Botanical dishcloths

This is not a gold Christmas tree. I mean, it could be a gold Christmas tree but this is mid-April, and even though it’s been below freezing at night, this is actually and merely a gold fir tree. It’s Amy Marie Vold’s Fir Sprucing Up cloth. I knit mine in Paintbox Yarn’s Cotton Aran. 18 grams of the main color and 16 of the contrast is all the yarn you need.

Here’s another version, knit in the same yarn. This time it’s a fir tree standing in the sunshine.  Ok. I guess it has some snow on its branches.

Sticking to a botanical theme, here’s Vold’s Sunflower at the Sink. Again, this is knit in Paintbox Cotton Aran. What tickles me most about this cloth is that the sunflower’s petals are irregular. Too many knitted sunflowers suffer from perfectly-uniform-petal syndrome.

In the real world sunflowers are messy whirls of yellow petals. In the real world sunflowers are wild things. Comparing one to another is a bit like comparing snowflake shapes. This is easily seen in Steve’s 2009 photo of a field of sunflowers near us.

Vold’s design captures another feature sometimes missed: the seed pod in the middle is huge and dwarfs the petals. This cloth is such a fun knit. Consider giving it try.

Next up is another design of Vold’s: Sunny Dish Position. This time I knit the pair in Drops Paris, another workhorse “kitchen” cotton:

The pattern is designed for DK weight. But Aran weight and US size 6 needles worked great.

If you haven’t yet dipped your knitting toes into mosaic a/k/a slip stitch knitting, trying out the easy colorwork technique with a dishcloth pattern should tempt. Vold’s patterns are presented both charted and line-by-line. Her patterns are tested. And they are clear. You alternate two rows in one color yarn and two rows in the other color, being sure that your yarn is on the non-public side of the work when you slip stitches. That’s about all there is to remember. Easy peasy.

Fingerless mitts

This was a totally fun knit. Brigit Grunwald’s Norwand. I knit it a pricey yarn that I do not enjoy working with: Kate Davies’ Milarrochy Tweed fingering weight. Apparently it’s high on the fair isle authenticity rating but to me it just makes the work look indistinct. Not a look I like for fair isle. Compare Grunwald’s sample and I know who wins.

But. The point of this knit was to give this unusual fingerless mitt pattern a try. What’s so unusual?

You start with the thumb. If you haven’t knit fingerless mitts before, just trust me that you never knit the thumb first. You’d no sooner knit the thumb first than that you’d knit a butttonhole before you knit the sweater, or frost a cake before you bake it. Here, you knit the thumb. Then you increase and knit the mitt to any size you like and the slightly sloped edge ends up covering your fingers. I was skeptical it would really work. But it does.

Here’s another look. I decided that mine depicts nightfall.

I used a three needle bindoff for the final (and only) seam. And to keep the bind-off comfortably stretchy, JSSBO (Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off) worked well.

Next up is, “…yes Virginia, there really is …” another pair of Fetching mitts that snuck its way onto this blog.

Most of the time a skein of Noro Silk Garden doesn’t do this weird of a color changing trick. Not sure what happened to Noro. But I have a high tolerance for its color quirks.

Such an excellent pattern. This is Fetching #11 for me!