Poor little dishcloths

My crocheted dish cloths are the most loved and the most abused of all my crafting creations.

Before…..

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After…. (I was kind to viewers and washed them first before photographing them):

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Now my faded and worn crochet dishcloths say a couple of things to me: 1. I do a lot of cleaning …. sigh; and 2. These are amazing little work horses.  While the colour may fade after a ton of cycles in the washer, the cotton doesn’t fray and the stitches hold their shape.  I’ve even had mine stuck in the garburator but that poor thing did land itself in the garbage bin after that incident.

The above cloths were made alternating rows of single and double crochet.  I’ve tweaked that a little and below is now my standard dishcloth and washcloth pattern using Bernat Handicrafter cotton:

Using size H hook, chain 26

Row 1: 1 sc in the 2nd chain from hook, 1 hdc, [1 sc, 1 hdc] repeat [ ] until one stitch left, 1 sc;
Row 2: Ch 2, 1 hdc in 3rd chain from hook, 1 sc, [1 hdc, 1 sc] repeat [ ] until last stitch, 1 hdc;
Row 3: Ch 1, 1 sc in 2nd chain from hook, 1 hdc [1 sc, 1 hdc] repeat [ ] until last stitch, 1 sc;

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for pattern until fabric makes a square.  Weave in ends.

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Above is Bernat’s Handicrafter cotton in Earth Ombre.  The light, concrete colour blue adds some coolness to the warm browns  – this is my favourite of Bernat’s variegated cotton yarn.

I love to give these as house-warming gifts or  as part of a spa gift.  If you’re ever in a pinch for a quick crochet project, these are easy, versatile and a stash buster!

Happy crochet!

 

2016 Challenge! My first knit sweater!

I’m all for personal growth, setting new goals and meeting challenges head on.  I’ve been dancing around the idea of learning to knit sweaters.  When I’ve looked at patterns, even for the most simple sweater, it seemed like such a daunting project – compared to hats and cowls, it’s, well, big!

With the New Year upon me, I’ve decided to man up and make my first sweater.  My sweet girl was so supportive, she bought me the Idiot’s Guide to Knitting Sweaters for Christmas this year to help me get started.  There’s a simple shrug pattern that I’m sure I can handle.  To add to the fun, my guy bought me a beautiful set of wood, interchangeable knitting needles – an absolute delight to use, with sharp points and smooth finish.  I could go on, but that’s a topic for another post.

I’m using Cascade Yarns Venezia (sport weight) which I mentioned in my earlier post today ~ I’ve almost got that tangled mess all sorted out.  A 70% merino wool and 30% mulberry silk, the yarn is soft, easy to work with and feels great against the skin.  .

I began the shrug yesterday evening and managed to complete the band which will become part of the collar and some of the body of the shrug today.  What makes this a sweet beginner’s project is that the knitted material is basically a large rectangle that’s folded and joining sides to create the arm holes.

A few things I’ve figured out after only a few hours of working on this project, which you may already know but I’m sending it out there for newbies like me:

  1. Read through the pattern in its entirety before beginning.  You will avoid any unwanted surprises.
  2. Using a pencil, circle the number of stitches that apply to the size of garment you are making.  It can be difficult to keep track of what you’ve done and what you need to do, with a long list of numbers to sort through.  I went through the pattern and circled the applicable number of stitches and underlined the type of stitch needed.  It’s been a big help to me.
  3. Double check the initial number of stitches cast and then check again after the first row – this was a total pain in my behind but well worth it as I accidentally dropped a couple of stitches when knitting the first row.

I’ll admit I got so excited finishing the 2 x 2 ribbing that I jumped right into the body of the shrug forgetting that I needed to switch the needle size up to the larger needles – doh!  Another lesson learned  – you could hear the “ribbit” as I frogged rows of stockinette.  On the bright side, I was able to salvage the ribbing and got some great practice putting stitches back on the needle, ever so carefully.

After all this, I’m emotionally exhausted. It’s time for bed. 😀