Sunday, January 15, 2012

Why I Love Michigan and The Pattern That Started It All

First a few words about The Mitten on this beautiful sunny Sunday. For non-natives that’s the official nickname for Michigan, although some shape-impaired Wisconsinites are trying to cash in on our gig. Hold up your left hand - palm facing away from you. See? Michigan. You can even position your right hand - thumb down, pinky up, palm facing away - above your left if you want to get fancy and include the UP. 



Being a troll (I live south of The Bridge), I usually just stick with the LP. Still can’t work out the Wisconsin thing, but anyway, moving on. Many Michigan residents joke that in this great state you can wear your bathing suit and snow pants in the same day. Ok, this might be a slight exaggeration, but I submit two pictures in defense of our musings about weather.

The beach at Grand Haven Monday through Thursday afternoon.

My backyard in Grand Haven on Friday.
I can’t really think of a clever segue linking Michigan weather and dishcloths, so please excuse this abrupt shift to knitting. 
A comment by a new follower, Diane, inspired me to post the pattern for the beloved dishcloth: Grandma’s Favorite. 

Grandma's Favorite with Scrubbie Corner
Despite extensive research, I am unable to find the creator of this pattern (many claim to be the author), so I can’t give credit. Sorry. Anyway, dishcloths are a great way to learn to knit or re-acquaint yourself with the art. The yarn is inexpensive, the project is quick, gauge isn’t important, and you have something useful when you’re finished. Most importantly, it’s a dishcloth so a mistake here or there doesn’t really matter. Grandma’s Favorite is the pattern that started it all for me about 11 years ago when my mother-in-law offered to teach me to knit. I had crocheted nearly all my life (someday I’ll write a post about my 23 year long crocheted afghan, ugh!) and was eager to try my hand, or hands as the case may be, at knitting. I finished the first dishcloth and was hooked! No pun intended. My girls were still young and money was tight, so dishcloths were the perfect project for me: quick and cheap. Aside from the occasional fling with a scarf, which is really just a long, rectangle dishcloth if you think about it, I stuck with dishcloths. I taught myself how to read patterns, knit cables, and many other skills via dishcloths. I dubbed myself the dishcloth queen. I passed them out at every family get together and they made the perfect hostess gift. Although, if a hostess says something along the lines of your dishcloth being unique or a nice doily, bring a bottle of wine next time. 

So, enjoy this pattern as a way to learn to knit or rekindle your love of knitting.

1skein cotton yarn (Sugar‘n Cream works great)
Size 8 needles
Using a knitted cast-on, CO 4 stitches.
Knit 2, yarn over (YO), knit to the end of the row.
Repeat this row until your project has about 45 or so stitches.
Then decrease as follows:
Knit 1, knit two together (K2TOG), YO, K2TOG, knit to the end of the row.
Repeat this row until you have 4 stitches left.

Now if you want to really impress friends and family, you can add netting, also known as scrubbie material. Purchase netting at a fabric store. Cut it into roughly 1” strips, or have your mom do that part for you - thanks mom, and knit double-stranded with it and the yarn for the first 20 rows or so. 

This adds a scrubbie corner great for cleaning up sticky stuff - not kids though, ouch!

Knit on! ~ Christina


  1. I grew up in New Era but have been living in New Hampshire the last 6 years... I just discovered your blog & instagram and am loving all the great pictures of home, as my favorite t-shirt says I am 'smitten with the mitten' :) Happy knitting!

    1. Hello Jodi,

      Thanks for stopping by and nice to meet you. I found your instagram too. Happy to post mitten pictures for you :)