Friday, May 16, 2008

Hand-Knit Washcloths

Saw these and just knew I had to make them for my brother who is getting married this summer. Project idea from Whit's Knits at www.the purlbee.com



Supplies
Blue Sky Alpaca's Skinny Cotton, 100% organically grown cotton. 1 skein makes 2 washcloths. The colors here are Organic Clay 31, Pink 305 and Birch 30 (The Clay and the Birch are naturally occurring colors, in other words, undyed).

US #5 knitting needles, straight or circular.

A small crochet hook, like a size "E".




Pattern
Your gauge in stockinette stitch may be different than your gauge in seed stitch, so I suggest doing a gauge swatch in stockinette stitch. When you know how many stitches per inch you're getting, take that number and multiply it by 8. Cast on the odd number closest to that number. For example, if your stockinette gauge is 5 3/4 stitches per inch, multiplied by 8 is 46, so cast on either 45 or 47 stitches.

Row 1: *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Row 1 six more times.

Row 8: [k1, p1] 2 times, knit to last 4 stitches, [p1, k1] 2 times.

Row 9: [k1, p1] 2 times, k1, purl to last 5 stitches, k1, [p1, k1] 2 times.

Repeat the last 2 rows until piece measures 7 inches.

Knit Row 1 seven times.

Bind off and finish, leaving a tail about a foot long.

Crocheted loop
To make a little loop for hanging the washcloth, insert the crochet hook into the corner of the washcloth. Pull a loop of the tail through.

Chain 11

Slip thru and bind off.

Blocking
Sometimes I don't block my finished projects, but, in this case, I think it's a pretty important step. Cotton is a bit unforgiving, so blocking will definitely help even out your stitches, and also, by blocking, you can shape really neat and even squares.

So, soak the washcloths in a sink or basin of room temperature water. You can add some mild soap to the water if you want (like Ivory dishwashing soap, baby shampoo, or I use a gentle wool wash called Soak which you don't have to rinse out).

Squeeze the excess moisture out of the washcloths (but don't wring or twist). Then roll them in a dry towel and squeeze the towel (I even kneel on the towel roll to really get the water out).

Pull the washcloths in all directions, horizontally, vertically, diagonally, shake the stitches around. Then lay each washcloth out on another dry towel and carefully shape each one into a neat square. My squares were 8 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches, but if your gauge is a little different that's okay, as long as they're all about the same as each other!

4 comments:

peaknits said...

The cloths looks gorgeous - such a great color palette - lickable even:)

happymamaof3 said...

so very pretty! i like the colours too! i need to knit some of these!

Sue Thomas said...

These are wonderful!

dianne said...

Look at you go Mo. I would love to be able to knit like this. I'll keep trying, and anytime you wanna give me lessons, feel free.

:)