Dishcloth Swap Topic #2: Needles & Yarn

Monday, September 17, 2007
So this week's dishcloth swap topic (to keep us blogging, which apparently I need right now) is:
When you knit or crochet dishclothes, washclothes or face clothes, what do you use? What size needle or hook? Wood? what type? Metal? Plastic? A specific Brand? Why do you love that needle or hook so much? Is there one you are dying to try? Is there a particular yarn you love and use all the time for clothes? What is so special about it?
I have to admit, I'm pretty boring. Since I use worsted-weight cotton for my cloths, I used US7, 8, or 9 needles. It depends on what's around. Generally I opt for the 8s, if only because I have three pairs so it's easy to find them, and I usually have at least one pair that's not tied up in some other UFO. However, the short 8 circs have pretty blunt tips (which I HATE), so if I'm doing any sort of stitch pattern that involves yo's, decreases, etc., I'll go with the longer ones or switch to the 7s. The 7s are only available in longer circs (and straights, which I HATE), so that's a limitation there... otherwise I'm pretty much a needle ho. I'll take what's offered, no questions asked.

I haven't actually bought a pair of needles in a long time - my grandmother gifted me her collection and I got some Boye Needlemasters a few years back, so I just haven't had to. They're almost all metal, though I did discover a set of 16in US10s recently, and used them for a hat (the tips are pretty blunt though). I think I'd like to experience knitting with wood, but haven't seen the need to go out and purchase needles just for that.

As for yarn for cloths, my standard is Sugar N Cream. Why? Let me count the ways:
  1. It comes in lots of interesting colorways, including the new stripey one that I haven't tried yet but am jonesing to do.
  2. It's available in every craft store in my area
  3. It's cheap, so I don't feel bad about making something that is just going to get used until it disintegrates (which, given the number of baths that the DD requires, isn't long after the cloth goes into general circulation).
  4. It's completely washable and dryable - many cottons and linens are handwash, which is just wrong by definition for a WASHcloth.

I've also used Peaches & Creme, but since I can't find that around here (translate: I haven't looked hard), it's mostly gift yardage from swaps. There's nothing particularly "special" about the brand itself - mainly it's the colors and the pattern I choose that make me happy.

In destashing news, my friend T (who has a new job as a prof of bio at a small college nearby - go T!) graciously accepted two 1/4skeins of Patons Wool as a donation to her teaching cause. She wants to do something involving contrasting snippets of yarn to demonstrate meiosis and mitosis. I haven't got the vision down, but am hoping she'll take piccys so I can post them here (biology wonk that I am).

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