Colds make it so that you can't get anything done. Have dishes to clean? Sorry, they'll have to wait. Have a writing deadline? Too bad. Want to work on a knitting project? Not today! I've spent the past three days in bed, whimpering and contemplating how terrible it would be to cut out my own throat (I decided pretty terrible.)
Yesterday was the first day that I didn't want to cry every time I coughed or had to blow my nose. I have a variety of things I want to work on since I am moving sometime in the next two months (Date still undetermined). But I couldn't focus enough on anything to actually pick up the needles let alone knit a somewhat complicated lace and cable pattern. (Hey, everything is complicated when your brain is fuzzy.) So I went back to an old favorite.
I went home this past weekend to celebrate my grandmother's birthday. She's 82 and she still knits regularly. She's my hero. While my aunt taught me how to knit in the first place, both women remain my inspirations to continue knitting.
The first thing that is taught by my family when learning how to knit is the washcloth. Tried and true and the best damn washcloth you're ever going to use. I didn't understand why I needed a washcloth at 7 years old when my aunt sat me down to learn, mainly I think to keep me occupied instead of talking to her about Power Rangers. It still didn't really click for me as to why a washcloth until last summer when I was teaching a friend how to knit. It's simple. It's a washcloth. Even if you miss every other stitch and drop 6 of them and make yarn overs every 4th stitch, it will still work because it's a washcloth. No one cares how it looks. It's just going to go into the kitchen drawer to be used eventually to scrub a pot or a mug or a particularly ugly stain on the stove. If you make a mistake, it doesn't matter. It's the perfect starter project. I don't remember what my first washcloth looked like or even what color the yarn was (I'm sure white with some variegated colors in it) but I know my first project was a washcloth. I also remember what my brother's first washcloth looked like too. It was holey and misshapen until I finished it for him. It was a weird Frankensteinian type washcloth with one half looking like it had been eaten by a blender and the other half without any (major) mistakes, but it worked.
I started working on washcloths on my walks that I would take. I got quite a few of them done. I found I could do about 2/3 of a washcloth per 1.5 mile walk. It's something that's simple enough that I don't need to think about it or devote that much thought process to but it still keeps my hands occupied and makes me feel productive even if I am wearing pjs for the third day in a row and my hair hasn't been brushed and there is dried snot on my arm that I don't know how it got there.
When I went home, I stopped by my mom's to sit and chat for a while. She handed me a full plastic bag and grinned at me.
"Oh! More yarn!" I smiled in return. I thought she was just excited to give me yarn.
"You know what kind of yarn that is?" My mom asked. She knows little to nothing about yarn or knitting so this question was odd coming from her.
"Cotton. Sugar 'n Cream."
"And what do you make with cotton yarn?" She asked, grinning again like a maniac.
"Washcloths. I take it you want some washcloths?"
She grinned and nodded at me.
Everyone who has gotten a cotton washcloth from a relative will look askance at it when they receive it but will then call and thank the crafter that gave it to them in the first place. Knitted washcloths really are the best.