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A few favorite knits

February 2, 2012
Boneyard Shawl

I learned to knit as a Girl Scout over a decade ago.  I was probably the only person in our troop who stuck with it, and not because I wanted a merit badge. No, I kept knitting because I loved the thoughts of spending evenings beside a warm wood stove, knitting mittens and socks that would keep me warm through a long Dakota winter. It would be the perfect way to end a day spent baking bread, caring for livestock, and churning butter.

If you forget about churning butter and living in Dakota, I almost have the Laura Ingalls Wilder lifestyle I always dreamed of. But to tell the truth, knitting is not as practical a hobby as it sounds. Few knitters would deny this–not when yarn is expensive, time is hard to come by, and mass-produced merchandise is cheap. Of course, comparing a handknit wool sweater to an acrylic one at Target is hardly fair, but some knits are certainly more practical than others. Here are a few of my favorite things to knit. They are simple, enjoyable, and most importantly, I use them constantly:

Assorted jar cozies

  • Dishcloths. Give me a dishcloth over a sponge any day! They’re reusable, biodegradable, and way less gross than sponges. I have enough that I can use a new one every day or two and throw the old one in the laundry. I like mine on the small side for washing dishes, about 5″ square, so they are instant gratification knitting, too!
  • Hats and Scarves. I think I’d be hard pressed to find store bought substitutes for the hats and scarves I own. I love that they’re one-of-a-kind and made in the styles, fibers, and colors of my choosing. My house is chilly, so I tend to wear hats and scarves inside and out all winter long.
  • Jar Cozies. Not something you need a ton of, but it’s pretty rad to be able to make your own thermos. I used a jar cozy all the time when I was commuting to take oatmeal for my on-the-ferry breakfast. They’re also great for tea, since my travel mug is infused with coffee, and I’ve heard you can even incubate yogurt in a cozied mason jar.
  • Toys. What could possibly be practical about a stuffed octopus wearing tube socks, you ask? Well, knitted toys are whimsical and good for using up scraps. But what really convinced me of their value was this: they’re make with love, not plastic.
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