Similar to the person who hasn’t exercised in a while and wants to start a new fitness routine without overdoing it, I’m easing into this year of crafting by knitting dishcloths.
Some people think this is a waste of time. The owner of an upscale yarn shop near my sister’s house sure did.
My sister stopped there for convenience instead of driving across town to a national craft store retailer.
A group of retirement-aged ladies sat comfortably knitting sweaters in intricate patterns in the center of the pleasant shop. They were surrounded by shelves from floor to ceiling stocked with beautiful, colorful and expensive yarns.
When my sister asked the owner to show her the 100 percent cotton yarn that was for sale, the shop owner asked my sister what she was planning to make.
When my sister answered, “Dishcloths,” the owner dropped the reading glasses from her face and let them dangle on their beaded chain next to her shirt.
“If you’re going to invest money and spend all of that time knitting, you should make something better than a dishcloth,” she said.
My sister left without a purchase.
Most people who have used hand-knitted dishcloths will agree that their benefits are plenty. Not only are they strong, soft and durable, but they also are a great tool for washing dishes and wiping up spills in the kitchen.
Their usefulness is versatile throughout the home and office.
I keep a set in my car to wipe the morning dew off my windows when I have to drive somewhere early in the morning.
In the bathroom, the gentle cloths can be used as baby washcloths or facecloths.
They also can be used to wipe the ink off of white boards or when cleaning mirrors and glass doors.
As a sewing project, knitting dishcloths is a good way to practice or try out new stitches. Novices can work on their basic knits and purls. More advanced knitters can experiment with some of the new patterns they’d like to try – from basket weaves to cables. For knitters attempting a new stitch, it’s better to mess up on a small dishcloth than a whole sweater.
Dishcloths also make useful and thoughtful hostess gifts, teacher gifts and presents for graduates, moms, aunts, teens, neighbors, seniors and friends.
The yarn comes in a variety of mix and match colors and goes on sale at various times throughout the year. One ball usually makes two regular-sized cloths.
So this January, I’m getting back on the knitting treadmill and experimenting with styles and stitches in a variety of dishcloth patterns. By February, I’m hoping to be in good enough shape to try knitting some drink cozies.
I’m ready to sew.