Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Dishrag Detox

Dear Ann,
As much as I love, love, love knitting dishrags, I think they’ve become a problem for me. A crutch. Whenever I’m feeling fidgety lately, in knitting or life, I cast on a dishrag. This keeps me busy, but it’s not like I need the dishrags. I’m well fixed in the dishrag department. I hand them out to pals like sticks of gum. “Here, have a Wint-O-Green? A piece of Trident? A countertop mop?”
While I respect dishrag knitting, I have to acknowledge that it is getting in the way of my commitment to other projects. The time has come to break the 100% cotton, $1.28-a-ball chains of the Demon Dishcloth Cotton. To slip those slipped stitches and breathe free.
But first, a small dishrag.
larissadishrag.jpg
Larissa is collecting cream-colored 6-inch dishrags for an art project. I love dishrags! I love art! I’m so in! You can use any pattern. I went out on a limb and used the Ballband Dishcloth pattern. To get 6 inches at my gauge, I cast on 27 , although I had to block it to get to 6 inches, and who blocks a dishrag? So if I were starting again, I ‘d cast on 33 and let it be unblocked. (Hey! I could apply some i-cord to it in case it de-blockifies in the mail!)
The Cure
We are heading out on a little fambly Presidents Day vacay. To complete my dishrag-detox treatment, I am taking only one project with me.
ether.jpg
I am going to attempt Ether, from the new Rowan magazine, in Euroflax Originals Sportweight linen. (The top so great it makes you pass out on the lawn.) I’m working without a net here. I’m taking just the linen, the needles, and the magazine. Worst case scenario: linen dishrags.
I have received a couple of your Project Teeny Runway entries by mistake and I have been laffing my head off. The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
See you next week,
Love,
Kay

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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. kay– hope Ether will lift you out of your dishcloth doldrums. i will say, however, that your 6-inch cream cloth is the one that i’ve been meaning to knit for aaaages: the Malevitch square, ecru on ecru.

  2. I have the same problem with socks. That seems to be my comfort knit. What I need are dishcloths, you’d think it would be easy to knit up one of those but I keep casting on for socks.

  3. Classic Rowan photo: Yeah, just another day of laying around in the lettuces, gettin’ all pre-Raphaelite and stuff.
    Have a balmy getaway. I’ll hold down the fort.

  4. I love to have a side project like a dishcloth, a no-brainer that I can finish quickly and competently. It takes the sting out of frogging that sweater AGAIN because something’s not quite right. Dishcloths are like comfort food in yarn form.

  5. I would have called that sweater Ophelia.
    http://tinyurl.com/23d92u

  6. Funny, when I am up with the MIL, I always bring dishcloth fixins, just in case I need an outlet. I love ether, just got the rowan mag before I had to head out to Tokyo (where I found some cool yarn stores at least). Looking forward to the report.

  7. There’s nothing wrong with a comfort knit. We do the same with food too. MMmmm. Mashed Potatoes. See. Doesn’t that just speak comfort food. Well, assuming you like potatoes. But, we each have our own comforts.

  8. There’s nothing wrong with a comfort knit. We do the same with food too. MMmmm. Mashed Potatoes. See. Doesn’t that just speak comfort food. Well, assuming you like potatoes. But, we each have our own comforts.

  9. Mmm..I love that top..wanna make it in my size?? xoxo

  10. Have a great time with the fambly!

  11. WHAT? WHAT? How can I justify my dishcloth knitting if one of the Mason Dixon ladies admits to the sickness of the addiction. Now look here – I have rationalized my stash of Sugar & Cream, come up with over 20 reasons why my friends & family NEED dishcloths when I gift them over and over, and have even figured out my gauge in the ballband pattern for the charity squares I knit for afghans. This entire addiction is rationalized by the fact that actual authors of a knitting book(s), educated ladies, do this too. Let’s just rethink this and cast on a nice dishcloth while we do. O Kay?

  12. Ahh, the soothing effects of the dishrag. I too knit these gems like crazy, especially when under any volume of stress. And I too pass them out like sticks of gum. Actually, that’s how I made friends when I started a new job last year – hi, nice to meet you, here – have a dishrag. Excellent ice breaker! :)

  13. I hear linen is very absorbant ;-)

  14. Have fun on your trip! That new sweater is beautiful. Will you pose like that for us when you get it done?

  15. That Ether chick is in full-out swoon. It must be a REALLY great knit.
    Have a good ‘oliday. I’m going to pop the quilt in the mail to you so look for it upon your return.

  16. I see someone else had the same thought I did — Ophelia. Goodness, what a picture!

  17. The lawn? It looks like she passed out on a grave! Yuck! The top is pretty, though.
    I hate to encourage your dishrag addiction, but I love me my dishrags, so feel free to send all excess ones directly to ME.

  18. P.S. I also use them as warshrags in the shower, so you can see that I need a lot.

  19. Hmmmm, I’m an esthetician and yes, cotton dishrag would work nicely as gentle exfoliating device in the shower/spa room/pedicure area. Must change the name….hmmmmm. Nicely done Kathi D!

  20. Linen and Teenies and dishrags, Oh my! Have a nice VaKay! I’m busy getting my teeny on!

  21. Really? No more dishrags? A bold move. You must need a vacation!

  22. I just discovered a few weeks ago the pleasure of knitting these dish rags (ops, I mean dish clothes)—they are quite addictive, huh? I keep telling myself I’m only knitting them for the 3 daughters….then I give one away! and have to start another (so I will have 3—one for each daughter’s home)…and I’m finding it interesting that I must also justify why I would HAND KNIT A DISHCLOTH to my non-knitter friends—since they think I have gone over the Martha Stewart/perfect hostess edge with this obsession…

  23. I knit a lace vest in that very same linen yarn and, much to my surprise, it was such a delight to work with. Enjoy your vacation — and knitting.

  24. As a knitter in the throes of mid-life whatever it is that leaves me at times clinging to the knitting needles so that I do not totally lose my grip and speak my mind to all family members at once in tones that might make them run in terror, I say…
    Many of us at some stage in our lives will need the dishcloth/washrag project or its mindless equivalent (for some it’s socks) just to stay on the civilized side of that thin line we women may tread at times.
    thank you for sharing the simple beauty of warshrags with all of us who otherwise might be holding our breath, drinking a little too much gin, or alienating all those who love us.

  25. Oh, I love Ether too! At least I think I do. I’ve bought one ball of Damask to, you know, SWATCH. I figure that will help me decide how much I really love Ether.
    Meanwhile, after a baby knitting juggernaut I am knitting something for ME from your beloved Euroflax linen. And I’m a convert. (You linen people kind of forgot the part about how it starts softening up right away as you knit with it! Tsk.) I see an MDK bathrobe in my future. Go linen!

  26. I must join the ranks of the dishcloth addicted. I always, always seem to have one going, or 2, or 3. I’ll be watching tv and not want to pick up that sweater or sock, and next thing I know, bam, I’ve cast on another one. So…don’t feel bad, it seems you are definitely not alone!

  27. The Ball Band dishcloth has become my favorite knitting when I’m stressed out project. My daughter who is a beginner knitter just took to it right away having grown bored with a plain dishcloth. Just enough color and pattern change to keep it fun.

  28. I’ve been bitten by the ballband bug as well! I’ve knit a blue million of them since your book came out, but none for a few months now, then this week it was red/orange/yellow combinations a-plenty. I so love their slip-stitchy goodness :) (And, I cast on 33 all the time… that size fits in a glass better.)

  29. dear kay
    i will be makeing a cloth
    for larssia and her art project
    sounds like fun-four inch
    six inch- seven inch -seven by
    nine inch in the mail they go
    have my self and i a blanket by now time for me

  30. I’m a brand new knitter (five scarves so far) and don’t know a soul that knits besides my sister-in-law. (Who inconveniently lives in California while I live in Maryland.)I just read the Mason Dixon Knitting book. There is a whole knit world out there!Things the local yarn store ladies never told me. (For such good knitters they’re a taciturn lot and don’t seem very friendly.) Can anybody suggest a good but easy first project besides a scarf? I’m so envious of the talented things you all can make!

  31. I’m a brand new knitter (five scarves so far) and don’t know a soul that knits besides my sister-in-law. (Who inconveniently lives in California while I live in Maryland.)I just read the Mason Dixon Knitting book. There is a whole knit world out there!Things the local yarn store ladies never told me. (For such good knitters they’re a taciturn lot and don’t seem very friendly.) Can anybody suggest a good but easy first project besides a scarf? I’m so envious of the talented things you all can make!

  32. susan h
    knit hats baby ones are fun
    and a preemie ward might need them

  33. Hello–so I decided my “cure” to this addicting drop stitch pattern was to adapt the pattern to a hat! you can see the result here on my blog
    http://foxyartstudio.blogspot.com/2008/02/mason-dixon-dish-clothes-and-dishrag.html

  34. Can you tell me the name of the cotton yarn you pay $1.28 for? My local stores don’t have any cotton yarn that costs $1.28. If you tell me the brand name, I can knit up some dish clothes, too. It’ll help cure me of my sock and scarf addiction. Small projects please me.

  35. Kay;
    You might want to revise calling a linen dishcloth a “worst case scenario”.
    Linen cloth – think linen table napkin weight – makes a WONDERFUL dishcloth!
    Happy knitting,
    Janey