Learning to knit

13 August 2008

My knitting stash and knitting needles.

One of the lovely things about first coming to your simple life is that you make your day-to-day living interesting by doing chores differently or mindfully, you change the way you look at yourself and your home and you start to learn a number of skills that some might think of as "old-fashioned". Pfffffffffft The reason you learn these skills is that you will stop buying a variety of things just because they're cheap and easy, and start to move closer to sustainability.

How easy is it to buy a pack of Chux, sponges or some other cleaning cloth. When they're dirty, you throw them "away", although by now we all know that "away" actually means moving your rubbish to a larger rubbish pile that sits for years before (if) it decomposes. Apart from the economics of buying those cleaning wipes (I just checked online and a pack of Chux now costs $3.49 = over $40 a year), they are made, packaged and delivered to your supermarket using oil. Enter the homemade dishcloth.

The pile of dishcloths I'm adding to each week.

She is a simple girl, made of pure cotton, quite easy to knit or crochet and will last many washes. I have homemade dishcloths here that are in their third or fourth year and are still as good as the day they were made. They're efficient, absorbent, hygienic and lovely to use - a constant reminder as you wipe your benches that you are now living a simple life.

If you don't know how to knit or crochet, this is one of those skills I was talking about. Knitting used to be taught to small children by their mothers and grandmas, and it is simple enough in the early stages to teach yourself. Patons has a good guide to knitting, there is a learn to knit video here, Lions knitting guide is here and there is a guide to knitting pattern abbreviations here. There is a very good video on learning to knit here. Or you may have a friend or mum who can teach you.

The dishcloth I knit most is Debbie's (Homespun Living) waffle weave pattern. You can find the pattern here. It is just plain and purl, so teach yourself to cast on, then a plain stitch, then a purl stitch and you're on your way. For Debbie's dishcloth you will need to cast on 38 stitches. But you don't have to do Debbie's pattern, you can easily do a border of six stitches with 30 purl, plain or a mixture of both as the body of your cloth. You decide what is easiest for you and go for it.

You will need a pair of knitting needles, about size 5 or 6. I like to knit with aluminium needles because the stitches slip easily off the needle. I have a few sets of the English Queen Bee needles and find them to be very good and easy to use.

Find some 100% cotton yarn that is about 4, 6 or 8 ply. I love using Lions yarn. It comes in a large variety of colours and it knits well. I have been lucky enough to have dishcloths sent to me from America, made with Peaches and Cream yarn. That also makes a perfectly lovely dishcloth - you can buy it on eBay if your local store doesn't stock it. For those of you in Australia, Spotlight usually have Lion cotton. I think our English and European ladies will have access to both Peaches and Cream and Lion cotton.

When you have your needles and cotton, all you need is a comfy spot. If you're like me, you'll find knitting to be a bit like meditating - it's relaxing and allows you to think or talk while you work. One of the many reasons I love knitting is that it allows me to be productive while resting. It is truly a gentle art.

Knitting dishcloths is a wonderful way to learn how to knit, to develop your technique and knit faster. Once you've done a few dishcloths, you will probably feel confident enough to go on to scarves, socks, mittens, hats and maybe even jumpers (sweaters) and cardigans.

This is another gift my sister Tricia gave me on my 60th birthday. It's a 1940s sewing basket which now sits beside 'my' chair in the lounge room and holds my current projects.

When you first start knitting you'll probably be all fingers and thumbs and feel awkward. You'll drop stitches, and needles, but it's just a matter of persevering and doing it. You CAN do this, it just requires of you to slow down enough to concentrate, look at the instructions and give yourself time to practice. As you go through the instructions and build up your rows, you'll see your dishcloth materialise from that long piece of cotton. Once you get the hang of it, you'll knit a dishcloth in a couple of hours - but be patient, when you start, you'll take a few days to do your first.

Take your own sweet time to do it. You are learning a skill that will stand you in good stead all the days of your life. If you enjoy knitting, it is something you will still be capable of doing when you're 90 years old. I have written here about how knitting and sewing fits into my life. I see knitting and sewing as being part of my housework instead of a craft that I need to make time for. I knit and sew because it gives me some of the things I need in my home, not because it is enjoyable, even though it is.

Here are two projects I'm working on now - both are experiments. The large brown one is a strange scarf I have in mind, made in two pieces. I'm using Lions organic cotton which is soft and woolly and feels lovely next to my skin. The red - actually it's burnt orange that looks red in the flash light - is a dishcloth done on smaller needles. It's taking too long and I won't use smaller needles on a dishcloth again.

If you don't knit now, I hope you take the opportunity to learn. It is a valuable part of a simple home and a will enable you to make useful items and clothing for your home and family. And don't worry about the awkwardness of beginning, we all have that and it passes in a flash. If you have problems when you start, just make a comment and I'm sure one of our generous and kind ladies will help out. I wonder if there are some ladies who are willing to mentor the younger and more inexperienced girls in email. If you have some time, and the experience to help someone knit, let me know in the comments and we might be able to pair up mentors with new knitters. Sharon, I'll email you soon but is this something you could organise if we get a few people? What would I do without you, Sharon. =:- ()

Dave, Abby and Kate, I'll get to your email on the weekend.


  1. Yes, I too find knitting to be very useful. I thank you for the link to the wonderful dishcloth pattern. Must make a few2 for myself. I just need to buy cotton yarn. I have a good stash of wool yarn, but for some reason I've never bought cotton.

  2. I know the basics of both chochetting and knitting. I recently crocheted my first few washclothes, they turned out very nice. Now I guess I will give it a whirl with knitting. I can't wait to get home and start!!!

  3. This is one of those things that after reading about it you think "damn, why didn't I think of that!" I'm excited now to go find some cotton and try my hand at this!

    Thank you!

  4. I learned knitting when I was a 4 year old girl. I have an awful lot of yarn laying around my place waiting for a better purpose than catching dust.
    Thanks for opening my eyes. Next on my creative to-do-list is knitting discloths.

  5. I have recently learnt to knit, I absolutely love it. I am currently knitting lots of 6" square peices in different shades of blue, which I am going to sew all together to make a patchwork blanket for me sons to wrap up in when he comes down in the morning and the house is chilly. I also plan to do a pink one for my daughter.
    I was quite sad to see my local wool shop close down, typically just as I get into knitting. I went in there to buy some wool and they said they were closing as they just did'nt have any customers. Which I found really sad.
    I really want to knit some wash cloths as well, but have to finish knitting my childrens blankets first. Think I need to knit quicker :-)

  6. I have some cotton yarn, but can't for the life of me knit, so I should look over those links and have another stab at it.........

    Gill from Canada

  7. My Grandmother taught me to knit when I was 7 or 8 years old. I wouldn't say I was a natural so I have to really concentrate and sometimes check things in my Readers Digest Needlework Guide. It's enabled me to make some lovely items for the children but I've yet to take on anything bigger. The best thing though is that it always reminds me of my lovely Grandmother.

  8. I taught myself how to knit when I was 23, and have been making mittens and cozies for the last 4 years. I taught myself how to crochet a couple of years ago too. The thing to remember with knitting and crochet is that it's like learning to play the piano or ride a bicycle - it's all about muscle memory. So you have to do it over and over and over again so that you know how to do it instinctively. This takes patience and perserverance, and "practicing" (pretty much) every day until you get that feeling like you don't need to watch your hands anymore. The great thing about "practicing" with knitting is that you have something tangible and useful at the end!

  9. Ooh, love the melon colored yarn

  10. I'd be happy to be a mentor to anyone who needs help. I've been knitting for 20 something years now.

    I also have a fairly simple dishcloth pattern on my blog. I've been hooked on knitting them for the last year. This year I have enough to pass along to friends and family for Christmas gifts.


  11. Rhonda Jean, I'd be happy to help someone with knitting. I really can't think of how this would be done from afar but I'd love to give it a whirl. Hook me up with some poor soul!

  12. Hi Rhonda. I'm more than happy to mentor a knitter or three, I have 47 years experience. Sewing would be another matter entirely. :)

    Lovely post.

  13. I learned to knit just last year. I am still working on a scarf and a dish cloth.

    Thank you for your thought.

  14. Ilove those sort of dishcloths..My granny has those.
    I can't knit though,I use my older facewashers as cloths and just put them through the wash when grubby!

  15. I was taught to crochet at nine years old... but outside of the art college I went to, I rarely meet people my own age (25) who can crochet or knit. I think it's a shame.
    I taught myself how to knit in college but still crochet most of the time.
    On a side note, I taught myself to sew in high school.
    I love the satisfaction of surrounding myself and furnishing our home with things that have been made with my own hands. :-)

  16. What great timing! Only yesterday I told my husband how I wanted to learn to knit.

  17. A few months ago, I finally taught myself how to crochet. I'm still working on learning knitting. But I'm determined. I saw a pattern for a cable knit dress that I really want to do. That might be a few years. My skills have a long way to go for that. ;) Thanks for the article, I was just thinking that I needed to finish a couple of dish cloths that I had forgotten.

  18. Of course I will organize this for you Rhonda. I will post some knitting lnks and help this week-end and will keep a list of mentors and learners- no worries at all!! Hugs to all!!

  19. I was taught to knit by my grandmother and mother, and I've just taught my 6 year old daughter to knit as well. She looks so cute sitting up in bed at night with her needles and pink wool. She loves it! I also just taught my English neighbour how to knit as her daughter was asking for 'nappies' for her doll. I used to be a 'closet' knitter when I was in my trendy, shop-crazy consumerism phase of life, but now I'm revelling in my knitting and I'm finding more and more women are interested in it.
    I don't mind helping someone out if you need an extra 'mentor'.
    This post was perfect timing for me. I'm planning to go to Spotlight tomorrow to get some cotton to try out the dishcloths.
    Rachel from NZ

  20. I really must give knitting a go, my mum taught me many moons ago but I am all fingers and thumbs. In fact my mum says I knit back to front! I love the idea of knitting dish cloths, I am sure I would take forever though. I am taking the girls for a week of holidays at my mum's so that may be a perfect opportunity to revisit and start knitting dish cloths.

  21. Rhonda, I have my Mother in-law living with me for a while and I have had her teaching me to knit.But after reading your blog I realize I have been using the wrong size needles, I've been using a size 10. No wonder the darn dishclothes are taking so long. I have to go to town today so I'm going to buy the right ones.
    Thanks for the timly post....

  22. I may get around to crocheting some clothes one day but in the meantime I use reasonable quality facewashers - green for the kitchen and blue for the laundry. They cost as much oil to ship as the wool would and they last for years too. I just stick them in the machine with the towels. Cherrie

  23. Thanks so much for the knitting help links. I have tried and tried over the past 20 years to learn to knit and just can never get it. Recently I've been trying again so I can knit dish clothes--and it just isn't happening. So I decided to crochet them and am having a blast. Spending the evenings with the yarn in my hands has been so relaxing.

    Because of your post I'm off to give knitting another try. Thanks so much.

  24. I was taught to knit as a child by my Grandmother & then stopped for many years. I took it up again a few years ago & am really enjoying it. I make dishcloths, prayer shawls, hats, scarves, sweaters and socks. No intricate patterns though. I wouldn't mind helping someone - from this distance it may be more encouragement than anything else though!

  25. I'm checking in now. I have been reading your blog for about 2 months now. It has really confirmed how I feel about getting back to the simple things in life. I'm 33 my husband 34 and we are doing our best to live in this manner. I have started making bread again, and we made soap for the first time 2 weeks ago!
    My question is, we want a few chickens in our backyard, once it is legalized in our U.S. city (hopefully by spring) - But who cares for your critters while you and Hanno go away from home? I take my dogs to the kennel, but I don't think they will accept chickens! HA! Hugs to you! thanks for the great blog!!!

  26. I love knitting!
    If anyone lives near a knitting shop, and they are all over in the US, you can go in for cheap lessons and help from more experienced knitters. Even the local craft stores near me offer beginning knitting lessons.

  27. I'm so glad that I learnt to knit from my grandmother. She didn't teach me, I just sat opposite her and watched and learnt. Consequently, I learnt to knit 'backwards' and although I am right-handed, I knit left-handed.

    My 10 year old daughter can knit but prefers crochet because it is easier for her.

    The knitted dishcloths are wonderful. At first my husband wasn't convinced but he has seen that they are better than sponges and they really are a reminder of simple things in such a simple and unobtrusive way.

  28. I love knitting for the same reasons as you Rhonda. I'm not very good at doing 'nothing' - I very rarely turn the TV on for example. But when I do feel the need or just find the time to sit down, I like to feel that I'm also doing something productive. I love the fact that I can watch TV at the same time or talk to a visitor while drinking tea etc. When knitting simple dishcloths it is easy to divert some of your attention to other things while being productive.

    My mother taught me to cast on and the knit stitch when I was a little girl and she was knitting up a storm for her third baby. It was lost to sewing however for many years until I moved to Australia and was inspired by watching my mother-in-law knitting. I bought a fabulous Debbie Bliss book (Learn To Knit) and haven't looked back. I mostly limit myself to free patterns online as, like sewing, it can be quite uneconomical to buy materials AND patterns. Often the patterns cost as much as the jumper would if it was made of acrylic and bought from K Mart. Not nearly as much pleasure, granted, but I can't comprehend spending $100 on a knitted jumper either.

    Have you seen the cotton/bamboo blends in Spotlight now? I have some of those. They're 8 ply and look like crocheter's cotton balls. There is soy and corn too but they need more delicate washing than dishcloths should get so I've stuck with plain cotton and cotton/bamboo (also super-absorbent and tough). I actually prefer to knit dishcloths on smaller needles as it eliminates a lot of the ugly stretch that you can get with too much garter stitch. It is rather time-consuming though, and tough on your fingers.

  29. I learned to crochet a few winters ago, but I've been wanting to learn to knit. My next crochet project will be dishclothes, as soon as I can find some great cotton yarn. Someday when I have more time I'll pick up knitting :)

  30. I've learned how to knit and only knit dishcloths. :-) Maybe when the kids have married and left the house, I'll move on to other things. I've found the dishcloths to be a fun gifts for neighbors. I knitted over 20 last year in preparation for Christmas gifts to the neighbors. They loved them. My husband wrote a poem to go with them:

  31. Rhonda, I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and find it very informative and interesting!

    My partner and I are in our mid twenties and live in Australia. We have two babies under three. We try to live as simply as we can.

    My SIL taught me to knit 18 months ago, and I throughly enjoy it. I have found Ravelry an invaluable resouce for patterns and help from others.

    Knitting and crocheting are my down time, I also use it as a way to be thoughtful and practical for gifts. I dont like buying people junk. Knitted dish cloths are always an excellent present. Also, string bags for shopping and the markets.

    THanks for the wonderful blog.

  32. Hi Rhonda,
    I'd be happy to help anyone learning to knit, I've been knitting forever , its very relaxing! Dishclothes are a great way to learn, it doesnt matter if the pattern doesnt come out right, the dishclothe will still "work", and its a skill that improves through use.
    Pauline in Scotland :-)

  33. *sigh*

    My grandmother, has tried to teach me to knit, many times. I can cast on still, and do a regular stitch, and can probably cast off if I refresh my memory. The problem comes when I try to purl. I just don't get this. At all.
    My gran, my great aunts, my aunts, my mother - all wonderful knitters. Indeed, my great aunt Ada, used to make the most beautiful cable knit jumpers (something I aspire to - I love cable knit)
    I shall purchase some needles from the charity shop (they always have them in) and have yet another go at this. I suspect I may give up, too easily.
    Currently, I don't use disposable cloths. I have over the years, built up a supply of bought dishcloths, microfibre cloths, muslins, cut up old towels, and all of these get washed at the end of a days usage.
    Can I ask Rhonda, do you colour code your cloths?
    I have some blue microfibre that gets used, specifically for cleaning the bathroom, and nothing else.

  34. I love crocheting.. although I haven't tried making many practical things yet - but will try the dishcloths one day soon. I keep seeing patterns for them.. I'm more into frivolous adventures in crocheting, to try an develop my skills and preparation for when i too get to live the good life out of the city!

  35. Great post and very encouraging, Rhonda. I was taught to knit and crochet when I was about 7 or 8, we got lessons in school from a wonderful older lady who knew everything about needlework, knitting, crochet. We made lots of things and she taught us all the basics. I still crochet a lot, am fairly good at it. Knitting, I know how to make squares. :-) Anything more difficult, like an actual shape, and I go wrong. Perhaps because I don't like counting when I knit? I'm not sure I need guidance. Just more practice, I guess. Perhaps doing a few dishcloths will get me inspired again. Thanks!

    Christine from the NL

  36. My nan taught me to knit when I was little, but didn't bother with it through my teens and twenties. Now I've been inspired to try again when I read your last post about knitted dishcloths, and I'm working on my second now. The first one was so good, even dear hubby commented how nice it was to use!

    However, I'm useless at crochet - I've never tried. But I'd love to learn, so if anybody can take me under their wing I'd be grateful. Would help if that person could also teach me to read a knitting pattern as I just make it up at the moment! I can knit and purl, but that's as challenging as I get :-)

  37. I've been looking for bamboo yarn recently as cotton isn't that great for the environment (or rather, growing cotton isn't). Unfortunately it isn't that easy to come by :(

  38. I again thought of you and your family's loss of Rosie when one of my great friends informed me she had to have her golden retriever, Rusty put to sleep on Monday.

    Thanks for the inspiration on knitting. I found someone at work ~2 years ago who taught 3 of us how to knit. We started with dishclothes. Unfortunately we would only have a chunk of 10 minutes of her time about once a week. She told me that I knitted backwards but it was good. I was looking at my knitting last weekend as I was cleaning the pantry and thought I want to get back to it.

    I found knitting relaxing except for the counting. I work with numbers all day at my job and didn't like to count on my time at home. I guess if I'm only knitting dishcloths, then who cares if they're not perfectly straight :)

    I would love to have a mentor for things like knitting, crocheting, sewing, canning etc. I live in Michigan.

    BTW-I found on tipnut.com, they have homemade laundry soap recipes. They address the issues of the various types of soaps as here in the States I've been unable to locate the Lux flakes.

  39. Thank you for this one, I've been looking for a decent dishcloth pattern, one that didn't vex me but wasn't a snore either. Looking forward to trying it out.

  40. Yes! I teach knitting and would be happy to help. I love to knit and to share my passion with others.

  41. Rhonda, I'm catching up on reading after a few days away. I have some yarn on hand leftover from various projects that really should be made into dish clothes. Thanks for the reminder.

    I just read about Rosie passing. I'm sorry for your loss. My own Maudie is 13, old for her breed, and the poem you shared made me think of her, running ahead on the trail ears flying back in the wind. Tears coursed down my face as I read the poem, knowing that soon I will only have the memory of that sight. I need to squeeze a lot more walks with my old girl into my days. So, again, thanks for the reminder.

    I hope the right little dog comes into your life to help ease your loss. Rosie seems like a sweet girl from her photos, and your stories of her.

  42. many thanks for the great links,I will come back to that post again for reference as I need to get needles and wool on my trip to town next month. I can just about cast on,off and knit straight rows in between so hopefully I'll manage these ok. I haven't attempted knitting for over 20 years though. I'm just wondering how much wool you need for each cloth?


  43. Hi Rhonda, as I read your post I had to look over at my dishcloth hanging on the side of my dish pan. Mine is not knitted,but crocheted from the pattern on the peaches and cream label. I would love to knit and tried to teach myself,but as yet I haven't learned the skill. I am not giving up though...your dishcloths are very lovely. Thanks for sharing this very interesting post.


  44. Rhonda,

    I used to knit years ago when my chidlren were small, but have not done so for some years now. I was in town the other day and saw some wool in a shop, oh boy did my fingers start to itch.....I no longer have any patterns or needles, I will have to have a scout around the second had shops and see if I can pick up some needles.

    I used to have a stack of patterns, I think I have a few in the very bottom of a box, I will have to look them out.

    When my children were little I used to knit all their jumpers and baby jackets etc...... Babies do not seem to wear hand knitted stuff these days.

    I well remember knitting a baby shawl for my eldest daughter, she is 48 now and still has it, wrapped round a doll she had when her sister was born. It was in 2 ply shetland wool in 13 needles, very fine, took me ages........

  45. It's good to know there are a lot of knitters out there.

    Thank you to everyone who has offered to mentor beginner knitters. Sharon will organise that. If you would like aan experienced knitting buddy, make a comment and Sharon will hook you up.

    Deborah, I have knitted a few cloths with the cotton/bamboo blends and although they knit well, they aren't as absorbant as the pure cotton. They make a better facecloth than dishcloth.

    Hawthorn, yes I do colour code my cloths.

    Lisa, you don't have to use LUX, you can grate up a normal bar of soap and use that.

    CB, I generally get one cloth from one ball of cotton. From the larger Lions cotton balls, I get threee cloths.

  46. Thanks for this Rhonda, it's great!
    i know the basics of knitting but would still be classed as a newie because I am really slow with each stitch and still hold my needles awkwardly. Am getting more confident though.
    I bough sock wool and sock needles to try and make socks a couple of months back; it was sure awkward trying to juggle the four needles so it has been collecting dust. I will get some needles and wool in town this weekend and try dishcloths. Something smaller and great to practice on while developing this skill.

    a question about your laundry powder. I have read in older posts that the powder and liquid you make you use in your top load washing machine; does one work better than the other or is it just what you have handy at the time to wash?

    Bec xxx

  47. I'm glad you like the pattern Rhonda, and thank you for passing it on to your readers. I always seem to have a dishcloth in progress, the perfect thing to relax with in the evening or easily picked up at odd moments during the day. I have a ball of the aqua-colored Lion brand yarn that I can't wait to try. Your cloths look beautiful!

  48. Hi Rhonda,
    I have a post on my blog from last year with my pattern for dishcloths. It's really easy, takes 1/2 of a 50 gram ball of cotton. I make them on 10 (US) needles. Here's the link if anyone is interested:

    I'm behind in reading my favorite blogs, so I'm just now hearing about Rosie's passing. I know you miss her. I hope you find comfort in the fact that she was loved and well cared for by you and Hanno and that she knew she was loved.

    A group of ladies from my church have just started a knitting group that we've expanded to involve anyone who has a craft project that they would like to bring over to the meeting and work on. We have several of the younger women who wanted to learn to knit, so the group came into being. And we had our first casualty. One of the young women, who had just learned how to cast on and knit had 4 rows of knitting on her needles f㓎or her scarf. Her dear 3 year old unraveled it ALL on her. (Yes, he's still alive, with all his limbs and no black and blue marks. I'm sure though, she was ready to cry.) lol

  49. Hello Rhonda,

    I read your peice on knitting with interest (as with all your other posts) and thought I would give knitting dishcloths a go. Unfortunately I can't knit, my Mother tried when I was young, she's right handed and I'm left handed so things didn't go all that well, she gave up in the end (wise woman). So, if anyone is willing to help a slow learner who is very awkward, clumsy and left handed I'm your girl : )

    Thank you Rhonda for giving me a little 'nudge' in a new direction.

  50. I'm learning to knit right now. At the moment I can only do a basic stitch, but I believe it will serve me well. I'm making lots of squares. I haven't decided what to do with them, but my knitter friend tells me one can do a lot with knitted squares. I can already sew, and I guess I'm on my way to some fun handmade things :).

  51. I LOVE your blog. I am looking for ways to save money so I can come home to live. I work now and would love to be home fulltime. We have two children left at home - our oldest has moved on... I am going to make the laundry soap this next week, I've made soap before (people soap) and look forward to doing it again. I make our bread already. We are setting up an aquaponics system as we speak. I look forward to time at home as much as possible as soon as possible. Your blog is an inspiration to me... thank you , thank you, thank you - - - I've passed it on to my sister - she LOVES it too!! Said it is right down her alley!!

  52. Hi

    I have recently reminded myself of how to knit - I don't remember who taught me originally. My first project was a big knitting bag, in super-chunky purple wool on enormous needles (so it only took 3 evenings to knit). I've lined it with lime green cotton, including a couple of pockets, all hand stitched. I didn't use a pattern - just knitted a big rectangle and stitched it up, small strips for the handles etc.

    This sounds like a boast, but I have to tell someone because I am so proud of it!

    I live in the UK but can't find an online supplier of the coloured Lion cotton that you use - can anyone help?


  53. HI Sarah, check these out:




    Good luck.

  54. That waffle dishcloth pattern of Debbie's at Homespun Living is my favorite one to knit.

    I taught myself to knit a few years ago using free online videos. There are even more available now than there was when I learned, with all the youtube videos added to the mix.

  55. I absolutely love your blog. I have been here reading for over an hour now and feel so welcomed!!!! I have been using my own dish and laundry detergent for a while now and have just about finished all my commercial cleaners and will be making my own this week. I can't wait to try your soap recipe. Oh wanted to tell you that Debbie from Homespun Living's Waffle Pattern is also my favorite. I actually just posted another cloth today on my blog. What a coincidence.


  56. Thanks for the dishcloth inspiration. Until i read your blog, I had always tended to reserve my craft talents for making presents for people. Now the idea that I could make beautiful functional things for my own home is very exciting.

    I found some cotton yarn on ebay a few days ago and last night began my first dishcloth. It knits up very quickly and I love the texture of it. I think I'll practice my crochet for the next one.

  57. I am slowly working my way through all the treasures, that are your posts, Your blog is a delight to read. I have even recently started making squares for a blanket.. I do wonder though, the needle sizes you use, are they American or Australian?

  58. Thank you so much for the encouragement in this post, Rhonda. I was feeling down all day until I read this and saw you reaffirming this skill. I've just taught myself to knit this past week, and was excited about the possibilities (such as joining the prayer shawl group at church), but this morning my husband got snippy with me because I was sitting on the couch knitting a few rows while waking up, then stayed there because we got to talking...well, apparently the laundry he was doing was "REAL" housework, and I was "just knitting." Just knitting, lazing about, wasting time, playing, entertaining myself when there were REAL tasks to be done (nevermind the 11-hour work shift I had coming later). He claims sustainability and self-sufficiency are good things that he wants us to work toward, but he sure doesn't get the value of a homemaker. To him my salary at the job he won't let me quit is much more valuable. This makes me sad, but I am doing what I can when I can in little bitty babysteps, mostly learned from your blog! :-) I'm excited about the possibilities opening up and all the encouragement I find here even for us domestically-challenged newbies!



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