So this month I’ve been easing myself into knitting with some knitted washcloths. The logic behind this was that these are useful, so I’m not wasting wool; that they are small, so I won’t get bogged down in a daunting project; and they allow me to experiment with different stitches.
I’ve been using cotton, bought in bright and cheerful colours from the Veritas around the corner. I’ve discovered that I really like cotton – this is the first time I have worked with it, and I’ve been surprised. I was expecting it to be really unforgiving, really inelastic, but it’s flexible and versatile. I will be interested to observe its durability – does it wash better or last longer than wool? Travel better?
So far, I’ve made washcloths in seed stitch, in horizontal stripes, in box-stitch, in daisy stitch and I’m currently doing one in basketweave. I have fallen in love with daisy stitch – it’s a very dense stitch, coming out much smaller than other cloths with the same number of rows and stitches, but I love the texture and the pattern. It’s very small and subtle, but really pretty. Horizontal stripes really didn’t work – but I’ll have a go at changing colours soon and see if that looks any different. The seed stitch is incredibly elastic – it stretches a lot in all directions. The basketweave is fun in a gimmicky sort of way, but I wonder whether or not it would wear evenly – there seems to be more flexibility and less strength at the changes of stitch.
My knitting style is evolving as well – I started off taking my right hand off the needle to wrap the yarn around the needle, but now I keep it wrapped around my forefinger at all times, which has made me a faster knitter, and given greater evenness to my stitches, which I like. I’ve also started casting on by twisting loops onto one needle with my fingers, rather than knitting each stitch into the last. It’s much faster, but still means that the first edge is too long and ends up rumpled.
Next up will be something a bit bigger, I hope - maybe a hot water bottle? I want to have a go at ribbing and cable, and I'm really looking forward to Celtic knots! Feel free to share any good patterns or ideas...