Perhaps you come here and read about and see pictures of the projects completed by GBOW’s amazing customers, and think, cripes, I don’t knit (or crochet) anything half as good/big/complicated. No hanging out at the Loopy Lounge for me… I’d just be embarrassed. And maybe GBOW is meant for experts. I’ll just stick to my purchased-elsewhere yarn and the scarf I’ve been working on for three years.

Well, I, as your blog curator, am here to tell you why GBOW and the Loopy Lounge are for any level of yarn person, and why easy, small projects are excellent for anyone, expert or not. One word–dishcloths.

I knitted these while I waited for planes to arrive, on ferries, while on hold on the telephone, when I wanted to read and knit, and yes, at many Thursday afternoons in the Loopy Lounge. I can and do knit more complex things (I can follow a lace pattern, have done simple intarsia and cables) but I cannot count stitches or keep track of a pattern when I am with other people, chatting and enjoying the company, or if I want something simple and soothing to pass the time without having to pay a lot of attention. It’s a project small enough to stick in my purse or pocket, and provides almost-instant gratification.

The pattern I use is dead simple but more expert knitters can get very creative with stitches and patterns. I am planning on knitting some slightly fancier wash/facecloths with leftover Sublime soya/cotton I have as well as the gorgeous hemp yarn Roisin has in, because Susan got one from her sister and reports that it is great–scrubby and dries fast.  And you will be able to see one of my hemp cloths at the store, thereby proving yarn people of all skill levels are appreciated at our LYS (I had to look that up…saw the initials on many blogs and had NO idea what it stood for…”Local Yarn Store”).

You can make small squares out of any natural yarn that can be pot holders, facecloths, dishcloths, pieces for a throw or a dog bed, hot pads…so many useful things.

I thought I didn’t like handmade dishcloths. But I discovered I do (and so does my husband–he asked for two for our boat), and so do other people. Try googling “knitted dishcloth” and see how many people love using and knitting (or crocheting) them, regardless of their skill level.

Some points in their favour:
– they last for ages and can be composted (make sure you chop them up)
– they use up scrap or recycled yarn
– they make great gifts and will be appreciated
– they can be made for very little $$$ (mine cost less than $1 each because the yarns were on sale)
– they are an excellent way to learn new stitches and patterns (they are really just large test swatches)
– there are *hundreds* of patterns available for free on the Web (Ravelry is a great source)
– they can be made while you’re camping, on a boat, or waiting for the kids’ swimming lessons to end–they’re meant to get dirty!
– you can try one ball of a pricier yarn and end up with something you can use
– you can work on one in the Loopy Lounge any afternoon and not make mistakes while you chat or listen.

Yay for dishcloths!