Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Off the Needles: The Granny-Style Washcloth

I barely knitted all summer. It just feels weird to knit scarves, hats, socks, and the like when temperatures are in the high 90s.

Then my baby started kindergarten this past August (not nearly as traumatic as I thought it would be) and I realized I'd be spending some time shuttling him around and waiting for him in the car. After the first couple days of our new routine, I started to miss my knitting needles; these 5-10 minutes I was spending just sitting and waiting were perfect for knitting.

However, it was still August. What to knit in August? Then I remembered the knitted washcloths my husband's aunt (my aunt-in-law?) gave me months before. It was the perfect hot-weather knitting project! So I looked around for a pattern that resembled the washcloths she gave me (I found a couple -- I used this pattern and this pattern as guides). The washcloths look like something my grandma would have made if she knitted (who, expert seamstress she was, would have probably been an awesome knitter if she'd picked up some needles).  They've got this old-fashioned feel to them -- maybe it's the doily-esque edge to them.

Let me just take a moment to tell you about these washcloths: they are fantastic! They're made out of cotton yarn and they absorb well. What's cool about them is that they're really soft, but the ridges make them great for scrubbing. I use these washcloths all. the. time. I made a couple for my mom and she uses them all the time, too. They work better than a basic rag or dish towel and you can use them instead of an icky sponge -- when you're done with these, you just pop them into the washing machine.

One other thing I like about these washcloths: they're super easy to knit up.  After my knitting hiatus, I was a little nervous that I'd forgotten how to knit. This project was a great way to get back my knitting mojo - not only was it simple, but I didn't feel any pressure. If it turned out looking weird, who cares? It's a washcloth. More on that later. They don't take long to make -- I've already made a couple since school started and I've kept them in the car, so they were made by me knitting in short spurts here and there.

Ready to get started?

1 skein cotton yarn, medium weight (4-ply)  (Nothing fancy -- I got mine at Walmart for $2)
Knitting needles, US size 6, 7 or 8

CO: Cast on
BO: Bind off
K: Knit
K2tog: knit 2 stitches (sts) together
YO: yarn over (check out this video for a quick, helpful tutorial)

CO 4 sts
Row 1: K 4 sts
Row 2: K 2 sts, YO, K to end of row
Repeat Row 2 until you have 40 sts on the needle
Row 3: K 1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K to end of row
Repeat Row 3 until you have 4 sts on the needle
To finish, slip 1 stitch, BO 3 sts.

I have to say that I've really missed having something to knit in the car. It's the best thing to have when you're waiting for kids to get out of school or while you're at the drive-thru of the bank or even at a really long stoplight. But, please, only do it when you're safely stopped. Friends don't let friends knit and drive.

The finished project.  So simple and so useful. {Ravelry notes can be found here.)

And since I'm all about honesty on this blog, remember what I said about getting back into practice?

I'm not sure what happened here. I sort of lost it toward the end. Maybe I was tired. I think I may have done a couple rows wrong. Oh well. My fingers are back into knitting shape and my brain remembers how to knit again.

Plus, it's going to look like this most of the time.

{This post is linked up to Homestead Barn HopLittle House Friday, Farm Girl Blog Fest, Simple Lives Thursday, , Waste Not Want Not Wednesday,and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.}


Tara said...

Heather, is there anything you CAN'T do??? Sheesh! Making all of us look bad. Love you sister! Will you teach my arthritic hands to knit??

Helen B. @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog said...

I love these! I actually plan to crochet some of my own wash clothes for when I get married...which will be in the next 6 months. I love the yarn you choose! They are beautiful!

I am stopping over via the blog hop at Frugally Sustainable. So glad to have found your blog!

Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

P.S. I am now following via email!

Poor and Gluten Free said...

These are so great! My mom makes them, and I get several for Christmas every year so I never got around to learning how to do them myself ;p

I would love it if you would stop by and share these on my blog's new link-up, Waste Not Want Not, a place for DIY tips and healthy recipes :) It really fits the theme!


City Sister said...

What a great Christmas gift idea...I may have to start some now.

Carol said...

I taught myself to knit with this pattern about 5 years ago. They are addictive to make!

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