Log Cabin Washcloth

A Log Cabin washcloth, colors borrowed from The Classic American Quilt Collection: Amish. (Amazon has it for as little as $2.97 a copy, and this is a great source for weaving and knitting ideas, thank you very much, Mason-Dixon Knitting.)

Pattern: Mason-Dixon Knitting and my quilt book
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream, in brown, black, turquoise, purple and yellow
Needle: size 6 Addi Turbo circular
Finishing: Machine wash, gentle cool; tumble dry low, permanent press (this cotton yarn takes forever to dry)
Size: after finishing, about 9" X 9"
Shrinkage: 10% lengthwise, about 15% widthwise

In weaving, we always note shrinkage; in knitting, I've not seen this measurement. But it really counts when you're making a textile to be used. If you start out, as I did, with a perfect 10 x 10 inch cloth, but the washing and drying takes up more widthwise than lengthwise AND the fabric shrinks, you (or, more importantly, the person who you give it to) will end up with a very different result after the first time through the machine.

Also, finishing provides very important information about how the fabric will perform. Again, in this case, I learned that my Log Cabin cloth will be nice and thick for washing as well as really absorbent. But I also decided that I'm not as happy with the colors and yarn after even one wash; they became a bit muddied in tone and there was lint from the black yarn fuzzing onto the other colors. Next time, I'd try this pattern with a mercerized cotton, like Tahki Cotton Classic, perhaps with a strand of linen worked in.

But not a bad first effort, and I hope that the recipient will like this one until I try the second generation of washcloths.


Anonymous said…
I think that knitters do talk about shrinkage, but in a roundabout way. It's in the warnings to get your gauge measurement from a washed and blocked swatch rather than one that's fresh off the needles.

So is Mason Dixon Knitting a book worth getting? I've been thinking about picking it up for the instructions on making rag rugs - being able to decorate my apartment for the price of on-sale fabric would be wonderful - but I'm always hesitant to buy a whole book just for one project.

Oh, and by the way, have you seen this website? It's full of dishcloth patterns.
Stacey said…
I love that book. It's very inspiring. I want to do the "quilt" with the flying geese.
JANET said…
Yep, it's worth buying. There's tons of good stuff in it, lots of accessible but unique patterns, and the tone is great - optimistic, creative, positive.