Friday, February 11, 2011

Another little piece of my heart.

For my mom's birthday earlier this week, I knitted up some dishcloths, towels and a potholder. In the process I was able to learn some new techniques and get a bunch of practice, and had a really nice gift for my mom when all was said and done.

The  red heart potholder was fun (pattern here). While knitting it, I learned three things:

  1. How to knit with multiple strands of yarn - you have to hold three together to give the potholder strength/heat resistance.

  2. How to use a stitch holder.

  3. Knitting potholders with three strands of yarn can be physically exhausting and painful - I found myself literally wrestling with the yarn to get it to do what I wanted it to do, but the end results were worth it.
I also made two dishcloths, one in cream and one in yellow (pattern here). These dishcloths are terrific because they are sturdy and can be used for cleaning glass, wood, dishes - you name it. They knit up very fast. Each of them only took me one evening.

Here's a picture of the yellow one:

Isn't that cute?! Rather than knitted square and across the row, you knit them diagonally so you can incorporate the decorative border. You just keep adding on stitches until it's as wide as it needs to be, then start decreasing until you are ready to end it. Easy!

Finally, I made a couple of waffle-patterned, striped dish towels (pattern here). These were fun because I learned how to follow a more complex pattern and how to change colors in the middle of a project.

I made two of these - one with the red stripe and one with a yellow stripe.

All the dishcloths looked great together:

I wrapped the stack of cloths, along with the potholder, in a large, linen vintage dishcloth that I had in the back of my closet and never used. Pinned with a Valentine's pin, it made a really lovely little package.

I wasn't with my mom when she opened it - I left it for her at my workplace and she came by to get it while I was out - but when I talked to her later, she told me that opening it was like looking at a package of my grandmother's work. That's one the best compliments I've ever received. Each time I step into my kitchen or pick up a sewing needle or yarn, I think of my grandmother and how talented she was. I still sleep with pillowcases she embroidered 30 years ago, and hopefully my work will hold up as well as hers.

First embroidery, and now knitting, makes me feel closer to my grandmother Virginia, and great aunt Betty, and great-grandmother Beulah and my own mother, Cindy - four talented, generous, good-hearted, creative women. There's a thread that connects all of us, and I am proud to keep creating with it.