Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A Knitted Washcloth


I think today calls for a little celebration, and for two reasons. The first is for completing my Mollie Makes challenge. Oh yes! More on that tomorrow. And the second is for the fact that I picked up my needles (I had to watch a Youtube video to remember how to cast on, it had been that long) started a knitted project, spotted the mistake in the pattern, proceeded with the project, corrected my errors, did not drop any stitches and casted off. I know, I know, champagne all round!

The pattern is in issue 25 and had been tempting me for a while as it looked like a fairly quick project with enough variation to be interesting and to improve my skills without having a knitting meltdown, plus it was very useful too. I chose Debbie Bliss Eco Baby cotton yarn as it came if some really lovely, muted colours and I liked the way it isn't mercerised which I think can give the cotton a plasticky look. 


About ten rows in I started to get cross and confused. There was no right or wrong side to the knitting, it kept flipping from one to the other. I frogged it twice thinking I must have knitted or purled on the wrong row. Just trust the pattern, I thought, it will make sense if you persevere. But no, still wrong. Hmm, it's like it's missing a row, I thought to myself. I googled "error in knitting pattern mollie makes 21" and what do you know, there was indeed a missing row. I can't tell you how much this boosted my (pretty weak) knitting confidence.

I finally finished it and gave it a quick steam iron...


...then I admired it in the bathroom.


It is divine. I wash my face with it every night and it's very soft but exfoliates my skin beautifully. The yarn feels robust and washes well and holds it's shape. I bought a couple more balls in some dusky pink and cream shades and I fear my loved ones may be receiving knitted (or possibly crocheted) washcloths for Christmas.


I really don't know why I have such a problem with knitting but I need to get over it. People say it's easy, there are only two stitches - plain and purl - to learn, and I understand the logic of that. But to me, it's terrifying! Those stitches slip-slide off the needle when they shouldn't and get twisted the wrong way round, and I'm so painfully slow at knitting. I can't have any distractions, or movement (so no knitting in the car) while I sit hunched over my project. It would probably help if I didn't leave it so long between knitting projects.

But the thing it, I really like the look of knitted items. And while I love crochet (and I really do love it) I am more often drawn to knitted patterns for clothing, in particular accessories like hats and scarves. Nothing beats a nice bit of cable knitting in the colder months. One day I will learn! My mother-in-law (who is a knitter-extraordinaire) tells me it's much easier than I'd think. We'll be staying with my in-laws in the half term holidays at the end of the month so I will go armed with yarn and needles and my gorgeous new pattern for a cowl which I bought at Yarndale, and get this knitting thing cracked!

Or at least make a start on my cowl.

49 comments:

Jo said...

Fabulous, well done, and look at you knowing that a row was missing, I think you're more expert than you're letting on. I've been knitting dishcloths just lately, nothing fancy but I just felt like doing a bit of knitting in between the crochet.

Amy at love made my home said...

I am a horrible knitter Gillian, so the fact that you were able to notice a pattern error has me amazed! Your cloth looks lovely, and I am sure that anyone would love one as a gift. Good luck with the knitting at half term. xx

sustainablemum said...

It looks great, you are tempting me to make one :). I think you feel about knitting the same as I feel about crochet, I cannot get further than a chain and I cannot be the hang of how to hold the yarn. Maybe we should get together for a skill swop!

Coal Valley View said...

Gillian, it's gorgeous and perfect! You are the blocking queen my friend :-) I think I'd be too scared to use it after blocking. I still haven't blocked or washed a few things that I've knitted as I have visions of the water causing the item to disintegrate or something. And I absolutely echo your sentiments on starting and finishing a project - pom pom cheers all around on all accounts :-) Mel x

millefeuilles said...

Dear Gillian,

This is awesome! You DO know how to knit and I love Debbie Bliss's muted colourways too. I've been knitting now for almost four years and I can say with certainty that a good part of knitter's learning curve has been learning to unpick and frog. Knitting has taught me patience and to accept that if I have to start all over again, it'll be better the next time round!

Stephanie

amanda peters said...

Oho your cloth looks realy nice, would love to have it in my bathroom. My mum can knit and I have tried so many times but just can NOT get it....I love the soft feel you get from knitted items, which you don't seem to get with crochet stitch, but I love how fast I can crochet up something out of a ball of wool.

Penny said...

What a pretty colour Gillian, well done in spotting the missing line and just to say that my confidence really has improved by just keeping on with my knitting. I never thought I would ever be able to knit a cardigan but its a lot less daunting than what one might think. These sweet cloths are perfect Christmas pressies with a lovely bar of soap me thinks xox Penny

Jen Walshaw said...

I love it. How wonderful to have something to wash your face that you have made. I am finding that Molly Makes are very lex with their patterns and instructions. Lots of errors

SaraJ said...

I used to do lots of knitting - but it's definitely crochet at the moment for me. I find knitting clothes is very expensive, and takes ages, by which time I have changed my mind, or missed the season!
I made crochet wash clothes last year as gifts! :)

Chrissie said...

Congratulations! You should indeed pop a bottle of bubbly! I couldn't agree more with your sentiments on knitting - I find it daunting and scary, I've tried it then had a baby and put it down, but now I'm nervous about trying again...but I prefer the look of knitted clothes, keep crochet for blankets and accessories...perhaps a baby steps knit-a-long? ;-) Chrissie x PS thank you for your comments on mine, I never thought to use picmonkey for photo lighting, I've only used it for text on pics. Genius!

Julie said...

Well done. You will get it cracked. I have had terrible trouble learning to knit but am beginning to get there - I think there must be a stage you need to get past before it becomes a bit more intuitive. This summer I finally knitted in the car and at the weekend I knitted while watching The Hobbit! The washcloth looks so pretty, it really is a lovely colour. Juliex

Deborah Hamilton said...

That's a very pretty wash cloth.

forgetmenots blue said...

Yay well done. Looking wonderful lovely colour too. I must dust off my knitting needles...not picked them up in a while xx

CJ said...

It's lovely - such a great texture, well done you. I wish I could knit better, I shall persevere as well, you have inspired me!

Jennifer said...

I find knitting very difficult but I'm not going to give up yet. I really like your washcloth. Your soap looks really nice and luxurious too.

Just pootling said...

Oh it's gorgeous - and I love the colour. Clever you.
Kate

Cupcakery said...

Oh very well done you! That's super and such a pretty colour! Hazel x

Tammy Chrzan said...

Well I personally think it's lovely! And it looks perfect to me! I know what you mean about the youtube video, I had to pick my mom's brain several times to learn to crochet again, to be honest, I've been itching to get my needles out as well, when I have time I'm usually too tired, but I miss it so much!!!
I have only ever read one copy of Mollie Makes and I had to pay $12 for it because it was imported... phooey! When I come over I'll get a couple of copies :)
I hope you have a great week,
Tammy

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

I love things like this - pretty and useful and quick(ish!) to make. The colour is gorgeous and it looks so nice to use as well as admire of course! Almost enough to make me want to pick up the knit-sticks again myself but I find it so stressful to correct my mistakes that I must resist! Well done for persevering! E x

mylittlecorner said...

I know what you mean about knitting Gillian, I tend to shy away from it too... but you have done a very professional job and it looks wonderful, especially in your bathroom. Well done. ! From Charlotte.

Grayseasailor said...

I love the pattern and color of your washcloth, Gillian! Even after many years of knitting I can relate to your feelings about knitting, but I am so excited for you that you are further along in your learning to read your stitches ability than I am! Even though I am pokey in knitting, I still enjoy doing it, though:) Have a great time learning more with your MIL.
Gracie xx

Julie said...

I much prefer knitting and think there's a lot more variety in pattern you can do with it than in crochet. Stick with it I say as you've done a really good job with the washcloth and such a gorgeous colour. It's something I've never thought of making though we use flannels every day. Looking forward to seeing your cowl. x

Hannapat said...

What a beautiful washcloth and I am loving the fact that you managed to knit it after all these years. It is something I intend to pick up again next year and what a lovely project to start with. I love all our crochet wash cloths around the house, they just look so much prettier and feel so much lovelier than the ones you buy in the shop. Yours look gorgeous in the lovely looking bathroom. I love that colour, and actually have the exact same colour in the same yarn, it really is lovely yarn to work with, a pity it is so expensive. Did you use the whole 50g? Well done and hear hear!! xoxo

Nicole said...

Knitting is a lot easier to mess up than crocheting so I think that's why people think it's harder and I suppose in a way it is! You can't really drop crochet stitches, you just re-do them. I think you've done a smashing job with it especially as you had to remind yourself how to start! Silly Molly Makes for not getting pattern testers first though ;-)

agulhasemalhas said...

Hello.
I find your washcloth really beautiful, maybe one day I make one for me.
I love crochet and knitting, but knitting is more difficult for me.
Kiss

Jo said...

Hi! I learnt the other way around so I could knit then learnt to crochet so it seemed so much faster. I think I would feel like you if I went from something fast to something slow. That washcloth is beautiful. Jo x

Plain Jane said...

Lovely x Jane

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

That hats one very stylish wash cloth! :) x

The Creative Academic said...

Your washcloth is beautiful and inspiring me to pick up my needles again. Looking forward to seeing your cowl.

S said...

That looks lovely - and would indeed make a lovely Christmas present. I think I may have thrown my issue of Mollie Makes out (stupidly) - but the mistake in the pattern would have thrown me too.
I recently followed my first ever (simple) pattern and was ridiculously pleased with myself: the Buccaneer Hat by Sarah Hatton http://www.knitrowan.com/designs-and-patterns/patterns/buccaneer-hat.
If I can follow the it successfully, anyone can!
Sarah :)

Christina said...

Lovely work, Gillian, so much nicer than the bundle of 10 scratchy face cloths from Ikea I use...
It is funny, I have always been a knitter and found crochet daunting! Then I decided I needed a granny square blanket made from that lovely Noro yarn you mentioned the other day, the beggars version that is, the one without silk. I took about two weeks, half a dozen of YouTube videos and lots of frogging (is this term even used for crochet?) but I did make a first square using one whole ball. For my next project, I used a pattern with UK terms (not knowing there are different terms in different countries) and it looked wrong. But I just kept at it with projects I REALLY loved and REALLY wanted and now, two years later, I am teaching other lovelies in our community club. Keep it small, maybe a scarf with a simple lace pattern (I have a lovely one for the Noro yarn somewhere if you like it http://www.ravelry.com/projects/ChristinaMaya/noro-scarf) then a baby cardigan and before you know it, all your loved ones will have knitted jumpers as well as wash cloths!
Christina

mags said...

But you are a natural, your environ is great and you look like an experienced knitter ... Love the wash cloth! Xx

Barbara said...

I'm exactly like you, I think you're either a knitter or crocheter. I've always knit and find it so easy but I can't hold the crochet hook and yarn correctly. My sister bought me a 'crochet course' for Christmas one year and a lovely lady explained the stitches and I 'knit' them, holding the hook like a knitting needle in my right hand and put the yarn around the hook with my left hand, just like knitting - this works well for me and I've crocheted blankets, bunting, cushion covers etc. building up my skills with the help of Lucy at Attic24. Try it.... it might work for you as well.

Barbara said...

Hi Gillian,
I love your washcloth, I've knit many cloths and Knitting pattern central has loads of free patterns for every event - you may find some further inspiration.
http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/dishcloths.php

Gillian said...

I haven't weighed it but I reckon there's enough yarn left for another two cloths at least. :-) x

Kimberly said...

I never thought about putting together a washcloth before! What a great idea! I have been crocheting for a couple of years, with a number of scarves under my belt thus far, and I'm amazed at just how hard-wearing crochet & knit items can be! It looks great, Gillian! Can't wait to see the other colors :)

Always,
Kimberly

MummyCat said...

I did my first bit of knitting (not counting wobbly scarves with Nan' s help) at Yarndale and fell in love with it too. I have a few projects lined up and washcloth will join the list! X

Susan Smith said...

The washcloth looks great and I'm sure wouldn't be as scratchy as the flannel ones. Take care.

Sharron said...

Hand made wash cloths, what a luxury. Not to mention a gorgeous accessory for your bathroom (love your sink btw). I imagine it could become quite an obsession, being that they can be worked up in a short amount of time. I envy your ability to knit as well as crochet. Something I'd love to try one day. The yarn colour you chose is yummy! Good on you for persevering despite the little niggles. Will be waiting in anticipation of the cowl x

P.S. responded to your email, did you receive it? :) x

Ladybird Diaries said...

This is really lovely and useful too. I love the shade of that yarn, so pretty. What a pain there were errors in the pattern, it really irks me when that happens. I have never made a. Washcloth before, I think you may have inspired me...
Marianne xx

Jacqueline said...

That is a lovely wash cloth. I've never thought of knitting one of those!
I'm a keen knitter and a trying crocheter.
Im enjoying reading your blog too!

Gillian said...

Yes I did, thank you. I've replied. Your parcel went this morning! :-)

rachel said...

I'm considering knitting the yarndale 'yarn that is to precious to use' but am /terrified/. I need to get over it!!

Gorgeous colour and pattern and well done on spotting the mistake!

gillyflower said...

Gorgeous wash cloth, looks amazing in your bathroom. I love the colour!

Julia said...

What a beautiful washcloth! It looks so soft, too. And it matches the tile in your bathroom perfectly. These will also make wonderful Christmas gifts!

Lisa said...

Yay for you!!! It is beautiful! And, oh my goodness, that yarn color! :)

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I wonder if things like needle choice is affecting you and making your knitting more of a struggle ... maybe try a few different types - aluminium, wood, bamboo - until you find what you're most comfortable with.

Love the wash cloth :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there, if you like the look of knitted things but are better at crochet you might want to try Tunisian Crochet, there are some good books by Kim Guzman as well as her tutorials (they are in US terms but with a key you can convert th double crochet to treble ans so forth, the basic stich looks like a knitted cloth, I will post a pic as soon as I publish my first blog. (I am working on it ;-). cheers! Paty (spelled in Spanish with one t)

Rachel said...

Oh I LOVE iT! I need one! And I would love to make one too....will investigate! You are a fab knitter...I know what you mean about hunching over the project; I always find myself doing that and reminding myself to breathe and lower my shoulders repeatedly. It's supposed to be relaxing!