It’s been 5 long months since I knitted last, and I really, truly, deeply, miss it. Knitting had been a constant in my life since I was a teen, and to not be able to keep my hands busy with needle and yarn has been a trying time. Knitting occupied my mind when I was anxious and soothed my through my trauma. It gave me something to do when I couldn’t do anything else but sit there. Now, I just have to sit and do nothing.
No one really seems to know what’s going on with my right hand and wrist. After giving me the usual “medicine isn’t an exact science” speech, a hand surgeon suggested I might have tendonitis in the elbow, a torn ligament in my wrist and inflammatory arthritis, but none would account for all of my symptoms. My inflammatory markers are frustratingly normal, an MRI would be pointless as the treatment is the same (rest and splinting), so I’ve hit a dead end.
So while I mope and moan about not being able to do one of the VERY FEW THINGS that I have been able to do in the past,* I thought I’d post a tribute to my most successful, and least assuming, knitted item. If the title didn’t already give it away: it is a knitted kitchen dishcloth. These simple knitted squares have been my most-knit, and most-used, knitted items by far. Why do I like knitted dishcloths so much?
They are easy: a simple square is the most basic of shapes when learning to knit. But even if you’ve knit colourwork, brioche and double-sided shapes** there is something inherently soothing and just plain fun about knitting squares. Of course, dishcloths don’t have to be square – you’ll find all kinds of fun shapes in the dishcloth category on Ravelry! (And see what I’ve made in my Ravelry project page.)
They are practical: a knitted dishcloth can be used to clean all manner of objects without scratching or damaging them. They last far longer than their disposable counterparts – just chuck them in the wash and reuse. That means they’re much easier to sanitise than sponges too.
They are versatile: “dishcloth” patterns are not only for dishes, you can knit (and crochet!) scrubbies, facial/body washcloths, dusters, mop covers, enlarge to act as a bathmat, etc….
They can be used all year around: unlike knitted jumpers, cardigans, hats and scarves which I can only seem to wear for about 2 months a year before the weather gets too hot for them.
They make great gifts: I used to hand knitted dishcloths out by the dozen when I was a more prolific knitter.
They are good practice: what is a swatch but a knitted square, ie, a dishcloth? Need to practice any stitch patterns? Dishcloth. Want to try your new needles but can’t be bothered with a full project? Dishcloth. Need to finish off/try new yarn? Dishcloth.
Even if I didn’t use my knitted dishcloths so much, I think I would still keep knitting them as in-between project refreshers. There’s nothing like a bit of mindless garter stitch after a complicated pattern! My favourite pattern would have to be Grandmother’s Favourite – easy to knit and easy to use.
Do you enjoy knitting dishcloths? What’s your favourite pattern?
*Seriously, I’m not asking for much. It’s not like I have anything else to occupy my time.
**I have only done the first of these three techniques, so I’m making a bit of an assumption here.