One reason I love knitting is because of all the different things I can make. The other big reason is how easily it fits into the rest of my life. I don’t need to sit at home to knit. I can go out with my knitting and not be stuck in front of a computer. I can run errands with yarn and needles in my bag to keep busy and not waste time standing in line. For the last few years, my favorite bit of purse knitting has been socks but I’ve also hauled along hats, fingerless mitts, and even a shawl or two. I carried around the Hitchhiker Shawl until I had to wrap it around my arms so it wouldn’t trail along behind me. Before I learned to make socks and developed a love for shawls, I carried along washcloths to keep my hands busy. I clearly remember knitting a washcloth in a doctor’s waiting room. While the lady sitting across from me thought my knitting was pretty great, I was just a little embarrassed. Not because I was seen knitting in public by stranger but because I was embarrassed to be seen knitting a washcloth.
At the time, hand knitted washcloths were all the rage. However, for as many people I saw extolling the virtues and wonders of knitting your own washcloths, there were just as many people typing their distaste. One person wrote they would rather pull out their own hair rather than knit a washcloth. Another commenter stated that they would flat out refuse knitted washcloths given to them as gifts. It was comments and thoughts like this that were swirling around in my head as I was sitting in the doctor’s waiting room stitching away. You either had to love knitting washcloths or hate them. There was no in between. I was afraid that some knitter - one that unapologetically hated knitted washcloths - would see me and sneer. So I slunk down in my chair, kept knitting, and hoped that the imagined sneering knitter would not appear. The thought that some knitter who loved making washcloths might appear did not occur to me.
I couldn’t help feeling that way even though I knew it was silly and completely illogical. Several years later, I’m certain that it’s silly and illogical. Just because someone on the internet or in real life says they don’t like knitting washcloths or lacy socks or giant blankets or funny hats doesn’t mean you have to feel like a smuck for enjoying those things. If you want to knit a stack of washcloths 10’ high or a hat that looks like a cooked turkey, go for it. Enjoy it. Have fun. Own it. Just knit what you like. Knit what makes you happy. You don’t have to sneak away and rent a hotel room to get your fix for knitting washcloths or full-length beaded opera gloves.
Over the years, I’ve since come to terms with my love of knitted washcloths. They’re small, colorful, generally easy, and entirely functional. I like them for scrubbing my dishes and scrubbing my back. If you’re wondering, I do have separate kitchen cloths and bath cloths. Don’t worry. My kitchen has a special drawer filled just with knitted kitchen towels and a few crocheted clothes from a friend. I have an unapologetic stash of kitchen cotton. What’s more, I’ve released six washcloth/kitchen towel patterns and have a few more in mind. The Triforce Washcloth and Bridges Kitchen Towel are the most popular but my favorite is Cthulu Rising. I have no intention of not knitting washcloths because they’re awesome and I enjoy it. Socks are my default purse knitting of choice now but I’m not afraid of sneers or derision, real or imagined, for knitting washcloths or anything else. I say, knit what you love and be proud of it.