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

Tidings of Lemon Fresh Joy

Dear Ann,
If you are not a dishcloth knitter, keep moving, nothing to see here. But for the few, the proud, the stubborn among us, who openly knit the humble dishcloth in the face of dismissive public opinion, at times even from fellow knitters, it’s a big day each year when Janet Nogle’s Dishcloth Calendar comes out.
Well, my raisiny-handed friends, the 2010 Dishcloth Calendar is here, where you can purchase a download or a printed copy of 38 glorious new episodes in your journey of dishrag-knitting love.
My contribution this year is a knitted dishcloth salute to Orla Kiely For Target, this past spring’s wonderful collection of housewares featuring the mod graphic fruits and flowers of Orla Kiely, whose work I admire and long to collect. I love it when something in the mass market, like Fiesta Ware, for example, is so good that you can’t get anything like it, and certainly not anything better, no matter what you pay. There is no Fiesta Ware but Fiesta Ware, and there is no Orla Kiely for Target but Orla Kiely for Target. I’m sad that it was a limited run this past spring and summer. I’m glad that I scored a modest hoard of it, and I thank good friends who unquestioningly followed my instructions to head immediately to the nearest Target to see if they had any Orla canisters left.
It’s called “Per Orla” (get it? “pear”? “Orla”?), and it owes a big debt to the Ballband Dishcloth and also to the miracle of applied i-cord. Applied i-cord remains my favorite knitting trick, now and forever.
Technical point: this pattern has been test-knitted by a Boston Red Sox fan, who (OBVIOUSLY) would never say a Yankee fan’s knitted pear was error-free unless it really was. (Thanks Wendy! I know it’s killing you! We have to overcome our ancient animosities, for the greater good of dishrag knitting.)
At a recent seance, Paul Cezanne told me that he had painted enough fruit on earth, and has taken up knitting in the afterlife. He added that “votre poire, elle n’est pas mal!” Je vous en prie, mon vieux!
Happy dishragging, everybody.
P.S. Miss Gardiner’s dishcloth cotton was supplied by Peaches & Creme. Thanks P & C!

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  1. approved by cézanne, ça c’est quelque chose.
    love coming here. i don’t feel so left-of-centre quite so much. merci kay, you’ve out-dishcloth-ed yourself methinks…

  2. Bravo, Kay! Votre poire, ce n’est pas mal indeed! Just gorgeous. (Good to know I haven’t forgotten all my Franglais.)

  3. Oh my gosh! Adorable!!!

  4. Oh so cute! I can’t wait to get the calendar and to make the pretty pear. Any chance of a translation on Cezanne’s words?

  5. I love it! No one would be publicly dismissed for knitting that adorable dishcloth! I would think you would get standing ovations on the bus 🙂

  6. Despite the fact that this is a great design, wonderfully executed in perfect colors, it *terrifies* me. Why? It is making me want to knit a warshrag. Noooooooooooooooooo, I can’t go down tht hole. Pleaseeeeeeeee.

  7. That’s AMAZING – your dishcloth has EVERYTHING!

  8. Kay,
    It is a little scary that when you undertake a knitting endeavor and let us know how to do it. (Applied I-cord is genius and I wouldn’t know it if not for you.)I love it. Long live the Per Orla!

  9. This is beautiful Kay – I’m ordering more cotton!

  10. I love it. I need to go find something to apply I-cord to – and maybe a leaf and stem.

  11. That’s really cute. And classy. Et bien fait!

  12. Wow. This is perhaps the best dishcloth I have ever seen. Way to go! Long live applied i-cord!

  13. Oh, Kay, c’est tres mignon. I’m not even a dishcloth knitter but I’m laughing my head off. Must knit the pear of Orla and Cezanne!

  14. Nooo, I can’t look anymore! It’s too cute! Arghhhh!

  15. OMG!!! I might just have to buy that darn calendar!

  16. just to lower the tone….. Neil says ‘phwoar, what a lovely pear’.
    perhaps you have to have watched lots of Carry On films, or google Sid James for full effect! x x x

  17. Love it!

  18. That dishcloth is adorable – I could imagine a whole fruit salad! The ballband pattern texture is very pineapple, for example. Apples! Oranges! And maybe a whole jello-mold full of ’em turns into a towel!
    This blog is so creatively inspirational.

  19. omg — I just fell over with delight!

  20. Fellow Knitters I am the REDSOX FAN that tested Kay’s pattern, let me just say I was truly honored to be asked.If you know baseball then you know why….just kidding,I was thrilled Kay asked me because this lady ROCKS.She is SO talented, this dishcloth is so classy, you’ll be cooking to dirty dishes just so you can use it! The color ideas are endless, it goes together perfectly, not a hitch, and that i-cord is just plain F.U.N. So if this is you first just jump right in, I am no master knitter and I did just fine. I felt mighty proud when that leaf was finished! The hoildays are closer than we think, and this is one great idea that is sure to please!Every kitchen needs something this pretty in it! Thanks Kay for the experiance! My needles are waiting for the next one!

  21. piece de resistance
    a tour de force
    luring a red sox fan in to
    yankee land is the coup de grace
    to end all you will not lure me
    with your i cords,bons bons maybe

  22. Oh, this pear is killing me. I had just swore off dishcloth calendars because I never knit one thing from the last one, and have a backlog of knitting that is shameful. But I cannot, will not pass up this pear pattern!!!

  23. ‘La plume de ma tante est sur la table’
    (For those who don’t know French, that means what a great, whimsical, FUN dishcloth! For those who DO know French–well, never mind…). In short, a peach of a pear! And the applied I-cord–mon dieu!
    Thanks, Kay for this pear-fect dishcloth treat!

  24. You have perfectly combined two things I’m obsessed with: Orla Kiely and knitting. As if I needed another reason to admire your work!

  25. “raisiny-handed friends” made me laugh until I cried.
    I love the dishcloth, and the Orla designs, but I’m too tired to write anything coherent.
    “raisiny-handed friends” hehehehehe!

  26. Oooh… I must have this pear. Brilliant, Kay!

  27. I did not get any canisters (my husband would have killed me as they would not “go” in his new kitchen) but I could probably sneak this in!!

  28. Pear-fect!

  29. Best. EVER. and, really, no more orla keily at target?

  30. I love this Per Orla design. Great job! Okay, I am so ordering the 2010 Dishcloth Calendar.

  31. That is one fine pear.

  32. You know when a pattern sticks in your head for a week and calls and calls and calls? This is what I’m getting from your delicious pear! I do not need to spend $16 on a washcloth pattern or a calendar, I have babies who drink gallons of milk a week! However, my card will be cha-chinging this Friday. It can’t be helped!

  33. I love it too, even though I rarely eat pears! XD
    Is the dishcloth Calendar the only place to get this pattern? I saw a few samples of the other dishcloths to be featured in the calendar, and I’m frankly not sold on the others that I saw….

  34. I will be buying the calendar for this pattern. Beautiful!

  35. I bought many of the Orla Pear stuff too! 4 mugs and 3 canisters. LOVE! I’m normally not a discloth knitter, although potholders do tickle my fancy, but I MUST make this!! Thanks!!

  36. I bought many of the Orla Pear stuff too! 4 mugs and 3 canisters. LOVE! I’m normally not a discloth knitter, although potholders do tickle my fancy, but I MUST make this!! Thanks!!


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