Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cotton Fugue

Oh, crap, it’s finally happened – I’ve turned into a knitting granny. Nope, my kids are not doing it to me; I’ve gone and done it to myself. I’ve gotten obsessed with knitting dishrags and dishtowels. It started innocently enough. I realized I had a goodly amount of cotton yarn in my stash, most of which I inherited from friends and family members, some that came along with estate auction purchases, and maybe two small balls of Peaches ‘n Cream that I picked up for making girly scrunchies for myself and Bunny. Then I realized I hated all my washcloth/dishrag patterns and bought Mason-Dixon Knitting, not just for the “warshrags,” but also for the warshrags, if you get my drift.

So, I went through my stash, never an easy undertaking, and pulled out all the obviously cotton yarns and started knitting dandy little squares. I used the Ball band pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting and found I really liked it. So I extrapolated and made Ball band patterned dishtowels with toppers. Then I found some nubbly cotton and made a dishtowel and a dishrag from that. Then I realized I had some thinner, mercized cotton around and some elderly braided cotton stuff, and adapted the Burp Cloths from MDK to make towels and rags.

That wasn’t enough. I have now made honeycomb dishrags and am working on a dishtowel of the same pattern. I have knitted dishtowels hanging from the handle on my oven, my refrigerator, next to the sink, and balled up and hidden in the terrycloth dishtowel bucket. I’m using a dishrag as a giant coaster in front of the coffeemaker. I had some ends and pieces leftover and made coasters. It’s getting very colorful in here, and other people chose most of these colors, so it sometimes feels like I’ve landed in someone else’s circus!

I thought I was getting to the end of the cotton supply, but lo and behold, I just found four skeins of slubby, blue-toned cotton that I can remember buying early in my sock-knitting era. I thought I might want to make a pair out of cotton. Turns out I was wrong, and I’m going to wind up mopping up spills with it. I am also convinced that I have a cone of medium blue and a cone of red lurking somewhere, and I can’t find them, by Gad, and that’s niggling around in my head, making me fret. I know Murphy’s Law and its corollaries too well to not believe that the minute I’ve finally knit up the last of the visible cotton, a small thudding noise will draw my attention. I’ll go to investigate it, and there will be a cone of either red or medium blue cotton yarn, chucked out of the netherworld into my hallway, silently mocking me for thinking I finally used up all the cotton yarn in the house.

I am actually contemplating making cozies for my small appliances, a thing I have avoided on purpose my entire life, since I can’t figure out why I’d need them. I’ve websurfed for toilet paper roll covers that look like deranged poodles (for the kitsch factor) and obscenely complacent looking Victorian doll tissue box covers. And doilies. I’ve been looking at doily patterns lately, too.

This is what comes of being the child of parents raised during the Depression. For them, if they had something they could use, they used it. If they thought they might be able to use it in the future, they saved it, sometimes for decades, until it might become useful. As a result, they passed on this annoying mutation of frugality to many of us, their offspring. I know perfectly well that I could drop off my cotton yarn supply at the thrift store and someone else would make good use of it, and it would be out of my hair and mind. But either I paid for it, or someone I know paid for it, or I promised someone I’d get some use out of it when they offered it to me, and, by gum, that just makes it hard to let go of!

I’m hoping I’ll max out soon on using up the cotton and take the rest of it off to St. Vincent’s. But, you know, those dishrags really do work well, and there’s something so nice and soft and homey about the towels…..


Anonymous said...

Hi, BoS--
When you lived in the small town just outside of Vienna, did you attend the American International School there? I did, and wonder if we know/knew each other.

Enjoy the dishrags and dishtowels. Sometimes comfort knitting is great. And I know a great pattern for nylon potscrubbers to complete your kitchen ensemble.
Regards from the Jersey Shore,

BoS said...

Hi, Anne!

I lived in Baden and attended classes at the Paedak there and the University of Vienna and the Technical University of Vienna (lots of train time). I don't think we knew each other then, but that won't stop us from chatting now!

I'd love to have your potscrubber pattern, too.