Knitting the Perfect Summer Project

Hey there, it’s Jen again.  While Debbie’s posting today over at Leisure Arts, she was kind enough to let me talk to you about my current crafting obsession–dishcloths!

It’s summer time and the weather’s blazing hot.  These are the times that try a wool lover’s soul.  In cooler months, I’m all about knitting the type of garment to wrap up a loved one in style and warmth.  But there are days (especially afternoons!) right now when just the thought of a scarf and hat set makes me want more ice water. What’s a knitter to do?  Well, I certainly can’t hold off on my knitting until the temperatures get a little more bearable–I live in Arkansas!  We don’t get consistently more comfortable weather until October or so, and I know I’d never make it that long without my yarn and needles.  So for now, I’m trying to stick with small projects.  And my very favorite thing to work on right now is any kind of dishcloth.  I’ll crochet them, knit them, and make them as dresses.

Why yes, this is one of Debbie’s patterns!

Bottom line, I just love dishcloths.

I made a couple of dishcloths this weekend from Knit Dishcloths, and it really hit the knitting spot.  Most of the patterns in this book resemble quilt block designs, which I love.  And since quilting is probably something I’ll never try, it was nice to knit something with a similar look.  Another bonus?  The pattern can either be knitted or Knooked, and the instructions are both written and charted.  With a few nice rows of knits and purls, I made some great dishcloths and didn’t get all sweaty and sticky thinking about the insulating properties of thick and wooly accessories.

The first pattern I tried was the classic-looking Nine Patch.

This was pretty simple and simply pretty.  I always love checked patterning, and I’d probably make this again.  It was just 3 pattern repeats and I was able to make this over the course of an evening, with plenty of breaks for distractions and mommy things.

I also knitted the Friendship Star pattern.  I liked the look of this, and my parents are going to visit friends soon.  I thought this would be an appropriate hospitality gift for our old neighbors. 


This one called for a little more concentration, but I like the way it looks and with so much purling on both sides it’s going to be an excellent dishcloth for scrubbing.  I like to make pretty things, but functionality is important to me as well.  I mean, it’s a dishcloth.  I don’t like to give away something that seems too dainty to be used.

Dishcloths are at the very top of my knitting list for a lot of reasons, but the main one is that cotton yarn is probably the easiest material to work with in the heat.  Another factor is that dishcloths are small.  Why is this important?  Because summer is just not a time of concentration for me.  It’s July now, so I don’t feel too silly moaning “It’s too hot to think!” because you know what?  Sometimes it is.  You not only need something too small to smother you with weight and heat–you need the project itself to be short enough that you finish it without losing interest. 

Also, I just think it’s fun to make dishcloths.  There are plenty of patterns out there to try, and I like to have fun when I’m knitting.  (Isn’t that why we started knitting in the first place?)  I also like to give gifts that are useful.  If I can have fun making something in a short period of time–and a dishcloth is about as close to instant gratification as a knitter can get–that’s going to be pretty and practical, then that’s my idea of a perfect summer project. 

And there’s not much better than a perfect summer project.  Unless we’re talking about ice cream.  But that’s because nothing is better than ice cream summer. 

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