For years now, when I’ve gone to visit family, I’ve stayed with my cousin C. I wanted to make something for her as a token of appreciation, but I wasn’t sure what. C. just doesn’t seem to be the sort of woman who’d ever wear a scarf or shawlette, although I’m sure she’d ooh and aah over one. It took me way too long to figure out that dishcloths are just as handmade as shawlettes, but far more durable and practical.
Once I had the idea, putting it together was easy enough. I picked up five balls of Sugar ‘n Cream, vowing to make dishcloths until it ran out. I chose one of the ombre colorways for the sake of my sanity: endless squares of a plain color guaranteed a UFO. I hadn’t looked that carefully at C.’s kitchen the last time I was there, but I thought I remembered the countertops were brown, so I hoped Terra Firma would go with them. If it didn’t, well, at least brown wouldn’t show dirt as badly as other colors could.
After that, it was just a matter of choosing patterns and making dishcloths. I decided to use a different pattern for each dishcloth. That would keep me from getting bored, let me test several patterns, and the finished set would be more creative. I ended up knitting three dishcloths and crocheting three. Well, more like crocheting two and a quarter dishcloths: the yarn ran out on the last one and it’s more like a coaster or small potholder.
Not all dishcloth patterns are equal. Chinese Waves was thick enough to be used as a hot pad or potholder. Seeing Squares may also make a better hot pad because the fabric is so stiff. The stitch—single crochet worked in the round—wants to curve slightly to the right, but the square design of the dishcloth won’t let it, so the fabric ripples a bit. I probably won’t make it again, but it shows the yarn off wonderfully (they all do). Ditto for Sedge Stitch which is just a little too thick for my liking. The Traditional is traditional for a reason: easy to make, has a nice drape to it, plus a bit of texture to help with the scrubbing. I plan to make a few dishcloths for myself someday, probably the Traditional, Bee Stitch, and/or Diagonal patterns.
I gave C. the dishcloths over Thanksgiving. Maybe she’ll use them, maybe she won’t—they’re hers now. But they do go well with her kitchen counters!