My last weaving project before our snowbird trip with the RV was making some dishcloths on my Rigid Heddle Loom. I have mixed feelings about leaving the loom behind at home. There is probably enough room in the pass-through storage area under the RV to transport and store the loom plus needed accessories and yarn, but I decided I would be able to keep busy instead with knitting and potholder loom projects.
I would have started the dishcloth project earlier, but I got side tracked with other tasks that needed to be completed before the trip. I had been preparing for months with several long checklists of items we would need to have in the RV. Many things were already assembled and staged in the basement, but of course some preparation has to be more last minute, things always come up that you did not think of.
Six days before our departure date I warped the loom with some worsted weight off white Peaches & Creme 100% cotton yarn, the length of the dining room table with two leaves. I was winging it and did not know how many dishcloths that would make. Almost a week sounds like plenty of time, but I knew it would fly by and my time would be sucked up with things I did not have on my radar.
I used a pattern called Thick Textured Dishcloths by Cherie Wheeler that is available for purchase on ETSY. It is similar to the waffle weave and windowpane patterns I have used for towels using a pickup stick, but there are only four rows in one repeat. It was about nine inches wide on the loom, and each dishcloth was about nine or 10 inches long, so they wove up very quickly.
The pattern includes instructions for weaving an inch at the beginning and end of each cloth using crochet cotton thread for the weft yarn, which makes it thinner for folded over hems. I did not have any crochet cotton thread on hand and did not have the time nor desire to buy any. I might have been able to find something else similar in the house, but instead I finished the ends with hem stitch and fringe. Being that I was short on time, that was the quickest method.
I wanted to use a couple of the dishcloths for a wedding shower gift. Unfortunately, I was in Arizona at the time of the shower, but I got to say Hi to the people in attendance and watch some of the gift opening via zoom. That is one good thing that has come out of the pandemic. The following photos show the end of a yellow dishcloth, and the beginning of the next green dishcloth, with some plain weave between that will end up as the fringe.
I was able to weave seven dishcloths with the dining room table length of warp yarn. Three of them are shown below after I removed the weaving from the loom, next to one of my mom’s ceramic fish platters.
After completing the project, I even had a few days to spare before leaving on the trip, which was needed for final packing and a trip to town for last minute errands and mailing the shower gift. The bride’s gift registry included some linens in similar colors, so I gave her a green, yellow and blue dishcloth, along with a butter dish I ordered online from Anthropologie.
Last time I was at IKEA I bought some waffle weave dish cloths that are a bit bigger with thinner yarn, but have a similar weave to the ones I made. At one time I worked in the office at the Twin Cities IKEA store for a couple of years. I hardly ever go there any more due, especially since we moved three hours away. But occasionally when it is works out it is fun to walk around the store. If you have been to an IKEA store, you know that you pretty much HAVE to walk through the entire store in order to get out, which I know some people find annoying. I always buy a couple of jars of Lingonberry jam that I like on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I usually find some other linens or kitchen accessories that are a good deal. Following is a photo of the IKEA dishcloth next to one of mine.
The next photo of the yellow dishcloth shows the pattern up close.
I am pleased with how quick these were to make and how nice they turned out. I expect to make more for myself and for gifts.