Almost Mindless Knitting

Last summer, I found myself very briefly between Big Events in my life, and I needed to knit something that didn’t matter. Too much else mattered in my life at that time for me to also be knitting anything with emotional investment. Besides, my mind felt too soft to focus on anything that required much brain power.

What do you make when you need your hands to be active but your mind to rest? What do you make when you need to feel like you’re moving forward but you don’t want to put too much hope in the outcome?

I made dishcloths. I haven’t made dishcloths in years – they just aren’t the type of thing I typically want to spend my time on. But it turns out that all the things that make me usually shy away from them are what made them exactly the right project for me last August.

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This is the Almost Lost Washcloth, a round scalloped washcloth I find perfectly adorable. I can’t tell you what yarn or needles I used, because I kept no notes (and didn’t even log it on Ravelry until today). It was just some cotton yarn I had on-hand. I made these in almost no time at all.

And quickly followed up with a Mini Almost Lost Washcloth, equally adorable but on a smaller scale.

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The thing about knitting dishcloths is that, unless you are giving them away, it really doesn’t matter if you make mistakes in them, because they will still be perfectly useful These are by no means perfect – I think the wee one even has an extra petal in there – but the knitting was therapeutic and the final product is functional, plus the colors make me happy. Knitting therapy at its finest.

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2 thoughts on “Almost Mindless Knitting

  1. I can totally relate to this post. Dishcloths are always my go-to “I need my hands to be busy but my mind is elsewhere (or nowhere)” knit. I knit them when I’m in riding in a car and can’t do anything else because I get car sick. I buy skeins of cheap cotton yarn to support small knit shops I visit when I have no need for anything fancier. I laugh that I am knitting a trunk full of dishcloths as my daughter’s dowry.

  2. Yep, dishcloths for me, too. Haven’t done any fancy pretty ones like those yet, although I do have a similar pattern I wanted to try. I just do squares – sometimes even just plain old plain knitting all the way, often starting with one stitch and increasing every row then decreasing when I decide it’s about half big enough (used to hate increasing, I’m a whiz at it now), or else in a basket weave stitch. No thought required, you can just fall into a daze while knitting. I use them as a kind of sampler, too, if I want to try out something I’m unsure of (I’m not nearly as advanced a knitter as you are). I made a big one with larger needles and a double strand of cotton once and it’s a fantastic thing to set a hot teapot on – along with a tea cosy it keeps tea hot for ages.
    I give dishcloths to people as presents sometimes. Usually they look at me with a bemused expression, say thank you and that’s that. Until a few months later when they’ll tell me they finally use them and think they’re the best thing ever and will never go back to ordinary cloths again. Cracks me up every single time. 🙂

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