39 wash cloths completed by 2 December. Gift giving has begun with positive responses, although one of my volunteers guessed it was either a lining for his cod piece OR a wash cloth. Even he admitted it was beautifully knitted, though. The guys (apart from the cod piece remark) were particularly responsive to these gifts, which I didn't expect.
All of the yarn was purchased second-hand and no ball cost more than $1. In the main I got 3 wash cloths out of 2 balls. There are very few scraps left. I will be a making stripey garter stitch cloth for myself with the left overs.
I've been thinking about why these were the perfect items for hospital bedside knitting. Some reasons are obvious -
- distracting when necessary
- easily cast aside when required to assist the patient or the staff. With no more than 52 stitches to a row, you're almost always near the end of a row.
- quick - one cloth a day was not uncommon, so a sense of achievement was maintained
- rythmically comforting
Not so obvious reasons included
- something positive to talk about with Mum, visitors and staff that wasn't about illness, hospitals etc. It seems everyone was grateful at some point to have another topic of conversation, even for just a while.
It wasn't until I started wrapping them to give away, however, that I recognised a potential benefit to these knitting these simple wash cloths. The wash cloths were gifts. Intended to be given to other people. Had I been working on a large project for myself or my immediate circle and had Mum died, something that was a very real possibility and almost happened several times, I don't think I would have been able to deal with seeing the item again - it would have reminded me of a loss far greater than 39 wash cloths.