As boring as it may seem, I am still convinced that the dishcloth is a fantastic first project. I explain to the students that they will learn how to use knits and purls effectively to make a simple pattern. They must learn (in order to make a square) that keeping the same number of stitches on the needle in each row really does matter. They must learn in the stockinette pattern how to tell the difference between the knit side and the purl side as well as how to tell which side they are actually on. They learn to even up their tension and that though it may not look exactly even and perfect, a dishcloth can still be wonderfully used. I assure them that making the dishcloth is exactly what they need in order to move on to making something that someone would actually wear. Most of them accept this task, while others balk. But overall, they all seem to do a pretty good job.
Isn't that a pretty rainbow?