Snowstorms & Dishcloths

This past Saturday we had a snowstorm, with almost 10 inches of snow.  Normally that would not be a big deal here in Pennsylvania, but the crazy thing is that it was in October!  October in Pennsylvania is normally full of fall colors, raking leaves, carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating…not snow.  But yes, as evidenced by the pictures, it’s true.

The unfortunate part is that, with the leaves still clinging tightly to the trees, the snow proved to be too much weight for many of the big beautiful trees in our area.  Many trees were fallen, branches broken and even the smaller bushes were crushed.  The butterfly bush in front of the house was bent to the ground before I ever had the chance to trim it back for the winter.  Our chestnut trees lost a few branches, as was to be expected, but the strangest thing to see was the rose bushes, blooms still intact, being completely smothered by the large grasses (also not yet cut) laden with snow.

It is amazing to me how our electronically run lives seem so silly and artificial when we find ourselves without power for a period of time!

All of the snow damage took out power to the entire area for several days, and still continues to cause problems for some in our area.  We lost power around noon time on Saturday and did not receive power back until Monday late afternoon.  Without the electricity to run our oil furnace, we did not have any heat.  Brrrr!!  Thankfully we are part of the local water system, so we had water…. very COLD water…. but at least we were able to take care of the necessities.

My daughter did surprisingly well for being an electronics junkie.  She pulled out the board games and puzzles and we had a good time playing together in the living room wrapped in our blankets.  The strangest part of not having power was the total quiet and the darkness at night.  My husband and I spent one evening looking up at the stars which were so much brighter without the usual light pollution.

Ah but sometimes power is a busy mother’s saviour.  How well I felt that when it was gone.  The power stopped when the wash was mid-cycle, so I had a load of damp clothes in the dryer and a load of soaking wet clothes in the washer.  I ended up slogging them all out to be hung on the line on Sunday.  It was sunny, but hanging wash while standing in 10 inches of snow was a new experience for me.  Also, all of the food in the fridge had to be saved somehow, so I drug the summer beach coolers up from the basement, filled them with the food, and then packed them with snow.

As some of you may know, I have always loved the “Little House On the Prairie” series, but I never fully understood how hard “Ma” must have worked until this weekend!

Anyhow, that experience is over, and it taught us some interesting lessons.  I now know to keep plenty of candles on hand, to always have a battery operated radio and alarm clock in the house, and basically to expect the unexpected.  It has taught my daughter that life without electricity is indeed possible and can even, sometimes, be fun!

Trick-or-Treat in our area was scheduled for Friday, so we had fun roaming my parent’s neighborhood with my two nephews (2-year-old twin boys) and my daughter before the snow started to fall.  My sister dressed my nephews as “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” from the book “Cat in the Hat”.  They were too cute!  My daughter had planned to go as a witch, but changed her mind at the last minute and decided to be a Devil Terminator named Bob.

Yes….she is a very imaginative child…to say the least.  But, much pizza and candy was had by all and I had as much fun as the kids just by watching them enjoy the night.

Now, onto the dishcloth tutorial I have been promising.

The Sideways Stitch Dishcloth

I used #4 worsted weight cotton with a G/6 hook

Special Note:   3dctog = 3 double crochet together – worked as follows:

YO, pull a loop through space indicated, YO, pull through two loops (2 loops on hook)

YO, pull a loop through the same space, YO, pull through two loops (3 loops on hook)

YO, pull a loop through the same space, YO, pull through two loops (4 loops on hook), YO and pull through all 4 loops

Chain 28+6 with main color

Row 1: 3dctog in 5th chain from hook, ch 1, sk next 2 chs, sc in next ch, *ch 3, 3dctog in next ch, ch 1, sk next 2 chs, sc in next ch*, repeat from * to * 5 times, ch 3, 3dctog in next ch, ch 1, turn

Row 2: sc in first 3ch space, ch 3, 3dctog in same 3 ch space, ch 1, *sc in next 3 ch space, ch 3, 3dctog in same 3ch space, ch 1*, repeat from * to * 6 times, turn

Row 3 – 13: repeat pattern from row 2, after 13th row is complete fasten off

Row 14: (Working Around) join accent color in any corner stitch with a sc, 2 sc in same corner stitch space, *ch 4, sc in next space between 3dctog clusters* repeat from * to * 6 times, 3 sc in corner stitch, *ch 4, sc in next space between 3dctog clusters* continue the pattern around the original 13 rows, with 3 sc in each corner stitch, sl st in beginning sc

Row 15: (Still Working Around) sc in first 4ch space, in same 4ch space [hdc, dc, hdc, sc], *in next 4ch sp [sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc]*, repeat from * to * 5 times, sc in first corner stitch, 3 sc in 2nd corner stitch, sc in 3rd corner stitch, sc in next 4ch space, in same 4ch space [hdc, dc, hdc, sc], repeat around working each corner in the same way as directed above, sl st in first sc, fasten off, weave in ends

This dish cloth is my favorite because (1) it is quick and easy to work up and (2) it has a feminine lacy look instead of the usual blah dish cloth and finally (3) because it is an original of my own design!

So give it a whirl and let me know how it turns out.  And, please, if I have made any grave errors, forgive me for being a beginner at this whole pattern writing thing, but also, tell me what it is that needs tweaking so that I can perfect my pattern.

Hope your week is bright and warm,