Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Knitting is NOTHING to Write Home About

I am a horrible knitter, always have been. Believe me, I've tried! I knitted a whole raglan sweater in college, only to pull it all out. But while I was in West Virginia, my s-i-l was knitting a dish rag.  Yeah, you heard that right! And I thought, "That's perfect! Dish rags are supposed to be homely and ugly, so mine will look just right!"

Then I was at Walmart, and I saw the very yarn she was using. It's cotton yarn, and it truly is exactly the kind you'd make a dish rag out of. And, it only cost $1.47. I got some. Love the colors.
I learned to knit from my grandmother. Over and over .... She would teach me, and I'd forget. Sigh.  Finally in college, my friend Beth Ann taught me, and somehow it stuck. Except one part -- casting on.  I can never remember how to cast on. I'm fine with knitting and purling. But it's no good to knit or purl, if you don't know how to start.  So, I found one of the million websites out there that show you how to knit.  It's this one.  I cast on, and did a row or two. I decided to practice my knitting and purling both. If you alternate those two stitches, row by row, you end up with knitting on one side of your piece, and purling on the other. (This is because a purl is just the backside of a knit, of course.) I think knitting, with its smooth rows of v's, is prettier than purling, which is bumpy.
When Beth Ann taught me, she said she'd learned to knit from her German grandma, and that meant that she held her yarn differently than most American knitters. I've been holding my yarn that way ever since. Here's my hand-position while purling:
Here's my hand-position while knitting.  I think this looks more like other knitters. Perhaps it's just the purling that's unique.
I cast on WAY too many stitches, so the dish rag turned out very L - O - N - G. Here you can see the difference between knitting (on the left) and purling (the folded-over section on the right).
I folded the piece in half, and stitched it, so it would be more square shaped. Plus, now the dish rag is double-thickness, which might be useful. And I have enough yarn to make another one! They're very soft. I think I'll like using them.
Just to show you the kind of crazy knitting I used to do, here is the only remaining large knitting project I own.
It's a ridiculous-looking cape. After Julia tried it on, I told her she could keep it for playing in, because nobody in her right mind would ever wear the thing. But at the time I made this (10? 15 years ago?) I shaped the shoulders and put ribbing up there as a yoke.  I must have been more into knitting then. You'd think, with all that work, I could have made it prettier.  But I believe now I'll stick to dish rags :)

3 comments:

  1. While the smooth side is the pretty side the other side is infinitely more useful to clean dishes with because it will actually scrub!

    Here's another easy pattern that works well: http://majorknitter.typepad.com/photos/patterns/dishrag_and_magazine_photo.html

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  2. M.K., just this week I bought a skein of that very yarn, in a different color, because I have taken up knitting dishcloths again! I will be blogging about it at more length - it could get really long if I include all the times I learned to knit and forgot - after I take a picture, right now, of the doll clothes I knitted long ago. I think this is so funny...your story is so much like mine.

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  3. That's a cool yarn you bought there. Just keep knitting and you will get better, or at least become an expert at making dish rags! There are some easy knitting patterns online that are really cool.

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