Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-13-2014, 10:01 PM   #1
DogCatMom
Knitting the Flap
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Posts: 398
Thanks: 87
Thanked 158 Times in 124 Posts
So...why dishcloths???
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."

They ask...

--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 these.

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?

Anybody?

thx
DogCatMom is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DogCatMom For This Useful Post:
N0obKnitter (03-04-2014), XRumerTest (03-01-2014)

 

This advertising will not be shown to registered members. Join our free online community today!

Old 02-13-2014, 10:09 PM   #2
GrumpyGramma
Grafting the Toe
 
GrumpyGramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 7,415
Thanks: 1,935
Thanked 3,057 Times in 2,569 Posts
Very, very interesting. I may call them dishcloths in polite company but they're really dishrags. Fancy it up all you want but to me a dishrag is a dishrag is a dishrag. I don't use sponges, I have a very strong dislike for them. When I was a kid our dishrags were generally just that, rags. Old towels with holes in them got ripped up for rags and used in the kitchen. My mother didn't use sponges, I really don't know why.
__________________
~ GG

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance
...the five stages of frogging.
GrumpyGramma is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2014, 11:37 PM   #3
justplaincharlotte
Working the Gusset
 
justplaincharlotte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: MS Gulf Coast
Posts: 1,854
Thanks: 2,734
Thanked 962 Times in 830 Posts
Hmmm, interesting DCM. I've never questioned their raison d'Ítre before. We had dish rags like GGs for nasty/regular kitchen jobs, and then we had both kitchen towels with knitted/crocheted towel toppers and knitted/crocheted dishcloths and towels. The former were more for decoration, while the latter were usually for regular use. Both were gifted by friends and family to new brides and lady friends for birthdays and such. I do know that knitted cotton dishcloths do a fine job cleaning mirrors and windows. Beyond that, I can only guess that it's a southern country thing.
__________________
Charlotte

justcharlotte

All Needful Things Blog
"Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises." Except carpal tunnel.
- Elizabeth Zimmermann
justplaincharlotte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2014, 01:10 AM   #4
mo841
Casting On
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Casco, MI
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
That's odd. everyone I know was always raised to use washcloths to pretty much wash everything. We even use them when taking a shower. It never occurred to me that they don't use them in some areas of the country. I could never get used to a sponge. ide use it then have to throw it away I never thought about being able to wash one. this is a very interesting thread.
mo841 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2014, 02:02 AM   #5
Jan in CA
Moderator
Mod Squad
 
Jan in CA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 37,169
Thanks: 1,656
Thanked 8,742 Times in 7,114 Posts
Hmm... We use a dishcloth for wiping up counters or the table, but a scrubbie for dishes. The scrubbie has both a rough side and a sponge side. I put the scrubbie in the dishwasher 2-3 times a week and change the dishcloth every few days. My preferred yarn is lighter weight than the ones you mentioned. They dry faster so don't get smelly or harbor bacteria as easily. Other than 5 yrs in NorCal as a kid I've always lived in SoCal.
__________________
Jan

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

NEW! KH knitting video archive
~HOW TO POST A PHOTO~

Jan in CA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2014, 02:30 AM   #6
Woofens
Turning the Heel
 
Woofens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Morristown, Ohio
Posts: 737
Thanks: 676
Thanked 363 Times in 286 Posts
Send a message via AIM to Woofens Send a message via MSN to Woofens Send a message via Yahoo to Woofens Send a message via Skype™ to Woofens
When I was a kid, we never used sponges, always a "dishrag". My mom still refuses to use sponges. Ours were store bought, but my grandmother's were old towels usually. As an adult, I swore by sponges for washing dishes, but my kids do the dishes now, and they would rather use the ones I make. Unlike most households, we do not have a dishwasher. But we also only use hand knit wash clothes now, too. The kids each have their own, as does the hubby. Most of the kids friends have hand made wash clothes from me too, they love them.

ETA- I grew up in pretty rural Ohio and West Virginia, my grandparents were "country folk".
__________________
Janis

http://www.ravelry.com/people/Woofens

The only difference between an experienced knitter and new knitter is that the experienced knitter makes bigger mistakes faster. Be bold; there are no terrible consequences in knitting.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

OTN:
Blocks in Blocks Afgan for Taz
Pet snuggles for charity
BonBons fingerless mitts for Sarah
Dorm socks for Skye-finished
Dallas Cowboys Man Hat for John-finished
and as always, dish cloths.
Woofens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2014, 12:19 PM   #7
sakura-panda
Turning the Heel
 
sakura-panda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 795
Thanks: 325
Thanked 332 Times in 227 Posts
I grew up in Wisconsin and Michigan and never saw anyone use a sponge to wash dishes. I have sponges, but we use them for cleaning out sinks and tubs, not on the dishes. I didn't even know they could be washed with laundry -- I always thought they'd come apart in the wash!

My mom uses a scouring pad (without sponge) on her dishes but when I moved out, I bought a bunch of styles and colors to try out -- including the scouring pads I grew up with -- and I realized I preferred small cloths. The ones I use now were knit by me.

As far as knitting in general, dishcloths are a good size for practicing and trying out knit patterns. I wish I liked the larger sizes, because then I'd be making new dishcloths all the time.

I should try gifting some and see what kind of a response I get back; I'm just not sure what everyone else would like. No one ever comments on either my dishcloths or my knitting, so I assume no one wants any.
sakura-panda is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to sakura-panda For This Useful Post:
justplaincharlotte (02-14-2014), Woofens (02-14-2014)
Old 02-14-2014, 01:54 PM   #8
justplaincharlotte
Working the Gusset
 
justplaincharlotte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: MS Gulf Coast
Posts: 1,854
Thanks: 2,734
Thanked 962 Times in 830 Posts
After reading everyone's replies, I can't help but wonder if their genesis was something like this:

When you first start learning to knit, things don't always work out right. Not wanting to waste anything all those years ago, a resourceful housewife said "Oh well, at least we can wash dishes with it!" Thus was the humble dishcloth born...
__________________
Charlotte

justcharlotte

All Needful Things Blog
"Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises." Except carpal tunnel.
- Elizabeth Zimmermann
justplaincharlotte is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to justplaincharlotte For This Useful Post:
artsy1 (03-07-2014), jinxnit55 (02-15-2014), Woofens (02-14-2014)
Old 02-15-2014, 05:12 PM   #9
jinxnit55
Turning the Heel
 
jinxnit55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Truckee, Calif.
Posts: 685
Thanks: 300
Thanked 289 Times in 260 Posts
I grew up in and still live in Northern California. My mom always used sponges and scrubbies for washing the dishes. I hated them because they always seemed slimy and stank if they had a bacterial overload. As a kid I hated touching a sponge!
When I moved away from home I got the plastic long handled brushes to use. I didn't really encounter a knitted dishcloth until I started knitting. I made a few and DH (originally from Vermont) said, "What are these for?" I told him, and he looked skeptical, but I notice they are getting used!

I would make more, but knitting with cotton seems tough on my wrists. I'm sure I'll still do a few from time to time, though.
jinxnit55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2014, 05:54 PM   #10
GrumpyGramma
Grafting the Toe
 
GrumpyGramma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 7,415
Thanks: 1,935
Thanked 3,057 Times in 2,569 Posts
This thread takes me back many, many years and reminds me of rhymes we used for choosing who was It in games. We would each put a finger in a circle and the fingers got tapped with the recitation of the rhyme. One of them ended:

O U T spells out you go, you old dirty dishrag, you.
__________________
~ GG

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance
...the five stages of frogging.
GrumpyGramma is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to GrumpyGramma For This Useful Post:
justplaincharlotte (02-16-2014)
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New, Dishcloths help dbrpth Crochet! 1 01-03-2013 11:26 PM
A few dishcloths chrislt8 What'cha Knittin'? 10 08-05-2007 03:55 PM
Dishcloths, 2 FO's and a WIP letah75 What'cha Knittin'? 5 04-10-2007 02:25 PM
dishcloths nancydee General Knitting 5 01-21-2007 05:35 PM
Dishcloths Tamar Dohel General Knitting 30 01-18-2007 05:00 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:16 PM.