Friday, August 15, 2014
August 15: Washcloths, or, the part where I try to transcend my inner Cordelia with quotidian household goods
Of all the ways I'd describe myself, "washcloth knitter" barely rates. And yet I'm churning them out at a rate of one every couple of days right now – a level of focused production I'm sure you'll note I have yet to turn to my Christmas socks.
The idea is to take the washcloths as hostess gifts on an upcoming trip. As much as I love knitting gifts, I think there's a limited market for "special occasion" hats and cowls and gloves – it's not unlikely that they'll end up kept for best, not worn day-in, day-out, the way I wear my handknits.
So, much better to make something that will actually be used on a daily basis. Hence the washcloths: They might not be the most technically challenging, and they certainly aren't the most eloquent expression of my appreciation for the people who are having me to stay, but I know they will get used, and that in that use maybe my friends will think of me. That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.
This was brought home to me when one of my oldest friends asked me what I'm working on these days. She's not a needleworker and (based on the look on her face when she sees the mountain of yarn I've got lying around) I think she thinks I'm a bit nuts when it comes to knitting. But when I told her about the washcloths, her face softened. "I still have washcloths my grandmother knitted," she said. Her grandmother, long gone now but beloved, and still a daily presence in her life by dint of a handful of cotton, her care and her skill transmitted by stitches across the years. I can't think of a better legacy.
(The yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton in birch; the pattern is the Wedding Washcloth from Purl Bee: 45 sts//3.75 mm needles//8 rows to seed st to stop and start. I think I'll get 5 washcloths out of 2 skeins.)