It's a familiar dilemma for many knitters. You want to knit something machine-washable and tough, but you don't want to use crappy Red Heart Super Saver acrylic yarn. Maybe you are making something for a baby or a pet, or maybe you are knitting for a charity that only accepts projects in acrylic yarn. But don't despair, you have options!
Knitters love to knit fingerless mitts, and luckily a lot of non-knitters love to get them as gifts. Fingerless mitts are one of those things where you need a lot of different pairs, because they are forever getting lost, abandoned, accidentally ruined, or just given away to someone else who needs them more. I go through at least two pairs a year, not counting the pairs I knit to give away to people.
Over the holiday I found myself having to wash and block a sweater sized for an adult man. This was a challenge, because not only do I have a small home, I also have two cats who love to make mischief. Typically when I have something large, I try to hold off on washing it until summer, when I can lay it out on my deck in the sun. (You're not supposed to do that, leave your knitting in the sun, but I don't have a lot of options.)
I love to look back over a year and examine its stats, for better or worse. This morning as I was browsing Ravelry I wondered what was the most popular knitting pattern of the year. I started with Ravelry's Pattern Browser, sorted all of the patterns by "Most Popular," then went looking for projects that had been added sometime in or before 2012.