Favorite Thing Friday: So Many Dishcloths!

Standard

My knitting needles have been very busy this summer! Not only am I working on a beautiful pair of socks and super cute pleated top, but I’m also casting on smaller projects for birthday gifts.

One of the easiest things to make for someone is a set of dishcloths or what I like to call Spa Cloths. Pair them with a beautiful bar of soap and you’ve got a thoughtful gift that is also practical.

I’ve made a total of nine Spa Cloths in the last two weeks, all of which have taught me new lace stitches. Part of the reason I love knitting spa cloths is the fact that I can learn new knitting techniques on a small project. If I make a mistake it’s not a big deal to start over again!

First up is the Baby Fern Stitch, a free pattern I found on Ravelry. It looks really difficult, but it only involves a few simple stitches. This is one I’ll have to eventually make for myself! I love the ridges that define a pattern that is both botanical and geometric.

100_4624

Baby Fern Stitch

Next up is the Leaf Lace Washcloth, which is another free pattern I found on Ravelry. Initially, I intended it as a gift, but I loved it so much I ended up keeping it for myself. What can I say, I’m a sucker for leaves.

100_4546

Leaf Lace Washcloth

After another search through Ravelry (the array of free patterns is truly astonishing), I found a pattern called Christmas Tree Lot Cloth. This is another one I really wanted to keep for myself, but it’s so perfect for the person receiving it I had to let it go!

100_4616

Christmas Tree Lot Cloth

I saved the best for last. When I saw the Elvish Leaf Dishcloth pattern, I was instantly in love. While the stitches are relatively easy, keeping track of the pattern from row to row is difficult. I have no shame in admitting I ripped this project out three times before I finally got the pattern right. The end result, however, was worth all the frustration as it is just gorgeous.

100_4619

Elvish Leaf Dishcloth

While I usually don’t wet block spa cloths, I did block both the Christmas Tree Lot and Elvish Leaf cloths to get them to lay flat for gift presentation. Lace patterns in a thick gauge tend to pucker and that doesn’t look very nice in a gift box!

The other spa cloths I made were shipped before I could get a picture (I was running a little late for early July birthdays!). If I make them again, I’ll be sure to post pics!

The simplistic nature of spa cloths is a big reason why I love them so much. When in the middle of large or difficult project, they are nice break that offers a satisfying end result. Aside from that, I love giving handmade gifts.

– – –

What’s your favorite thing this week?

– – –

c.b.w. 2014

Knit, Purl, Knit . . .

Standard

My knitting needles and sock loom have been very busy! In the midst of knitting socks and dishcloths, I managed to finish my first sweater!

When I saw the pattern for the Askew Cardigan in the Spring 2013 edition of Knit Wear magazine, I knew I just had to make that sweater. My longstanding apprehension for knitting sleeves was quickly outweighed by the simple and slightly unorthodox design of the cardigan. I love the off-center opening and 3/4 length sleeves because they give the traditional cardigan a bit of a modern edge. There’s nothing dowdy about it!

I started knitting in early May after an exhaustive search for yarn. I settled on Fibra Natura Oak in Earth, which is super-soft and has a beautiful variegated color scheme. The knitting process started out easy, but once I had to start shaping armholes, I was so thankful for the wisdom of my aunt. She walked me through each step with the patience of a saint!

The buttons came from a button dealer in a small flea market in St. Germain, Wisconsin. I purposely bought old mismatched buttons to give my sweater a little personality.

Without further ado, here is my first sweater:

100_3901

Askew Cardigan
Photo and knitting by: c.b.w. 2013

While waiting out the process of wet blocking my sweater, I pulled out my sock loom and knit a pair of spiral stitch socks. These socks are a bit of a miracle because I swear the yarn I used is cursed. Last year, I tried to make a pair of socks with the same skein and it was a disaster. I ended up ripping out a completed sock after realizing it turned out two sizes too small (for reasons I still can’t figure out).  The skein was shoved in my yarn basket and stayed there until last week.

Once again, the yarn put up a fight. On the second sock, I had to rip out sixteen rows after making a bad mistake, (in a brilliant move I inadvertently knit the pattern into the bottom of the foot instead of the top). Still, I ended up winning the war!

100_3723

Spiral Stitch Sock
Yarn: Paton’s Kroy Socks – Cyan Stripes

Lastly, I busied myself on a three hour plane ride by knitting up a cute cotton dishcloth. I started making these in early July and I just love them! Not only are they pretty, but they are very sturdy. Most of what I’ve made are gifts, but the one I made on the plane is for me!

100_3894

Ridged Furrows Dishcloth
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream – Countryside

At the moment, I’m knitting another pair of socks.  When those are done, I’ll be combing through my patterns to find my next project!

– – –

c.b.w. 2013