More Amy Marie Vold cloths

If you’ve visited here before you probably already know my guilty pleasure: cotton cloths. Especially Amy Marie Vold’s mosaic cloths. I’ve always enjoyed mosaic a/k/a slip stitch work. I enjoy using the cloths. Oh heck, why hide out? Dishcloths. They aren’t just cloths. I don’t use them as facecloths. And calling them spa cloths is just some kind of affectation.

I like to knit dishcloths. Yep, the stuff that lots of knitters see as a total waste of the not-infinite number of lifetime wrist and finger twists we’re entitled to before we end up with carpel tunnel or knitters’ elbow. And some folks in my neck of the woods who don’t have any interest in small accessories like hats (“I don’t wear hats”), scarves (“I just zip up my coat”), mittens (“I only wear gloves”), fingerless mitts (“doesn’t that just mean cold fingers”) or cowls (“what’s a cowl”), give an enthusiastic “yes” to dishcloths.

These worsted weight star cloths are Amy Marie’s “Washing with the Stars” pattern. I very much enjoyed knitting them. I was surprised that DROPS Paris in strong yellow and dusty rose worked well together. They beat a quick retreat from my door during my holiday pick-your-gift-along.

Not long before the holidays I decided to knit a dishtowel to gift a fellow knitter. I’d had my eye on Amy Marie’s DK weight cotton towel Beeline Towel from her Bee Colony ebook for a few months. While on a knitting retreat I picked up some Ella Rae Phoenix DK. Yellow and black yarn would have been a better contrast, but black yarn and I don’t play nice anymore. Even if I work on light-colored needles and under a bright light I still struggle. So, my Beeline is yellow and gray.

Very sweet.

I’d not worked with Phoenix DK before. It’s probably not going to be a favorite yarn. It’s got a bit of shine to it that I’m not thrilled with. I washed and dried the cloth before gifting it because I didn’t want to give my friend a towel that couldn’t hold up to the washer and the dryer. It developed a few ruffles on the cast on and bind off edge but otherwise did remarkably well.

I had enough yarn left lover to knit up another of Amy Marie’s DK weight cloths: “The Dishscraper That Never Sleeps.”

The city at night is great fun to knit. And you can reverse the colors and knit the daytime city. As you can see, my gray cotton definitely has a bluish tinge to it–though not so much as the night sky pictured here seems to show.

This next set is the Shore Lunch Cloth, knit here in Lily Sugar ‘n Cream worsted:

Shore Lunch is a big fav. I think it’s something about knitting those bones. Plus I do have some fisherpeople in my clan.

This next pair is from Amy Marie’s Balloon Rides pattern. The pattern allows you to pick one of six motifs to knit in the mid-section of the balloon. My set is knit in the dishcloth workhorse, Lily Sugar ‘n Cream. A fried with red countertops in her kitchen was very pleased to receive these.

I usually follow Amy Marie’s directions to use the so-called “Chinese Waitress” cast-on, so named by Cap Sease (author of Cast-On, Bind-Off) who learned it from a friend who learned it from a Chinese waitress. Here’s a link to Cap demonstrating it, in case you haven’t seen that cast-on. It makes for an interesting crochet-like chain start. Until you get the hang of it it’s a bit fiddly. And the perfect match as you end is the double-chain bind-off that Ann Kingstone demonstrates here.

That’s something else about knitting dishcloths. With such a small investment of time and materials, a knitter can try out new techniques with very little risk to purse or ego.

I should have re-watched Cap’s cast-on video before I started these next dishcloths. They are Amy Marie’s Chameleon Snowflake Poinsettia cloths. Chinese Waitress cast-on? My head and my hands know that one. No problem. Hmmm. I should have heeded Han Solo’s “Don’t get cocky, kid” admonition. I knit the cast-on wrong and somehow managed a sort of double-wide version. The cloths were still very festive though. I always keep the mistake-afflicted ones. Don’t feel sorry for me. I also have quite the collection of no-mistake cloths.

Amy Marie invigorates the humble dishcloth

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This is Pig Pen’s Kitchen and Spa Cloth, by Amy Marie of Minnesota (CornucopiAmy on Ravelry). What fun! Garter stitch mosaic a/k/a slip stitch technique. Change color every two rows. The pattern is formed entirely of slipped stitches–no stranding required.

Amy Marie holds a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry and has researched gallium arsenide semiconductor devices. I had no idea what that is so I looked it up on Wikipedia. Gallium arsenide. It’s a compound of gallium and arsenide. Hmm. It’s often used as a substrate material for the epitaxial growth of other III-V semiconductors. Oh. Well. Enough of that. It must have something to do with seeing stuff that isn’t really there because that’s a bit like planning out mosaic stitch motifs.

Here’s me playing a bit and adding some sky to my piggy’s world.

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What a hoot! Is that a good transition?

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This is Amy Marie’s Who Owl Help Cook and Clean dishcloth pattern. I made one, in the same lowly Lily Sugar ‘n Cream that most knitters seem to use for dishcloths. Then, I quickly had to make another. It was that much fun!

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There is really only one thing to remember in garter stitch mosaic. On the public side, you just slip the stiches. Two things–it’s best to slip the stitches purl wise, to avoid twisting them. Oh, three things. On the non-public side, when you come to a stitch that you slipped on the public side, you need to move the yarn to the front of your work (as it faces you), so that your teeny strands between stitches will all collect on the non-public side. It’s totally easy. After the first few rows under your belt the knitting flows easily. It’s a lot of fun to see the pattern emerge.

Amy Marie makes it easy because every one of these patterns is completely error free. And the directions are both charted and line-by-line. So, knitters’ choice on which suits you best.

This next one, Lattice have Pie is a towel rather than a dishcloth. I will probably use mine as a hot pad. I gave this first one to a gifted hostess and it looked sweet among the yummy offerings on her brunch table. I decided to use a more refined cotton: Premier Yarn’s Isaac Mizrahi Craft Brookyn Solids.

pie

The pattern motifs can be knit in any order you like. Heck, once you’re on a roll, you could knit a table runner of these if you wanted to. My gauge was off because this yarn isn’t as beefy as Sugar ‘n Cream and my towel turned out to be 11 inches by 17 inches.

For the first time I tried the so-called “Chinese Waitress Cast-on.” I used it for my Lattice Have Pies and the piggy cloths. This cast-on seems to have first been featured in “211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting,” written by Cap Sease and released in 2014. The story goes that she learned it from a friend who learned it from a Chinese waitress in Beijing. You can see the cast-on more clearly in the version of Lattice Have Pie that I knit in Sugar ‘n Cream.

pie2It is a short-tail cast-on that creates a knitted-on row with a uniform row of nicely behaved stitches. Compare the piggy cloth with the owl cloth (which I knitted with a long-tail cast-on) to see the difference. I’d like to find a Chinese Waitress Cast-off so that the beginning and end of the cloth would match more closely, but that’s so obsessive of me I can barely stand myself for mentioning it. It’s a cool cast-on to add to your repertoire.

Here’s another look at my full moon/no moon set of owls.

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