These are not dishcloths. These are… dishtowels so stop your tsk tsking. More uses for kitchen cotton. More uses for slip stitch/mosaic knitting. More patterns by Amy Marie Vold.
This is Cannery Rows. It’s part of Vold’s Pickling, Canning, Preserving e-book or can be purchased separately. I knit mine in Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran. My sense is that Cotton Aran is an almost middle ground between Lily’s Sugar ‘n Creme’s rustic feel and the more refined KnitPicks Dishie. But Dishcloth cotton all.
My younger brother and one of his daughters requested these. Here’s the these.
And a closer look at the big-red-jar one:
Some of my kin have sworn off automatic dishwashers. Well, maybe one of us doesn’t have one. And the other prefers not to use theirs. All those tussels as kids about who was going to wash and who was going to dry, and now this. Life is long. Truth be told, the absorbency of kitchen cotton–even after multiple trips through the washer and the dryer–isn’t the best for drying dishes. So my family doesn’t actually use these as dishtowels. These heavy cloths make excellent (and stylish) landing pads for freshly washed draining/drying dishes.
There’s another of my Cannery Rows to check out here, late in my post on red knits.
These next two DK weight towels are an experiment. I’d never knit in hemp or in flax and I wanted to give both a try.
This is Vold’s Tumbling Blocks Cowl. It’s available separately or as part of a Cleaning Blocks e-book. I knit my Tumbling Blocks in Elsebeth Lavold’s Hempathy. Hempathy is 41% cotton, 34% hemp, 25% rayon.
Here’s how it looked just off the needles, before I tossed it in the washer and then threw it in the dryer:
Nice. A little floppy feeling. 12 inches wide by 17 inches long, worked exactly the number of repeats the pattern called for. I was satisfied with the blocks but was underwhelmed by Hempathy. It was easy to knit with. But it seemed too loosey goosey. And that reminds me of the unfortunate news that very untidy Canada Geese pairs are, even as I write this, stomping around on the lake ice demanding spring.
Before I frolic off to plan my goose defenses, here’s a look at my Tumbling Blocks after washing and drying.
It bloomed! And the feel of the fabric is wonderful. Not floppy. Not scratchy. The final dimensions of the towel are 11 inches by 15 inches. So washing and drying caused the yarn to pull in 1 inch in width and 2 in length. I knew something would happen. But still this surprised me. Not only did the dimensions change, the block pattern crisped up.
Next up, same pattern different yarn. This is FibraNatura DK Flax. The ball band said “100% linen/flax.” Flax is the name of the plant and linen is the name of the fabric produced by the plant, so says this informative Noble Knits article. As compared to my Hempathy version, this Tumbling Blocks was a disappointment just off the needles.
The pattern was indistinct. The fabric was more floppy and undisciplined as compared to Hempathy. Unwashed and undried the towel was 13 inches by 16 inches.
But check out the “after” photo:
The fabric bloomed in a way that really made the blocks pop. The final dimensions of the towel are 12 inches by 18 inches.
FibraNatura Flax was quite different from working with Hempathy. Even less yielding. A little harder on the hands. As I knit, some fluff was fluffing off and I found myself sneezing sometimes. It had looked pretty sad coming of the washing machine and I was impatient to see what was happening. So I checked on the towel after about 5 minutes of drying. Shed fiber filled the lint collector. I emptied the collector three times before the drying was complete.
I was happy that I thought to wash and dry the towel only with blue jeans. Mark this down as a most prodigious shedder. I’m thinking that will calm down a lot with subsequent washing and drying. I hope so. Otherwise one day I’ll put it in the dryer and it will have disappeared like the Cheshire Cat.
‘All right,’ said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. Alice In Wonderland.