My Favorite Dishcloth

Well, good morning! So much has been going on since my last post. We've had family in from out of town, we moved to our own place (we had been staying with my parents for several months), I was working on piano stuff for a Rock Camp that our church put on, planted a garden, acquired another angora bunny…SO MANY THINGS! I have really discovered a love for my monthly planner. 🙂 Just the activity of doodling my schedule helps me to remember and relax and pray about things that are coming up. My planner is a very colorful, fun book!

Of course, I always think that life will slow down and then I will do such-and-such. YEAH, RIGHT! It never will.

I've been getting into handspinning a bit more, which I will get into in another post. I've tried some new fibers recently, which has been fun and really interesting. Agh, as I said – another post!

I really wanted to get on here and share a sort of tutorial on what is, in my opinion, the BEST washcloth/dishcloth ever! (I know, people love to lay claim to that all over the blogdom.) But, seriously. I made one of these several weeks ago, and it is my favorite dishcloth. Part of what makes it so great is that I used some really nice cotton yarn that I picked up from Casco Bay Fibers when my friend was here visiting. I am a little bit picky about cotton yarn. Just a little bit. I have always had a hard time using that Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn. It's so rough and the plys always separate on my and it is always just an exercise in frustration. There are a few other similar cottons to that brand, which you may be familiar with if you've ever used cheap cotton yarn. If you like it, you could TOTALLY still use it for this cloth.

This time I used I Love This Cotton, and I do. I always do. It's still less expensive, but it is SO SOFT, and it lays very nicely. There's also a huge variety of colors, which is fun. I've been making market bags with this (which I also mean to do a tutorial on the handles). It would also make a great baby blanket or clothing yarn. By the way, I am not in away endorsed by anyone to say this. This is just MY endorsement of THEM! 🙂
 

So, anyways. This is not an exhaustive tutorial, you can make this cloth as big as you wish, and you can use a different sized hook. I actually would probably recommend using a smaller hook than the one I used for this tutorial. I used a 5mm hook, (the bright blue one, for you Clover Amour users), but I used the purple 4mm hook for the first one I made, and it's a little more dense, which is nice for a dishcloth.

To begin, I chained 37. Basically chain whatever size you'd like, plus 2. So this is 35+2 chains. So your stitch count should stay 35 all the way. Always count if you're having trouble keeping your edges straight! Gotta make sure you aren't losing stiches!

 

Row 2, turn, and now you're going to do a special stitch in each stich across. It will ALMOST feel like you're doing two stitches in each stitch. So your CH 2 counts as the first stitch in every other row. Yarn over, insert hook into the next ST and pull up a loop. Then, yarn over and pull through the first two loops on our hook (like you're about to do a double crochet).

 

 
Then, reinsert your hook back into the same stitch and pull up another loop.

Then, yarn over, and pull through all three loops, like you were doing a half double crochet.

 

Now just repeat that in each stitch across!

When you get to the end of that special stitch row, chain 1

Turn, and single crochet in each stitch across. When you get to the end of the sc rows, chain 2.

Repeat those rows, alternating until the cloth is as big as you wish, ending with a single crochet row.

The back ends up with just a bit of a ribbing happening, which is also nice for a dishcloth. And, it still looks great on the back side, I think!

Ok, your turn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paws

Meet Paws.

 
 

Isn't she cute?! She is a German/French Angora. She is sweet and fluffy! Well…she was fluffy. I'll get to that in a minute.

I have been wanting to get into raising some kind of my own fiber animals for a bit, and this is what it has come to. Rather, SHE is what has come to me. What a patient and gentle girl she is! She has this really cool, chinchilla-grey coat. She's actually been really great for me, so far. Her coat doesn't mat very badly, which is awesome. I had been nervous about the amount of grooming an angora rabbit would require, but apparently Germans tend to mat less than, like, English angoras or some other breeds. I had been brushing her once a week, and there wasn't really much to do. Although, I did find some mats in the SOFT, soft, soft hair behind her ears. I will watch out for that better in the future.

When I got her, she already had a name, but my son ended up naming her “Paws,” which I think is absolutely adorable. He says she is his bunny. I may have to fight him. 😉

Honestly, I am afraid of rabbits. (What? Who is afraid of bunny rabbits???) I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it's true. We had rabbits when I was growing up, and I was fearless with them. But, as an adult, I've developed a healthy (maybe it's not healthy) respect for animals – particularly their TEETH! And, angoras require a LOT of handling when it comes to grooming. So, I was really concerned about my being too afraid of a rabbit to dare brush it out – not to mention clipping its nails and harvesting its wool!!! I think the only reason I dared venture down this path is because MY MOTHER is the bravest Dr. Doolittle in the land.

My mom is a goat farmer (currently….she's raised all kinds of different animals in my lifetime, including rabbits) who is not squeamish or timid when it comes to any sort of icky jobs that farming requires. So, I knew that if I needed help, she would be there, and she could show me how to do things, or be extra hands for me.

So, a huge THANK YOU to my mom for helping (or doing most of the hard parts herself) me with my first Angora clipping! I was soooooooooo nervous, as I was collecting my tools and gearing up to do the job. And honestly, I don't know how one could even do this task by themselves. It definitely seemed like a two-person job.

We were going to take before and after pictures, but I jumped in and started clipping before I remembered the “before” shot. So, we fluffed her hair back up and that was the before picture. I'm just now noticing she was so close to the edge…yikes! Well, it turned out fine. Her hair makes it look extra precarious.

Look how long it was! It's like a tutu of wooly softness. She stayed so calm through the whole thing.


All done! She is velvety soft, now. She feels like a plush stuffed animal! And, I think I've officially fallen for her. She was just sweet, sweet, sweet, and definitely seems like less of a mystery to me, now. She's had a few days to relax after the big haircut, and she's just hanging out with us, today.

“Plarn!”

Have you heard of this? If you've spent any time browsing crochet pins on Pinterest, you probably have. I've seen so many pins about baskets and floor mats and stuff made from recycled plastic grocery bags. I've never tried any before, but necessity is the mother of trying things you've never done before…

I have been OBSESSING over this soap, lately. It's from Hallowell Soap Works, and it is AmAzInG! I found her on Instagram and had been drooling over the pics she was posting of her soaps. I ended up buying a few different bars from a local retailer, and also ordered a couple divine lavender bath bombs. Then, my husband bought me a couple more bars for my birthday! (I'm all set for soap for a while!!!)

 

So, I was using the soap and then gingerly trying to set it down on end and keep it from slipping all over whatever surface in the bathroom – bath tub, sink side. I was thinking I should maybe get a soap dish or something. Then I wondered if it was weird to not have any soap dishes. I was suddenly feeling an intense need for SOMETHING on which to set my beautiful soaps. I didn't want them getting all icky, or stuck to the bathroom countertop. And then it hit me: crocheted plarn soap mats!

Now, I don't like to follow patterns or recipes usually, so I sort of eyeballed a few tutorials on Pinterest, and then just sort of figured it out. OH MY WORD. just making the plarn (that's the celebrity couple name of Plastic and Yarn) was so relaxing all by itself! I used the blue Hannaford refrigerated items bags, so they are bright, pretty blue. And YAY for recycling!

 

Anyways, after I made two bags into a ball of plarn, I crocheted up a little round bath soap mat. It is PERFECT! I love it. It keeps my soap clean and unstuck to my counter. It keeps my soap from shooting all over the tub when it is wet. Woooooondeerrrrrrrfuuuuuuuuuullllllll.

See? Pretty blue! So go make yourself some plarn and whip up a bath soap mat for yourself. Or, if you don't crochet, or you have no plastic bags, or you just don't want to bother, you can get yourself one from my Etsy shop.