Down with Dishcloths, H'Up with Hats!

Friday, July 27, 2007

I never knew that the compulsion to knit lots and lots of one type of thing had a name until I started reading Stephanie Pearl-McFee. Now I know that the obsession I've had with dishcloths is called a "jag." I'm glad to say that it's done - but before I finish totally I of course have to share with everyone the final (hah!) four. Two are for my next door neighbor's new baby, two are for the Bust that Stash swap.

Only two of them really merit patterns, and those will be posted in due time. The first blue/white/brown one here is Clark's Cloth #1 (to be named differently in the pattern), and the second is Clark's Cloth #2 (no pattern; made it up and did it weirdly). In the interest of disclosure, I originally bought this yarn for Cass as part of the dishcloth swap, but then decided to use it for the wee babe (sorry Cass).

The purple ones are a mitered square with a stripe (no pattern; made it up and did it weirdly) and a "baby cable" a la Barbara Walker. Between the two, pretty much one skein from stash taken care of!

I also got rid of a skein of Bernat Boa and maybe half (?) of a skein of Red Heart Supersaver with a good ol' garter stitch scarf... ain't it loverly? Probably US10? needles, maybe 14 sts? Knit all rows until there's hardly any Boa left, and bind off. Done in an evening!

By my count that's another 2.5 skeins taken care of.

And there are 3 skeins worth of projects waiting to be photographed. Logan's half blanket is blocking (poorly, I might add). As soon as it is dry and presentable I'll get a shot of it and the one-skein purse that I finished lining yesterday. Am on the fence about whether the purse should be a free or for-sale pattern - would you pay $3 for a very cute pattern that uses one skein of ribbon yarn to make a flap bag? (Rice stitch pattern on the flap; twisted stockinette for the body; I-cord strap; lining)

The current WIPs are a moss stitch scarf that just needs its ends woven in (don't we all) and a tote to be felted. I'll get those done soonly - am playing with the idea of working up another tote just so as to waste less water in the wash... That's 2 more skeins.

Grand total (so far) for July: 9.5 skeins removed from stash; 9 projects (2 washcloths, 3 scarves, 2 bags, 1 small-sized baby blanket, 1 pincushion). That's nearly twice my goal for the month - and remember that I did an additional 2 skeins between the Turtle Tracks Washcloth and the two (above) for Clark.

Next month I'm going to work on socks (learning how for Xmas presents - wish me luck!) and charity knitting. UNC Cancer Center is having their Hats with Heart drive/contest again - crafters are asked to submit hats for chemo patients. Not just that, though. All hats will be displayed for about a month, and people will be asked to vote for their favorite and for specific categories. It's an excuse to make really cool hats, not just utilitarian ones. I have several ideas already! If you're around the area and would like to join (or want to mail your hats in), click the link above for info and to register. Little ol' competitive me can't resist a chance to show off while at the same time doing something good for someone else! It appeals to both my noble and my base instincts! Wow, those people are brilliant!

Which brings me to the moral question of the day: given limited resources, is it better to spend those resources helping people in need close to home, or those at a distance? I live in a relatively affluent area compared to some places in my state (not to mention the global community). On the one hand, I do more good by helping an individual who has a greater need for knitwear - people in my area could probably purchase a hat for themselves or a loved one, but I could in theory be the difference between a bare vs. covered head for an Afghani orphan. On the other hand, I can help more people for the same amount of money if I don't have to pay for shipping to a distant location. I dislike going to the post office, much less paying for shipping - even to a central agency that turns around and distributes things. I'd much rather wander over to the hospital volunteer center and drop off a half-dozen baby hats during my lunch hour, and use that $6 to buy more yarn.

I guess the question is: is it better to help one person who is in abject need or many people who are in "normal" need? Is this a quality vs. quantity argument? I got in this discussion because I was talking with a friend who is in divinity school and who was a missionary to the Sudan for several years. He's a bit saddened that my church does relatively little global outreach - but I pointed out that we do a lot in the local community. We weren't able to come up with an answer to the lots locally vs. some globally question - other than, of course, that "lots both" would be ideal. Anyhoo. These are the thoughts I ponder when I'm knitting.


  • trek

    Very tough decision. There are so many shipping and distribution and administrative costs in trying to send physical items across the continental boundaries. I lvoe that you'd prefer to volunteer at the hospital and bring them baby hats. The best part about that arrangement is that you spend the $6 on yarn, enjoy the relaxation of the process, and someone else gets a lovely knitted garment from someone who cared enough to make it.

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    All content in this blog, including patterns and photos, is the intellectual property of Katherine Vaughan. All rights under US Copyright Law are reserved. Teachers, please direct your students to download/print out their own copies of patterns used in class. You are, of course, welcome to use items knit from any pattern for charity or sale, with the statement "design by Katherine Vaughan" appreciated.