Thursday, April 29, 2010

Domestic Goddess

For the perfect Mother's Day gift I've decided to make three dishcloths to send my mom. My grandmother has always used hand-knit dishcloths in her house, knitted by her sister in Nebraska. At first these seemed odd, but after using them there I realized they are really nice and soft. Plus it's a fun way to try out a new pattern!

For all three towels I used size US 10.5 needles and cast-on 30 stitches in the cable cast-on method. You can use any 100% cotton yarn and for these I knit with two strands of yarn held together. Most of the yarn is the cheapy Sugar 'n Cream brand (only 1.99!) while one teal-blue color in the first towel was Paton Pure organic cotton left over from Atom's baby blanket.

Checks and Ridges Towel

To get this stripe effect, I pulled from both white and teal-blue yarn for 2 sets of the pattern and then did one set of the pattern with a color that changed from dark teal to lime green. I did this 4 times and then ended with 2 sets of the white and teal-blue colors.

This pattern is a multiple of 4 + 2
My pattern was using 26 sts and I added a border of K2 on either side of the towel.

CO 30 sts
R1 :: k all
R2 :: k all
R3 :: k2, p2 * k2, p2 * repeat from * to * and end with the k2 border
R4 :: k4 *p2, k2 * repeat from * to * and end with the k2 border

When the piece looks like an approximate square, knit all stitches for 2 rows and BO.
Weave in ends.

Ribbed Towel

For this towel I pulled from both a solid blue color and another strand that changed from tealy-greens to lime to light blue.

CO 30 sts
R1-3 :: k all
R4 :: k2 * yo, sl1, k1 * k2
R5 :: k2 * yo, sl1, k2tog * k2

Repeat row 5 until the piece is approximately a square shape.

To end:
R1 :: k2 * k1, k2tog * k2
R2-3 :: k all

Bind-off and weave in ends.

This pattern based on the site here.

Garter Steps Towel

This towel was probably the least successful, but was a great learning exercise for me to try the "pick up and knit" technique. By making the towel a little longer than wide, I could go back in with a solid blue color and add a contrasting edge. A sample of the pattern without the borders can be seen here. If I made this again, I would start the pattern with the solid blue yarn and knit 4 rows as well, then switched to blue and white so that all four sides matched.

This pattern is a multiple of 8 and I added a k3 border on each side.

CO 30 sts
R1 and all odd rows :: k all
R2 + R4 :: k3, * k4, p4 * end k3
R6 + R8 :: k5 * p4, k4 * end p4, k5
R10 + R12 :: k3 * p4, k4 * end k3
R14 + R16 :: k3, p2 *k4, p4 * end k4, p2, k3

Once the shape is more of a rectangle, BO. Go back along the vertical edges, picking up stitches and knitting a garter stitch border for 4 rows. I learned how to do this by watching a video on here. The corners are pretty sloppy, but next time I'll have the hang of it!

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