A big calico bag full of 100% cotton DK bits and bobs went with along on the long 690km road trip up to Johannesburg for baby girl's wedding.
I always put hot dishes onto a cloth trivet, ever since a little accident one night many, many moons ago when just married. I roasted some chicken pieces in a glass dish, and put it straight from the oven onto the heat proof counter top. The dish shattered into a hundred little pieces, ruining our supper. The ZOOTY OWL TRIVETS made in 2014 have been used so much that they have started looking really sad, so for starters I made three new trivets.
The African Flower pattern was on the cover of a magazine at the supermarket checkout, and I reproduced it from memory.
The Easy Round Trivet is exactly that - just a simple circle.. Leave it as it is or add a simple border. Follow the instructions for the base of the SHABBY PROJECT BAG to make a perfectly flat circle.
The Sunflower Trivet was a sudden flash of inspiration - this pattern will soon be available on Ravelry.
Due to health issues, long journeys leave me in excruciating pain, so both the to and from trips were done over two days. Harrismith is a quaint "dorpie" (small town) 416km from Port Shepstone. We slept over at DE OUDE HUIZE on the first leg of the journeys. Do go and have a look at the lovely photos the owners have on their page. The place has a wonderful nostalgic feel to it and the hosts could not be more welcoming or gracious!
Although the bathrooms have all the modern comforts, they still have that olde world charm which immediately inspired me to hook up some wash cloths.
The cloths are far from perfect as the cottons, although all DK, were not all the same thickness - but that just adds to their charm.
This easy pattern is a great way to use up cotton scraps and to test out colour recipes or stripe compositions.
A double crochet (UK treble ) stripe is crochet at its simplest and is the best way to practice neatness and tension. Even tension is probably the most important aspect of crochet in any form.
My gran made me crochet row after row after row (after row...) of double crochet until my tension was spot on, before she would let me move on to anything more complicated. If your tension is even you can be sure of neat, perfectly shaped pieces. If you are new to crochet or have experienced wobbling or curling, it is worthwhile to make a couple of these to check that your tension is even.
What to do with all these cloths.......
- For a quick in-the-bath "spa treatment" take a handful of sugar, mix it with a bit of shower gel - just enough to make a paste. Only make enough for immediate use as the sugar will soon dissolve in the shower gel. Soak the cloth in the water while you rub the sugar mix over your body. Wring out the cloth, rub it in circles over your skin to gently exfoliate, rinse off and then wash as usual. Arms, hands, legs and feet take a bit of a beating in our hot climate. (This works just as well with a packaged scrub.) A gentle exfoliation is needed at least once a week to allow my skin to better absorb body lotion and keep it soft and hydrated.
- Spray a few cloths with some scented linen spray, fold neatly and leave in a small basket in the guest bathroom, along with a bigger empty basket for used cloths. It makes for a nice touch for each guest to dry off their hands with a fresh cloth (and these are way more environmentally friendly than paper towels)
- Fold and tie up two or three cloths with a pretty scented soap for a quick gift.
OH SO EASY WASH CLOTH PATTERN
Yarn: 100% cotton, DK (eg Stylecraft Classique Cotton; Raeesah; Strawberries & Cream)
Hook Sizes: 4.00mm and 4.50mm
Pattern Terms: US (see conversion chart for UK terms)
Skill Level: Beginner / Easy
Each stitch is worked into the top of the corresponding stitch on the previous row. You will see that there is a "v" at the top of each stitch. When working into the stitch insert your hook under both loops of this "v" and then complete your stitch.
Along the sides of the cloth the border stitches are worked around the post of the stitch at the end / start of each row.
Foundation: Using 4.50mm hook, chain 37
Switch to 4.00mm hook
Row 1: 1dc into 4th chain from hook (counts as 2 dc); 1dc into next each of next 33ch (35dc); turn work
Row 2: 3ch (counts as 1dc); 1dc into each of next 34dc, turn work
Rows 3 - 17: Repeat Row 2, break off yarn
Round 1: Working along the top of the cloth, join yarn with a sl st into 2nd dc on Row 17. 1ch (does not count as a stitch), 1sc into each of next 32dc. Do not work into the top of the next (last) dc, but insert your hook into the space between the last 2dc on Row 17, work 5sc around post of the end dc;
Working down the side of the cloth, 2sc around each dc post at the end of the next 15 rows,. 5sc around next dc post;
Working along the bottom of the cloth, 1sc into the chain at the base of next 33dc; 5sc around post of last dc;
Working up the side of the cloth, 2sc around each dc post at the start of the next 15 rows; 5sc around next dc post. Sl St into top of start sc to close, Turn cloth.
Round 2: Join yarn in 3rd sc of any corner 5sc; 1ch (does not count as a stitch); 3sc into same place as join; (1sc into each sc to 3rd sc of next corner; 3sc) x3; 1sc into each sc to corner; sl st into start sc to close.
Note: Your workpiece should be perfectly square and flat. Depending on type of yarn used, you may have to block. If you find your border is slightly wavy use a hook 1 or 2 sizes smaller.
A special thank you to my friend Kim Ryan for testing this pattern for me!