I still haven’t managed to get my hands on a copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines (my Jan. 8 ILL request through my local public library has yet to be fulfilled and is actually going to be automatically cancelled on April 8 — hopefully if I call them they can extend it). I was especially interested because I wanted to try knitting the Mitered Hanging Towel, which seemed just as easy, interesting, and addictive as the Ballband Dishcloth that their first book unleashed upon the world*. Lucky for me, Canadian Living featured the book and included the pattern on their website.
As was the case with the Ballband Dishcloth, this pattern fits into that perfect middle ground between easy enough to knit while hanging out with friends (a related requirement is that it must also be a pattern that you can keep in your head and don’t need to count) and interesting enough that you don’t get bored. This also uses Peaches n Cream yarns, which I love for the huge selection of solids and ombres (I used yellow and Country Side Ombre here). This uses up more of the main color than a ballband dishcloth, though. (I have a tiny amount of the multi-colored yarn left over, but not enough that I could have done the hanging loop with it.) This is also a great pattern for beginning knitters, because you can practice your garter and stockinette stitches, and learn about decreasing.
One downfall of this pattern is knitting the hanging loop. This calls for you to double the yarn, but keep the same size needles that you use to knit it with one strand. As any knitter knows, this is extremely hard on your hands, with any yarn, let alone non-stretchy cotton. Anticipating this, I actually omitted several rows of doubled (in the picture, this is the last few rows of the green & purple part). Once I got to the point where I needed to double the yarn, I could only knit on a few rows at a time, and the decreases were just awful. I really like this pattern, but I need to figure out some other way to handle the loop — I need to find a yarn that barely stretches at all, and then I’ll knit that singly. Hemp? Linen? I have done zero research on this but those two jump to mind first. Any thoughts, knitters?
I also need to get a stash of buttons to use on the closure — some plain wooden ones would be ideal.
*To be fair, they didn’t really come up with the pattern. It was originally published on the inside of the labels for the kind of yarn you use to knit it. I forget the details, but it was either in the public domain, or they modified it enough, that they were able to republish it.