Tag Archives: dishcloth

Apply Yourself!

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WordPress Daily Blog Prompt: Apply Yourself

Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.

I am actually doing this right now.  I enjoy knitting but I tend to do what is easy.  This year I have been trying to improve on my knitting skills.  I actually started in December when I made a lacy dishcloth pattern I saw on ravelry.  That was challenging for me and I ripped it out and started over several times.  I even researched and learned how to do a new cast on and how to kitchener (weave) the ends together so there was no obvious seam.  After I was finished with that I was so pleased with myself and hungry to learn more.

It helps to be part of a group that is doing the same thing.  They might not all be knitting something challenging but there are always people more seasoned than you are that can offer a learning challenge.  My group is a dishcloth group on ravelry called Dishcloth Weekly Knitalong.  They are not just a knitting group though.  They also have crochet patterns and there are several crocheters that participate.  Each week they post a crochet pattern and a knit pattern and each person can choose which to work on.  Many people do both patterns.  

Now a dishcloth group may not seem like the ideal group to learn new things and it wasn’t the obvious choice for me but after joining I learned the advantages of learning on a small scale.  I am learning more challenging techniques but I don’t get so overwhelmed because the project is so small.  If I had started out trying to make a lacy shawl instead of the lacy dishcloth above I might not have stuck with it long enough to finish.

I am currently learning Intarsia knitting.  This is a technique where you are adding blocks of color within larger areas of color without carrying yarn across the back.  The pattern is a simple pattern with staggered blocks of one color on a different colored background.  I have 10 bobbins of colored yarn dangling from my washcloth so the difficulty is not in the knitting but in keeping yourself from getting all tangled up.  I am SO VERY GLAD I do not have a cat!  Oh and I am using these bobbins that I printed free online from Wild Olive.  I just adhered them to the side of a cereal box with Elmer’s spray adhesive and cut them out.  I like the spray adhesive because I don’t have to worry about the layers of paper separating as I use them.  They work great and they are really cute!  She also has smaller bobbins for thread on her website.

I printed mine on pink cardstock and made some others on blue cardstock so I have boys and girls.

I printed mine on pink cardstock and made some others on blue cardstock so I have boys and girls.

Learning Intarsia knitting
I started out with my bobbins lined up all neatly in a row but that didn’t last long.  At first I fought with them constantly tying to keep them all untangled.  I finally just gave up and concentrated on knitting until I finished that section and then snipped them off leaving the ends to weave in later.  It is so much easier if you just try to forget about the tangled mess and just knit but I’m a little OCD so it makes my blood pressure go up.

I’m getting there though and it is not as stressful now as it was when I started.  I am now about half way finished!

This is the first pattern I’ve ever worked that involved a chart.  So that is something new I’ve added to my repertoire already.  I now know how to read a charted knitting pattern, at least a simple one.

It really isn’t as hard as it seems.  It is just more awkward.  When you add in new threads it is very loose so you have to be careful of the tension.  As you end one color you just pull the next color yarn under the old one being dropped so they get twisted.  That prevents holes from forming in the knitted fabric.  Even though some of the stitches are lose in the beginning you can just tug the lose ends in the back to snug them up and the front will all look like one smooth fabric.  I love how it looks and even though this is a very simple pattern I can just imagine what could be possible!

I have already found another pattern for a potholder using intarsia knitting and it has cute little chickens and eggs.  I knew my sister would love it because she is crazy for chickens.  I don’t get it really but that’s her thing and I’d love to make something I know my sister would love!  I’m going to change the colors to match her kitchen.

That pattern is free by Drops and is called 0-626 Easter pot holder with pattern in ”Paris”

Here is my project at the halfway point.  Lookin’ good!

Learning Intarsia Knitting (half way now)

Learning Intarsia Knitting (half way now)

Here is a video I used to help me get started. It explains how to get started where most videos show you how to do it after it is about half way completed. When she first starts talking in the beginning it sounds really overly complicated. Don’t listen, just watch her do it and then go back and listen. It makes more sense after you’ve seen it being done.

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Learning Something New

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It is always fun to learn something new so I can add some more “tools” to my creative toolbox.  I recently joined a group on ravelry that makes dishcloths every month.  It’s called “Dishcloth Weekly Knitalong” but they do some crochetalonging too.  I really enjoy being a part of this group and even though they just make dish/wash cloths I’m always learning something new!  I especially love that they offer a cloth pattern to crochet and one to knit so I can choose what I want to do.  There are plenty of people to offer help when I get stuck also.

In December I made this really pretty “double diamond dishcloth” for a friend as a Christmas gift.  That was very challenging for me but I learned some new things and it turned out great!  Now they are working on Intarsia knitting or crochet.  They even posted videos to help us get the idea.  I’ve decided to do the knit cloth and then I already have a more difficult project to make next.   The knit cloth isn’t anything exciting but if I can learn to make it than my world of patterns will become so much larger!

This video is one that they posted to help us see how intarsia is done.

She uses bobbins to keep things neat and I don’t have any for yarn.  I decided to look online to see if I could find something as a free printable.  I found these really cute bobbins and printed them on card stock.  I decided to print mine on pale pink card stock and they look so cute.  I wanted them to be stronger though so I used some Elmer’s spray adhesive and stuck them to the side of a cereal box.  I think they will last quite a long time now!

I’m Thankful for Painkillers & Yarn

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As the temperature drops my pain increases.   I pop more pills, turn up some music,  and keep busy to keep my mind off it.  Today is one of those days.  I’ve been going through a lot of yarn and pills.

I went on Ravelry.com and looked for some things on my list to work on.  I even downloaded a nifty iphone app called Yarma that connects to ravelry.  It is a simple app that is solely for taking and uploading pictures.  There are a handful of effects with clever fiber-friendly terms like K2tog, top down, lace weight, granny square (which adds a simple frame)… and vanilla for none.  All are simple so they wont over-power the beauty of the handmade item.

The first thing I made was a simple dishcloth which I’m pretty sure is based on a vintage potholder pattern I’ve seen before.  I had to be different though so I improvised a bit.

Delightful Daisy dishcloth

The pattern has a bunch of rounded petals but I wanted mine to be pointed like a daisy.  With a little patience I finally got it to come out like I wanted.  I like it a lot better than the original pattern but I will probably make some without my adjustments too.  They are very cute and cheerful.

I made a more simple washcloth yesterday and loved how it turned out.  I used this super soft, “Moss” green yarn that I bought one time without a clue what I would use it for.  I just new I needed to make something with it because it made me so happy!  So this one is mine and I’ve already used it.

Mossy Green Spa Cloth

I talked to my big sister today.  She is always a good person for me to talk to when I don’t feel well.  I was trying hard to stay awake so I could get my sleep schedule straightened out.  Well she reminded me of this pineapple scarf pattern that she loves and so I started making one.  I have this ball of Bouclé yarn that I’ve been hanging onto, waiting for the right project for this kind of yarn.  It has a texture that makes it difficult to work with but it always comes out beautiful!  It kept getting tangled up on itself and if it gets too tangled you might as well just cut it off and start all over.  Well I have half of the pineapple scarf done and it looks fantastic!   I just love the jewel tones mixed with black.  

I am making it longer than the pattern says and I think I’ll add a tassel or fringe to the ends.

Impractical Crochet

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I just finished making this “dishcloth” but it is a mammoth of a dishcloth.  It is really pretty but not very practical for washing dishes since it is about 10 inches in diameter.  Could you imagine washing dishes with something as big as a large pie?  Or a record? (if anyone knows what those are anymore)  It is bulky too except for the center.  I think I’ll use it for dusting and I won’t be making more of them.  This thing took me parts of 3 days to make since my hands have been hurting so bad but they say it can be done in two hours.  I really doubt it but it is an easy pattern. I am thinking it might me more practical as a washcloth for a little girl to use in a bath.  I might just give it away for that purpose.  I hate to waste it since I used so much of my cotton yarn in it. Kinda reminds me of the crochet oven mitt someone gave me that had lots of holes for your fingers to slip through.  It was also made out of acrylic yarn so it would have melted if I actually used it.  You have to use natural fibers for stuff like that.  I use 100% cotton. When I make something I like it to be useful.  I don’t like to make something that will just sit on the table and look pretty, which is probably why I haven’t made any doilies.  I might actually make one out of tatted lace for my end table that people keep piling with junk.  Then I’m going to get a piece of glass cut to the size of the table so it wont get dusty.

Anyway, today I decided to make another dishcloth I found on ravelry.com.  It is a really cool knit star cloth.  It was really easy and I really enjoyed making it.  I really like this one and I will probably make a lot more of them.  Isn’t it pretty?  It is a more practical size for washing dishes too.

Fill in the blanks and more fun

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1.  I like   chocolate, chocolate, & chocolate covered chocolate
2.  A life goal of mine is  get my house organized.  One of this years….

3.  The last thing you would ever expect me to like (even though I secretly do) is  hard rock music.  Sometimes I like to rock out although I don’t pay attention to the lyrics.  I actually have an electric guitar and want to learn how to wail like the 80’s.  

4. Some wise words that I love are   from my Bible: Philippians 4:13  ” I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
5. Most mornings you will find me  in my spot on the couch with my laptop and some craft in the making.
6. Right now I am super into  making washcloths.  I love them and all the styles and colors to choose from.
7.  Right now I am super over  election crap, phone polls, and political yard signs
Click here to see how other people answered these http://thelittlethingswedo.blogspot.com/2012/11/fill-in-blank-friday_9.html

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I made some more dishcloths and I love these!  I added them to my store.

The Pattern can be found here  http://www.sugarncream.com/pattern.php?PID=6271

Things are not working properly in WordPress land so I had to just paste the link in.  Apparently I can only make one link. After that, when I try to add a new link it has the address for the last link still there. If I change it, it changes the other links too. I am sure the super-duper wordpress techies will fix this soon

Two pretty dishcloths I just made

I also just finished this tatted bracelet for a good friend of mine.

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  • I am thankful for needles & thread, yarn and hooks of all sizes.
  • I am thankful for friends to make things for
  • I am thankful for my hands.  They may hurt and they make shake but they still work.
  • I am thankful that I am my mother’s daughter and that I got my love of crafting from her.