Monday, December 10, 2012

Vintage Stitch Washcloth OR Watching My Muse at Work

What follows is my favorite childhood poem.
The Land of Counterpane
by Robert Louis Stevenson
When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

In fact my sister and I were reciting it out loud just a few months ago to be sure we still could. I still do not know what Counterpane is, but I keep meaning to look it up, because I'm sure my sister knows, but I don't want her to know that I don't.

Recent Past

I found these little 2 ounce skeins of yarn at Michaels. They are LILY Sugar'nCream Twists. I loved the butcher's twine look so I bought it in the three colors above just to play with. Then added them to my stash and forgot about them for awhile.
Then I was wandering around the crochet portion of the Internet and found This site and This stitch pattern hidden deep inside, in fact I challenge you to find it on the site without the link. Anyway, the history of the stitch intrigued me, so I grabbed some of the twisted yarn to give it a try. I used a J hook (much larger than suggested) and fell in love! Chaining 35 to start with, I started the pattern stitch right away. It turned into this 11" x 11" washcloth. As you can see, it is beautiful on the back side too.

Here is a close-up of the stitches.

And here is what I had left when it was finished.


It is a very nice size, being more the size of nice commercial washcloths than most patterns I've seen on the Internet.
It came from my muse, so it worked out perfectly! I have something I'll use and never forget how Vivian tied it all together for me. The name of the stitch is Counterpane.
I've already started a blanket in this stitch which I'll show you a preview of now so you can see it in a solid color. (Don't worry about the hole in the yellow stripe, I'll explain it when I reveal the blanket.)

You cannot imagine how wonderfully this works up. The holes in it are small like single crochet with a much smaller hook, perhaps a G, but because of the larger hook and the stitch being as tall as a double crochet, it works up in a jiffy. This would be so appropriate for a baby's blanket for year round use. It drapes like a dream, but is not too heavy. I used Simply Soft by Caron for the blanket and a K hook.
Please try this stitch. You will not be disappointed. Keep these two things in mind. 1) use a larger hook than you normally would for the yarn you use and 2) heed the advice of Hannah Davis and work the first half of the stitch in two movements. Also look for Hannah, the young whippersnapper that rediscovered this stitch to visit here after the holidays.
Crochet every single day,