Just out of curiosity. . . .

Not too long ago I saw a friend of mine knitting dishcloths. In my mind it's a waste of my knitting skills and time to knit something I could buy at Walmart 3/$1. Of couse the Walmart cloths wouldn't have my artistry, but do I really need an artsy dishcloth?? No. I decided right there and then that I would NEVER knit a dishcloth.

How bout you fellas? Is there anything that you just won't knit? For whatever reason?


AKQGuy's picture

Anytime that I have said that I could not imagine knitting (insert item here), I have ended up within the year knitting it for someone who would and has appreciated it. This has included socks, fair isle christmas stockings - one of them is even for my cat - and multiple large lace projects that I have found that I enjoy quite a lot. So no, I cannot say with any assurity that there is anything that I would not knit.

As for dishcloths, I have known several people that have hand knit washclothes from linen or hemp for presents. They're a quick knit, and I've seen them placed into gift baskets of bath products. I thought it gave what can be kind of an off the shelf stock gift a very personal touch that when given to the right person can be appreciated very much. And I hear that both Linen and Hemp after used a few times get wonderfully luxuriant and exfolliant for the user.

JDM511's picture

I happen to love the clean look of sweaters made with nice very fine wool that are all ST Stitch. I would go crazy working for so long on something like that, so I just spend the money to buy them. I would rather spend my time on an Aran type sweater or some sort of color work. Something that will keep my interest.


Bill Carl's picture

Knitted dishcloths are very easy and simple to make. I always have some made up and when I go to visit someone, or for gifts when you visit the sick. a bottle of dish washing liquid, a couple wooden spoons and a couple of dishcloths, what better gift than candy or flowers that wont last. This is something every time they use it think of the one that made it for them. So try using one yourself and you will never use a store bought one again. They are terrific. I will never use one bought from the store. Make some and have them on hand, for the next time you need a little gift.

CLABBERS's picture

One of the things I use dishcloths for is practice with new stitches and designs. I buy a bunch of cotton yarn and get some graph paper and just play with designs. I've learned some rudimentary techniques that I am trying to perfect before I tackle some lace projects. When I was in the hospital for two weeks, I didn't do any knitting, so when I got home, I grabbed the yarn and the needles and made a few dishcloths just to get my stitch consistency back. I also use dishcloths and scarves as relief from a larger project. Projects that are really big tend to bog me down a bit. When I look at an afghan that is half finished and I sigh, I know that's a good time to do something that knits up quickly. I just like to have something to do with my hands (no comments needed) and keep my brain active. Recently I started doing a hand towel for a friend of mine, then they found themselves pregnant, so I just kept going and ended up making them a baby blanket using the same redundant stitch. The simplicity of the stitch (garter) made it easy and fast, but adding a touch of simple lace around the edge made it interesting. Weaving a satin ribbon (washable) added a nice flare to it as well. I went from making a simple hand towel to creating a family keepsake and that thrilled me even more.

I am still debating on why I should make socks though. The practical me says that Costco has lots for cheap, but the artisan in me insists that I make my own. The practical me is winning this argument just now because I just end up shoving my socks into a shoe then draping a pant leg over the design part, but that may change. Hats are another issue as well, but I enjoy doing them, so my family and I have hats for every occasion and they are made from much nicer yarn that what you can find in the store.

This was a good question. Thanks for giving us a forum for this discussion. :)


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Biased opinion coming. Socks are great and you'll never look at store bought the same way again after a pair of handknits make your feet happy.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Tallguy's picture

So what happened to my post here? Odd.

michaelpthompson's picture

I have knit dishcloths, and I like using them better than using the storebought ones. It feels more nostalgic and in touch with my roots somehow. I imagine myself back in the 1880s, using something I've made myself. Plus, I do experiment with stitches on dishcloths and knit hats and such. Who says a gauge swatch has to be a useless bit of clutter in the bottom of your knitting bag? You could be wearing it, or wiping the counter with it.

I make and wear socks too. Costco socks may be a lot cheaper, but I have never found store bought socks that keep my feet as warm as my tightly knit wool ones. Right now, I'm making a pair of sock booties (ahem, I mean ankle socks or something manly like that) that I can wear inside the hip waders my wife bought me at the thrift store. They're a bit large in the foot, so I need some padding, and this time of year especially, but even in the summer, your feet can get cold standing in a beautiful mountain stream, casting a gossamer thread in search of a monster trout. So these socks are actually bulky weight yarn (US5) held double on size three bamboo needles I bought from a really nice yarn store in Albuquerque last year. (I'm sure that's blasphemous in some sense.) I'll share more when they're finished, but the fabric is thicker and denser than any store bought socks I've ever seen.

Had a similar discussion on a Ravelry group about a fellow spinning dense 5-ply yarn. Somebody wondered why he would go to that trouble. Why do any of us go to the trouble of handcrafting something we could buy in the store for two bucks. Even a nice sweater. You can buy a really nice Aran online for $50-100 bucks. We bother for reasons that go way beyond economy and utility.

"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."

twistknit's picture

I love my handknit dishcloths. I've had people take new ones away from me as soon as i got them off the needles because they like how textured and absorbant they are.

Well, I stand corrected. I really like the idea of keeping my swatches as dish or even body washers. i hadn't considered that. Plus, the idea of a bath-themed gift is really fun too. Who wouldn't love to wash themselves with a handmade cloth?

And AKQ, you're right about finding ourselves knitting the very thing we said we have no interest in. A cousin of mine, who recently passed on left me a great deal of her yarn collection. There was a particular yarn of which she had soooo many skeins I had to ask her what she was planning to make. She told me an afghan. Until that yarn was mine, afghans were also on the X-list. Now I feel like it's the only think that should be done with that yarn, according to her wishes.

Though I still haven't knitted the afghan yet, I feel sure im going to find a pattern I like to make one.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I've learned not to say I won't knit certain things - for all the reasons everyone else stated. I do enjoy dishcloths as a travel and/or "break from a large project" item. They make great swatches and I use them to teach knitting. Especially with children. Fast and they are something parents can use which, as Elizabeth Zimmermann said, encourages the youngsters to keep knitting. The main thing is that you enjoy your knitting. Lots of luck.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

scottly's picture

I've never made one - not that I ever will, it just hasn't occured to me until I read this post. The many fascets of wash cloths.