Feathers and fans

Feather and fan patterns. They all look a bit like feathers fanned out. I guess?

This one is Linda Smith’s version, her Feather & Fan Dishcloth. I’ve knit it. Ahem. An embarrassing lot of times. Let’s just leave it at that. This time I knit it in Queensland Collection’s Coastal Cotton. It’s good dishcloth yarn and Smith’s pattern is an excellent one. I followed the pattern exactly, deciding I’d knit 48 rows in F & F, in between the garter stitch caston and bindoff sections.

If you’ve not tried F & F before, it’s extremely easy. This one is a 4-row-pattern requiring a knitter to wake up (a bit) during only 1 row of the 4.

I’d been thinking about knitting a scarf soon after finishing this dishcloth. I had this big hank of Plymouth Yarn’s Mushishi, a worsted weight. I’d bought it in my online search for camo yarn to fill a request from Nate the rural postal carrier for a camo-colored pair of mittens.

In my defense: (1) online shopping for yarn you haven’t seen before can be hit ‘n miss shade-wise, (2) the yarn was seriously discounted, and (3) the name of the colorway is “Evergreen.” Once I received the yarn I decided it hardly looked a bit like camo. And it was too soft and drapey for the mitten pattern I wanted to use. It did, however, take me knitting an entire mitten before concluding that. I was definitely heavily invested in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

I started my search for a new-to-me scarf pattern thinking that would be a good use of my Mushishi. There are so many patterns to choose from that I felt rather befuddled. Then I searched through scarves I’ve already knit successfully. Nothing seemed quite right. Next I remembered the recent pleasure of knitting Linda Smith’s Feather & Fan Dishcloth. Why not?

As Evelyn’s younger version was known to exclaim, “ta da!” I made My F & F Dishcloth Scarf just as wide as the dishcloth, 42 stitches, on US size 7 needles. I used the so-called Chinese Waitress Caston and the result was excellent articulation of the wavy pattern in the caston. I knit for about 64 inches, worked the 3-row garter stitch edging, and then needed to make a decision on what castoff to use. In the dishcloth, I just used my standard “old-school” knit-off-the-needles. I actually don’t even know what that one is called. I castoff loosely, but it didn’t give me quite the waviness I wanted. I used the very stretchy Icelandic bindoff for the scarf. It matched the decorative edge of the Chinese Waitress Caston quite nicely even if it didn’t quite echo the shape of the caston. I still like the look of it though.

The white slubs in Mushishi obscure the F & F pattern quite a bit. The wonderful texture is still there, but the patterning is not as distinct as it would have been in a solid color.

Here’s a closeup that shows off the patterning. It also shows that I wasn’t really hoodwinked by my computer monitor’s color rendering. Evergreen does have a bit of a camo look.

This will keep someone warm and it’s even a tad fashionable. Dishcloth knitting. It will yield a few bonuses if you keep a lookout.

Gray study

Sometimes it’s fun to see what a yarn can do in different patterns. Here’s an experiment in Pebble, a somewhat sophisticated Knit Picks Dishie colorway. The cloth is a Ravelry freebie: Linda Smith’s Feather & Fan cloth. I especially like how the elongated-looking stitches in the feathery part, or maybe it’s the fan part, add a sense of movement to the stitch motif.

This circular cloth is Mielke’s Fiber Arts’ Knitted Round Dishcloth. Forgive the only sewn join in this short row cloth–up there in the top left quadrant. Not sure what happened. To my eye, Pebble looks disorganized in this cloth, but in an interesting organic way.

Here’s Pebble in Cecelia Fameli’s LINES Dishcloth. As the Ravelry pattern page shows, this Dishcloth is a well-behaved cloth when knit in one color. It’s all lines and more lines. But in Pebble it’s lines are obscured by color-pooling. Still, one good cloth.

Here’s a pretty one. It’s Deb Buckingham’s Spring Swatch Cloth later rechristened as the Marbles & Jacks cloth. Personally I do not see marbles or jacks. Not a bit. But I do see shoots of flowers growing from mounds. In this cloth, Pebble really shines. The open lace work creates an interesting effect in the white and shades of gray. And the draping garter stitch works well too.

This next one? This next one is Deb Buckingham’s Bellflower Dishcloth. Bottom line? Try again. Pebble makes it impossible to see what the heck is going on with this cloth. The center section is actually seed stitch, knit one purl one and then, essentially, purl one knit one in the next row. You don’t see it? I don’t either. The variegated yarn totally wierds out the cloth.

I realize that I’m ending this post with a whimper instead of a bang. But here’s another oinker. That is, another aesthetically successful cloth. This is Sammie Carraher’s Reversible Textured Dishcloth.

Not very impressive in Pebble. Check out Carraher’s pattern page and you’ll see that her cloth is quite pleasant to look at in a solid colorway. Not at all barfworthy, as when knit in Pebble.

It’s been a bit of a study in what to knit, and not, in variegated yarn. One good thing about dishcloth knitting is that nothing you knit is or needs to be precious. It’s a lowly dishcloth. Pretty or ugly, it works just the same.

Blue knits

This is Heather Zoppetti’s Mirtillo. I used Anzula Squishy. Squishy is a wonderful fingering weight in 80% merino, 10% cashmere goat, and 10% nylon that’s, well, delightfully squishy. I purchased the kit at a deep discount during a shop closeout. The pattern is a mix of garter stitch, simple mosaic work, with that cute picot edge added at the end.

The kit even included a matching shawl pin.

With any kit, my major concern is whether they’ve included enough yarn of each color to handle minor discrepancies in gauge. Not a problem. There was more than enough yarn in each “skeinette.” The only problem was that the pattern included in the kit was printed at a font-size and color that had me scratching my head. It was printed in gray. And the font size was about 6 point! Even young eyes would have been foiled. We were able to scan the pattern and then enlarge it. Otherwise, Mirtillo would not have been.

Take another look at this pretty.

It’s an itty bitty thing, though. The designer puts the dimensions at 19 inches at the wide point by 49 inches from end to end. I blocked mine as sternly as I felt wise and ended up at 17 inches by 47 inches. Either way, this is a small thing. And although I’m short I am not small. As much as I love the colors and pattern, I haven’t made up my mind yet if this one’s for me. It feels like a neckerchief and I’m not sure that’s a good look for me.

Mirtillo is only partly blue, but this next knit gives a full out blue experience in my version. It’s Assia Brill’s Distitch Edge Scarf. Brill says “distitch” is a new knitting concept.

I was skeptical that there was really anything new in the knitting universe that would edge a garter stitch scarf. But after watching this video, I was convinced Brill’s actually on to something new. Not only is it new, it’s super-easy. Check out this closer look at the result.

I declare it simply beautiful. I knit mine in Aran weight Simplinatural by HiKoo. The edge stitch is apparently just the tip of the iceberg for this new technique. Brill released an entire book devoted to it.

Try it, I predict you’ll like it!

And now, for something quite predictable. Dishcloths!  This one is “Maryanne’s” Modified Feather and Fan cloth, available here:

I never met a feather and fan I didn’t think was very cool. So much bang for the buck. Well, the unbuck, actually, because the pattern is free. My cloth is knit in Knit Picks Dishie Multi.

Here’s another Amy Marie Vold set of slip stitch cloths.

They are Snow Two Alike, worked in Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran. The yarn is fairly new to me. It compares favorably to Drops Paris and is a tad less rustic than Lily’s Sugar ‘n Cream. One of the things I often enjoy about Vold’s cloth is knitting them in sets, reversing the colors. The differences are sometimes striking. And they make a nice set for gifting.

If you’re not a dishcloth fan, and let’s face it knitters fall into two groups in that regard, you’re tuning out by now. People either hate to knit dishcloths, consider them a waste of yarn, and unsanitary to boot. Or they passionately love knitting them, are constantly on the hunt for new patterns, and have a drawer full of them. I am of the latter group.

These three are each knit in Knit Picks Dishie Multie. The top is Jeanne Breckelman’s Easy Columns Washcloth. The one on the bottom right is Linda Smith’s Feather and Fan Dishcloth. And the bottom left is Deb Buckingham’s Marbles & Jacks. The first two are freebies.

Seeing how the variegated performs in different situations is interesting. The columns cloth on steroids would make for a great scarf or wrap. If you haven’t seen the technique before I won’t spill the beans. But the columns are just knits and purls, though you end up with a garter stitch feel to the pattern.

This next DK-weight blue beauty is Lina, by Johanna of Joko Knits. I’ve knit Lina twice before. And I will knit it again. More than 2000 Ravelers have had lively discussions about how this twisted cable NOT brioche pattern works. I knit it, as the pattern is written, except that I needed to work with a cable needle. I’ve written before about how to translate the directions to work with a cable needle. I didn’t invent those directions. They are all over project pages and at my blog entry with my earlier knits. Bottom line? Knitters need to simply trust that the pattern is correct and all will be well.

Some have tried to modify the top. I knit this one just as Johanna directed. I think it works best. It gets a bit disorganized at the very end. But it also retains the loping twisted cables almost to the very end. I’ve never learned brioche knitting. Barking and burping just never proved appetizing even though I’ve drooled over many a brioche design. To me, Lina is brioche-like. Without the extra calories of the original.