Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Chin Up, Old Thing

Dear Ann,
Recently The Women’s Room had a wonderful post about why getting a bit older is not that terrible. Today I discovered something even better: Google “Helen Mirren.” Go ahead, do it. Better now? A reason to put on your mascara and get to the gym once in a while? Feel free to suggest other Google searches that will help ease the aging process.
Speaking of the aging process, some of my handknit dishrags have moved beyond the Helen Mirren stage. Way beyond.
olddishrag.jpg
It’s the Dishrag of Turin.
olddishrags.jpg
It’s a little sad, because these were in the batch that we knit up for our first book. They were so bright and shiny then. Now they are full of holes, and [sob!] the manufacturer of Peaches & Creme dishcloth cotton is closing up shop in the USA. I have a pretty healthy stash of Peaches & Creme, but it’s a stash of tears now.
Life does go on. Of course I need to knit up some new dishcloths, but first I had to pay my debt to society and honor an overdue promise to Neil, a friend in east London. Neil had come under fire from his indignant mate for using her bright-colored handknit dishcloths to wipe up spills from the espresso machine. The solution, we felt, was to make coffee-colored dishrags for this purpose. I present to you the Barista Collection:
baristacollection.jpg
I didn’t mean for the embroidery to come out so girly, but Neil can handle it without loss of dignity. Being British, he has been known to wear a fitted pastel shirt now and then. A lazy daisy on a dishrag is not going to frighten him off.
This was very fun to do. I don’t know why I procrastinated it so long, but I have a tendency to procrastinate embroidery. (Neil would point out that he never asked for embroidery.) Anyway, now that the Barista Collection is in the mail, I am free to set my own dishcloth drawer to rights.
Love,
Kay

Tags:

58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. I don’t know why but I love these.
    Wait, I do know why. The embroidery is taking them to a whole ‘bother level.

  2. Didn’t make me feel better. Helen Mirren still has a jawline and her neck isn’t droopy. Just in the past 6 months my neck has dropped! No fair, I say!

  3. There’s always Sugar and Cream, Cotton Ease, Lion Cotton, KnitPicks cotton and their linen blends (the linen ones are nice for “spa” cloths which are just dish cloths with a fancy pedigree)…. Think of it as the opportunity to expand your dishcloth horizons (and conserve your Peaches and Cream stash).

  4. I’m sad about the Peaches and Creme closing and moving to Canda. The employees were so sweet. I still have a stash of their good old cotton, and good thing, because I won’t shop at Walmart. And more Americans losing what jobs there are….. I wish them the best. My family’s been down that road and I don’t wish it on anyone.

  5. Just sayin, Neil is so stylish that he may figure out some way to wear these things. And look really great doing it.
    Those dark ones are JUST MY CUPPA. Love them so much.

  6. The Dishrag of Turin… so funny I snorted. Your first book is one of my all time favorites by the way.

  7. PS Helen Mirren in The Last Station is just great, as Sofia Tolstoy.

  8. Kay, those are some nice kinda dishrags. You are a clever knitter since I am always spilling coffee, I will have to look at coffee colored cloths. Better than bleaching the white ones. Lu

  9. I like it all–dishcloths colored for coffee spills, special embroidery–just very clever! But, the “Dishrag of Turin, how do you know it’s the REAL one? Has it been carbon dated…..?
    Yes, VERY sorry about Elmore-Pisgah closing. Spinrite will still make P&C cotton yarn–wonder how good it will be, and if they will have the patterns on their website, and all.
    The times they are a changin’….
    As the Great Ball of Yarn slowly unwinds,
    LoveDiane

  10. “Dishcloth of Turin”–I laughed out loud.
    That picture of Helen in a bathing suit–please tell me that’s not a current photo. Now I’m really feeling old and out of shape!
    Mary G. in Cold and Icy Texas

  11. Oops, “Dishrag of Turin”–I tried to give it a fancier name in my previous post. I’m blaming it on brain freeze.
    Mary G. in still Cold and Icy Texas

  12. Time to go set in a stash of P&C, superior to all others. Kay, now I want my own coffee-colored dishrags, especially to mop up coffee spilled after reading the words “dishrag of Turin.”
    Kathy, gloating in the semi-warm Bay Area

  13. SKWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! As someone said to me only yesterday. Now, do I get him to look at the blog or shall I leave it as a surprise? You are such a pal! x x x

  14. These are wonderful Kay, thank you so much! You know I am delighted you remembered, after all, it’s been so long since you promised them…
    I shall be able to rotate them with the one Bel knitted (the blue and orange Jaffa cake design). As Ann says, ‘one to wash, one to wear.

  15. Love, love, love them. Brilliant:: i just KNEW the possibilities were endless.

  16. That’s so funny! My current “waiting” knitting is making some new dishrags to replace my old ones that have developed a “one day funk” on them. It’s amazing how a new rag brightens my kitchen and my day.

  17. Oh NO!!!! I sort of thought that with Mason Dixon’s support that Peaches and Creme would live forever. Sad news indeed.
    Dark colored dishcloths, revolutionary!

  18. How is it that your holey dishcloth looks brand new, except with a hole in it? Mine are faded, stained and shrink in length when washed and dried (they grow again when wet, but they don’t stop being faded and stained).

  19. Knitpicks makes a linen and cotton blend yarn, which holds up much better than plain cotton. It’s called Cotlin and it comes in many beautiful colors.

  20. Yeah coffee wipe cloths! Mmm, coffee.
    I know Lion Brand has Kitchen Cotton, but I don’t know how it compares to Peaches and Creme. Maybe we need a fact finding mission!

  21. Brillant! Delightful! Another chance for a male mate to avoid upsets in the household! Have another cup!

  22. ahhh — so it’s not just my guy who wipes up coffee (and red wine)spills with the kitchen textiles. I need black/brown everything.

  23. Those are just SO stinkin’ cute! I love them!! And I got a nice chuckle out of the “Dishrag of Turin”… :-)

  24. Helen Mirren in the red bikini top–OMG. Thanks for giving us all an image to look up to…

  25. I love the embroidery – and as my dad would say – beggars can’t be choosers…

  26. That dishrag is like the Betty White of dishrags!!

  27. The pink/salmon makes it look girly. White, blue and green would keep it manly.

  28. The dishcloth that started it all. When your book came out,I saw them and was hooked!I went out that afternoon and bought the cotton,I have knit about 50 since then…my dishrags have never been classier! I,too have a stash….but wish they were around forever,sad.Love the new idea…hmmm snow,cotton, I see an afternoon project! Stay warm not fun this winter!

  29. You are the best dishcloth designer EVER. No contest.

  30. Sadness. . .makes me glad I have more than a lifetime’s worth of Peaches & Cream packed away in the stash. The financial impact on the little town Elmore-Pisgah is in sounds tragic. Are there any replacement yarns out there that are made in the USA? I also thought the power of Mason-Dixon knitting would keep that company in business forever.

  31. So sad about the Peaches & Creme company. I heard the sad news a few days ago and promptly inventoried my stash – determined it to be inadequate and placed an order! Got my yarn promptly with the usual great customer service.

  32. Love the new take on the dishrag! While I will knit new dishrags in darker colors to hide the coffee stains, in my heart I know I will not be able to break my husband’s habit of bleaching everything in gunshot of the kitchen. Sad to hear about Elmore Pisgah — must see what I can do about an immediate purchase to add to the stash . . .

  33. Timely post as I turn 46 later this week!

  34. Heard about the P&C company from the monthly dishcloth gang. Very sad for those workers. As for me, I love your coffee coloured cloths, what is the colour? We have the same problem in our house (though as long as the husband is cleaning, I’m not complaining!)

  35. Not sure if this will make you feel better about aging, but it sure is fun to see that you can still be stylish and over 25.
    http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/

  36. very nice new collection of dish rags. Sad to see P&C go. Glad that the ballband dish rag pattern is preserved for the ages though so we will miss them but their memory will live on.

  37. Just finished ordering a huge amount of yarn from Elmore Pisgah. I’m about two hours away from Old Fort so I consider them a local yarn. I didn’t buy any worsted weight, but did by a lot of 3/2 and 8/2 cotton for weaving. I told Hubby they were closing and to his enormous credit he immediately suggested a road trip. Love the man.

  38. Such sad news! I called right up and placed an order. The lady on the phone brought me to tears with her sweet accent. I lived in that county as a child, and as soon as we moved back to the city, the fambly put me in speech therapy. Hearing her was like losing my culture all over again. (“Say ‘breakfast,’ honey, not ‘brackfust.'”)
    Anyway, I ordered $50 worth, which should last my lifetime. But $50 of Peaches & Creme is likely to sprain the poor UPS driver’s back–so much yarn.

  39. Your holey (holy?) dishrag makes me think more of the Velveteen Rabbit than the Shroud of Turin. Well-loved, and well-used. Isn’t that the dream destiny of most dishcloths?
    Love the coffee-colored cloths, and the embroidery. I knit coffee sleeves as holiday gifts a while ago. I used superwash merino in “coffee” colors (dark brown to light brown) with the same stain-hiding idea in mind.

  40. Oh, and speaking of coffee and stashes…I just found out that Sumatra coffee–my favorite!– is going to be scarce for the foreseeable future, due to trade issues that I just barely understand. Perhaps I can knit up some linen cloths to wipe away my tears at these losses. : (

  41. I have some cloths with holes that rival yours. I just can’t throw them away though. I love the coffee cloths, embroidery and all!

  42. I was in NC in November, and on my way to MOntreat, I saw the sign for the Pisgah store. So after my son was delivered to his meeting, I took a little detour on my way to Asheville, and found the company store == took a photo on my camera phone for you, Kay! Looks just like the one with the article. It was like stepping back in time as I was guided through the maze of office/plant to the outlet. Had plans to return to the store in July when we are back at Montreat, but I guess I can stop figuring out how to sneak away from the conference. . . so sad for those employees and all the unknit dishrags!

  43. I made one exactly like the blue and yellow one. It has a matching hole as well! But I made my husband put up a bar over the sink so he would stop hanging them on the nail and creating such holes, so it was for the good of future dishcloths.

  44. Do they come in decaf?

  45. I had a sad.
    Thank you for breaking the bad news to us about our beloved P&C, I wouldn’t want to hear it from anyone else.

  46. AWWW – I LOVE those! Brilliant.

  47. Great idea, now I need to find red-wine colored cotton to knit dish towels (prefer them to cloths, but really, same dif) for those I last gifted, she who forbid use of them because he would use them to wipe up wine spills.

  48. Kay, get the movie RED from Netflix. It has an all-star cast and Helen Mirren is fab in it. The movie is one of those comedy dramas and is a fun ride.

  49. Kay, I love the Barista Collection so much that I went out and bought brown dishcloth cotton. :) Brilliant!

  50. Just ordered a few cones for the stash. Cant believe that the Pisgah is closing. The people were SO NICE to me when the order come out wrong. :(
    Love the Barrista collection! Starbucks take note!
    Michele

  51. now its peaches and creame what next
    i use bernat baby softee for certain projects
    still there- just very hard to find
    in my town -ageing my local body and
    fender shop is fine all shampooed
    buffed and polished real polite about
    getting the dents out

  52. Ok… so what are the differences between Sugar and Cream and Peaches and Cream? And can we mail order from Canada? My husband keeps using our swanky Sur La Table cloths for dish rags… I’d rather knit some!!

  53. Just watched “Grey Garments”.
    Wonderful!
    How did you manage to keep straight faces?
    Thanks for the laughs!
    H xxxx

  54. Oh! Those are to die for! So clever it slays me. Great idea. Very sad about P and C, though… What is the world coming to?

  55. Yikes, Kay – you should have warned us about that apostrophe.
    Srsly.
    Barista cloths are fabulous!

  56. I have 1 cone of Peaches & Creme left. It’s a really funky burnt orange and avocado green. I was going to to make lots and lots of dish cloths but now I just want to look at the cone and remember :(

  57. OMG! I missed this post! I LOVE that stovetop espresso pot just sitting there in the middle of that dark grey cloth!!!!!! You know Martha has black wash rags embroidered with ‘makeup’ so guests’ mascara won’t stain the white cloths! I have been thinking of making some of your linoleum cloths and then I thought I should transfer the pattern to the bottom of a small caserole dish AND THEN make the dish rag and put it inside as a gift WITH a brownie recipe written around the sides!!!! Wow, that chai latte really kicked in – I’m off to look at patterns and recipes!

  58. Peaches & Cream is way softer than Sugar & Cream, and seems to come in a greater variety of more fun colors. As for Elmore-Pisgah going away, I’m bummed about the loss of the rayon chenille that I never got to try but looks gorgeous.