Sunday, March 5, 2017

Small Stuff...

It seems I've been into small, quick things lately and this past week all I've wanted to make were dishcloths.  Knitted ones, crocheted ones.  Sometimes life is like that, isn't it?  When we need simple, brainless activities, even sometimes just a repetitive activity to do while the brain is otherwise occupied.  I'm not sure what my brain was occupied with this past week, but gauging by the dishcloths I churned out (and are still in progress), you'd think I'd have solved at last a few first-world problems!

I made this new-to-me pattern, called Circle Point Washcloth:

And I knitted some simple dishcloths that I don't have a pattern for, but they're made with simple garter stitch borders and stockinette middle.  One I knitted Continental style and one I knitted English style.  And I learned something in the process...

One came out smaller than the other.  Any clue which one?  Continental or English?

Both were begun by casting on 43 stitches onto size 6 knitting needles, and I finished them off within a row or two of each other.  But the one knit English style (the one on the right) was smaller than the one knit Continental style (the one on the left) - by nearly an inch in two directions.  Studying them I could see that the one knit English style had more consistent tension throughout - I think, because it was easier to keep my purling rows tighter with English style knitting.  But boy, was it slow-going.  I'd only be guessing, but it felt as if it was taking twice as long for me to knit English as opposed to knitting Continental.

I'm not sure what this means for my knitting future.  I really prefer knitting Continental - it's faster, there's less readjusting that needs to happen (as I'm knitting, and as I turn my work) and therefore, the movements in Continental knitting feel much more efficient to me.

But will my tension ever get more consistent knitting Continental?  I've been knitting simple stockinette for some months now and I don't see that my tension is getting any more consistent.  I've come to understand that it's during purling where my tension gets loose (while knitting Continental), and I try to tighten those purl stitches up, but clearly, what you see in the top cloth above (in the picture with the kitty creamer) isn't consistent tension-wise (the shading of colors obscures the inconsistent tension, but if you look closely you can see, for example, that the stitches near the top of the cloth are tighter than the stitches in the middle of the cloth).  I don't say any of this looking for encouragement.  (And I say that because you all are such good encouragers.)  I'm simply pointing out that there is a clear difference between tension in the two ways I can knit.  And I'm beginning to wonder if tension inconsistencies are more inherent with Continental knitting, or if I still just need a lot more practice.

If you can knit both ways, which do you prefer?   Do you have the same issues I do with tension - depending on the method of knitting you use?

I always have questions when it comes to knitting, don't I?   I'm really not sure I love knitting all that much, but now that I've gotten this far I don't intend to give it up - even if all I ever seriously knit are dishcloths, I suppose.

Speaking of dishcloths...

On a Ravelry thread recently, it came up that some of us tend to accumulate a stash of knitted and crocheted dishcloths.  Over the years, I've had large stashes and then I give some away 'till I have a nearly empty box, but then before I know it I've crocheted and knitted up another stash.  It occurred to me it might be fun to get my box of fun dishcloths out and take a picture:

I've made a few more of the Circle Point washcloths, but as of Thursday of last week, this was my dishcloth stash.  There's just something kind of fun about opening up this box and seeing all the pretty colors of various kitchen cottons.  Soon there will be an occasion to give some away again and, of course, I'll take some out to use myself -- and one of these days I'll find myself with a near-empty box, starting all over again to knit and crochet cloths, and before I know it I'll have another (different) dishcloth stash!  I do love the changing nature of this "collection".  I should pull it out and take a picture of it every once in a while - just to see the evolution of my crocheting and knitting of these pretties.

Before finishing this post, here are two more Circle Point Washcloths I made late in the week:

A few notes about how I adapted the pattern: When I made these, I used a size I crochet hook and started with a chain of 15 instead of 13 - because the yarn I was using (Hobby Lobby's ILTC) is a bit thinner than the Lily's Sugar n' Cream that I used in the first one pictured at the top of this post.   Using a beginning chain that was 2 stitches longer than the pattern called for meant that every row was increased by 2 stitches (after the skipped stitch and 2 scs - this will make sense if you work the pattern).  And finally, I made 9 points (instead of 8 points like the pattern makes).  All of this made a cloth that is 8 inches wide - exactly what I was after.


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  1. Oh wow, what a fun collection of dishcloths you have. I only throw when I'm knitting with two colors; I am tighter with that style of knitting. With Continental, the style I learned from the gecko, I can be a little inconsistent. I found with metal needles I knit more even. But right now I'm trying to get more experienced knitting the Portuguese style as it's more ergonomic for my hands.

  2. so interesting to see the two cloths and the discussion on Continental vs English. I knit English - I do knit Continental when I am doing fairisle. I think my tension is the same in both but I would have to try your test to know for sure.
    Great collection of dishcloths and great gift ideas. I remember after I broke my arm a few years ago I resumed knitting by making many dishcloths. They sure came in handy when Christmas rolled around that year!

  3. I love all your pretty dish cloths and I did not notice any difference in your English vs Continental...maybe I haven't had enough coffee yet but I thought they both looked good. I love your variegated/hand dyed cotton yarn you pretty. I've never tried HL's cotton yarn. I knit English. I've been wanting to try the Portugese method and Stefanie just took a class in that.
    I think you should start a "Box of Cloths" KAL/CAL like the Box of Socks one. Your box of dishcloths is very inspiring!

  4. Love love love your inspiring box of dish-cloths. What a delight it would be to open up a box and see these colourful treasures.
    Sorry I have no ideas/suggestions on the different techniques of knitting because I only knit English style, and very poorly too. I prefer crochet.

  5. What a lovely box of cloths, and the circle point dishcloth is gorgeous. I'm not sure I can comment on the tension issue, I'm self taught so don't even know how I knit and I'm very naughty and never do gauge swatches so don't even know how my tension is! Either way all your cloths look fab.

  6. Love your collection of dishcloths! As for knitting styles, I can do both, but always go with the Continental, I am so much faster in it. Tension will even out eventually, especially after good blocking.


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