Monday, April 7, 2008

Back in the saddle again....

I have been working on some crochet lately. Is it finishing the boboletta sweater??? NO.....Is it completing a promised Christmas present??? NO. I have been crocheting Tawashi. What are TAWASHIS you may ask...?

This excerpt is taken from a Ravelry.

Tawashi: Japanese Scrubbers to Knit and Crochet
by OkinawaOtter

"What’s a tawashi for? Ta-wash-i the dishes, of course!
I can hear you groaning, but my feelings are not hurt, because I know that you probably just learned a new word, and you won’t forget it anytime soon!
Tawashi is Japanese for “scrubber” or “brush”. In the stores here (Okinawa, Japan), there is usually a larger tawashi section than a dish detergent section, because part of the idea behind tawashi is that they are environmentally friendly. When made of acrylic yarn, they are quite effective even without detergent, thus reducing groundwater pollution.
Tawashi are sometimes made in the shape of the items to be cleaned: for example, a paw print or fish shape to clean the pet dishes or homes, and food shapes for use in the kitchen. Various holiday or seasonal themes are very popular as well. Some are simple squares or motifs, while others are knitted or crocheted pieces with clever assemblies, like three strips woven into a ball. There are even tawashi made that incorporate other cleaning supplies. An example of this is one of my favorites – it is a crocheted strawberry that is then attached to the bristle part of a toothbrush. Now your tawashi has a handle AND the added bonus of double scrubbing action, not to mention an increased “kawaii” factor!

A lot of Japanese tawashi books contain both knit and crochet projects, because more often than not, Japanese crafters learn both crafts, rather than one or the other. There are even weaving, crochet-on-the-double, and “no skills required” tawashi, so anyone can make at least one! There are some resources online for free tawashi patterns.

Don’t read Japanese? Never fear, the charts are pretty easy to figure out, and the photography is excellent, so you can use the pictures as a reference.
Cruise around on this site for a while, and you will find LOTS of useful information, like needle conversion charts and translation of Japanese crafting phrases.

You don’t have to search around on the Japanese sites to make your own tawashi – make a free form scrubby, or get inspiration from other projects! For example, knit a mitred square or crochet a flower, add a hanging loop, and you’re done! Hang it by the sink and pat yourself on the back for your resourcefulness!

Most crafters are already familiar with the Japanese dolls known as “amigurumi”, and now they can add “tawashi” to their repertoire as well. This is another way to have “instant gratification” on a project – AND a way to use up some of those acrylic yarn scraps!"

I joined the Tawashi Ravelry group...and just completed in a premiere swap. I will post pictures soon of what I made...and what I received. Tawashi are great projects for me in many ways....they are instant gratification, portable, stashbuster and most of all fun!


Jasmine's Mommy said...

How interesting! I learned something new today after reading your blog. I love these! Looks like a really fun project to do!

Anonymous said...

They are lovely, love the color and thanks for the visit to my blog.

Laura's Left Hook said...

Very interesting. I never thought about using acrylic yarn to make something to scrub dishes. I usually use cotton.