I finished weaving the dishcloths. They did not take long, not compared with the time it would have taken to knit ten. It was good to take them off the loom and see that the last few were far superior to the first. My weaving had improved with practise. I have hemmed a couple.
I always forget how time-consuming machine stitching can be. I have to remind myself, that like the weaving, it is only fast compared with knitting. It still takes time for the stitches to form, even though the fabric is already there. And as I do not want the ends of these dishcloths to fray, I am using a short stitch length, and some strange zigzag-related stitches, and stitching each end twice.
I now think that dishcloths make a good beginner’s project. They can be made relatively quickly while learning the craft. They are made of cotton, so unlikely to trigger allergies (but of course, there is no guarantee). They do not need to be perfectly formed in order to be useful, so the very first wonky non-square can still wash dishes or wipe benches. Does anyone ever complete, let alone wear, that first scarf they are told to make when learning how to knit? And does the weaving sampler ever see the light of day? Maybe bits of crochet are used as coasters, or incorporated into cushions or rugs. For children learning to knit, I recommend a small square that can be stitched into a finger puppet (which finger it fits, or how many, depends on the tension of the child’s knitting). But for adults, I recommend the dishcloth!
If you are in the mood for reading a novel containing details of someone’s machine sewing projects, I recommend “The Dive from Clausen’s Pier” by Ann Packer. It was published in 2002. The sewing is not the main point of the novel, but it is present throughout, and I liked the realistic time frames associated with the completion of projects. “The House of Eliot”, by Jean Marsh, is a more light-hearted novel, but also good at describing the amount of work that goes into the creation of a garment. (Yes, the TV series came first, but DVDs did not exist, so extra revenue was generated by selling book adaptations. Also, I do not recommend the sequel – I gave my copy to the op shop.)