Monday, February 05, 2007

Doing the Dishes

I'm a big believer in knitted dishcloths. I don't use them, of course, but they're a great place to practice and to work out stitch patterns before launching into a larger project. Just give the dishcloth away the next time you need a quicky gift. I hear some people actually like them.

Say, for example, you're interested in making this stole from Lion Brand.

It's a ripple stitch that repeats the pattern every 18 stitches, with 3 stitches on each edge (that would be 6 more stitches). The shawl is done over 132 stitches, which leaves a lot of room to mess things up.

But since we know the repeat is 18, plus 6 for the border, we can cast on 24 (18+6) stitches. I suggest Lion Cotton, since they're so sweet as to provide the free pattern.

Then just follow the pattern.

Knit the first row.

Row 2 says, "K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3"

  • That means knit the first 3 stitches.
  • Purl the next 18.
  • Then knit the last 3.

Basically, this is going to give you a garter stitch border, theoretically keeping the stole or dishcloth from curling.

Row 3 looks more complicated: "K3, *[k2tog] 3 times, [yo, k1] 6 times, [k2tog] 3 times; repeat from * to last 3 sts, k3."

  • The * are like a musical repeat, and the [] are like a math equation.
  • So, knit 3 for your border.
  • Knit 2 together. Do this three times (taking 6 stitches down to 3).
  • Then do an increase with a yarn over (wrap the yarn around the needle; it will make a lacy hole on the next row) and a knit stitch. Repeat this yarn over/knit for a total of 6 times (making 6 stitches into 12).
  • Knit 2 together three times (taking 6 stitches down to 3).
  • Finish with your knit 3 border.

Basically, you take away 3 stitches, add 6, take away another 3. The end result should still be a total of 24 stitches, which is much easier to count than 132.

For row 4, just knit.

Then repeat rows 1-4 until you have enough of a dishcloth to foist off on some unsuspecting recipient.

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