Twirling yarn around knitting needles

20 November 2008

I'm becoming a tiny bit obsessed with knitting. Well, okay, maybe more than a tiny bit, I'm thinking about knitting at least a few times an hour. It's such a wonderful way to relax and yet be productive at the same time. I feel knitting goes hand in hand with my simple life and so, here is yet another knitting post. LOL!!

I am by no means a competent knitter. Oh, I get by, but I'm working every day to improve my skills and every new project I start now pushes me just that little bit further. For those of you who don't knit, knitting is just twirling yarn around knitting needles. What you knit depends on how you twirl and how much you twirl. About 90% of knitting is just a combination of two stitches - plain and purl, but you also need to know how to cast on and off. Knowing those four stitches will make you anything from a dishcloth to a jumper (sweater). It's not easy, but it's not difficult either. It just takes time to practise your stitches and tension so that what you produce looks neat. Knitting dishcloths is the perfect way to learn to knit. You can instantly see what each stitch produces and in the end, whether you did a great job or not, you've got a dishcloth you can use for many months in the kitchen.

(BTW, to Ramona in Sweden, did you use 100% cotton in your dishcloth? You may be able to make your cotton more absorbent by either boiling it in a saucepan of water for five minutes or soaking it in a bucket of water to which you've added a table spoon of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). You can generally buy that at the pharmacy but we also have it in supermarkets here.)

The red fingerless mittens above are the ones I made for my sister, Tricia. They are the same as the mittens I knitted from Heather's pattern at the Co-op, with the addition of ribbed edges. Again the ribbed edges were just another combination of plain and purl. I really like these mittens and have started knitting another pair using a machine washable pure wool 5 ply by Cleckheaton. This is a thinner and lighter wool, perfect for where my sister Kathleen lives, but they will take a little longer to knit.

These mittens take less than a ball of wool to knit up and will take an average knitter about two days of on and off knitting to complete. If anyone would like the pattern, let me know and I'll post it later.

I recently bought some linen and cotton blend yarn called Linen Mode by Moda. I love how it knitted up but it's composed of tiny threads that tend to fall apart when you're knitting and I had to look at my knitting while I was doing it. I don't like doing that. I like to socialise while I knit, or at least look around. Here below is the dishcloth I knitted with the linen yarn. I haven't finished off the edges yet - I had to go on to another project immediately. I told you I was obsessed. :- )

Here are some really lovely links to knitting sites or to articles about knitting. I'm adding The Thrifty Knitter to my side bar too. I hope my northern hemisphere friends have a wonderful winter of knitting by the fire and for those of you not yet bitten by the knitting bug, I hope some of this will inspire you to take up the needles.

My Learning to Knit post - it has a link to my favourite waffle weave dishcloth pattern.
A wonderful knitting blog - The Thrifty Knitter.
The Daily Green is having an alternative knitting fibres book giveaway for residents of USA and Canada here.
New York Times article about knitting and Lions first retail store after 130 years as a wholesaler.
In Australia - Bengido Woollen Mills, who sell beautiful yarns online.
UK - Laughing Hens.
Ravelry - a wonderful knitting community.
Knitty - a free online knitting magazine.
Posh Yarns free pattern for socks and a lovely shawl.
Free pattern for a stash shawl
Free dishcloth patterns.
Knitting abbreviations. Don't be put off by these. They'll make sense to you after you've been knitting for a while.
Knit for charities in Australia.
Check out Kim's knit along mittens blog. There are some lovely mits there.

I want to add a word about awards. I've been lucky enough to receive many awards while I've been blogging. I appreciate very much the thought and friendship these awards represent but I can no longer accept any new awards. So to Rhonda at Ravelly1 and Bevb who gave me an award recently, I sincerely thank you but please give the award to another blogger. I don't have enough time now to check out other blogs on a regular basis and I don't have enough time to pass the awards on.

I have written about this in the past but obviously not everyone reads every post. I might put a note in the side bar but if you have any ideas on how to let people know I don't accept awards, I appreciate hearing them.


  1. I love the mitts, and I'd appreciate your pattern being posted. :-)

    I know what you mean about the awards. I have a humble little blog with a smattering of daily comments, and yet, I still find I don't really have the time to 'do' awards. I do good just getting a few posts out each week. I look forward to suggestions from your other readers of how to handle saying no gracefully in a permanent manner. :-)

  2. Hi Rhonda...know what you mean about the knitting obsession...what a great activity.

    I'm reduced right now just to fondling my stash,knitting in my head and reading about others' knitting fun since I broke my arm a few weeks ago. I'm quietly going crazy without my regular knitting fix.

    Hope you don't mind, but I've included a link to an Aussie knitting for charity group, might be interesting for your readers. The group started with 4 members and has around 500 now..or maybe more. Some thousands of items are donated each year by members. As well as joining in to knit for a charity of the month, knitters can choose to support a local charit to save on postage. There's also a lot of sharing of patterns and knowledge, knit and crochet-alongs to join in, a weekly prize draw, in short, a very supportive and fun community of knitters.

    Go here charities/ for the whole story.


  3. Well, Rhonda, I'm hooked, and I have you to thank for that! I started off with dishcloths earlier this year, and it was a great learning curve, with something you could actually use, whether the knitting was perfect or not - it didn't matter. And so I've moved on and am now mastering dpns and knitting in the round, all very simple stuff.
    Thank you for inspiring me!
    Diana x

  4. Hello Renna dear. I'll post the pattern tomorrow.

    Oh no Nanette! A broken wing. I hope you get back to your knitting soon. Take care, love. I'm adding your charity link to the post where more people will see it.

    Diana, I'm pleased to know I started you on this plain and purl road. Enjoy your knitting!

  5. I don't knit. I might eventually learn. But I do crochet and I love it. I am very creative anyway, but crochet is just so much fun. I love to make things and then we either use them or I give to someone else who will use them. It's very restful and whenever we take a trip, my crochet stuff is generally the first thing on my list to pack. I enjoy working on it when I'm riding in the car. I am in the process of making a scarf for someone and I have not had time at all this week to work on it, which is driving my crazy. I need my crochet! It's wonderful therapy and a lot of fun. I would think that knitting would be the same enjoyable activity.

  6. I'm almost finished with a pair of fingerless mittens. I love them. My DD loves to wear them when she's typing because her hands get so cold. I have found my passion in knitting socks but I'm knitting from my stash at the moment. I've been organizing patterns, techniques and yarn so I'm "re-inspired" by the yarn I've already purchased, all on sale, by the way.

    I do love how you share your knitting projects, it has inspired me to share more of mine.
    Thanks for such a great blog. I visit you everyday!
    Marilyn in New Mexico

  7. I'm not sure what to do about awards. I just hope not to hurt people's feelings when I refuse the awards but that is not the reason I blog. I do have a button that says "blogging without obligation" and hope that it might work. Knitting might just be looping wool but it never works well for me. I think my head just refuses to take it in correctly but I can crochet anything I want. Cherrie

  8. Hello, I haven't posted here before but I often read your blog. I would love to see the pattern for the fingerless mitts. I would like a pair and I think they'd make great gifts for a few teenagers I know. I always like quick easy interesting knitting projects. Thanks from Teena in South Australia.

  9. I recently got into knitting again..and I love it.. I knitted my daughter a scarf and then I did a hat after watching a youtube video.. I now want to do a fingerless mittens.. but I can't figure out how to do the holes for the thumb.. lol I bought a book so hopefully it explains it well.

  10. Hi,just wanted to pop in and say hi.

    I made up your washing powder and can say I am VERY pleased with it.

    I am also turning off appliances.(much to the horror of my DH when he noticed the microwave wasn't turned on!!!LOL)

    We are also keeping the runoff water when you wait for the hot water to come thru.
    I am knitting the waffle dishcloths as well.

    you have been a BIG inspiration to me!!
    many thanks

  11. Hi. This is my first visit here, but I really like what I see. I used to knit but haven't done so for a long time. I have other crafts that I enjoy more.

    I am offering you a blog award. You can receive it by visiting my blog at

  12. Like a few other women here I don't knit, but crochet instead :) I shall have to have a play around and do up some dishclothes for christmas presents - they are a very popular idea with the women in my family, but no-one has the time to make some, they are all busy with other craft projects or in the garden, or

    I have the time though, and I love the thought of homemade gifts - thank you for the inspiration yet again!

  13. I had to laugh at the comment about the blog award! Don't people read to the end of posts???

  14. Those mitts are so sweet! I like the little flowers on them.

  15. I share your obsession with knitting. Happy knitting!

  16. Hi,

    I have been lurking for awhile. I like your blog and I think we have a lot in common.

    My meter reading? Zero! We live with solar power here in California.

    I also love to knit. I hope you can visit me sometime:


  17. Frogdancer - Some people choose to pass along awards even to those who don't accept them. There is one special blog/blogger I adore and I have mentioned her many times in passing along awards and include a note that says something to the effect of *even though this is an award free blog*. I think it's still nice to give the awards to let other bloggers know you appreciate them and what they share. Maybe that's what the above commenter intended.

    Rhonda - You can see an example of an Award Free Blog button displayed on a sidebar here ...

  18. Hi Rhonda,

    Just thought you'd like to know in the last 2 weeks I've knitted an ascot scarf and a pair of fingerless gloves following your blog posts, so thanks for sharing the patterns.

    That's 2 xmas presents taken care of! LOL

  19. How fun! =) I love fingerless mitt knitting too and would love if you shared your pattern.

    I'm actually running a knitalong blog called Fingerless Mitts for Fall that I wanted to let you know about -

    There are tons of free patterns in the sidebar too if people are looking for them!

    Happy knitting,
    =) Keri

  20. Hello everyone! I love seeing all the new names. :- )

    Hi Tina and Linda, welcome. I'll post the pattern tomorrow. Linda, it's all flat knitting.

    Hi Blossom, welcome to you too. It's lovely to hear you're getting some benefit from the blog.

    Hi Kelly, welcome. I'm not accepting award anymore, but I appreciate the thought very much.

    Naomi and Otter mom, I can't crochet for the life of me. I try, but I get tangled. My friend Bernadette tried to teach me. I think I'm due for another lesson because there are some things I want to crochet.

    Welcome Aurora, we have solar powered hot water and we hope to install more panels in about 12 months. I envy your panels and it's great to hear about them.

    Hi Kim! I'll check that badge out and put it up if I like it. Thanks love.

    Hello Margo, great work!

    Kim, I'll put your link in the post. Thanks!

  21. I'm always enviour of those who can knit 'something' I can knit but have not really knitted anything (well I call them dishclothes but if you saw one you'd raise a brown I am sure! LOL

    I will await your fingerless mittens pattern and use it a challenge to myself!

  22. Hi Rhonda, I must confess to being one of the lurkers!I try to read your blog most days and always find it an inspiration.I will do a post soon on meter reading here and will link it to your blog as you have covered all aspects of it.Our meters seem to be in inaccessible positions in most houses.I have dusted off my knitting needles and have 2 neck scarves done and am halfway through a sleeveless cardi for winter.
    Best wishes

  23. I love your knitting Rhonda! Like you I am an obsessive knitter. I am now also an obsessive spinner! It helps towards completing the self sufficiency cycle for me.


  24. Another compulsive knitter here. My Nana taught me to knit when I was three years old and I haven't stopped for 56 years. A form of torture for me would be no knitting!
    This time of year it is always gloves that I obsess about casting-on....preferably on 4 needles. So satsfying to do, and they make wonderful, very much appreciated presents.

  25. And, for a way into crochet.....try holding the yarn in your right hand and putting t around the hook as for knitting. When you are happy with that method it is a very small step to holding it right and hooking it across from your other hand.

  26. I have just recently taught myself to knit. I am still practicing by making dishcloths and I started a scarf with some yarn that I had just sitting here not being useful. My knitting is very slow and I have to look at every stitch I do. But it's okay, I know someday, with practice I will be able to make other useful things with my new found skill! Thank you for your encouragement, it's always nice to come here and see what you have been doing!

  27. I've got the knitting bug too! Seems I've made a couple of false starts at knitting over the years but always stalled out for some reason. Now, there are so many great free patterns out 'there' and inspirational blogs to push me along -- not to mention meeting a few knitting buddies who can help me out when I get stuck. I'm hardly ever without a project in my lap lately -- love it!
    Your mitts are gorgeous -- thanks for sharing.


  28. So I'm not knitting, came over by way of organicgrowingpains, because she said you have tips on saving. We (I) am trying to save more. How do I get my girls to take this economic situation seriously?

  29. Oh how I adore Ravelry! What's your screenname? I want to look you up.

    Knitting is quite addictive and a most pleasant hobbie.

  30. i LINKED to you today@! love your last post on your coop blog! thank you for your thoughts! awesome! How did you find me :)
    God Bless

  31. Rhonda, I've been working away on my projects as well. I always have a crochet hook (more often) or a pair of knitting needles in my bag, with a project going on. Today I spent far too much time waiting in line for the doctor's appointment, so instead of being bored, I pulled out the little crocheted cap I'm making for our baby - and voila! A pleasant hour. :o)

    I have stopped passing on awards too. If someone tells me they have given me an award, I'll generally stop by their blog and thank them, explaining that I normally don't "do" awards, but appreciate the attention all the same.

  32. Hi, Rhonda! I'm excited that I found your knitting posts! I bought the 100% cotton thread and want to try my hand at some dish I think I'll try the waffle weave ones you mentioned. I'll let you know how they turn out...

    Dianne AND

  33. post something that says ... this BLOG alone is my award to myself and others for a life simply and very happily lived!!

  34. Rhonda, I am reading some of the older posts and in this one you suggested to Romona in Sweden to either boiling her homemade dishcloths or soak them in Epsom salts. I am trying to give up using paper towels and have found that my dish towels are not absorbent enough to clean up spills. Would soaking or boiling them help with them too? I have a mix of terry and cotton "flour sacking" towels. Most are many years old, but still in good shape. Thanks if you can give help.

    1. Hi Peascod, are you using fabric softener when you wash them? If so, that will make them repel water rather than soak it up. Do a test wash and rinse in plain water. I hope it works but if it doesn't try boiling them. Sometimes there can be chemical in cotton that can be boiled out.


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