Nubbie Scrubbie Cloth

Yes, don’t get used to it, but I have another finished object report already.  But first, I have to flash my favorite nub…


See that one on the left?  That’s the cutest little nub, especially when it’s wagging about a million miles an hour…

Anyway, back to the cloth


Pattern:  Nubbie Scrubbie.   This is a great, very easy little crocheted cloth.   I need to make another one for the Knight to test-drive… he prefers to use handmade cloths and is HARD on them.  He’s a tough critic, so while I think it looks ideal…

Yarn:  Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Twists in Green Twists.  It was crazy-splitty, but according to Ravelry, I’ve given it high marks before, so maybe it just wasn’t twisted tight enough for this particular crochet project?

Hook:  I did the foundation chain with a size H hook and then the rest of the project with a G.

Verdict:  I think it looks awesome for scrubbing dishes or skin.  We’ll see what the Knight says when I get around to making one for him; this one is destined for someone else.

Circle ’round…

I know a lot of you love to whip out a cotton cloth for a quick knit or a travel project.  We use handknit cloths in the kitchen, and the Knight uses them in the bath as well.  In the past, I’ve knitted a cloth here and there without too much trouble, but this one was a pain in the fingers.

Circle Cloth #1

November 2010 074Pattern:  Circle Cloth.  It’s redundant to say #1, because I’m pretty sure I’ll never knit this one again.  Oh, the pattern’s fine, and I bet it will scrub nicely, but my dry, winter hands and the utility cotton didn’t get along well at all.  

It is a fun pattern, and after the first repeat, you have the hang of it and don’t need to look at the pattern again.  I’m trying to be “greener” about patterns, and when it’s something I can memorize or get the gist of, I don’t print the pattern.  However, I set this aside often enough that I did have to open the pdf file again to figure out how to finish it off.

November 2010 076

Yarn:  Both colors are Lion Brand Cotton.  I remember thinking kindly of this brand before, saying it was more pliable than the – and cream brands of utility cotton, but I just don’t know.

Needles:  Brittany #7 straights.  Maybe that was part of the problem, but I don’t like metal straights.

Verdict:  Nice pattern, and if you don’t mind knitting with cotton, do give it a go.  Me?  I’ll be crocheting the rest of the cloths I need to crank out for Christmas.  It’s faster and the cotton doesn’t bother me with a hook.

Ironically, I’ve been knitting on my sweater in progress again, and if you add merino to a nice cotton fiber, it’s one of the sweetest things in the world to knit with.  Go figure.

Do you have a favorite fiber? 

Do you knit cloths with “better” grades of cotton yarn?  If so, how do they hold up, and are they easier on the hands?

Have you used a crocheted cloth?   Do they work as well as a knitted one?

(Beau dear, I don’t care how the different cottons taste, or whether crocheted cloths are chewier, but thanks for reading anyway…)

Four FOs

I am completely unmotivated to knit (aside from a fascination with the Wendy Knits Shetland Pi Shawl KAL, not that I’ve cast on yet…) but that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle.  I’m about 500 pages deep into Pillars of the Earth and I’m wondering why it took me ten years to read it.  It’s right up my alley, aside from the rather graphic rape/sexual stuff.  (Skim, skim, read…  and honestly, some of the building details are blah, blah, blah to me too…)

I’ve also been on a bit of a crocheted cloth tear.  I generally knit a bunch of cloths about this time of year, when it’s too hot to tote wool around, but I’m blaming it on my crochet murder mystery reading and hooking away.

First up is my first granny square, courtesy of Hooked on Murder
August 2010 010
Pattern:  CeeCee’s Granny Square Washcloth, listed in the back of said book.   It was easy enough, especially since I didn’t bother with color changes.

Yarn:  Peaches and Cream’s Peppercorn. 

Hook – J, but if I make this again, I’ll use H.

Verdict:  I’ll try another one of these days…


August 2010 008

Project: Lanscape Daisy Cloth.

Pattern:  Daisy Cloth, from Lily’s Bright Idea booklet.  According to Ravelry, this and the Primrose pattern (below) are/were available as a free flyer at Michael’s.  I liked them both a lot!

Yarn:  Sugar ‘n Cream in Landscape.

Hook:  H

Verdict:  I’d make this or the Primrose (below) again in a heartbeat.

August 2010 009

Project:  Peppercorn Primrose

Pattern, hook & verdict: same as above

Yarn:  More of the Peaches & Cream Peppercorn

August 2010 011

Project:  Carefree Mod Flower Cloth

Pattern:  Mod Flower Dishcloth, also from Bright Ideas.  I’m not sure there isn’t an error or two, or maybe I was just too tired when I was doing this one, but…  It also took FOUR tries to get the center right.  I’m guessing it was me there too, because I really am a crochet novice.

Yarn:  Red Heart’s Carefree Cotton.  I think the yarn might have been part of the problem with the funky, inability to get square results.  There’s a lot of acrylic in with the blend, and while that makes it soft to work with, evidently it’s too pliable for this pattern.  I think this yarn would be better suited for clothing.

Hook:  I used the Addi H on this one.  I really liked the slightly bulkier grip.

Verdict:  Meh.  I might have to try it again with a truly utilitarian cotton.

What did you do over the weekend?

Hog Humor

pigletNo, I wasn’t home with the flu yesterday, but I know many of you have been battling it.  Dae shared this little bit of humor, so I thought I’d pass it along.

At least Piglet is smiling.  The others seem too gripped by their flu fears, except for perhaps Eeyore, but maybe he’s just wondering why one size fits all rarely does?


Project:  DW Cloth #1, aka: Plum Tired

Pattern:  The Infamous DW – aka: Darrell Waltrip – Cloth.  I did cast on 46 stitches for a larger cloth, because that’s what the Knight likes.   He’s proclaimed the cloth Barbara sent him as the best washcloth EVER, so I figured he should have a spare…

Yarn:  Patons Pure Organic Cotton in the Aqua Plum colorway.  (See?!  Isn’t it more fun, a nicer read, and just generally better to have a name, however basic and uninspired, for a colorway?)

I wanted to love this yarn.  It’s soft as can be, despite its rather Bernat Cottontots construction with the fluffy core and a thin, strong second strand.   However, when I pulled it apart while I was trying to pull the end out to use it as a center pull ball, I wondered….  There were no more incidents, but I was able to easily break the yarn when I was done knitting, so I don’t have high hopes for this cloth wearing well, which is a shame, because it sure is pretty.

Needles:  US #7, my go-to cloth needles

Verdict:  Move over ballband, mama’s got a new rag – favorite pattern, that is!


The sweetest faces in the world!

Now, to vote on my way home to my fur-girls and Bellus.  I do love my wheel.  Maybe I’ll have to tell you more about him one of these days. 

Know what?  The first day of the work week is still rough, even if you do spend an extra day at home.  But the Phillies won last night (even though I couldn’t stay awake for it all), and tonight’s NCIS night, so it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.


I did a lot of knitting over the weekend, while I was socializing.  I’ll just flash the latest ballband cloth.  It was made from scrap yarns, with black cotton contrast.    It’s BBC #4, if you’re keeping score at home.

However, most of the weekend, I was knitting in the round, cranking out my bolster pillow.

Pattern:  Bolster Your Spirits Pillow is a very simple little pattern.  You’ll note that one end is open…  I still need to figure out how to finish it off so I can remove the pillow form to launder it.  I did just pull the yarn through after the last row and draw it shut (like a hat), and then I sewed that bit shut, from the wrong side.

Isn’t it a pretty little puckered end?

Yarn:  Plymouth’s Kudo might be one of the best-kept secrets in the industry, and here I am, ratting them out.  It’s a cotton, rayon, silk blend, it’s self-striping, so what’s not to love!?  Well… yes… it will require very special care when it needs to be washed, and that’s why I want to make the one end easy enough to open back up so I can slip the form out and hand-wash the “cover.”

Needles:  US #7 Knitpick Options.  This is supposedly an Aran weight yarn, but danged if I see it.  I knew I was going to use a pillow form, and I knew I didn’t want any of the white showing through, so since I tend to knit a little loosely, I dropped down a needle size.  I got precisely the fabric I wanted.

Verdict:  I love it, and can’t wait to finish off the other end and put it on the bed.   I might have to do another of these for the ugly outdated bolster in the guest room too, if I can find the yarn again, in a colorway that will work for that room…

Now, I’m having fits of castonitis.  I’ve cast on a hat, an entrelac scarf because I NEEDED to try out the Plymouth Boku that has been in my stash for ages now.  I’ve also wound the yarn for another shawl, but I’m using the needles I want to use for that project on the above mentioned hat, so…

I have a couple of cloths I want to knit that aren’t ballband cloths too.  Anyone else have castonitis?


Nope Gretchie, this isn’t for you.  It’s my third ballband cloth.

Yarn:  The main color is Sugar ‘n Cream’s Pinky Stripes, and the trim is done in Lion Cotton raspberry.  Boy is the Lion Cotton worlds softer than the “Cream.”

Needles:  I was worried the “fabric” of the others would loosen when wet and in use, scrubbing, so I dropped down to a US size #6 for this one.   It was a royal pain to knit, so I’m happy to report that my sister says the cloth made on #7s holds up just fine.

Of course, I’ve already cast on for #4.  I only have three cloths in my to be gifted pile, so I need to keep chuggin’ along.

I’m not sure what my weekend holds.  I don’t know if my back is up to riding to Richmond for the RCK vendor fair tomorrow, and that’s all that is on my agenda.   The Knight and I haven’t been home together in a while, so that will be nice!

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Cloths and More

I hope you’re perkier this Monday morning than I am.  I slept well, but the cobwebs are heavy in my brain this morning.

My weekend was AWESOME.  It will probably take most of the week to catch up, but we’ll start here.   This is Ballband Cloth #2.    I’m not going to do a full review, but the important part is the yarn.  I used Sugar ‘n Cream Twists (Summertime) for the  border (Color A) and SnC Landscape for the other color.  I just LOVE that color combination!  Luckily I have more of each…

I knitted the bulk of the cloth at the firehouse Friday night.   I love to knit in public.  One 19 year old gal asked WHY I knit, and from there, we talked about when I learned, when I started up again, etc.    However, the highlight of the evening was when College Girl J announced that she wanted the cloth.

I’ve known CGJ her whole life.  Her grandmother drove the Knight’s school bus, just to note one deep connection.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought she would want a knitted cloth.  At least two of her aunts knit, so she certainly has been around handknits most of her life. 

When I handed it to her Saturday night, she STUDIED that cloth.  The Knight seemed to take offense and asked her if she was looking for mistakes, but she said no, she was just looking at it. 

I’d already cast on for my Island Cloth during the day Saturday,  as I knew I’d need a travel project to entertain me Saturday evening, because we had to stop by the station to gift CGJ her cloth.

Pattern:  Eloomanator’s Diagonal Knit Cloth.   I had one skein of yarn I wanted to try out, and I was looking for a cloth pattern that would do it justice.  I actually  had to frog several times on the second/decrease half of this pattern, so I don’t know that I’ll do it again, but I might… it sure is a purdy thang.

Yarn:  The discontinued Plymouth Linen Isle.   For the record, these are my favorite summertime colors, all mashed together in one yarn.  There’s a lime green, a blue that isn’t too intense, purple, fuschia and even a bit of not too bright yellow.  However, I won’t be searching for more of this yarn; there was quite a bit of vegetation debris in it.   I don’t like picking sticks out of my knitting, and there are softer linen blends out there.  It was actually a poor choice for a cloth, as it needs to be washed in cold water on gentle and line dryed.

Needles:  I used my Clover bamboo #5s, but if I knitted it agin with a DK weight yarn, I’d drop down to a #4.   I like a firmer cloth.

Verdict:  Pretty, simple pattern, but for me, the ballband is easier and more fun.

The rest of the weekend was spent knitting on a baby blanket and dining with family and friends.  How was your weekend?

Peppy Lizzy

Happy Friday and Happy Birthday, Robin!   I’m really looking forward to our uneventful weekend.   We do have one, small family event planned, but that’s it.  I’m past due for a relaxing weekend at home. 

Meet Peppy Lizzy.  

Pattern:  Lizard Ridge Dishcloth.   I’ve admired the original Lizard Ridge pattern ever since I first saw Stacey’s.   However, I know I’ll never sit down with a project that requires all those seams, so I thought the cloth would be a great way to dip my needles into the Lizard Ridge pool.

Not.  The pattern is well-written, and after the first repeat, you really don’t need to follow the written instructions; it’s almost intuitive.  The problem is picking up those wrapped stitches with cotton.  I’m sure it’s not a huge pain with wool, sproingy wool, but cotton isn’t so stretchy or bendy, so I did one repeat a day of this beast until it was done.

Yarn:  I think I’m past half-way on my cone of Peaches & Creme in the peppercorn colorway.  (So yeah, she probably should be Peppery Lizzy, but …)  I like the colorway, and I do find it a bit more pliable than Sugar ‘n Cream cotton, but it’s a pale imitation of the vibrant Noro Lizard Ridge blankets!

Needles:  #6 Crystal Palace bamboo.  Never any complaints there.

Verdict:  Won’t do anymore cloths, but I am considering using this version of Lizard Ridge for bulky weight crate pad for the girls, just to see how I like picking up the wraps with something more forgiving than basic cotton.

A better grade of cotton that isnt so hard on my hands

A "better" grade of cotton that isn't so hard on my hands

This is also a good place to address the question I’ve gotten a few times about HOW cotton is hard on my hands.   While I know a couple of you know PRECISELY what I mean, and at least one of you is so sensitive to the same that you just don’t knit with what we’ll call “utility” cotton, some of you don’t seem to have any issues with cotton knitting at all.

Lucky you!  I love cotton as a fiber, knitting with it aside.  You see, when I knit with what we’re calling “utility” cotton, it feels harsh – like linen – going through my fingers.  Even the premium cottons (think Blue Sky, Misson Falls) still dry out my hands and wear a sore spot on my left middle finger, right at the index finger side, near the base of the nail.

Clear as mud?

So, what will your weekend bring?  I believe some of you are gearing up for back to school stuff as early as – gasp! – Monday…

The Letter B…

… brought to you by Chanknits and Haddon Wood Gardens.  (With apologies to The Electric Company and PBS.)

In the afternoons, we’ve become accustomed to finding butterflies swarming the butterfly bush my aunt gifted us in memory of Pop last summer.  I never have my camera handy, but yesterday when I pulled into my spot in our driveway, I slowly lowered the passenger’s window and began snapping away with my old trusty camera, which lives in my handbag.

When it was clear the beauties didn’t care that I was there, I quietly and deliberately relocated to the outside of the car, as near to the bush as I could get without sending them scattering.

I longed to go in and get my “good” camera, but the fur-girls had already been about 8 hours without a potty break, so that seemed selfish.  You’d rather have less-crisp photos and happy dogs, wouldn’t you? 

That’s my first ballband cloth.  I say first, because if you’ve knitted one, you know what I mean…   Your begin tossing around balls of cotton, pairing them up for the future BBCs in your life.  You can’t help yourself. 

Pattern:  (Duh?!)  Ballband Dishcloth.  Now, I have a little survey for you here.  This pattern is one of those favorites available in no fewer than four places.  I happen to own the Mason-Dixon book, and fully intended to snag the pattern from within.  However, it’s a large, hard-bound book that doesn’t travel, or even stay open in my lap well, so I soon trotted back to the study to fetch the free pattern linked above, because Sissy hasn’t mastered pulling papers from the printer and bringing them back to Mommy yet. 

The debate over who gets to take it to Mommy...  OBX 2-09

The debate over who gets to take it to Mommy... OBX 2-09

(I  hear you laughing.  Okay, so my best bet is to put the printer in the floor and work with my little lady, Gretchen, who isn’t likely to eat said pattern on the jaunt back to me.  Somehow, I don’t think the Knight will go for that option, so can I count skipping back to the study to retrieve a pattern as exercise?)

So, here’s the question:  do you actually knit from those pattern books we all stash, or do you make paper copies to carry around with you?  In this case, the pattern is so obvious and easy to memorize that had I taken a deep breath and just knitted a single repeat, I would have realized I didn’t need to kill a tree and print the copy.

We all get distracted sometimes

We all get distracted sometimes

Where was I?  Oh – sorry.  We were in the midst of a finished object report, weren’t we?  

Yarn:  For this one, it’s all about Sugar & Cream.  The border is Hot Blue, which I like just as much as Hot Green, and the main color is Country Print, which in a slightly muted hue might have to come live on the walls in my kitchen.  (Yeah, I claim to dislike yellow, but I want a soft butter color on my walls.  I’m fickle, and those of you who know me “in real life” already knew that.) 

Needles:  I’m really sorry for all the stream of consciousness bursting out all over this post.  Maybe I should change the title to reflect that, as a warning to the other readers?

Oh – needles.  My most favorite #7s.  I have two pairs, thanks to my friends, and that’s a good thing.  If ANYONE knows where to find this brandless needle, tell me.  They’re just the right length, the non-working ends are pretty little turned things but still practical and comfortable, and I just love ’em.

Verdict:  They’ll never be able to diagnose me with Alzheimer’s, because this stream of consciousness thing is how I’ve always thought, talked, written.  Thank goodness Mrs. Culley gave it a name in my creative writing class, my senior year of high school.   I seriously think I stopped therapy (for a few years) soon after learning that some writers have to TRAIN themselves to think that way.

What?!  Oh, but didn’t I say at the start of the post that I see many more of these in my future? 

A cup of tea at the shore would probably restore some order to my brain

A cup of tea at the shore would probably restore some order to my brain

One more question…  We’ve only had one ballband in the house, and the Knight claimed it as a wash cloth, so I’ve never used one.  They look like they’d hold up well and scrub a dish nicely….  Is that true?

Bless your heart for even scanning through my babble today.   Maybe I didn’t need that cup of coffee after all, huh?

Hot Green

Project:  Lily Cloth

Pattern:  Muguets Cloth, scroll down on the left, but I hear some of you have trouble with the website.  I really liked this.  It was an easy knit, and reminded me of the Lily of the Valley that grew against the house of my childhood.  (And the French name reminded me of Mugsy, which is always a good thing.)

Yarn:  Sugar ‘n Cream’s Hot Green.   It is very vivid, but I like it!  The yarn isn’t my favorite cotton; it’s hard on my hands, but it was worth it for this hue.

Needles:  Crystal Palace bamboo #6.  I like them a lot.

Verdict:  Will likely make more of this pretty cloth.

I hope you like “hot green” too, because there’s more!

That’s my Tofuchief

Pattern:  Silk Kerchief.   A quick and easy shawlette or triangular scarf, written for Noro yarn.  It’s a great travel project, as it’s all garter stitch with a few yarn overs every other row, and a color change every two rows.  My version blocked to 51 inches wide rather than the 30-something in the pattern, but this was mostly knitted at the firehouse, so I just kept going and going and wondering how wide it had gotten…

Yarns:  Tofutsies, in a “hot green” and a variegated pink.  I chose the colors because they’re bright, happy and they won’t show dirt too easily.  I went with Tofutsies because it’s machine wash and dry, plus it’s a great blend of wool, soy and chitin, so it will serve me well through all four seasons at the office.  The colors above are pretty accurate.

Needles:  Knitpick Options, Harmony tips, USA #3 for everything but the bind-off.  I used a #5 for that, to give a nice, stretchy edge.

Verdict:  It was intended to be a utilitarian shoulder and/or neck warmer, and that it will be.  Visually, I don’t find plain garter stitch shawls too appealing, but it will be perfect for the job I had in mind when I started the project.

I’m thinking about finally getting around to my first ballband cloth next, but I’m also eager to try the lizard ridge cloth.   Actually, by cast on, bind off math, I’m now three patterns to the good, right?  So I could cast on for both of those AND something else…

Waiting on those humans...

Waiting on those humans...

We have a family reunion this weekend, and that’s about it.  Otherwise, we’ll be at home with the fur-girls, making up for all the time we didn’t spend with them this week.

What’s on your agenda?