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Dear Ann,

Remember that time we brought a yarn into the MDK Shop without a super clear plan for what to knit with it, just because we loved it so much?

Oh. I need to be more specific? Yeah, maybe we’ve done that more than once.

In the case of Rowan’s Creative Linen, we didn’t have any trouble convincing the team. Cotton/linen blends are rare and special, and this one is so good. The softness and heft of cotton, combined with the sheen and drape of linen, in a versatile worsted weight that is perfect for everything from baby blankets to pillows to sweaters.

And also: dishcloths. Creative Linen’s durability makes it ideal for utility items that will frequently see the inside of a washing machine.

In preparation for our upcoming Kitchen Sink-along, a knitalong in which we’ll be filling up our dishcloth drawers with fresh, colorful cloths, and perhaps taking detours to hanging towels, Swiffer covers, and appliance cozies, I’m whipping up a full set of six Log Cabin Cloths in Creative Linen.

The yardage on Creative Linen is ample: 219 yards (200 meters).  That means I could easily get the set of six cloths from a few skeins. Three colors is the minimum needed to work these log cabin designs, and would give great graphic pop. But for maximum log cabin fun (and leftovers, with which to make All! The! Dishcloths!), I’m using 6 colors, like we did for the original set of Log Cabin Cloths in MDK Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin.

My six colors, subject to changes of mind:

Pumpkin, Silver, Mustard, Teal, Cloud, and Straw.

I wound the skeins into balls by hand, and by the end of the final episode of Under the Banner of Heaven (which we’d been saving), I had my first Log Cabin Cloth, the Classic Log Cabin.

This is the only log cabin pattern I really need, and I could knit it forever.

Onward! Working my way through all six cloths will be a great refresher on the basics of log cabin knitting, and get me in shape for two baby blankets I need to make this summer. I’m thinking that one of them will be a pint-sized version of the Ninepatch Blanket, in Creative Linen, a new parent’s dream of long-lasting washability. Linen is forever, just like I like my baby blankets.




  • Somewhat off topic, but it is about the yarn. I am thinking Shakerag Tee. The gauge is close to Sylph, so with a bit of swatching it should work.

    And, in revisiting Field Guide No. 6 I was reintroduced to the Albers Shaw…which might just be fabulous in this blend.

    • I was thinking the same thing a Shakerag tee in this cotton/linen blend. Maybe I’ll make a few dishcloths first
      to see how it does.

      • The gauge will be fine when held as a single strand, but I think Creative Linen might be too thick to hold double for the striped effect?

        • Thanks for clarifying; two color stripes in this yarn seems pretty appealing : )

        • I see. Two strands of Sylph match the gage for one strand of Creative Linen.

          It could be different color stripes versus transparent/solid.

          Creative Linen just seems like such a great blend for a Shakerag.

        • Which kind of brings up the question…Are any of us knitting Shakerag Tops without the stripes just because we like the fit and shape so much?

  • Oh come on, would y’all please stop it! My stash is about to bust out if it’s designated room as it is and I SWORE to myself I would not buy another plastic tote to store yarn in. SWORE!!

    • Just knit faster, ok? That way it gets out of the tote and into your closet or kitchen drawer. That’s been my practice. LOL

  • Sort of off topic, as well, but certainly related to dishcloths…is there ANY WAY to salvage a knitted dishcloth that has been abused by family members? (ahem, not wringing out and hanging to dry; left wadded up in a bucket for some ghastly reason; or abandoned in a pile of other cleaning rags on the laundry room floor) What can be done to remove the ghastly smell that lingers even after laundering? You know what I mean – it’s fine right out of the dryer, but the moment the cloth gets wet – WHEW! The funk is overwhelming!

    • I have used this formula successfully (meaning the smell was gone once wetted and used again). In washing machine:
      1 – 1 cup baking soda + 1 cup vinegar + hottest water. Soak 1 hour, then complete wash cycle.
      2 – (2nd wash) 1 cup vinegar + laundry detergent (and run through an extra spin cycle)
      3 – then dry in dryer immediately on highest setting.
      Hope this works!

      • Have you seen the Colorfield Hand Towel (a free pattern from Purl Soho) I believe that and a little Linoleum Dishcloth action is in order!

    • Thank you for the recommendations!

      • Microwave it while wet.
        Also, Biz – my favorite old school enzyme laundry additive.

    • I like a baking soda soak to defunk!

    • Totally on topic Angela Pea 🙂 I’ve been a bit militant about the care of my kitchen linens recently and am trying to recall what has worked in the past for The Funk. A vinegar soak / rinse may not help a serious case but sometimes Natures Miracle in the laundry tub can help. It’s a pet supply item. I’ve also used it successfully for soccer cleats so those enzymes in NM really can do the trick.

    • I have found that sometimes a somewhat diluted white vinegar soak and then drying it out in the sun can help a lot. It can also ruin the fabric, depending on exactly what it is made of and how the stars align on a given day. Someone else may have a safer solution but I have successfully (and not so successfully) done this in the past. Bleach followed by sunlight is also effective but much more likely to destroy the cloth. Other suggestions from the choir…?

  • Would it work for the Shakerag top?

  • Shakerrag Tee sprang to mind for me too! But first, that pattern! Those beautiful diamonds. So cute. Thank you for making it available to all for Free!

  • Hey Kay — how did you get your little triangle so neat and tidy in your brioche cloth? I’ve done two now and mine don’t look like your’s. I like it anyway, but just wondering. Also, because cotton isn’t wool, does one block cotton??

  • I love linen… for sewing especially. Guess I will have to try knitting with it ….

  • Which yarn would you think would make the best burp “rag” for a newborn? I have until December to get a stack ready Thanks!!!

    • I made a bunch of Baby Genious burp cloths (in MDK’s original book) for my nephew’s baby twins, and mom still uses them for bath time for the now 4 yr old girls. Used Peaches and Cream dishcloth cotton and it has held up well. The Rowan cotton or creative linen should be even more lush. Happy newborn!

  • advice on the swiffer cover? Slightly bigger rectangle than the base?

  • Love the 9-patch but also love the LogCabinz4evahhhhh

  • Oh, I think I have a problem. I love this yarn. I might need help. Is there a program for dishcloth addiction?

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