Finished Handmade Knitting Photography

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Space for the Butterflies - Knitted Dishcloths

These last couple of weeks I have been craving knitting as solace.  There have been long days at work and long evenings tucked up at home in the studio with the laptop and moments where I can feel that to do everything that I need to do for work, and everything I need to do to be the mother I want to be, and everything I need to make me me is pushing at the boundaries of my stamina, even with my rather cavalier attitude to sleep.

And when life gets to that sort of level of busy I need to find the time to knit more than ever. Knitting lets me fidget efficiently; I can let my fingers do their thing almost subconsciously while my brain unpacks the day.  I’ve never got the “knitting is the new yoga” thing, mostly because I’m horribly inflexible and I find yoga fun but really hard work, but I’ve heard people find it meditative and that’s how I feel with sticks and string in my hands.

Space for the Butterflies - Knitted Dishcloths

And when we’re talking knitting for restorative purposes it needs to be simple: garter stitch and a pattern that I can carry in my head.

Which is why over the last couple of weeks I’ve been knitting dishcloths.  They tick all the boxes: small, portable, easy pattern (the classic that is Grandmother’s Favourite) and almost entirely garter stitch.  I can usually get two dishcloths out of a ball of Sugar n Cream and three balls (Daisy, Sunkissed and Swimming Pool) makes a nice little stash for the kitchen drawer. A ‘happy housekeeping’ present for H perhaps.

Space for the Butterflies - Knitted Dishcloths

And I know there must be people reading who’re thinking “baby cardigans, cute; socks, could be cosy; but dishcloths?” Yes, dishcloths.  I use them for wiping down the dinner table and the kitchen counters, and when they’ve done their wiping they go in the washing machine with the tea towels and come out again as good as new.

The nubbly purl side bumps are great for gently scouring the stove without scratching it and from an environmental perspective I think that even taking into account the laundry, I’m probably coming out ahead. The last time I made a serious stash of dishcloths, using up all my odds and ends of cotton, was when Kitty was a tiny baby.  They’re just wearing out now, some five years later, not a bad return on a few hours.

Space for the Butterflies - Knitted Dishcloths

But more than all of that, they’re just really pretty and fun to have in the kitchen, and anything that brightens up the prospect of cleaning up after the  girls have been baking can only be a good thing can’t it.

Joining in with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Crafting On

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  • Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork 06/11/2015 at 8:51 am

    I’m with you on all of this, although of course I have to swap knitting for crochet 😉
    I love that you call it efficient fidgeting. At the moment I can’t crochet because of an rsi to my wrist, and I’m pretty sure the lack of stress release is making me insufferable to be with. I’m trying to sew instead but it requires too much concentration. I can’t wait to get back to my hooks!
    Your dish cloths are very pretty by the way. We have a stash of microfibre ones that beat disposable wipes hands down. x

    • Carie 06/11/2015 at 8:55 am

      Oh I hope your wrist gets better soon, I couldn’t bear the idea of not knitting. The longest I’ve ever not knit was my first trimester with Kitty when I was too busy being horribly sick and I missed it even then. I like sewing, and crochet, but I can’t do it without thinking about it so knitting wins the stress relief contest for me!

  • Melissa 06/11/2015 at 4:14 pm

    Love these! and couldn’t agree more about knitting for solace and calm sometimes. The results are beautiful 🙂

    • Carie 06/11/2015 at 5:21 pm

      Thank you, it’s very restorative isn’t it 🙂

  • Judy 06/11/2015 at 5:18 pm

    My mom used to make these! Yours are just wonderful 🙂 She tried to teach me to knit, I never was able to pick it up. I need to find the time to give it another go. I can crochet (nothing crazy) and I totally get the fidgeting factor!

    • Carie 06/11/2015 at 5:22 pm

      I’m just not very good about being still without something to occupy my hands – I think best while knitting!

  • Sarah S 06/11/2015 at 6:01 pm

    These dishcloths are great! I’ve made dishcloths before but my pattern is not nearly as nice as yours. I like the diagonal knitting and the edging! How is the edging done? I’ve never done anything like that. I would love to use this pattern! Can you share it, or is it a family secret?!

  • Yanic 06/11/2015 at 6:49 pm

    I’ve made so many of these. “Fidget efficiently”, brilliant! I learn to knit while I was in bed rest the last 9 weeks of my pregnancy with Little Man and that pattern was the first I ever learn. Reading this makes me smile because these little beauties are what I knit when I want to knit, but also have the satisfaction of finishing a project quickly. I also love knitting with cotton. 🙂
    They look lovely, love the colors.
    I’m glad you are able to find quiet moments with everything you have on your plate.

    • Carie 06/11/2015 at 9:54 pm

      Thank you – they’re definitely cheering up the kitchen and ticking all the boxes for instant gratification!

  • Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely 06/11/2015 at 7:50 pm

    They really are so pretty! They might just be within my knitting capabilities too. Sounds like you’re pretty stretched at the moment. Hope everything’s okay xx

    • Carie 06/11/2015 at 9:54 pm

      Oh definitely, you just need to be able to knit, yarn over and knit two together – piece of cake!

  • Leanne Parsons 06/11/2015 at 8:45 pm

    These are lovely! My grandmother makes the exact same ones for me and they are my favourite dishcloths.

    • Carie 06/11/2015 at 9:55 pm

      thank you – and yay for knitted dishcloths, they’re awesome!

  • Quilts & Such 07/11/2015 at 12:15 am

    I love these washcloths! They are wonderful for dishes and hold up well. Great finishes!

    • Carie 08/11/2015 at 9:41 pm

      They’re so much fun to have around aren’t they 🙂

  • Diann Bottrell 07/11/2015 at 1:31 am

    Your dishcloths are great, and thanks for the link to the pattern. I enjoy knitting and haven’t done any in awhile. It will be fun to give these a try!

    • Carie 08/11/2015 at 9:43 pm

      Oh do try them out – they’re a piece of cake to knit, perfect to get you back into the swing of it!

  • Zena 10/11/2015 at 10:43 am

    I’ve got a stash of sugar and cream for dish clothes too. I’ll have to try this pattern. I find knitting meditative too. I hope things slow down for you soon.

    • Carie 10/11/2015 at 10:22 pm

      Thank you – it’s a lovely pattern for thinking free knitting!

  • Alina 10/11/2015 at 2:28 pm

    Such lovely and cheerful colors! Mindless knitting is the best way to relax!

    • Carie 10/11/2015 at 10:23 pm

      Oh definitely! Thank you 🙂

  • Jeanette 10/11/2015 at 2:30 pm

    I love making those dishcloths. the pattern is easy and just like you I find knitting a perfect way to calm my thoughts and find a place to focus. Love the colors you chose!

    • Carie 10/11/2015 at 10:24 pm

      They’re definitely nice and cheerful for the autumn!

  • Zauberflink 10/11/2015 at 4:32 pm

    I wouldn’t get through life without knitting either – it calms me down and makes me thankful and contemplative. Sometimes I just sit down in the midst of chaos, wild kids and undone household just like a Buddha 😉
    I like your dish clothes and the way you use the very much!

    • Carie 10/11/2015 at 10:25 pm

      Oh that sounds so familiar!!