I've known how to knit only since May 2011 (we can't count 2013; it was a total loss for knitting and many other aspects of my life), so almost two whole actual, practicing years (even though I've crocheted since college). I'm always seeing knitters discuss "dishcloths."
--what size of dishcloth do you make?
--what yarn do you use? (the answer is often Sugar and Cream, Peaches n Creme, LionBrand Kitchen Cotton, or similar)
--what's your favorite design for a dishcloth?
--what kind of needles do you use?
--and similar practical questions.
My question lies far, far beyond
I had never even heard
of a dishcloth until entering Knitting Land in mid-2011. I chalked it up to regionalisms--maybe I'd just managed to live in regions of the U.S. where such items weren't popularly used. (And I would've used them, at least as a kid--I washed ALL of our family's dishes from the age of about 7 until I graduated from high school--and there were four kids when I was 7 and five beginning in the 10th grade.) But never a dishcloth. Sponges always, and sponges went into the laundry on a regular cycle along with towels, etc.
Beginning when I was 7, we lived in Cheyenne, Rancho Cordova (California), Tampa (Florida), the Canal Zone, San Antonio, and Tampa again. (In case the overriding dish-washing influence was Mom and not what was cheap at the PX, she was raised in Texas, Louisiana, Sarasota, and Tampa; her mother was raised in Texas only.)
When I moved to Atlanta for college, I lived in a "dorm" situation only for a few months and then with a fellow Atlanta student in an apartment. She and I used...yep...sponges, which went into the laundry on a regular cycle along with the towels.
I eventually moved to the Bay Area, thinking to go to grad school. That (sadly) didn't happen, but I've been here ever since. My women friends with whom I've ever thought to discuss kitchen matters haven't mentioned dishcloths, "washcloths for the dishes," or other similar phrases. These days, people often have automatic dishwashers, but not everything goes into a DW and sometimes the DDW ("dear" dishwasher) isn't working.
So...why dishcloths? Where dishcloths? From whence dishcloths?