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October 06, 2008

The Saga of the Dishcloth

Oh, how to tell this story.

Once upon a time, there was a young knitter. A brash knitter. A knitter eminently sure of what were Good Things to Knit and what were utter wastes of time. She set about making fashionable sweaters and eschewed humbler projects.

Like dishcloths.

The years rolled on. (not *that* many, OK?)

Many of the "hot sweaters of the moment" which surely were Good Things to Knit ended up in the Goodwill bag. Others were frogged, or simply sat in drawers wondering what the heck happened to make an oversized, ornately patterned Norwegian ski sweater that took months to knit no longer worth wearing.

Mmmm. What is a good thing to knit? What is a waste of time? Who knows anymore?

**

Lately, I've been paying more attention to consciously using resources. Although I am no expert on the debate as to whether using throwaways instead of wash-and-reuse is better for the environment, I do think harder about grabbing a paper towel to wipe up a mess in the kitchen. Maybe half a sheet will do? A quarter sheet?

***

I was over a friend's house recently who was in the midst of cooking my bookgroup's dinner. As we were all sitting around her kitchen, she pulled out a spray bottle to clean up a mess on the counter. Instead of the acrid smell of chemical cleaners, up wafted a delicious scent. Mmm, I thought. There might be a way to clean that isn't super- toxic. Who knew?

****

Recently I was lunching with Elaine. I was knitting a sock, as is my wont. Elaine was knitting what must be the most popular dishcloth ever, the Ballband Dishcloth. I saw the dishcloth. I admired the dishcloth. I forgot about the dishcloth.

Or so I thought.

*****

I'm in the local crafts store, in line to pay. I'm clutching one ball of Sugar n' Cream (Color 02741). I hand over my $1.69 and we leave together, for better or worse.

In the fiber room, we stare each other down. A ball of cotton whose destiny is dishclothdom. A non-dishclothing Knitter. I choose my weapons (US size 7s). The time has come.

dishcloth.jpg

Three hours later, I have this. A hand-knitted dishcloth. To which I added a little crocheted loop with which to hang it. Here it is in its natural habitat.

Now, whether or not I ever knit another dishcloth depends solely on whether I find this thing useful. Maybe this will be great for wiping up messes on the counter with my fancy-smelling new cleaner. Maybe I'll continue to reach for the paper towels. However, either way my three hours weren't wasted. I enjoyed making this. Easily entertained as I am, it was fun to watch the pooling and its interaction with the slip-stitch pattern. And I haven't used a slip-stitch pattern in years. Not good for sweaters.

But, perhaps sweaters aren't the only Good Things to Knit.