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KnitPicks Shine Worsted


What could be more fun than an Aslan-inspired washcloth?

The loops mean more yarn per inch, so it holds more water. They also make for a soft, gentle wipe. The bumps on the reverse side, however, give a firmer, massaging, scrub. Perfect for kids (of any age) who need some encouragement into the tub.

I've shown a double- and single-stranded version, partly to encourage knitters to use the pattern with whatever yarn is available to them (as long as it's orange!). The cloths shown are quite small, but they hold a lot of water. It's easy to make them larger or smaller by increasing the size of the mane and/or face.

For a washcloth, you will want something that holds its color. I also suggest you stay with a cotton or cotton-rich yarn. You can use whatever weight yarn you want; heavier yarn will simply make a bigger cloth. Gauge is not that important, although do choose needles to match the yarn. If you choose a lighter yarn, or just want a bigger cloth, you can add size easily to the mane, simply add 4 sts (two either side of the center) and work a slightly wider loop st.

The pattern has an optional icord loop to use for hanging the cloth. You can also hang the cloth using the loops made by the st pattern, but it can warp the shape of the piece, especially when wet. Alternately, you can just leave it flat to dry.

However you choose to work it, a quick and easy knit. Not just for Leos.

photos: Alice Bell


Single stranded version: 8 inches square
Double stranded version: 7 inches square
Note: Measurements given include the added width created by loops.

Single stranded version [mottled orange]:
RYC Cotton Jeans [100% cotton; 82yd/75m per 50g skein]; color: #369 Madras; 1 skein

1 pair US 5/3.75mm straight needles
2 US 5/3.75mm double-point needles (optional; used for I-Cord hanging loop)

Double stranded version [solid dark orange]:
Jaeger Aqua Cotton [100% cotton; 115yd/106m per 50g skein]; color: #335 Pumpkin; 1 skein

1 pair US 7/4.5 mm straight needles
2 US 7/4.5 mm double-point needles (optional; used for I-Cord hanging loop)
Small amount of dark-colored, thin, smooth, machine-washable yarn for embroidering face (I used a brown sock yarn)
Embroidery needle
Single stranded version: 20 sts/26 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Double stranded version: 16 sts/20 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here]

If you are working a double-stranded version, hold two strands of yarn together throughout.

ML = Make loop. K1, but do not drop stitch from left needle. Bring yarn between needles to front of work. Holding left thumb in front of work, wrap yarn once around thumb to create a loop approx. 2 inches long. Bring yarn between needles to back of work, and knit into same stitch again, dropping stitch from left needle as usual. Bring yarn forward over right needle, then between needles to back of work, creating a loop around righ t needle. Pass 2 sts just worked over this loop.
Knitters will probably find that the length of their loop depends on their personal style of knitting. It does not matter if the loops are slightly longer or shorter than 2 inches; just remember that, if you make larger loops, you will use more yarn.

Loop Stitch (Worked over an even number of sts):
Row 1 [RS]: Sl 1, [k1, ML] to last st, k1.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl 1, k to end.
Row 3 [RS]: Sl 1, [ML, k1] to last st, k1.
Row 4 [WS]: Sl 1, k to end.
Repeat these 4 rows for Loop Stitch.

If you find it difficult to count the rows you have worked, count the bumps on the WS of the work instead; they are much easier to count than the rows hidden by all the loops.

The pattern as written has a face section that is 6 sts wide, with a 9-st Loop Stitch mane on either side. This was the pattern used for the single stranded example shown. For the double stranded version I cast on only 22 sts, and worked a 6-st face with an 8-st mane. I also worked it slightly shorter, with only 12 rows of Loop Stitch in the upper and lower sections, and 9 rows of stockinette st for the face.
Lower Section
CO 24sts.
K 1 row (a WS row).
Work 16 rows in Loop Stitch.

Center Section (Face)
Next Row [RS]: Work 9 sts in Loop Stitch as set, k6, work remaining 9 sts in Loop Stitch as set.
This row sets pattern for Center Section.
Work 10 more rows in pattern as set, maintaining 9 sts at either side in Loop Stitch and working 6 sts at center in stockinette st.
Next Row [WS]: Sl 1, k to end. Face is complete.

Upper Section
Work 16 rows in Loop Stitch.
If you do not wish to make the I-Cord hanging loop, BO all sts.

Hanging Loop:
BO 21 sts, k to end. Slip remaining 3 sts to double-point needle.
Next Row: Instead of turning work around to work back on the WS, slide all sts to other end of needle, switch needle back to your left hand, bring yarn around back of work, and start knitting the sts again. I-Cord is worked with RS facing at all times.
Repeat this row to form I-Cord. After a few rows, work will begin to form a tube.
Continue in I-Cord until cord measures 4 inches.

BO all sts and break yarn, leaving a tail approx. 6 inches long. Use this tail to sew cord into a loop.
Using dark-colored yarn, embroider lion's nose and eyes.

Alice lives in London and spends her non-knitting time doing a PhD in Children's Science books. She knit-blogs here.

This design was inspired by the Stitch & Bitch London Lion Scarf project.