Dishclothes (posted by Lani)
I find that there's something soothing about knitting dishclothes. You can make mindless and super easy dishclothes, like the ballband on the left. Ballbands are one of my favorites. But what if you're tired of ballbands? You can try something new to you, like the funky short-row square on the right (interesting to work on, makes a nice thick scrubby cloth, but pretty? Not so much.).
Since you're messing with short rows anyway you can take the fabulous Lizard Ridge afghan pattern that you coveted from the moment you saw it, and try that in a nice cheap yarn instead of Noro (goes much faster than I thought, and it really helps if you can knit backwards instead of having to turn your work and purl -- a skill I'm still practicing). Or, you can try a funky star shape just to see how it'll work out (pretty neat how the variegated cotton worked with the pattern, isn't it?).
You can try out a new stitch you're thinking of using for a baby afghan to see how it might look (has potential, don't you think?). Heck, you can even knit pictures or messages into your dishclothes (Jasmine thinks "worship me" would have been more appropriate, but she's ok with love in a pinch).
The thing I like best about knitting dishclothes, aside from the fact that they're useful, is that they don't care if you make mistakes. Dishclothes are forgiving. They're made out of cheapo kitchen cotton, and you're just going to use them to scrub dirty pots and pans anyway, so if you're learning and experimenting (say with short rows, or a new lace pattern, or seaming up garter stitch) this is the way to go. It's highly unlikely that anyone will wander into your kitchen and pick up a dishcloth and criticize your efforts, and hey if they DO, make them wash dishes as punishment; after all, they already have cloth in hand!
I've been knitting dishclothes as a way to bounce back from my Askew disaster, and also because I had a wonderful little stomach bug that knocked me for a loop and made me crave something to do that would keep my mind off my troubles and be finished quickly (in the case of some of these, quickly was a relative term). Sadly, knitting dishclothes is pretty much all I've been doing; I did one more repeat on the lavender shawl (it's really very close to done but the rows are soooo looooonnnnngggg now that it's a chore, not a treat), and I cast on for the Jewelled shell in a nice bright summery coral, and I did read the new Harry Potter book, but that's about it. Endless rows of knitting R not US right now. I didn't even fly this past weekend (courtesy of aforementioned stomach bug -- being sick to your stomach on an airplane is not the way to go, TRUST me on this) although I will be off tomorrow on another trip. My life is currently pretty boring, and I'm ok with that. How about you, Annie?