Sunday, August 28, 2016

Gotta Love Sunflowers...

For some reason I started off this week kind of 'meh' about doing anything with yarn.  Until Saturday, all I had managed to make were a couple of dishcloths (later in this post), but yesterday, a rainy Saturday, I was on you tube - not sure now what I was looking for, but I stumbled across a video tutorial for a Sunflower Hotpad.  I immediately thought it would be a great addition to my new potholder/hotpad collection.   So I went through my stash of yarn and found some workable cotton.  A couple of hours later this is what I had come up with:


I love it!   If I find some orange-y yellow cotton, I may just have to get it and make another one, but for now, this one makes me happy.  I added an extra row of yellow, and because of that it took most of a skein, but the brown and green were just scraps.  And the pattern is so easy.  Looking at the finished pictures in the tutorial I would never have guessed how easy it is.  There is no written pattern, or link searchable on Ravelry, but here is my project page - on the chance that anyone would benefit from the details I've put there.

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Back to the dishcloth knitting, though...   Somewhere around Tuesday I started noodling around with the knitting needles again and in a couple of days I had finished another simple dishcloth.


I feel like this is my best knitting so far.   Of course, all those speckles help hide some unevenness, but I'll take it.  The progress I feel I've gained, that is   :)

And when that one was done I started another Seeded Stripe dishcloth:


Now, my looser stitches don't show so much on this cloth (because there's so much going on), but this cloth gave me a great opportunity to really see how my stitches went from mostly nice and even (the garter stitch stripes) to all loosey goosey (the seed stitch stripes).  You can't see the loosey goosey stitches in the picture (and even in person it doesn't look bad finished), but I knew I was having some problems.   And somehow, even though I could see my stitches loosening up as I was knitting, I had no idea why it was happening.  Googling what causes uneven tension led me to some helpful sites (the most helpful being aknitka.com) that explained to me that my tension problem is probably due to purling looser than I knit.  I practiced some more and sure enough - that was my problem.  The seed stitch rows gave plenty of opportunity to pay attention to tension while switching back and forth between knitting and purling.   I haven't yet achieved correct tension while purling, but knowing what the problem is is a huge help.  Assuming I can conquer this, I feel like this knowledge will move me much further along in my knitting ability and what I may even want to try to make.

I hope it doesn't sound lame, though, to be fairly content just knitting dishcloths for the time being.  I see beautiful shawls, socks and hats and think I should be wanting to make those things, but I'm not overly drawn to try to knit them.  Knitting a dishcloth is about as relaxing and "instant gratification" as it can get for me while still working on basic stuff like tension, and eventually new stitches. And I love using my new knitted dishcloths.  I have some crocheted cloths that I like, but I'm pretty picky about my dishcloths.  They can't be too holey and they can't be too stiff or thick. Finding that perfect combination in a crocheted cloth is tricky.  But a knitted cloth, I'm thinking, pretty much always fits both of those criteria.  So for now I'm just a happy dishcloth knitter.  :^)

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To see what other Yoppers are up to, visit our thread this week on Ravelry.









27 comments:

  1. Love love love the sunflower!!!!!! Your knitting is great!! And good for you figuring out your tension issue!! If all you want to knit is dishcloths, then that is perfect. With crocheting, knitting, or any craft, we need to make what we want to make, not what others think we should be doing. If we aren't happy doing it, then we shouldn't do it. My goal was to learn dishcloths. I need to go back to that probably because of my stress level lately. I think you are doing an amazing job!!!!

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    1. Thanks Dianna. You're so right. I think I was subconsciously looking for validation for doing my simple little thing with knitting (for now) and not branching out already to more challenging stuff. Frankly... I tried a different dishcloth pattern and after half a dozen times of getting it wrong I finally gave up. I think that discouraged me from thinking I'll ever move beyond this stage. But I need to not listen to that negative voice. And just be happy doing what makes me feel a sense of satisfaction - and for now my goal is producing a really nice (I want to say perfect) dishcloth.

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  2. The sunflower made me smile. So bright and cheery. How sweet is that to have in the kitchen as winter approaches. Just so you don't feel bad, most of us purl looser than we knit. You will learn to tighten it up just a bit yet and all will be fine then. Once your items are soaked/washed and blocked, you will never notice the difference. Dishcloths are a perfect place to start, but I bet, once you use them the stitches look so much better.

    Also, thanks for all the advice on my quest for a camera. It really helped me make some decisions on what I was looking for and what I was going to be using it for.

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    1. I was really glad to read that you made a decision about what camera to buy - and it sounds like such a good choice. Can't wait to read about you enjoying using it. ;^)

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  3. Oh, that sunflower is beautiful. Don't you just love knitted dish cloths?

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  4. Your sunflower pot holder is just so happy looking, I'm not surprised you love it. I really like how your tension is settling down on the first knitted cloth, definitely your best so far and is as perfect as any knitter would do. Your striped cloth is great also, I see what you mean about the purl and practice will tighten that all up for you, half the battle as you say is in knowing what the problem is then you know what to fix. It is completely not lame wanting to knit just dishcloths, they are practical and do just what your doing with them, working out tension, learning to read your knitting and learning other stitches. All of this believe me will stand to you when you do get drawn to knitting all those other kinds of things. The main thing is for you to enjoy it.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ruth. Every time I see one of your beautiful shawls I want to want to make one. But in my heart of hearts I don't think I have the patience or fortitude yet. I do hope I'll eventually be drawn to making larger items. Thank you for the encouragement - always.

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  5. That sunflower is the bee's knees! So pretty! I swear, no matter what you put your hand to always turns out just perfectly! Your dishcloths are lovely too. I will put up a project page for the ghost cloth and the others. I love all yours! I think you are right to just keep knitting whatever you feel like. It's the practice that gets you comfortable and you'll know if and when you want to try something else. I want to make a sunflower now! Have a great week!

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    1. You make me smile, Sam. Thank you for all the kind words. :)

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  6. I love the sunflower pot holder, it is too pretty to be put to use as a pot holder in my opinion :) I really would like to add a few dishcloths to my list I think, they would make great present ideas and they are a lovely addition to the home as well as being a quick knit up. What more could you ask for :))))

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    1. I know - about it being too pretty to actually use. I think I'm going to have this problem with all my potholders. I'm either going to have to get over it or satisfy myself with the thought that I'm creating a little treasure trove of small creations for some future somebody to find. Or gifts! They could be fun gifts. I just know I'm enjoying making them. I'll figure out the purpose later. ;^)

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  7. I love the sunflower, it's so happy! You can knit whatever makes you happy, there are no rules here.

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    1. You're right! I'd be saying the same thing to someone else. I guess I was a little afraid I was going to disappoint someone. Silly me. (chuckling)

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  8. Love, love the sunflower. The knitted dishcloths look fine to me, the seeded one is lovely. I find potholders and dishcloths are very welcome gifts.

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  9. I love that sunflower hotpad!!!! What a perfect Fall project idea :)

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  10. You are doing great. I know when I first started knitting (learning from books from the library) I didn't even know about Ravelry or youtube yet. I mostly knit swatches and just practiced a lot. I often kept them and added crochet boarders and use them to put under my plants to catch any drips when I watered them. I only like to make things that are useful and not just decorative. I also don't like dishcloths with holes and the ones that are too thick just have to be potholders. I actually made my own pattern for cloths that are about the same size as a sponge. I want to get some of that scrubby yarn that I've heard about now. Your sunflower is beautiful! I know that will look great under a dish! You're doing great! I always found the seed stitch difficult too but mostly because my mind wanders and I mess up the pattern or if I'm watching TV I'll end up just knitting several stitches in a row and have to go back and fix it.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. Yeah...I haven't been able to do anything else while I knit anything - even simple garter stitch. I look forward to it becoming second nature like crocheting is.

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  11. The sunflower is lovely, and despite of what you say about your uneven tension I really like the look of the seeded stripe dish cloth! :)

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  12. Oh what a gorgeous sunflower to herald in Spring (here in NZ), and it will brighten up your kitchen too, and make you smile when you use it. The knitted dishcloths looks superb to me, and it was very interesting to read about your lessons in tension. Congrats on making the seed stitch look good. I don't know that stitch and only have two stitches in my knitting repertoire - 1. the head tilting left (purling), 2. the tongue sticking out at an angle (knitting).

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    1. lol. I can feel the tension leaving my upper body when I put my knitting down. I'd probably stick out my tongue while knitting, too, except for the fact that I'd probably bite it off. (chuckling)

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  13. Echoing those above: Love the sunflower, and your knitting is shaping up beautifully. Dish and wash cloths are a very satisfying way to practice your skills, test new stitches, and produce something both pretty and practical.

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. I never seem to tire of a nice dishcloth.

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  14. Oh I love the sunflower!
    I'm thinking I might have to try knitting my dishcloths instead of crocheting them. The yardage in the skeins just keeps getting less and less. It would give me a bit of knitty practice too:) I like the patterns you chose for yours.
    Jenn

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