I gave my husband a few dishcloths last year, and I just now photographed them. The Simple Garter Stitch is the one I made years ago and was unhappy with. How do you go wrong with a dishcloth? But it doesn't have a great feel, is not terribly absorbent, and doesn't wipe as well as I had hoped.
Nellie is in a different yarn, Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme, and I love it. Ethel and Hazel are in the same yarn as Simple Garter Stitch (the discontinued Mission Falls 1824 Cotton) but seem to work better.
However, they still had problems. Ethel was supposed to be a square dishcloth, but it's too wide and too short. The slipped stitches along the side were supposed to form a neat line. But if you follow the instructions, the border slipped stitch has yarn in front of it half the time.
And although I chose Hazel for the interesting stitch pattern, it turned out to be a little too interesting, bordering on obscene. A drapier, variegated yarn disguised the lumps in the book photo. But I think it's hideous!
We're set for dishcloths for a while, but the next ones I plan to try are Opal, Virginia, and Elizabeth, with maybe another lovely Nellie in there....
Dishcloth Diva Knits On! by Deb Buckingham, pub. Cooperative Press, 2013.
The 15 designs in this book range from classic to divine. Some are straightforward combinations of knits and purls, while others include slipped stitches or cables or yarnovers to get the desired effect.
All the projects are about 8" square, quick and easy, with memorizable stitch patterns. This is not to say they lack interest. I found several patterns I would like to knit up (for my husband, who does the dishes).
We've been searching for years for a dishcloth that works and stays soft. I even tried my hand at knitting a couple. Recently my stepfather-in-law offered us some crocheted dishcloths that he didn't care for. They're wonderful, and it gives me hope that with the right pattern I could do better than my first attempts.
Ethel looks like woven cloth but is actually made up of stitches slipped with the yarn held alternately to the front or the back of the work. It's attractive in its elegant simplicity.
Lucille Bell, on the other hand, is a feisty pattern. The only two-color cloth in this collection, the slipped stitches and purl rows give it a "scrubby" texture.
Deb does her own photography, and it comes out really well. The photos in this book are even better than the ones in her last book. The wooden countertop with stainless steel, tin, glass, and wicker in the backdrop are more to my taste than the orange plastic, and they tell a more romantic story.
In addition to the patterns, this book contains a brief overview of the aspects of wool. Wool? Well, Deb's first book already covered cotton.
Wool is definitely not recommended for dishcloths, but Deb had the idea of knitting dishcloths in wool and sewing them together to make a "lapghan" (a cross between a lap quilt and an afghan).
She donated the completed lapghan to the Ronald McDonald House, and devoted a section of the book to this charity and its mission.
At just under a page and a half, Elizabeth is the longest pattern in the book. (Most are less than a page long.) This pattern and a couple others would work well using charts, and there's enough blank space to accommodate them, but there are no charts in this book. Still, Deb says once you get going you'll be able to see where you're going without constantly referring to the instructions, and I think she's probably right.
This is an excellent book with clever patterns at a good price. It does not cover the benefits of knitted dishcloths, or the properties of cotton. I know her first book covers the latter, and it just might cover the former as well.
After I knit my dishcloth (I think I'll start with Nellie) I'll tell you what the advantages seem to be, how well it absorbs water, how scrubby it is, in short, how I like it.
Or how my husband likes it. . . .
Disclosure: Kangath received a review copy of this book from the publisher. No other compensation was provided. The opinions expressed in all Kangath's reviews are her own.
Hi! I'm Kangath---
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