Last year our daughter-in-law gave me a couple lovely, knitted, cotten washcloths. She intended them for kitchen use, but I tend to be more of a sponge/scour pad person, and they seemed too pretty to use for scrubbing dishes. Then at Winter Solstice a friend sent me another lovely knitted washcloth along with a bar of lavender soap, and I realized I could use these washcloths in the shower. Excellent! They are absorbent, and just rough enough to give good exfoliation. Now I use them all the time, and I wanted more. So I decided to knit my own.
One drawback — I didn’t know how to knit. I can crochet, and knitting didn’t look that difficult. So I bought a couple balls of cotton yarn, a pair of knitting needles, and a book of washcloth patterns. I had a book at home I thought I could learn from, but it turned out to be more for inspiration than actual learning. Hmm . . . So I Googled and found this site: http://learntoknit.com . Fortunately the washcloths use basic stitches, and this place gave me good enough instructions to get started. (A friend has since suggested a book, The Knit Stitch, by Sally Melville; it’s on my “to buy” list.) I’m now about halfway through my first washcloth, and beginning to feel like I know what I’m doing. Lots of mistakes, but the yarn is varigated, the piece is supposed to have texture, and it’s just a washcloth for my personal use, so I’m not worrying about the mistakes. I’m learning. Am no where near good enough to knit and watch a new DVD, but I knitted through a couple of our John Cusack DVDs last night (“High Fidelity” and “Grosse Point Blank”) and did just fine.
What I hadn’t expected was the calmness and satisfaction I feel while knitting. I love working with textiles, anyway. Perhaps it is in my genes, via those Scots ancestors from Paisley, who had rooms for their weaving looms. When I was a kid I wove pot-holders and made custom orders for our neighbors. But when I sit and knit, it’s as if I’m connected to generations of women (and men!) who stretch far back into time, creating practical and beautiful items for their loved ones and their homes. It is a connection I cherish.