Category Archives: Yarn



During a recent snowstorm, I called to check on my sister.

“What are you doing?” I asked after hearing her frazzled “Hello.”

“My electricity just went out,” she said. “I’m knitting in the dark.”

“How?” I asked.

She was pearling and knitting in the glow of a strong, heavy-duty flashlight. The utility company estimated that her electricity would return in about three more hours, but she didn’t want to wait.

ChatterboxBeach was in the middle of a fingerless glove frenzy.

In December, we decided that we didn’t do enough crafting as a group in 2016. Working on individual projects was OK, but we missed having a mutual focus where we could feed off each other’s creativity and energy.

Each of us pledged to make fingerless gloves in January. My sister was not about to disappoint.

We chose fingerless gloves because they are fun to make and provide great warmth in the coldest months of the year. Sometimes I wear mine in the house when I’m doing housework or typing on the computer because my hands get cold in the winter.

During holiday travels, we saw many people wearing fingerless gloves. One lady was wearing a beautiful pair cuffed with fur in the train station. Because her fingers were free, she could scroll and type on her cell phone without any trouble. We were delighted to see that our server at a fast food drive-thru wore a pair of purple fingerless gloves as she passed our order of country ham biscuits and sweet tea though the window. In addition, I gave a warm pair of hand-knit gloves away as a gift. Fingerless gloves are most appreciated when wind chill temperatures dip into the single digits.

Although my mom, sisters and I are knitting in separate towns, the knitting frenzy keeps us close. We delight each time one of us posts a pair online. Each set evokes an emotion. My sister and I ironically purchased the same color yarn and are using similar simple patterns to make our gloves. Mom’s pattern features a more intricate cable design. She went rogue and knitted adorable hats embellished with flowers, too.

My house is drafty, but I’m staying warm this January. I’ve got my yarn and needles in hand for the family knitting frenzy – and I’m wearing my own pair of fingerless gloves as I work.

–Caroline at ChatterboxBeach




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.


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