Judy doubted that the teen would wear an all-red cowl and, truth be told, didn’t want to buy yarn to make it. Instead, she decided to use the cream bulky wool that she had and added a strand of red sport weight from her stash. I think the result is fabulous and am quite sure the selfie-snapping recipient agrees.

chunky Gaptastic cowl

Class time

March 22, 2014

I’ve said before how much I enjoy teaching knitting, and my current class is no exception. Once a week, these six intrepid women gather around the table, needles in hand, patterns laid out and personally annotated, and they dive into their projects. Chatting, whispered counting (34, 35 — damn, I’m supposed to have 36!), an occasional curse, and laughter abound.

Everyone gives a little update and has a question or two about how to proceed (dropped or added stitches are common). We break after about a half hour for a brief lesson — how to join yarn, how to bind off, different ways to cast on, common pattern abbreviations — and then it’s back to the individual projects.

Rachel announced that her tween daughter turned up her nose at the North Face knock-off hat — with cables! — that her mother had created. We admired the hat and commiserated over the fickle fashion tastes of children.

RachelHat

She’s also working on a luscious infinity scarf for the same daughter. If she doesn’t like this one, I’d invoke the “two strikes and you’re out” rule. Although, given my soft heart and love of knitting, I probably wouldn’t implement said “rule.” I don’t know what yarn she’s using. I’ll check and let you know.

IMG_3215

The highlight of the past week, at least for me, was Erin’s first finished project — a small cotton washcloth (or dishcloth) in a variety of stitches: garter, stockinette, seed. She cast on, tinked back to correct errors, switched stitches every once in a while, learned that starting or ending with garter stitch will keep the edge from rolling, and bound off.

IMG_3216

She’s justifiably proud, don’t you agree?

ErinWashcloth

 

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