Thursday, September 25, 2008


I started out the week planning to make several beanies for various groups that collect hats for kids and teenagers. A crocheted beanie might not be the warmest hat in the world, but in my experience, the warmest hat for a kid is the one that the little scamp will actually wear.

But then, as often happens, my ambitions met my reality, and I only managed to get one made.

In this case, reality intruded in the form of my rusty crochet skills. Once I managed to get going with the hook, I was in to it. Having fun. Hooking along. Hooking along so fast, in fact, that soon I was done, and only then did I notice that the hat I had just whipped out was sized for a baby doll.


So I started over and tried the next hook up the size chart. This time, the resulting beanie (pictured above) appeared human sized.

But I tried it on, and it's way too tight. Plus, it's too short.

Is it possible I need to use a hook 2 sizes larger than the teen-to-adult sized pattern calls for? 

I do tend to work tight, in both knitting and especially crochet. I suffer under the delusion that tight stitches are neat stitches. As far as I'm concerned, drape is expendable in the grim battle for a consistent and uniform fabric.

But...2 sizes?

I'll still send the resulting hat along--maybe it will fit some little tweener's bean.

And then I guess I'll be getting better acquainted with my size K hook.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tribble, Tawashi, Susemi

This week in my quest to outfit the kitchen with colorful bits of yarn, I discovered susemi (thanks to Raveler nikkislipp, read her post on the subject here), the Korean version of a Japanese tawashi, which is in turn the equivalent of an American dish scrubbie (represented above by the spiral-patterned "tribble").

Knitting sure does give a girl an international flair.

I'm not sure what this urge to knit for the kitchen is all about. The kitchen is not a room that I spend a lot of time in. In my small studio apartment, it's not even a room at all. It's a hallway between the bathroom and my living room/bedroom/office. I pass through a few times a day, occasionally stopping to grab a Diet Coke/Pepsi/Dr. Pepper, and/or (almost always "and," very rarely "or") a snack. Repeat this ritual several times and you have what passes for meals in my humble little home.

I think all this knitting for the kitchen comes from the realization that I want to do more in the kitchen.

Cooking isn't just about assembling ingredients and sticking them in the pot/oven/microwave for the correct amount of time. Cooking requires planning, shopping, preparing. And cooking creates dishes.

Dishes that have to be washed.

Hence the yarny bits. I'm hoping that they will motivate me to do more in the kitchen than just pass through.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I discovered tawashi while searching for washcloth patterns on Ravelry. I had never even heard of these things before, but I'm already hooked on making them. I love making washcloths, but I never use them. I prefer scrubbies and sponges. So tawashi (tawashis?) are perfect for me. I might actually use them instead of donating or gifting them, which is what I usually wind up doing with washcloths.

They also make great stashbusters, especially for that acrylic orange I keep finding more of in the back of the drawer... 

When it comes to knitting and crochet, I thought I knew it all. Then I got on Ravelry.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Ravelry?

Thursday, September 04, 2008


This week, I finished 3 washcloths for A Fresh Start, a volunteer knitting initiative started by Beth123b of the Peace Work group on Ravelry. Beth is collecting travel-size toiletries and handmade washcloths to be donated to a women's shelter in her area.

These were fun and easy to make. The hardest part was settling on a pattern. I discovered that I'm really fussy about the back of my work. I guess because I'm used to knitting in the round, where the wrong side of the work never shows. 

So, after starting several patterns that I didn't like, I settled on the Genius Baby Burp Cloth pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting. It makes a nice sensible garter stitch washcloth on one side and a fancier fabric on the other side. Perfect.

If you have some cotton in your stash that you need to bust, consider making a few washcloths for Beth's effort or call the women's shelter in your area and see if they could use some washcloths of their own.