Romancing the Dishcloth

“Why don’t you make me some more dishcloths?”

Ordinarily, I’m happy when someone suggests a specific knitted item they’d like me to make. Except when it comes to dishcloths. I’ve heard from sock knitters that a similar thing can happen with socks — knit someone a pair, and they love them so much that soon, about all you’re doing is knitting socks.

My mom loves handknit dishcloths. I really wish I could say I feel the same about knitting them. Truth is, making little squares out of glorified kitchen twine just doesn’t do it for me. There’s no pattern intriguing enough, no appropriate yarn in a colorway cool enough, to get me juiced about these boring-to-knit, if useful, objects.

I try to keep at least one dishcloth going in my knitting rotation. If I keep one in my purse, I have just about no choice but to knit on it at odd moments when I’m waiting at the doctor’s or orthodontist’s. I knit on them out of obligation, sort of the way I’ll pick up a sponge that’s next to the kitchen sink and wipe down the counters. It’s there and it needed to be done, so I did it.

Last week, I had some minor surgery. While the surgery was minor, the post-op painkillers weren’t. I knew better than to try to knit anything complicated for the several days I’d be on some pretty strong meds. I’d tried that route with previous surgeries, and wound up with projects that looked like they were created by a bunch of arachnids on acid. This time, I’d choose simple work for the first few days of recovery.

So, I set aside the divine qiviut lacework cowl.

Qiviut Cowl1-3 done

I came to a good stopping point on my son’s cabled sweater.

Chris's sweater front

I came to the next color change in my colorwork mittens, changed out the yarn, made a note on the pattern where I’d left off, and set that aside, too.

November mitt - right

I took out my mind-numbing stockinette sweater. If there’s a project that can be done on painkillers, this is one of them.

Capretta body decreases

I set about finding something else that was small and easy. Rummaging through my most recent layers of stash, I came across Cascade Luna in Taupe that I got at The Loopy Ewe’s Fall Fling. Hmm. 82 yards of fluffy cotton that already looked tea-stained. It wasn’t enough yarn to make into anything but a dishcloth.

 

Cascade Luna

I cast on Boxy Dishcloth and knit a few rows. The pattern was easy, but not too terribly boring. The yarn was squishy and promised to make into a thick cloth. I put it in my bag to take to the surgical center.

“Are you seriously taking a knitting project to the surgical center?” my husband exclaimed in surprise when he saw me packing my knitting bag.

“Um, no, I’m actually taking two projects,” I replied. I had thrown in another half-finished dishcloth for good measure. “You know these things never go on time.”

Although the surgery was on time, I did managed to get a good whack of the dishcloth done beforehand, and finished the rest afterward.

Luna dishcloth

When that was finished, I knit up the rest of the second, half-finished cloth.

3 blind mice finished

I still had a good two days left of having to take some heavy-duty painkillers. Knitting on the stockinette sweater was not giving me the feeling of accomplishment that finishing a small object like a dishcloth provides, so I cast on for yet another dishcloth. And when I finished it, I cast on yet another.

hydrangea 1

As I write this, I’m off the painkillers and back to my normal knitting. I can’t say that I’m a dishcloth convert, but it’s nice to have that kind of project available when I need something quick, easy, and I want to be able to have something to show for my time spent laid up.

pile of dishcloths

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