Wednesday, October 07, 2009

knitting for home

I really like knitting (and designing) things for my house. After all, you can only wear so many handknits at once, but your house? Well, your house can "wear" a lot more knitting at once!

For Knit Green, I explored a few concepts that the professor and I have worked on in our home. A while ago, we decided to transition to using only cloth napkins. This wasn't a hard transition as the dirty napkins rarely amount to anything near even a small load of laundry, and we saved money on buying paper napkins. It also saves energy--no trees being made into napkins, no trees cut down and trucked out to be processed, no napkins trucked into the grocery store for us, etc. Yes, everywhere else still uses paper napkins...but we can only make a difference a little at a time!

Of course, (since I'm a knitter), I started coming up with knitted napkin ideas. First came these napkins, and they're for sale on my website as a download. For Knit Green, I broke out of the neutral colors and went for brighter colors! (Note: brighter colors also hide more dirt and stains!) Here are Waves and Stars: Knitted Napkins....another couple of patterns in the book. This is one of those situations where the book says there are 20 patterns, but technically there are two patterns here, not just one at a time, so you're getting more patterns for your money!

If you choose machine washable and dryable yarns (cotton or cotton blends work well), these napkins are work horses. Use and enjoy them, throw them in the wash, and put them right back out on the table. They're fast to knit, too!

Another fast project are these knitted curtains. They are designed to use either a regular curtain rod (cafe curtains) or to use a decorative curtain rod with little knitted button tab loops. The sample curtain is made from a friend's handspun, but any sportweight yarn will do, and the project is fairly flexible. It's ideal for a little simple knitted interior decoration!

I'm hoping to find time to make more curtains like this for my new (old) house. We've got long windows, perfect for this kind of window treatment.

In other news, I'm off to Virginia (near Washington, D.C.) and New York this weekend. I'll be seeing family, hopefully teaching and signing books, and going to Rhinebeck, aka New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, to sign books. I'll try to keep posting about the projects in Knit Green in the meanwhile! If you're going to be at the festival, come by and see me on Sunday, October 18th, from 10-12 as I sign books! Can't wait to see you!

So, do you like knitting for your home? What projects do you like best? Ever considered knitted napkins or curtains?

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Blogger Joanne said...

Hey folks--I get the impression from the counter thingee that a bunch of people read this every day or two. I'd love to hear from some of you. You see, the thing is, I knit a lot of this stuff a year ago for Knit Green. I couldn't tell anyone about it. It's a serious amount of delayed gratification. So, if you could just celebrate a little bit with me now, the waiting might have been worth it. I mean, otherwise, why put all the darn photos up on a knitting blog in the first place!? (might as well spend the time working or knitting instead!)

October 7, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Hi Joanne,
I'm guilty of reading/not replying lately. Life is a whirlwind here - readyiing the farm for winter. By the looks of the predictions, it's going to be a cold, snowy one!
I love the idea of knitting napkins. We use them often rather than paper. I'm wondering about knitting them out of cotton chenille? I handwove dishtowels out of white cotton chenille and they are wonderful. I have a HUGE cone of it. The towels are lint free and wash/dry and hang back up.

Congratulations on your Knit Green book. I need to order a copy. will make that a priority this week :)

October 7, 2009 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

HI Deb,
I'm going over to post this on your blog as well! Thanks for talking with me over here! I think cotton chenille sounds like a super idea...and if you want to use them for every day, consider dyeing them a dark color. White can be a bit iffy for every day napkins around here--but super for special occasions!

October 7, 2009 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Willow said...

I'm fimally back in blogland after a two week sabbatical due to an extraordinarily busy schedule and a virus.

I am knitting my first pillow cover for the living room! Even though I have made many afghans, this is the first knitted item that is not a blankie that I have made for my home.

I like the idea of knitting curtains.

October 7, 2009 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger Gramma Phyllis said...

I knit and crochet and love making things for the home. When we set a "fancy" table I have made a set of crocheted pineapple motif placemats. There are tons of pillows, bolsters and throws of every shape and size. With 8 people under one roof, 5 of whom are children you need lots of snugglly things around the place. We tend to use knitted dishcloths for napkins.

October 7, 2009 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Wow, thank you for telling me about the pillow, afghan and the pineapple motif placemats! I am suddenly imagining everyone's houses! (and wow, they look knitterlicious!)

October 8, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

I made an afghan for each of my kids and my husband, and that's about it. I love your knitted napkins idea; it just makes so much sense.

--AlisonH at

October 8, 2009 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Jame said...

I have thought about knitting for my home: pillows, curtains, blankets; but knitting for my kids, husband and me always seems to come first.


October 12, 2009 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

My mom was one of the original Greenies. I can't remember a time when there weren't cloth napkins on the table, and she once made a roll of paper towels last for three years.

Your new book is on my Birthday wish-list, I'm really hoping I get it!

October 12, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi. I have made a gazillion cotton washcloths, face cloths, dish towels, etc. I want to make a set of nice dinner napkins, but I don't want to use bulky cotton. I found a beautiful silk and nylon mix yarn and it knits up beautifully, but I'm wondering how this yarn will hold up after multiple uses and multiple washes. Any suggestions?

April 17, 2020 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Hi there, you've left a note about silk/nylon mix yarn and napkins, but I have no way to get back to you! I would imagine a silk/nylon blend would be hardwearing, but I have no idea how it will do with multiple washes or only suggestion would be to knit one napkin, and use and wash it a lot and see how it goes! If you like it, make the rest of the set. If it doesn't wear well, you haven't lost much. Good luck!

October 31, 2020 at 10:15 PM  

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