This week, I was on my annual fishing trip. This was the third year, and I go with my father-in-law, brother-in-law, and uncle-in-law (is that a thing) to Cape Lookout, NC. We spend about a week surf fishing and it’s lots of fun. This year, we caught fish every day (which really beats the one fish per week we caught both of the previous years). Puppy drum, flounder, whiting, black drum, blue, spot, sheepshead. They were all yummy. With a week on the coast competing for all of my time, I didn’t get a whole lot of knitting this week, but I did end up with perhaps the funniest knitting story of my knitting career so far. I’ll tell that story in the “Knitting To The Rescue!” segment at the bottom of this blog entry. Let’s visit the day-in-day-out matters in my knitting world first.
This Week In Podcasts
My iTunes kept collecting podcasts for me to listen to while I was at the coast, but I haven’t had a lot of time to listen to them yet. I did listen to Episode 150 of Knitting Pipeline and am listening to Episode 80 of Knit 1 Geek 2 as I write this blog post. On Knitting Pipeline, Paula talks about creating a magic yarn cake, and her new Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl pattern. I have a purchased magic cake in my stash, and it’s slated to become a hat. Eventually. It was really cool listening to Paula describe how to create your own magic cake with the leftover yarn in your stash. I’m actually starting to get to the point where I have a collection of leftover yarn in my stash, so I might start making myself some magic cakes with them. On Knit 1 Geek 2, the ladies continued to profess their love of geeky British actors. I really do enjoy listening to the geek that happens on that podcast. Good stuff.
This Week In Ravelry
I was fishing all week, with extremely limited internet access, so my activity on Ravelry was very limited. Once I got settled back in at home, I started catching up in the forums. It’ll take a few days to really catch up, but it’s nice to start getting back into the groove.
I did end up adding a pattern to my queue. I told a quick version of the “Knitting To The Rescue!” story below on the IBK forum, and someone suggested that I add Wishy Washy Fishy Tawashi by Rhonda White to my queue, and I couldn’t resist. I’m definitely going to try to get this out of my queue and on (and off) my needles before next year’s fishing trip.
My biggest news in Ravelry this week is that I changed my ID. My new ID is KnittingDaddy, to match up better with the blog. I think if you still use “drmellow” to look for me on Ravelry, it will redirect to my new ID. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to change my name — it didn’t affect my projects, friends, stash, etc. Earburns to me in the forums still connected to my profile, etc. All in all, it’s a nicely implemented feature. I’ll miss being “drmellow” over there like I am on pretty much every other social media outlet, but KnittingDaddy makes a lot more sense for me.
This Week On My Needles
While on the fishing trip, I knitted a dishcloth and a hat. I’ll talk about the dishcloth in the next section of this post, but the hat was the 4 hour hat – bulky by Marilyn Clark. This is the hat I heard about on Ewe University last week, and it was a great, quick, and fun project to knit. Check out my project page for more details.
Originally, I was planning on knitting four of these hats, one for each of us on the trip. That was definitely too ambitious. Especially since the cabins don’t have electricity and we don’t keep the propane lanterns on too long after finishing supper. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with this hat yet — maybe I’ll keep it for myself, maybe I’ll give it as a gift, maybe I’ll donate it to charity. My wife has played with the brim on it a few times, coming up with some looks that are a bit more feminine than the straight out-of-the-box just turning the cuff up. So if she thinks she’ll wear it, she can have it.
Knitting To The Rescue!
Well, I’ve teased it a few times, so let’s get to the main story of this post. I like to call it “Emergency Knitting” or “Knitting To The Rescue!” This is the story of the Fishcloth Dishcloth.
After eating supper the first night of the trip, we went to clean the dishes. It was at that point we realized that we didn’t have a dishcloth. My father-in-law probably washed the dishcloth from last year’s trip and didn’t replace it in the crates we take on the trip. It’s OK, we had plenty of paper towels that we could use to wash dishes with.
After one night of trying to use paper towels that start disintegrating as soon as they get wet, I knew that it simply wouldn’t fly to go through the week without a dishcloth. So, naturally, I decided to knit one for us. I had brought some yarn and needles on the trip and figured I could use it. I knew it wouldn’t be great, but it ought to be OK.
So I looked at my knitting provisions. I had an in-progress project that was with sock yarn, which I immediately discounted as an alternative for dishcloth knitting. I also had 4 skeins of Berroco Vintage Chunky. I brought that along to knit the hats I mentioned earlier. That was it. So I grabbed a skein of the chunky yarn and the size 11 double-pointed-needles that I had brought for knitting the hats and went to work.
I’ve knit a few dishcloths in my knitting career. I even designed a simple one. So I figured I could improvise a dishcloth. Really, I just had my mind on a stockinette field with a garter border. Piece of cake. Even more appealing was the fact that I could use the dishcloth as a gauge swatch for the hats I hoped to knit out of the rest of the chunky yarn. After getting about halfway done with the fishcloth, I got bored and decided to knit the word “FISH” into the cloth. That ended up being a nice touch. By the suppertime the 2nd day, I had completed the fishcloth and it was ready to start its duty washing dishes.
Now I knew that this dishcloth was not going to be great. It is, in fact, horrible. It is the worst knitted dishcloth in the history of knitted dishcloths. Every other dishcloth I’ve knit was with worsted weight cotton, on size 6 (or so) needles. The Vintage Chunky? 52% acrylic, 40% wool, 8% nylon. That’s not exactly the best fiber combination for a dishcloth. Plus, it’s chunky. The needles? Well, my choices were 1.5s or 11s, so I went with the 11s. It’s not a lace dishcloth, but it’s loose.
In the end, it’s (probably) better than paper towels. It got the job done, which was kinda cool — made me feel like MacGuyver. But as a dishcloth? No, not really. When I showed it to my wife, her comment was that it was probably like washing dishes with a sweater. That’s a pretty accurate assessment. But again, it got the job done.
I’ve told the story a few times now and have been met with several people offering the same suggestion: be sure to pack cotton yarn and size 6 needles when I go on vacation, because you never know when you might need to knit a dishcloth. It’s good advice, but I’ll probably just try to make sure we have a dishcloth in the first place!
So while it wasn’t a perfect save, this was an example of how knitting saved the day last week. Without that cloth, even as horrible as it is, we would have been flying through rolls of paper towels, trying to keep our dishes clean. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a “knitting to the rescue!” story. Leave a comment with your favorite experience where you were able to save the day with some well-timed knitting. I’d love to hear the stories!
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!