O Dishcloth

I’ve written and test knit two monogram dishcloth patterns this week, and this is the first one– O.  This was the first time I had to get curves in my design, so I was a little concerned the O would be too boxy.  My first effort turned out a little wonky with the O looking like it had handles like a coffee cup.  I reworked it, and now I’m satisfied with this O.  I hope you enjoy knitting it for the Os in your life!

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I bring my cat to work now, so I knit him a bed.

This is George, and he is one of the six cats who live at my house.  (If you’re interested in learning the whole story, it’s here.)  A few weeks ago, I brought George to the shop because he was limping and needed to see Dr. Piper, and Mom said she’d shopsit while I took him.  I brought him back to the shop the next day because I thought he needed some time away from the other guys.  And then I brought him back again because he became very popular with visitors to the shop.  By Friday Evening Open Studio that week, I had decided that it would be kitty cat neglect not to knit George a bed.

I knew I wanted a felted project for several reasons: 1) I love felted projects and hadn’t done one for a while; 2) I wanted a quick project; and 3) I have quite a bit of Cascade 220 in the shop, so there were plenty of options for a felting project.  I went to Ravelry and found SockPixie’s Chaton Minet, which was absolutely what I was looking for in this project.  There was a great opportunity to play with color, and I loved the chevrons.  I also really liked the detailing at the top.  It was time to pick yarn and get knitting!

I started with blue because George’s accessory is blue.  I chose Cascade 220 #9932, Sapphire.  The walls of the shop are green, so I also wanted to work in a green.  I chose Cascade 220 #9323, Dark Spruce Heather.  There are also pops of red in the shop because it’s my favorite color, so I chose Cascade 220 #9404, Ruby.  For the fourth color, I chose a neutral, Cascade 220 #4010, Straw.

Then I got knitting!  As with most felted projects, it flew because I was using US #15 needles and holding the yarn doubled.  The chevrons were fun and kept the miles of garter stitch interesting.  This project was an addicting knit, and I am not ashamed to admit that I spent most of the July 4th weekend watching American Pickers and Pawn Stars while knitting for hours at a time on this project.  It was fun to work on at the shop because people who had never seen a felting project were completely intrigued by it.

The most important part of a felting project is the blocking because if you goof up the blocking, the finished product will most likely be wonky.  I left it in the washer for several cycles because I wanted a really thick fabric that would stand up nicely, and I also wanted the ridges to be fairly smooth.  I got out the two big plastic bowls we have and put one into the bottom of the bed and asked Patrick to stand in it while I tugged and shaped the bottom.  I then put the second bowl on top of the one on the bottom to give me a good base to work with to shape the sides of the bed, too.  I dove into our collection of plastic bags and started stuffing around the bowls until I was happy with the shape.

To get the shape I wanted at the top, I took more bags and shaped them into long tubes, which I tucked up under the rim.  Then I left the whole deal on the kitchen counter to dry for a couple of days.

I was really pleased with the finished product.  The diameter is about 14 inches, which is about 3 inches less than the pattern calls for.  George seems most content to lay outside the bed and put his paws inside (see photo above), but he also likes to curl up in a ball and nap inside of it.

I have declared this project a success not just because I like the way it turned out but because George is actually using it!  Oftentimes I find that the cats are more interested in projects while I’m knitting them, so I was concerned that he might lose interest after it wasn’t hanging out on my lap.  I also really like the way the colors work together, and it looks good in the shop.  The pattern was well-written, and this was a super fun project.  If you find a cat in need of a bed, get your sticks and cast on!