Learn how to crawl: the New York City Yarn Crawl is on through Sunday, September 25.

The Age of Linoleum

Dear Ann,
The new Dishcloth Calendar is here! The new Dishcloth Calendar is here!
For inspiration for my contribution to this year’s edition, I searched far and wide, racing through stitch dictionaries like a mad woman–nothing doing. I looked down at my feet, and there it was: kitchen floor. Marmoleum. Linoleum! Who doesn’t love linoleum? Who doesn’t miss it every day? Who doesn’t want to knit a dishrag that reminds them of linoleum?
OK, so maybe it’s just me. Moving on.
Linoleum is one of 35 patterns in the 2009 Dishcloth Calendar, which is now available for sale. Once again, Janet Nogle, one of the mothers of the Dishcloth Knitalong site on Yahoo (6000 members! that’s a lot of dishcloths!), has done an insane amount of work to produce this collection of patterns for kitchen and home. If you are a dishcloth person (you probably already know this about yourself), your heart is beating very fast right now.
I leave you with a little post-collegiate poem, which I think was written by a friend of mine circa 1980. It was stuck to her wall in a tenement apartment on Avenue B, the first roof over my head in New York, where I learned about rent strikes, bathtubs in the kitchen, and other things I hadn’t encountered in Omaha. For some reason I never forgot it. (I will not identify the poet, since who wants the poetry of their early 20s exposed? But if you’re reading this, my lovely Formerly-of-Avenue B friend, and you want proper credit–do let me know.)
I sit tapping my feet on the linoleum
A heretic
In the age of petroleum.
P.S. If you love old linoleum, check out these Flickr pics. One of them should be called Drunk Love on the Kitchen Floor.

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  1. Is this the dawning of the age of linoleum?

  2. LOL at Christina’s comment.
    There is a beauty in those pics of old lino.
    It would take many lifetimes to explore the designs, and design potential of, that use geometric shapes and limited colour palettes. Isn’t life wondeful ?
    Congrats on the pattern, by the way.
    p.s. I’ll write. Really, I will.

  3. I can’t spell, or make sense. It’s late. Sorry…

  4. I have a friend who lived in that apartment with a bathtub in the kitchen. Even after years in new York that was a surprise.

  5. Is the dishcloth pattern in the new book (which I’ve already pre-purchased), or only in the calendar (which I have not)?

  6. Yay, linoleum! I want me some… it lasts better than vinyl. I see on the innernet it can still be bought, so I call the flooring stores. The conversation *always* goes like this: Me- Hello, can you sell me linoleum? They– Sure, we have lots of vinyl flooring.

  7. Love of linoleum? Nothing beats Sesame Street Bert’s letter L song:

  8. The Car Talk Guys – my favorite joke:
    What do you get when you throw a bomb in French kitchen?
    Linoleum Blown Apart.

  9. yippee! New dishcloth calender!! I can hardly wait to see it!! I also loved the linoleum pics. Seems like life has come full circle…I grew up with funky grey and black linoleum floors (in Omaha)…only to have them covered with wall to wall carpet. Now that I have a house of my own, I’ve stripped all the carpet out of my house and have lovely wood floors. My kids will probably long for wall to wall carpeting…
    Deb from Nebraska

  10. Gee, I gotta do dishes, now? I mean, falling in lust with the ball band dish cloth was one thing, but a whole calendar? such a serious commitment…
    Heeey, whatever happened to Pink Lemon Twist Hanami?

  11. In regard to your being on the road: Oh why, oh why, since you are going to be in Portland and Seattle in October, aren’t you continuing further south to Los Angeles? I feel like I’m living in the knitting step-child city. Please come to L.A. where there are so many knitters who would enjoy seeing you in person.

  12. What caught my eye in the picture of the dishcloths, is the vintage bowl…..My mother had a pitcher which matches that bowl exactly. It now lives with one of my friends and I love seeing it every time I visit her house.

  13. Oh, please, please…that bowl or cup that is on the dishclothes in the picture shown? That was my grandmother’s dish pattern and I want to know the name of it! Is it Ann or Kay’s? Can someone find me the name of the pattern on the bottom of the bowl, maybe? Is it a picture in the book?
    Help, please!

  14. Diana,
    It’s a Hall China pattern from the 40s/50s called Autumn Leaf. I got a thrifted set as a wedding gift from my friend whose mom had a set from which I ate a lot of potato salad while standing in front of her fridge.
    As that link shows, anything that could be made in Autumn Leaf, was, and there is still a ton of it around.

  15. Kay-Thanks so much! I was just talking about my grandparents to a co-worker and then I saw the picture…what a trip down memory lane. I will check out the site…would love to have some pieces of that pattern!

  16. Thank you I think I just found the perfect birthday present for my dishcloth-knitting addicted best friend. I think this is a very good addiction to have especially if you’re like me and at the receiving end of said dishcloths!

  17. Cool dishcloths. I love to look at old linoleum, curtains, wallpapers, etc., especially from the fifties. My mother-in-law has several pieces of ceramics with the same pattern as your bowl. This china was once given as premiums by the Jewel Tea Co. and most of the time is called “Jewel Tea” by dealers. It can be a little on the pricey side sometimes, esp. for the rarer pieces.

  18. Gawd, I do love the lino. And the poem. While working for a gang of “modern” architects, I kept thinking of interpreting the floors they did as fiber art and having a gallery show of it called “Concrete – It’s the New Linoleum.” There, now I don’t have to do it, because I already gave it all away, right?

  19. Oh, Linoleum! It is IN! Totally in! I use it on almost every interior design project I have. I’ve got it going in an internal medicine project, and just had it installed in a family service agency.
    And let me tell you all…if you want to go green, use linoleum! It is an all natural product!

  20. Well if Miss Kay says I am the mother of ALL mother’s, it must be true. What she doesn’t know yet…hahaha is that in my dishcloth calendar I have a photo of a kitchen with linoleum in the month of November along with her gorgeous cloth photo. I love the pattern and have it on needles as we speak. She is such a neat person and so gracious to people, a real special lady for sure. She will be receiving a printed version of the calendar, one for her and one for our friend Ann.

  21. The china!!! Love the linoleum and the dishcloth, but OMG — the china!!!! My mother had a complete set of the very same. Came from the Jewel Tea Company, the Avon of household products. I still have and use the sugar bowl and cream pitcher, one serving bowl, two mixing bowels, and a serving platter (which gets constant use). These are all that is left, which is pretty good considering that Mom bought them in the 1950’s-early 1960’s.

  22. I’ll never forget the bathtub in the kitchen of my first apartment in New York.The cover made such great counter space.Ah, the good old days.

  23. that linoleum pattern’d cloth is amazing!

  24. LOVE the discloth. I mean, LOVE the dishcloth. Hope you will put it in your next book— you know, the one that will be all about dishcloths, the one that will take dishcloth knitting to The Next Level— where it needs to go, where only YOU can take it (nag, nag).

  25. I have sets of those bowls delightfully claimed from thrift stores and from yard sales. There are 3 bowls to the set. My mother gave me the first set and I have loved those since childhood. I thought they were the most elegant serving pieces ever. Obviously, I didn’t get out much as a child!

  26. First comment from an avid peruser of your blog – love the pattern, sent my family an email saying my gift of choice this Christmas is that calendar (no need for the book, it has been pre-ordered for AGES) … You guys have turned me on to seeing knitted pieces/patterns in just about everything I see from the bus (and in Thailand, that is a LOT). THANK YOU!!!!
    A story: I ordered your first book, picked it up in the US when I went to visit, aunt came to visit, loved it, had me order it from Amazon (imagine – someone WITHOUT an Amazon one-step order button?) .. I did. She got it. Loved it. Lost it – AND BOUGHT ANOTHER ONE from Paradise Fibers!!!! You have fans, girls, FANS!
    Riki in Bangkok

  27. The bowl…how did you get my grandma’s bowl? No…just checked and I have it in my cupboard. Don’t you just love the look of it! We call it the fruit bowl as it is perfect for washing up berries.

  28. Good thing it’s a linoleum floor. Because if that were flagstone like my folks’ front entryway I grew up with, you’d have to change your blog to Masonry-Dixon.


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