The Infamous Darrell Waltrip Washcloth

Two DW cloths hanging on a clothesline. On the left is one in orange, to the right is one in purple.

I came across this pattern years ago, it having been shared at knit group. I scribbled down the instructions on a notepad and moved on with life, thinking it would always be available. It turns out that the internet has eaten the instructions! I was able to locate it on the Wayback Machine to share with you!

It’s super easy and gives a nice texture with minimal effort. Try it out! In an abundance of caution, in case the Wayback ever fails, I’ve copied Rhonda K. White’s instructions below. The pattern is completely hers, the photos in this post are mine:

Note:  “sl 2 wyif” is worked like this:
            bring your yarn to the front, as if you were going to purl.  Now, slip the next two stitches from the left needle to the right needle without working them, and take your yarn BACK to the proper position for knitting the next 2 stitches.  This is what forms the horizontal bars all over the cloth, and also what REALLY helps to break up the color blocks you so often get when knitting with a multicolored yarn!

this pattern is a multiple of 4, in case you want to make your cloth bigger or smaller!
I’ve added 3 stitches on each side for a border – and they ARE written into the instructions :o)

Cast on 38 stitches
Rows 1-4:  Knit across
Row 5:  k3, p32, k3
Row 6:   k6, *sl 2 wyif, k2; rep from * to last 4 sts; k4
Row 7:   k3, p32, k3
Row 8:  k4, *sl 2 wyif, k2; rep from * to last 6 sts; sl 2  wyif, k4
Row 9:  k3, p32, k3
Row 10-57:  repeat rows 6-9 twelve (12) more times
Row 58-60:  knit across
Bind off, and admire your beautiful creation! :o)

Four knitted washcloths on a black background. The yellow and purple cloths are garter stitch, the blue and orange ones in the foreground are DW cloths.

Welcome, end of Summer!

Thank you for your patience as I took a Summer Hiatus. I thought taking the time away would lend me a respite and help stabilize my depression but it hasn’t – so I thought it would probably be healthy to push through and post every now and again anyway. There’s no knitting in this post except the photo below, so feel free to skip on by. I’ll post knitting projects later, I promise.

Black and Orange variegated yarn made into a plain stockinette washcloth. It hangs between two pegs on a clothesline with a fuzzy green foliage background

The Summer weather was pretty brutal on my Neurocardiogenic Syncope and I broke an almost 2 year streak of not passing out all the way. It was awful. We’ve done the best we can to train Minor for a cardiac event by getting him to practice when I’m at the precipice of passing out, and by pretending to have done so – but the real event scared us both. My neighbor and I haven’t been getting along very well, but she was having a bad day so I stood on our shared porch for almost an hour so she could vent about the hard things she was facing and feeling. (At the time, I wanted to foster a better relationship, but I no longer care to based on events that followed after my cardiac event, which I don’t want to go into here.) I kept trying to disengage from conversation and go inside because I was feeling all the warning signs – my blood was pooling in my lower extremities and I was hearing a buzzing in my ears – the pain in my legs was getting worse and suddenly her mouth wasn’t matching what I was processing as sounds. I don’t even know if I said it clearly but I remember trying to say “I have to go inside now, I’m sorry.” and the next thing I knew, I was coming to with Minor on my chest, performing Deep Pressure Therapy.

He was a very good boy and did a good job taking care of me until my Mom came over. We took a week of recovery and then resumed life. I never want to put anyone in danger. The condition of keeping my driver’s license depends on my careful management of my condition and avoiding driving when I have been compromised, so I am very careful about it.

Charlie Minor (my dog) and I smile at your from the front seat of our car

The pandemic has really gotten to me – I’ve been avoiding being around people and my OCD has been very hard to handle. I’m terrified I’ll pass covid on to somebody, unaware I have it. I mask religiously – speaking of religion, I haven’t been to Mass in so long they changed Priests on me! My first Priest has retired (well deserved!) but I haven’t been to Mass or welcomed the new one. He seems younger than me, from the photo they put in One Voice. I really miss 2019 when I was unafraid and able to participate in social activities.

Avoiding people has really screwed Minor over – he is turning 2 on October 1st and still doesn’t have the ability to go inside a grocery store with me. I can hardly handle the concept of a grocery store right now, let alone make sure he is offering me constant “eye” and acting flawlessly. The supply issues on the shelves really freak me out and I get easily overwhelmed inside the store. It feels like the walls wobble – all the sounds and random beeping are as overwhelming as the press of people no longer maintaining social distancing and masking. I have broken down crying inside the store on several occasions.

I have gone to knit group a few times this Summer, but frequently left early for similar reasons. Nobody talks about yarn anymore, or brainstorms projects – it’s all politics and covid. The majority of our small group is vaccinated so they weren’t masking indoors, which made me want to claw my skin off. Minor handles the small group well, and acts as expected of his job title when we’ve been there. I haven’t been in several weeks because the hospitals were over capacity and I was told UAB hospital downtown converted their lowest risk psych ward into a covid unit. Too many friend-of-a-friends are sick.

Charlie Minor laying down on his hand towel at group. You can see his signage of "Service Dog in Training" attached to his leash.

I have a couple of projects I’ve been working on, a few knitting things – a few recipes. My boyfriend’s house warming party is supposed to be next month – he was waiting on the delivery of his household appliances but it’s been a comedy of errors and a whole bunch of rescheduling from the store he purchased them from, so it keeps being pushed back. I’m hoping the weather will be nice enough and the covid numbers low enough that he can have the gathering he’s been envisioning. When I moved into my apartment I didn’t have a party because it was 2020 – and I’ve never attended a housewarming so I’m tentatively excited about it.

If you made it to the end of this post, I wish I could give you a hug or a cookie or something – I’ve written and re-written it so many times, trying to figure out how to put things into words and perspective. I’m hoping with effort and time, blogging again will become a happy thing. It feels there aren’t enough happy or good things in the world. I think it’s up to us to notice and highlight it when we see it. Let’s start looking for it together.

Going on Summer hiatus

I just want you few faithful readers and friends to know I’m okay, I am just taking one of my mental health breaks.

My boyfriend is moving, and there’s a lot of other little personal things all needing attention. This time of year is tied in with some past trauma for me, so I just want to hit pause and take a little hiatus to take care of things and restore balance before it becomes an issue.

I Love you! I hope you have a beautiful Summer!

Black and white Borador dog, Charlie Minor models his bright yellow rain slicker. His eyes look sad because he hates wearing it. I am in the driver's seat of my car, smiling at you.

Project #11 in 2021 – Selfish socks

Sock on progress from top down, stopped at heel.

I had a pair of socks cast on and lingering in the WIP pile for over 12 months. I wasn’t sure if it was the pattern (Pumpkin Pie by Jo Columbine free Ravelry pattern) or the yarn (West Yorkshire Spinner’s in Tumeric). I commenced ripping them back and started with a very plain toe up with a gusset and by the time I used what I unraveled I’d decided it was definitely both.

I hate this yarn so much. It’s slightly thinner than I enjoy, and I kept picking guard hairs out. It has a great, consistent color…so that’s nice.

I decided to to a 4 x 4 stitch fakey basket weave texture, 6 rows high and end it with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

Finished pair of yellow/orange socks on bright blue plastic blockers, laying on a bed of grass.
Stashdown countdown 12.5/50

Crochet for charity

Tasty Crochet by Rose Langlitz
This is one of the only crochet pattern books I’ve never regretted buying.

My friend, C, asked our bestie, A, if she would be willing to help make things to add to gift baskets for people to bid on for charity. She was knitting a lot of vegetables to add in to kitchen baskets and I wanted to join in but my time has been hard pressed. I asked A if a crocheted addition would be okay and she let me play in her acrylic stash.

Three crocheted strawberries with black safety eyes
We added safety eyes so they fit in well with her previous work.

I forgot how much fun amigurumi and the patterns in Tasty Crochet are! The projects make up adorably and I highly recommend. I hope these little strawberries make their new owner smile, and help raise a little money for the charity. You should totally borrow Tasty Crochet from your local library, or buy a copy! The sandwich pattern is one of my favorites.

Dehydrated

Full disclosure – I get no kickbacks for recommending this product off Amazon.

The Eagle Peak 2ft herb drying rack. This is a photo layout with multiple images, showing the process of putting shredded cabbage out to dehydrate.

We finally had good weather so I could try out my outdoor drying rack! Each shelf was large enough for one whole head of cabbage! The thing I love most about the Eagle Peak 2ft herb drying rack is the zipper and top being solid so no pests or birds can interact with the food within.

Cabbage is one of the only vegetables that my dad can have on his medically necessitated diet. After a few days of sun and wind, I ended up with 2 quarts of dried cabbage, ready to add to soup or fast dinners!

The rack folds down into a handy case and comes with a handy dandy pruning tool, which would help if you were actually drying herbs in it. 😅

Have you dabbled in dehydration? What foods did you try?

Isosceles Trapezoid self fringing shawl (Knit)

This shawl was directly inspired by the Smoothie Shawl (link at the top of my blog). I wanted something with a bit of a cushier texture, so I went with garter stitch. It uses more yardage than stockinette – I ended up using 460 yards of Lion Brand Mandala Tweed Stripes in “cats eye”.

Four photos in a grid showing two ways to wear the shawl. The top depicts wearing it asymmetrically and the bottom shows just wearing it flat over your neck/shoulders without pinning or holding on to it in any way.

Gauge: 4 inches = 20 stitches wide, 20 garter ridges tall. This makes my shawl 55 inches wide and roughly 16 inches deep before blocking (not including the fringe).

Next time I make this I will be using wool, which is easier to block.

To begin: Cast on 7 stitches, knit one row.

Set up row: K1, kf&b of knit stitch, pm, K5
Increase Section:
Row 1: WS) K5, sm, k to end of row
Row 2: RS) K to 1 stitch before marker, kf&b, sm, K5
Repeat these two rows until you have 75 stitches on your needles.

Continue to knit 75 stitches for a total of 60 garter ridge rows before commencing decrease section.


Decrease Section:
Row 1: WS) K5, sm, k to end of row
Row 2: RS) K to 2 stitches before marker, ssk, sm, K5
Repeat last two rows to the last 7 stitches. Work row 1 once more, bind off stitches before the marker. Remove marker and drop last 5 stitches, one row at a time, working an overhand knot in looped fringe as close to the edge of work as possible. I like to do two knots one on top of the other for a more secure/bolder knot. Repeat for each row until all rows have been worked.

Shawl is pinned to a clothesline in natural daylight.
Before final bind off – the shape blooms a bit more with the formation of the fringe.
Same photo as before, but now showing the fringe and how the edges are more sharply defined once the fringe is complete.
With the finishing steps, the shape will become more distinct.

I hope if you decide to give it a go you’ll drop a note or share photos on your own social media. I love seeing patterns in every shade and texture!

pUpdate on Charlie Majors

Charlie Majors is a very large, 100lbs brown dog. His head is boxy like a Pitt. He is wearing a medical cone and panting.

After 3 long weeks on bed rest in the Cone of Shame™, Charlie Majors got his stitches out and is allowed to scratch, lick, chew bones, and play with Minor to his heart’s content!

Close up view of the scarring on his left ear.
His ear will always carry scars, but the hair is growing back and he is not in pain.
Charlie Majors laying down in the backseat of my car. He's looking at me as I pet his neck. His tongue is flopped out and he looks blissfully happy.
It’s so good to have my boy back to himself and feeling well again!

We are so thankful for our Vet, their staff and the excellent care!

Knitter’s Pride Bamboo Charm needles review

I’ve been trying these size 8 circulars on a new shawl (not pictured). The packaging is simple, and the price is great! Only $4.99 at the local Hobby Lobby (these were a gift from a friend for review).

They were manufactured in India. I don’t usually notice many notions being crafted there, so I struck me as noteworthy.

The needle tips and stamped sizing are shown against a light gray knitted background, for contrast's sake.
The sizing is stamped on and during my current project the size started wearing off, which might be an issue if you’re just starting out and don’t own a needle gauge. The tips are rather blunt, but they’ve held up well through roughly 400 yards of use so far.

The cord feels like the ones on Knit Picks needles (competitor brand), pliable but firm.

For a needle killer like me, this is a great option! You can find them on Amazon, Jimmy beans wool and yarn.com for about $7 if you’re like me and still boycotting Hobby Lobby for that artifact theft mess or their stance on birth control for employees (gross overstep).

Happy stitching!