I’d heard stories about these crafty swaps… but usually after they happened, when I’d read other people’s blog posts about all the lovely treasures they’d made and received.
When Leonie posted about a Dishcloth Swap, I thought “Why not?” My crochet hook had been idle since I’d finished my shawl earlier in the year, and a dishcloth seems about the right size project to get back into it. I’d never made a dishcloth before, but I figured it couldn’t be too hard.
Most of the patterns for “Dishcloths” on Ravelry seemed to be a variety of mostly square shapes. I decided to improvise. I consulted with a couple of crafty friends. One person said it needs to be a double knit cotton, in a chunky thick kind of stitch to make it nice and absorbent. The other said that a finer cotton, and open stitch would work better, and it was the spaces between the stitches that did the cleaning work. So I decided on a bob each way and to make one of each.
Then October suddenly got rather busy on me. Our family had a trade exhibit at a local A&P show, and by the time we got organised for that, then recovered from the exhaustion afterwards, suddenly it was 24th October, and I was only a quarter of the way through this square. “I’d better get on with this,” I thought, “I should be able to whip this up in a couple of evenings.”
But when I got it out, I decided I didn’t really like how it was shaping up, so unravelled it and started again. Then about half way through it wasn’t sitting right, so unravelled and started again. By the time I’d finished the first dishcloth, it was Labour Day, and only four days before it was supposed to be in the hands of the recipient.
For the second dishcloth, I decided to use some cotton I’d bought intending to make a placemat/potholder for Mum’s Christmas present (I didn’t specify which year… it’s taking a bit longer to make than I thought it would). I’d chosen colours that reminded me of Paua, and the combination of them seemed very aquatic.
I thought a scallop type pattern would work well for this, and got started. Then I found my sides were too rippled – I was increasing too many stitches. So I unravelled and started again. This time, about half way though, it was bowing up, too few stitches each increase. So I unravelled and started again. I finally got it finished on the 30th October.
I’d heard stories about these crafty swaps… about how much extra stuff sometimes gets included in the parcels beyond just the crafted item. Not wanting to be caught out, I added a bar of my favourite goats milk soap, and a hand written letter, and sent it all away on the very last day of the month.
Then I got a huge box of goodies from Leonie herself – I was a bit embarrassed about how small the parcel I’d sent was.
It was just like I’d heard in the stories.