Tag Archives: cotton

New Pattern: Mixed Berry Dishcloth

Just a quick little post today, but it’s an exciting one.  That is, if you get excited about new free patterns! (I know, right?!  So many new patterns lately!)

Here’s a fun new pattern for a cute little berry-colored dishcloth!  Introducing: the Mixed Berry Dishcloth!It’s a simple two-color stripe pattern, with some slipped-stitch detailing to make it a little more interesting.


And Now For Something Completely Different

Do you ever get a bug under your skin, and suddenly, you can’t imagine anything you want to do less than work on the projects you’ve already got on your needles?

It’s not just me, right? (Please tell me it’s not just me!)

Well, this weekend, the last thing I wanted to do was anything to do with knitting.  And I certainly didn’t want to steam block my husband’s sweater.  (I’m definitely not procrastinating or anything… Ha!)

I got it into my head that I wanted to do something utterly useless, and totally pretty and silly.  So, I thought about the supplies I had on hand, and it came to me:  a doily.

I have never made a doily.  Because I’m not an 80-year-old grandma.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)  But I poked around on Ravelry, and found this beautiful pattern, published in 1969, that was (amazingly) available online:

Brocade #A-792 by Coats & Clark4263729381_b3c5f43ded_z[1]I pulled out a size 10 steel crochet hook (it’s super tiny!) that used to belong to my great-grandmother, and a big spool of crochet cotton that I inherited from a friend of a friend.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd I went to work!  Three days and a small callus later, My doily is finished!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s huge (about 15″ across)!  I ran out of thread, so I  couldn’t finish the last three or four rows of the pattern, but I am still pleased with how it turned out.  I even got to learn how to use starch, which was a kind of fun old-fashioned skill to gain. (And I’m all about old-fashioned skills.)

Now the question is what to do with the finished doily.  I’m not really a “doily” kind of person, and my house isn’t really a “doily” kind of house.  Right now, it’s hanging out on a little end table in my knitting studio, but I’m open to other suggestions!

What projects have you done while avoiding stuff you “should” be doing?

AND! Don’t forget to sign up for the Aura Giveaway!

Pattern: Maritime Facecloth

The patterns just keep coming!  And this one is free!

As part of Knit Picks’ “52 Weeks of Dishcloths” series, I’ve designed a brand-spanking new washcloth, and it’s available for free from the KP website.

55807_medium[1]The Maritime Facecloth is a generously-sized square of squishy garter stitch bordered by an unbroken cable. Knit in silky Knit Picks Comfy Sport, this washcloth is perfect for even the most delicate skin, and makes a fabulous gift. The Maritime Facecloth is knit on the bias, with two cables worked as you go. To finish, a few stitches of Kitchener stitch join the cables into a beautiful unbroken border.

Not in the mood for a fancy-pants spa washcloth?  Use regular old Peaches ‘n’ Cream (I know you’ve got a ball or two hiding in your stash.  Everyone does) and make a very cool dishrag.  Or, if you want to try something a bit bigger, I think this pattern would make a really nice baby blanket (or an afghan, if you’re really persistent!).  Just follow the pattern, repeating the increase rows until your knitting is big enough!

You can get the Maritime Facecloth pattern here!

Husband Sweater: Slow and Steady

I’ve been working away on the sweater for my husband, and I’m starting to make progress.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m already to the armpits!  Woo!  Now I just have to do the rest of the sweater…

The yarn I’m using is a really lovely cotton yarn, and I’m totally in love with the finished fabric.  It’s crazy soft and luxurious-feeling (especially the swatch that I put through the washing machine)!  I know my husband is going to love it.

But you know what I don’t love?  Actually knitting with the stuff.  There’s something about cotton that is kind of hard on my hands.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that it has almost no spring, or if it is stickier on my needles than wool, but it’s a little bit of a pain to knit.  Instead of sitting down in the evening and working through several X-files episodes, like I usually do, I’ve been slogging my way through a couple rows per night, which is making this sweater rather slow going.

But, I think I’m really going to like the finished product (or at least I hope I will!)

Are there any fibers you don’t like working with?  Or am I just being crazy?

The Husband Sweater: Yarn!

My husband picked out the pattern for his sweater, and the yarn, too. And here it is:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKnit Picks Comfy Sport in Planetarium and Whisker (AKA, navy blue and gray).

Let’s just take a moment to remember the example pictures on the pattern:

img_4328_medium2_medium[1]I wonder where he got the idea for a blue and gray sweater?  A sweater with stripes is far enough out of his comfort zone, so I’m not going to raise a stink about the color choice.  (And, he is a Ravenclaw, so I suppose blue and silver is pretty on point.)

The yarn is a cotton/acrylic blend, which I usually wouldn’t use for a sweater.  But, my husband runs super warm, so anything with even a touch of wool doesn’t get worn, except on vacation to the Great White North.  So we’ll see how it works as a sweater.  Have any of you knit a sweater out of cotton?

I worked up a little swatch on size 5 needles:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI got gauge with size 5 needles, not size 7, like the pattern suggests.  Which is weird.  I’m usually a pretty average knitter, but I guess I won’t argue with the swatch gods.  Maybe it has to do with the fiber content?  Cottons don’t really stretch, but wool (like the pattern asks for) is quite stretchy.  We’ll just have to see.

Cross your fingers for me!



What’s that smell?

I was trying to buy a ball of white Sugar ‘n Cream the other day.  The only one I could find at JoAnn’s was this:

WP_20140620_001Can you read the label?  It says “Sugar ‘n Cream Scents.”  It’s scented yarn.  What terrible fever dream birthed this idea?  It smells like a mix between that stinky aisle in Wal-Mart where they keep the candles and a nursing home.  (Or, as the folks at Lily claim, “Powder,”  whatever the heck that means.)

It’s pretty much the worst thing I’ve seen in knitting in a long time, and I hope it goes away really quickly.  Would you ever knit with scented yarn?

Pattern: Grandma Anna’s Counterpane

My Great-grandmother Anna was a remarkable woman. She was married at 16, lived through the Great Depression and World War II, and raised 11 children (and nearly a hundred grand-children). And through it all, she spent every free moment knitting and crocheting to keep her family warm. She even won a blue ribbon at the Wisconsin state fair for her knitting!

I never got to meet my great-grandmother, but her legacy lives on in the projects she has left behind. I like to imagine that every piece of her knitting is a friendly little “hello” through the decades to me and her other descendants.

Zimmer CounterpaneThis counterpane is based on a bedspread that one of my mother’s cousins inherited from Great-grandma Anna. The pattern has been lost, so I decided to come up with my own. The original was made with white worsted-weight cotton, like most traditional counterpanes. Feel free to substitute your favorite fiber, or change the color to give the blanket a more contemporary feel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGet the pattern here:

Grandma Anna’s Counterpane