“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

Summer Sunday Brunch (Free Pattern!)

linoleumblog.jpg
Dear Ann,
This time of year, as surely as hurricanes threaten coastal areas and dogs lie down on the sidewalk and refuse to move one more step, you will find me wracking my brains to design an entry for Janet Nogle’s Dishcloth Calendar. My entry-in-progress for the 2010 edition is most intriguing. So intriguing I am taxing my skill set trying to make it work. It will work, dagnabbit! And it will work elegantly!
But late summer also reminds me that I am free to release to the world my contribution to the 2009 Dishcloth Calendar. It’s a straightforward, swatchy sort of dishrag, inspired by my twin passions: linoleum floors and stitch dictionaries.
Here you go, dishcloth knitting freaks of the world. Have at it! Please post your Linoleum Dishcloth results over on Ravelry, where there are already some very nice examples.
Linoleum Dishcloth
(Copyright Kay Gardiner 2008)
The styles and artifacts of the 1920s and 30s never cease to fascinate. From futuristic Art Deco furniture to the pastel prints of the era’s housedresses, there is always something interesting to look at. This dishcloth was inspired by the geometric patterns of linoleum floors, which were popular through the 50s and beyond. I searched through stitch dictionaries for a pattern reminiscent of linoleum tiles, and found this interlocking diamond motif in several sources.
A bonus: this is a slip-stitch pattern, so it results in a scrubby cloth with an attractive woven appearance on the wrong side. It’s quite simple to follow the row-by-row instructions, but once you get going, it’s a pleasant challenge to work this pattern from memory, following the diamonds as they expand and contract.
Yarn: Peaches & Creme worsted weight, 100% cotton, 2½ oz (71.5g), 122 yds (112m), 1 ball each in solid colors A, B and C.
Size 7 (4.5mm) needles (or size 6 if you knit loosely like I do)
INSTRUCTIONS
Using A, cast on 43 stitches. Knit one row.
Row 1 (RS): Using B, k1, *slip 1, k9; repeat from * untill 2 stitches remain, slip 1, k1.
Row 2 (WS) and all WS rows: Repeat the previous row, but place the yarn in front when slipping stitches.
Row 3: Using A, k3, *(slip 1, k1) 3 times, slip 1, k3; repeat from * to end of row.
Row 5: Using B, k2, *slip 1, k7, slip 1, k1; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, k1.
Row 7: Using A, k4, *(slip 1, k1) twice, slip 1, k5; repeat from * until 9 stitches remain, (slip 1, k1) twice, slip 1, k4.
Row 9: Using B, (k1, slip 1) twice, *k5, (slip 1, k1) twice, slip 1; repeat from * until 4 stitches remain, (slip 1, k1) twice.
Row 11: Using A, k5, slip 1, k1, slip 1, *k7, slip 1, k1, slip 1; repeat from * until 5 stitches remain, k5.
Row 13: Using B, k2, slip 1, k1, slip 1, k3, *(slip 1, k1) 3 times, slip 1, k3; repeat from * until 5 stitches remain, slip 1, k1, slip 1, k2.
Row 15: Using A, K6, *slip 1, k9; repeat from * until 7 stitches remain, slip 1, k6.
Row 17: Repeat row 13.
Row 19: Repeat row 11.
Row 21: Repeat row 9.
Row 23: Repeat row 7.
Row 25: Repeat row 5.
Row 27: Repeat row 3.
The dishcloth consists of 3 repeats of this 28-row pattern. For the second repeat, substitute C for B. For the third repeat, change from C back to B. Using A, knit 2 rows and bind off on the RS.
Texture variation: On WS rows, except for the first and last knit stitches of each row, work all the knits as purls. This results in a smooth stockinette on the RS, and WS rows are faster to work because it is not necessary to switch the yarn from back to front each time a stitch is slipped. Because I like to maintain some scrubby texture on the RS, I alternate WS rows between purl and knit rows. But my favorite is still the original, all-knit version.
Color variation: Substitute variegated shades for the solids, and watch what happens. The diamonds emerge in a shimmery way. Warning: if two variegated shades share a color, it’s easy to lose track of the pattern. Recommended for licensed and experienced practitioners of this pattern (i.e., people who have already knit one).
Wishing you durable dishcloth fun,
Love,
Kay

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36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. I’ve never knit a dishcloth before, but am severely tempted to try this pattern out. And as luck would have it, I just happen to have some red and some green cotton yarn in my basket that I had intended for some Christmas Bibs O’ Love. This might be a bit more interesting!

  2. That would make an interesting blanket. :0)

  3. Dammit, I’m supposed to be heading to the gym after work tonight — not to the local supershoppingemporiumthingie to look for Peaches ‘n Cream. Kay!!!!!

  4. Wow, the red & grey & white combination really does evoke the kitchens of my childhood. Actually, the kitchens of the grandparents of my childhood. Sweet!
    I haven’t made a dishcloth recently – got sidetracked by socks – so I’m overdue. And I’ve never done anything with three colors, so this will be exciting on several levels. Thanks, Kay!

  5. My mother has been dropping hints that she needs more washcloths. I’m not sure what she would think of one that is not the Ballband pattern, but I think I’ll give this one a try. Thanks for sharing!

  6. is there a dish cloth AA some where

  7. yay! I’ve been waiting for this pattern for a long time — and I didn’t know you’d eventually release it for free. Woohoo! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  8. The pattern just gave me crossed eyes (wait, it was the wine I just drank and the my nearly 16 year old son cranking up the amp in the next room while he “practices”). It was the bowl that really caught my eye – we have the same at our cottage and I see them at every antique fair I go to. I think I need one of my own.

  9. Thanks for giving us the pattern! When I was in the US last September I looked EVERYWHERE for the calendar with the pattern (you’d mentioned it and it sounded so neat!) and finally gave up, buying the pattern-a-day one thinking maybe I remembered wrong and it was in that one (big disappointment, just sayin’) – so next time, maybe you can tell us where to buy the calendar too? It sure wasn’t on any of those BIG calendar tables in all the major bookstores! (Nor in the booths in the mall.)
    SO, from Riki in Bangkok, a HUGE thank you!

  10. thank you for satisfying my need for new dishcloth pattern. (and for sharing the dishcloth love at the purl bee too, snippet-wise) i love it. mwah!!

  11. Ooo, I like. I need to get started on my Christmas dishclothes now so your timing was perfect.
    Can we talk you into a picture of the back?

  12. ….you are the dishcloth goddess!

  13. oooooohhhhh! so groovy and pretty! might have to make two and crochet them together around the edge… all of my hotpads have run away. this looks like a blast to knit and just think of all the color possibilities… thanks for the recipe!

  14. oooooh, is that the green cloth residing here now, or have you knitted another one? Love the red and grey. x x x

  15. I’m with Emma–this could be an incredible blanket. Think of all the color-shifting fun you could have with all those alternating dots and dashes. And the weight of it would be so blankety.

  16. I’m liking the comments about trying this pattern in a blanket. But I have my cotton out already, and am going to start with a dishcloth. Happy to have another interesting pattern, now that I’ve attempted and mastered the ball-band one. Thanks Kay.

  17. I bought that calendar just for YOUR dishcloth, I made 4 of them, and I LOVE it!!! They look like something special when done,the colors combos are endless. You write great patterns, while I have been knitting 5 years, I don’t really do terribly hard things, But this was something I could do and the results were spectacular! I looked like a genius! Glad you are sharing it, I urge you all to give this one a try, you’ll love the results. I must add/blame that you are the one responsible for my dish/wash cloths mania, I now have close to 50 and you are the reason I can’t stop! There’s always something new showing up here!

  18. I love this pattern! It looks so very complicated, but it really isn’t (although I imagine designing it might have been)! Thanks!

  19. What is the name of the pattern design in the bowl? We had a set of bowls with this pattern when I was growing up. I have never known the pattern name. Thank you.

  20. That’s an Autumn Leaves pattern bowl by Hall China. They gave them away with Jewel Tea. My grandmother had a lot in that pattern. I collect Hall Teapots – I have a ton, but Autumn leaves brings back memories of visiting my grandparents in Oklahoma City.

  21. Thank you for posting this pattern to your blog, I’m working on it now and love how it’s turning out. :)

  22. Should “for the second repeat, substitute C for B” really say “for the second repeat, substitute C for A” ? It looks like red = B in the dishcloth in the photo, and red is used in the second repeat.
    I’m not sure if you did something different for the dishcloth used in the photo or if it’s a typo in the pattern. I’m sure it looks great either way, next time I might do it the other way to see which I like better. :)

  23. I’ve got a pitcher to match your bowl. Great pattern. Thanks!

  24. oh hooray for posting this pattern!
    i’ve been smitten with it since i first saw it and i am so glad to have it now be available to the calendarless masses.

  25. Very lovely, inspiring and – timely! The single motif of the pattern is similar in appearance to the mosaic knitting method of Barbara Walker.
    Have you seen the photos of Barbara Walker taken at the Sock Summit of August 6-9th(?), earlier this month? The ones I saw are on the (current) Ravelry home page (one photo), and the Harlot’s entries for August 13 and August 14th. Barbara is wearing a wonderful sweater that may put (return) her mosaic technique to front and center on the map. I have not tried your pattern yet, but visually, it gives the feeling of Barbara’s mosaic technique. She wrote a book on mosaic knitting, and there are directions and patterns in her Third Treasury. Dear Kay, I so much enjoy your work, your writing – the whole thing. Thank you.

  26. OMG I love dagnabbit…..I also love the color combo in the photo…

  27. I am also a knitter who loves your pattern… and a Hall’s teapot (and Autumn Leaves) collector. Both are wonderful.. thanks for posting the pic and the pattern.

  28. I am also a knitter who loves your pattern… and a Hall’s teapot (and Autumn Leaves) collector. Both are wonderful.. thanks for posting the pic and the pattern.

  29. Thanks to Ann and the others who knew the name of the Autumn Leaves bowl. When I was growing up, we had 3 of them that nested together. We used them for everything,to mixing and serving bowls, to baking, to marinating meats in the frig. I just received a bunch of kitchen items from my folks’ house, but none of the bowls had survived the 70 odd years of wear and tear. Guess I will have to start invesitgating obtaining some of my own.

  30. Thanks to Ann and the others who knew the name of the Autumn Leaves bowl. When I was growing up, we had 3 of them that nested together. We used them for everything,to mixing and serving bowls, to baking, to marinating meats in the frig. I just received a bunch of kitchen items from my folks’ house, but none of the bowls had survived the 70 odd years of wear and tear. Guess I will have to start invesitgating obtaining some of my own.

  31. I always make dishcloths and give them away to everyone else. I’m keeping this one, dammit! Thanks so much for sharing. It’s a beautiful pattern!!!

  32. I always make dishcloths and give them away to everyone else. I’m keeping this one, dammit! Thanks so much for sharing. It’s a beautiful pattern!!!

  33. OOooh- love at first sight. I think I need some new dishcloths. Actually I know I do. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Great pattern.
    I liked it so much after doing A, B, I decided to add D and do five repeats with D in the middle. Now it’s not so much a dishcloth as a placemat! Especially if you increase the 43 stitches to 53 … which I plan to do next time.
    Thanks!

  35. Has anyone at all besides me ever thought of making a polyester dishcloth? The microfiber ones are making themselves known in kitchens around here. I have a couple and like them a lot–they feel much like the more expensive (although admittedly more ecologically correct) bamboo fiber ones, while wringing out drier and not seeming to get musty quite as fast as regular cotton. I have bought some soft “microfibery” baby eyelash yarn (similar to chenille) and it is knitting up into a very soft, cushy texture which I hope will be a facecloth. Just wondering if I am the first!

  36. Love the pattern – very fun, and as others have said, spectacular results from “simple” knitting. I’ve made two of these. Has anyone noticed a problem with the start and finish ends wanting to be wider than the main part of the cloth? 2 rows with no slipped stitches, then the first row with only 5 slips, and those first/last rows want to splay. Other than trying to knit them extra tight (and I already tend to knit on the tight side, so not an easy prospect…), any ideas to make the first & last few rows behave better?