The Princess and I were reading this book, brainstorming ways to make funny rubber gloves such as they have in its pages. The Princess has actually seen the TV program this book is based on, and so was also reading out the lines in appropriate voices, when we came upon this statement:

“Sponges are slovenly.”

Now, Peg Bracken said that sponges were deceitful, giving a spurious air of freshness even though they would soon be as dispirited looking as a dishcloth, but I have never heard anyone say that sponges were slovenly. I use sponges myself.

Cotton dishcloths, the book says, are what you should have.

I have made a number of cotton and linen facecloths, because they are far and away superior to the store-bought variety, but I have never made a dishcloth. However, if you agree that sponges are slovenly and want to make some dischcloths, then you have chosen an item with a rich treasure trove of free patterns on the web. Here are some nice ones:

Shaker rib
Chinese Waves
Seed stitch
Moss rib
Damn Yankees
Knitting Fiend
Lozenge
Dog
Muguets

And a Large Collection of Other Links.

Essentially, as you will have noticed from looking at these links if you did not know it before, a dishcloth comes down to a square with a border. The border should generally be seed stitch for firmness, although there are other, more complicated options. So if there are any stitches in your stitch compendium that you’ve been wanting to try, here’s an opportunity. Just be sure to work in seed stitch for the first 5-8 rows and then the first 5-8 stitches of each row thereafter. Finish it off with a mathcing muber of seed stitch rows and crochet yourself a hanging loop before you cut your yarn.

The ladies in the book recommend an open weave. But are they right about the nastiness of sponges? Here is a link that suggests that they may be right. And here, a quote:

“The sponge harbors some of the most pathenogenic germs one can find in anybody’s home,” [the expert] said. “Food can carry organisms like shigella, listeria, E. coli, salmonella and hepatitis A. The sponge picks up germs and smears them on whatever it wipes.”

Experts say that you should soak your sponge in bleach and use a different sponge for each task, and certainly not keep them around for a month before replacing them — never mind. If nothing else, I happen to know that the production of chlorine puts so many toxic chemicals into our environment that bleach should be saved for extreme situations, like hospitals. A cotton dishcloth that can be washed in the washing machine may be in my future. Oh, and if you are serious about germs, nuke it in your microwave for two minutes when it is clean but still damp.

Now you know.

Brooklyn’s sleeve continues. Now, I know that I get ever so slightly peeved when I visit a knitting blog and see a cool piece of knitting, and then have to search through the archives to find out what it is. So here are the details: Brooklyn from Denim People, being knitted in Den-M-Nit on #3 needles. This is the sleeve. I am making this jacket for #1 son. A couple of other kids have said that they want one, too, and I had been thinking I would make more if it turns out well, but #1 son is opposed to that idea. He wants his to be unique in the household, if he cannot have it unique in the world.

All those warning about knitting with denim? Still nothing going on here — no blue hands, no sore wrists, nothing. This causes me to wonder whether maybe I am doing this wrong and the finished object will turn out badly.