The Beauty of Mundane Things

About the word ‘mundane’, my well-thumbed Collins Essential English Dictionary says, ‘Something that is mundane is very ordinary, and not interesting or unusual.’ As an example it gives, ‘mundane tasks such as washing up.’

So, what can be more mundane than a dishcloth?

I knew that people knit dishcloths, but I didn’t feel the least inclined to do so for a long time. To speak with Collins, I thought them very ordinary and not interesting at all. Until my friend Marieke showed me hers.

Suddenly I saw their beauty and started knitting. And kept knitting, knitting and knitting more.

I now have a whole stack of them, and love them.

Not only do I think them beautiful, but practical too. They are highly absorbent, eminently washable and have a much nicer feel than shop-bought ones. And as fellow blogger Donna wrote, they have ‘extra scrubability’.

I knit all of my dishcloths in subtle shades of blue and green. And that brings me to some other mundane and beautiful things in the same sort of shades. To take a look at those, we’re zapping to Zutphen.

Zutphen is one of my favourite cities. It has a very friendly atmosphere, an interesting history, and many, many beautiful old buildings. (Note to self: idea for next week’s blog post?)

It also has lots of quirky shops. One of them is De Potterij. (You don’t need a degree in Dutch to infer that means The Pottery.)

When I was there, the shop was unfortunately closed, but I was able to get a good look at their wares through the windows.

There were lovely little bowls in pale, watery greens…

… and beautiful plates, too.

They had imprints of snowdrops, of other flowers and seedheads, and of grasses.

Exquisite!

Behind the pottery shop there is a workshop space. Here potter Jacobi, who trained as a psychologist, works her clay magic and also teaches the craft to anyone who wants to learn, especially to (young) adults who thrive in quiet, predictable surroundings. On her website she writes: ‘I don’t give therapy in my workshop, but I have noticed that working with clay can be very therapeutic.’

The same can be said about knitting those humble dishcloths – very therapeutic.

Mine are around 30 by 30 cm / 12 x 12 inches, although they are not all exactly the same size and some turned out slightly more rectangular than square. The patterns for all of them come from Easy Knit Dishcloths by Helle Neigaard.

I love the simplicity of broken rib and knit several of those. And I also knit several in slightly more complicated knit-and-purl stitch patterns, like lozenges, two types of basket weave, and one in a small cable. The one I like best of all is the one with the zigzags:

I used organic cotton yarns for all of them. While I was knitting I made notes about the yarns and I’ll share my experiences with you when I can find the time.

Take care and see you next week!

PS. After a deluge that temporarily turned our street into a river and several more normal rain-and-thunder-storms, the heat seems to be over. Phew! If you’re in the same climate zone, I hope some cooler air is coming your way too.

7 thoughts on “The Beauty of Mundane Things”

  1. I need to refresh my dishcloths! Thanks for the nudge. There is something comforting in rhythmic knitting—this is a good project!

    Reply
    • Now I’m definitely going to look through my pictures of Zutphen to see if I can make a nice post with them! Dishcloths are a nice portable projects for warmer days.

      Reply

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