Monday, September 17, 2012

Knittin' Sticks

Last weekend I was visiting with a friend who is in the process of making homemade laundry products ~ detergent, stain remover, color catcher sheets, etc, to give as Christmas gifts this year.  After sharing recipes for these money-saving concoctions she brought out a stack of pretty hand-knitted dishcloths.  All I could do was smile because there was a time when I had drawers full of these wonderful cleaning cloths in a rainbow of colors.  My late mother-in-law kept me supplied with dishcloths ~ enough to last me several years after she passed away. 

After I got home I dug through my yarn stash and found my 'knittin' sticks' and some cotton yarn.  I even managed to find my mother-in-law's hand written directions for the dishcloths.  I sat down and began knitting for the first time in several years and in about 4 hours I had completed a dishcloth and enjoyed the quiet time.

I was taught to knit when I was about five years old by Grammy Rose and Grandma Nan.  I desperately wanted to learn and to have my own knittin' bag and my own set of knittin' sticks.  It didn't take Grammy and Nan long to realize that we all needed to wear safety glasses whenever I was knitting ~ so that was the rule:  Safety glasses first and then you can pick up your sticks!  Grammy would cast on stitches for me and knit the first row so my little fingers had something to work with and I was off and running.  After a few hours of knitting my way, the stitches had dwindled to little or nothing and it was time to tie it off and begin another piece.  When asked what I was making I would always say it was something very long for the Christmas tree.  

My sweet Grandpa Bob saw that my sticks were far too long for my short arms so he disappeared to his workshop and in no time came walking in with my own set of "little girl sticks".  He shortened a regular set of needles and glued wooden balls on the ends.  What can I say, I had the best Grandpa in the world!  Sadly the little sticks got away from us somehow and are nowhere to be found. 

Now I'm an old girl and when I knit I still use wooden (bamboo)needles.  Nowadays I live dangerously without my safety glasses!

I have never been a good knitter and I have a mini-meltdown when I make a mistake.  I guess I missed the class on fixing mistakes!  Maybe no one wanted to get close enough to me to show me!  If you would like to give this project a try, here are the directions and it's simple enough for a beginner:

Cast on 4 stitches. 
Row 1:  Knit 4
Row 2:  Knit 2, yarn over, knit across the row.
Repeat row 2 until you have 44 stitches on your needle.
Row 3:  Knit 1, Knit 2 together, yarn over, knit two together, knit to the
              end of the row.
Repeat Row 3 until you have 4 stitches on your needle.  Bind Off. 

Note:  Size 9 needle.  I use Peaches & Creme yarn from WalMart.  It's 100% cotton and comes is some nice colors. Bleaching this yarn is not recommended, but I have bleached the very light colors on occasion. 

On the quilting front, I have been pre-occupied with my new embroidery machine and have been making some small blocks with Halloween designs.  More on that later this week.

Until then I wish you a day filled with Peace & Plenty!    Barb

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