Friday, April 21, 2006

Just a Dishcloth

The two sweaters i've been working on lately (Komi and the wheat ear rib sweater) aren't going well. I realized that I had been in denial about the size of Komi, so I need to rip. I don't really feel like untangling the mess that shetland jumperweight yarn is going to become when I have 5 different colors in one big heap on the floor.

I thought the wheat ear rib sweater was going really well. I decided that it was going to be a raglan, and I knew how many stitches I had for the back. I decided how big I wanted the neck to be. I then consulted many published raglan sweater patterns, including Ann Budd's book of sweater patterns to determine at what rate I should decrease. Those patterns all suggested decrease rates that were similar to what I had calculated. I thought I was all set. It turns out that I made two mistakes:

1. I forgot that when you knit a raglan, the back decreases don't go all the way up to the shoulder.

2. The wheat ear rib pattern is a ribbing. It also has twisted stitches. These two facts mean that it pulls in A LOT. While the row gauge is similar to stockinette, the stitch gauge is not. There are more stitches per inch than in stockinette. This means that Ann Budd's decrease rate isn't going to work.

Here is what I have:

I have about one more inch of knitting before I need to have all the stitches outside the orange markers disappear. Perhaps this sweater will have a wider neck than I had planned. Or perhaps I will rip. We'll see. For now I'm going to knit that last inch and then move on to another piece. If there is ripping, it will be at the end.

To distract me from the sweater mess, I knit a dishcloth. I have never knit a dishcloth before, and I have never before had any interest in knitting one. Then I read the new Mason-Dixon knitting book, and suddenly had the urge to knit a dishcloth. I decided that it might be fun to have a colorful assortment of dishcloths to brighten up the chore of dishes. Here's the first one. I started knitting it on the subway, so I used the first stitch pattern that came into my head. In the future I'll probably consult a stitch dictionary, or at least think about it for more than 3 seconds before I start.

As soon as I finished, I wove in the ends and immediately tried it out. It doesn't work badly. It is possible that it requires the use of a bit more soap than a standard sponge, but it is cheerful. In my typical style, I did not just buy one ball of yarn to make dishcloths with to see how I liked them. Instead I bought 5 balls in different bright colors. You'll just have to wait until I knit them up to see what the colors are.


At 2:40 PM, Anonymous June said...

I knit my first dishcloth when I was teaching myself Continental style knitting - before it shrunk from washing, you could see wide variation in gauge, it was pretty funny.

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is just the sort of thing I would do! Buy one ball because I *might* like making dishclothes? No! Get half a dozen, because it might turn out that I really *love* making dishclothes and they might run out of dishcloth yarn and then where would I be? I am so glad someone else suffers from this too.


At 8:00 AM, Blogger Theresa said...

I'm so glad MDK are making people see the glory of the humble dishcloth. They are more fun than sponges, but also more sanitary since they get washed more often. I'm a big fan.

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment on the cables... it gives me hope! I like your dishcloth - we have a bunch of old ones that were my mother's, and they are really falling apart. I can't imagine ever actually going shopping for new ones (I don't even like shopping for "fun" things like clothes - why would I shop for cleaning supplies??), so this would be a great way to get some new ones!


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