Thursday, January 21, 2010

I knitted a WHAT now?

Wowza it ha been a busy week! Despite my work schedule no longer being an obstacle, getting ready for back to school has been a HUGE (and very very expensive) task. Buying school shoes was compounded by Ginger and Twinkle both having hard to fit feet, and the propensity of Apple to fall in love with the first pair she tried, and thereafter want to do nothing but dance about in her new shoes while the excruciating process of fitting the other two drags on. Shopping for school shoes each year pretty much fulfills my definition of retail hell.

Anyway, as an upshot, I didn't do much knitting this week (until today - I just had to stop cos my hand is cramping!) nor did I get a chance to write about the two small projects I completed last week. So this is catch-up.

So... I've been listening to a lot of knitting podcasts lately - i.e. the entire back catalogue of KnitPicks podcast and Never Not Knitting - and Kelley Petkun of KnitPicks did a piece on knitted gifts. In this she said that handknitted hats, scarves and sweaters are not really appreciated by those not familiar with kntting, but that knitted socks and washcloths are, because the handknitted versions are so much lovelier than the shop bought version. This was surprising to me, as I would have thought hand knitting socks was a waste of time, when you can buy them so cheaply... and the idea of knitting a washcloth (or facewasher as we call them in Australia) would never have occurred to me.

But, the idea of a soft, drapey facewasher for when I do my home facials (I have an alarmingly large collection of skin care products) did sound kinda nice - a spa washcloth, as Kelley Petkun called it... Aaaaaaaaahhh...

I happened to be waiting for some notions to arrive at the time, so that I could start theamazinggryffindorscarfforginger, and needed something little to tide me over. So, I thought, why not a washcloth? I picked up a spool of knitting / crochet cotton at Lincraft for $3 on my way home that day, and cast on. I had envisaged doing the whole washcloth in moss stitch, so as to give it a nice exfoliating roughness, but after working a few rows, and rubbing it against my face, I changed my mind, instead keeping the moss stitch as a border and working the main body in stockinette. It just felt nicer.

At this point I will mention that there is something unsettlingly twee about a facewasher with a decorative border - this became apparent when I had finished the item!

I had thought I would be able to get about three washers out of one ball of cotton - after all, they are titchy projects - but was surprised to discover that my one facewasher took up about 80% of the roll. I had hoped that I would be able to make one, test it out, love it, then make a couple more to distribute to my friends on "girls nights" (which largely consist of watching DVDs with therapeutic goop on our faces). In fact, starting on Tuesday, I thought I might even get three made by my girls night scheduled that Friday. They'd be really quick to knit, surely?

Apparently not. I didn't even get one finished, despite taking it to work and knitting on my lunch break. And let me tell you, it is kinda humiliating to be asked by a colleague "So what's this you are working on?" and to have to answer "Ummm... It's a fswshuh" (mumbling with embarrassment at the utter dagginess of the answer). I think maybe the lack of stretch in the cotton stopped me knitting as fast as usual...

Anyway, I finally finished it. It was boring as Idol auditions and took about four hours, but I got it done. I then vowed that no matter how lovely it felt as a washer, it wasn't worth repeating the experience, and laid it reverently on my dresser as the one and only hand-knitted spa washcloth I would ever own.

I didn't get a chance to put it through it's paces for a couple of weeks, but a few nights ago I finally did. And despite the recommendations of the delightful Kelley Petkun who's opinions on all things knitted I have come to greatly respect, my verdict is exactly what I would have thought it would be before I embarked on this foolhardy plan. Far from the pronouncement of sensuous luxury I had hoped to be able to make here, my experience of using my new spa washcloth can be summed up in one (sort of) word: Meh...

Now just dare me to try knitting socks.

1 comment:

  1. Wow what a job knitting a face washer in fine cotton and small needles. Please please dont try the socks. If I remember my Grand mother used to knit them all the time. She used four needles and the shape of the heels took for ever. Never did try myself as it looked like too hard a job. Ladies bed socks would be easier as they are like big baby booties and done with thick wool and bit needles. Good luck my love with what ever you choose and keep up the good work.