The Women’s Room has a knitwear guru (Belinda) as a friend and she has been helping us revisit knitting as means of stress relief this week. Knitting has had something of a renaissance recently, particularly in the USA, where it is unencumbered with the old-biddy-craft-fair-crap tag that is has in the UK. As Belinda explained, ‘If you lived in the middle of nowhere in the USA, even until very recently, often the only way to get a new sweater was to knit one’.
There’s also a strong community spirit amongst US knitters and they are wonderfully enthusiastic bloggers who share knitting tips, patterns, recipes and their life stories on-line. Our favourite is the Mason-Dixon blog, where amongst the beautiful knitted sweaters and other complex projects is the pattern for a dish cloth square (right hand column).
Belinda informed us that Americans are enthusiastic dishcloth square knitters, as ‘dishcloth yarn’, an indigenous yarn from the home of cotton is as cheap-as-chips and comes in hundreds of bright colours. The simple squares are doddle to make, even for beginners and can be knocked up while watching TV or in the car whilst waiting for teenagers to emerge from school/houseparties/Topshop.
No such yarn is available in the UK sadly (although it is sometimes, erratically spotted in Lidls) as we quite fancy hand knitted dish clothes, which are certainly one up from a J Cloth and sounds like something the Conran shop should be interested in. However, soft string would work or Belinda recommends indigo denim yarn from Rowan as a smarter alternative –denim dishcloths!
She has also made the same pattern into face clothes and cute hand towels made of linen yarn, which in a very Martha Stewert way, make nice gifts when bundled up with soap or designer washing-up liquid. Alternatively you can just read the blog and imagine a life where there was time to indulge a denim dishcloth fantasy.
The Victoria & Albert museum lists some great UK knitting blogs at Knitting blogs, V&A
Even men knit apparently, check out Jared on Brooklyn Tweed
But Masondixonknitting is our favourite.