Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mason Dixon Dishcloth

Mason Dixon Washcloth 1
Originally uploaded by shishyb

This is the Mason Dixon Washcloth as part of my review of Mason Dixon Knitting. This book has a wide variety of patterns at many different skill levels. Even more valuable is that the authors try to help you make the projects your own, by offering multiple yarn selections and multiple versions of the same project, and encouraging readers to experiment.

I had a lot of choices for what to make form this book. I probably chose the Washcloth because I was drawn to the hexagonal shape. It is very suitable for gifts because of the low cost, and short time to completion factor, as well as the presentation shown in the book. The washrag is shown with ribbon run the eyelets, which transforms it into a small bag, just big enough for a nice bar of soap.

It is knit in the round, from the outside in. I used the knitted cast on, just to give the edge a different look. Bobbles are made near the edge, which creates the corners. The eyelets and decorative decreases add interest. Here's a closer look:

There is one errata in the pattern, and it's listed on the Mason Dixon Knitting blog.

I made it in Sugar n Cream, which made it 100% cotton, machine washable and dirt cheap. Since I am a loose woman, I used a size 5 to get gauge, and, more importantly for this piece, to get a fabric that looks and feels right.

I had two minor issues with the finished product that are worth noting, but wouldn't prevent me from making this again.

First of all, my washcloth just won't lie flat. It can be coaxed into a temporary flat state, but it seems that the decreases just aren't fast enough at some point in the first 10 rounds, because there is an ever so slight ruffle. I blocked it in hopes of fixing this, it reverted right back to its original noncompliant state once I picked it up. Here it is during blocking (for scale, these are 12 inch tiles):

After blocking, I tried machine washing and drying it. This only made it curlier, as you can tell here:

The second issue is the center isn't shown in the book. It's made in the same way that many hats are: decrease to a certain number of stitches and draw the yarn through the remaining loops and close up the hole. In hats, this isn't prominent, and it doesn't look bad. But in this application, it is the focal point, and it looks odd to me.

These aren't fatal flaws, I would still use this pattern again. For our new condo, I might make a set of guest towels using this washcloth and the hand towels in this book. The hand towels are beautiful in muted colors of linen, and the MD washcloth would too, especially if the center is embellished with a small flower. However, I don't think I'll be attempting full-sized bath towel to complete the set.

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