Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Glorious Spectrum of New Crochet Dishcloths! (and a not-a-pattern)

My old kitchen dishcloths were literally falling to pieces.  (I believe you can view the photo evidence here.)  So as soon as my Christmas crocheting was done, I set to work and made a lovely array of dishcloths for myself (using mostly cotton I already had on hand...)  For me, it feels do different making something for myself, as opposed to a gift.  It doesn't feel rushed and I don't pressure myself to make it "perfect."   

I love having useful homemade things around the house.  And I smile at the idea of seeing spilled milk on the table, or a little face covered in pasta sauce, and reaching for something pretty I made to tend to it :)  I'm looking forward to putting these cheerful cloths to use!  

I mentioned earlier that when I'm making things for my own use, I don't pressure myself to make them perfect.  These dishcloths are perfect, though...  

As a special treat, I have for you a guest!  - an average housewife whom I've selected at random* to try out these dishcloths and give you her honest opinion.  (never mind that we might have the same maiden name and may occasionally be seen together in facebook photos or at local restaurants...)  I gave this average housewife whom I selected a random, Sarah, three dishcloths to use in her home for an unspecified amount of time (since her last birthday...)  Here's what Sarah has to say about these cloths:

"These washcloths are the only kitchen cloths you’ll ever need.  First of all, I believe anything hand/homemade very well, is far better than store bought. But the main reason I swear by these washcloths is because they’re made with a wide stitch. When you wet them, they expand a bit so little bits of food don’t get smooshed (an average housewife term, no?) into the fabric. After the first use, rinse, ring, and dry. I typically use a washcloth every 3 days before it ends up in the laundry bin.  Just remember to rinse with hot water and allow for drying time. Lastly, I love these little guys because the patterns and colors Theresa uses are so cute and colorful. I realize we’re talking about a washcloth here, but it can really brighten up your kitchen and mood!" ** 

And there you have it.  Thank you, Sarah!  

* Mega major bonus points to you, dear reader, if you get this reference!  I believe we may have a "Love" in common :)  

** Sarah was not payed for this review.  (Just because you may have seen her leaving my house after dinnertime doesn't mean she's received culinary favors in exchange for this glowing review either...)

*   *   *   *   *   *

If you're interested, I've included a quick recap of how I made these dishcloths.  I can't bring myself to call it a pattern.  It's more of a conversational "here's how I did it" and if you want to follow along and make your own, you're more than welcome to!  

So, want to make some and brighten up your kitchen and your mood?!?!?

You'll need... 

cotton yarn (main color, border/contrast color)
H hook (5.0 mm)
J hook (6.0 mm)
tapestry needle


ss - slip stitch
sc - single crochet
hdc - half double crochet

Here's what I did...

Row 1: Using main color yarn and the J hook, chain 35.

top side of the starting chain (as opposed to the underside shown below)

Row 2:  Switch to the H hook.

            Turn.  Flip the chain over so that the "bumps" on the  underside are facing up. 

here are the "bumps" on the underside

      1 hdc in the second "bump" from the end (shown by the needle...)

 1 ss in the next "bump." (shown by the needle...)

photo shows the first half double crochet and them "bump" where you'll slip stitch
            Continue working in the "bumps" repeating (1 hdc, 1 ss) to the end.  (you should end on a slip stitch)

Row 3 - ?? Ch 1 and turn.

  Repeat (1 hdc, 1 ss) to the end. 

Each row should begin with a half double crochet and end on a slip stitch.  

Continue with as many rows as it takes to form a perfect square.  

One you have achieved a square, Chain 2, then sc around the entire outside of the dishcloth (except for 3 sc at each corner)  Join to the first sc with a slip stitch.  Finish off and weave in the ends.

Attach contrast color with a knot any place it is convenient.  

Chain 2, hdc around the entire cloth again (3 hdc at each corner.)  Join to the first hdc with a slip stitch.

Ch. 1, sc around the entire cloth (3 sc at each corner).  Join to the first sc with a slip stitch.  Finish off and weave in the ends. 

If I was making these for a gift, I would have blocked them.  
But since they were just for me and I was impatient to get them into my kitchen to brighten things up, I skipped blocking :)

 That's it!  So simple!   Let me know if you have any questions.
It's such a great dishcloth!  Enjoy :)



  1. Only YOU can get someone, who doesn't crochet, to continue to read an entire blog about dishrags!!! And OH sooo pretty too!! Love you!

  2. I have a question (or two;) - This is made from wool? So totally absorbent?
    I might have to learn to crochet

    1. I made these out of 100% cotton yarn, so they are very absorbent.
      I don't know what the yarn brands are like in Australia, but the ones I used were Lily Sugar n' Cream, Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Delux, and I Love this Cotton Yarn. Hope that helps :)
      And YES!! Of course you should learn how to crochet!! You Tube is the place for that these days! (or I could come visit ;) )

  3. You have such a fun eye for color! My dishrags look like your old ones…now I need to find a knitting pattern :)

    1. Thanks, Mary!
      Maybe you'll have a new project started for our next craft night :)

  4. Seriously Theresa, these are amazing! I just destroyed my only handmade dish cloth (and I was so sad! It was a horrifying combination of lost getting under the laundry basket until it grew it's own legs and then forgotten in a bucket of bleach....). Can't say any other dishcloth has ever come close to making me as happy as that particular one did. Off to revamp my kitchen!!

    1. Thanks, Maria!
      haha - I have a had a couple of dirty baby bibs that after being ignored morphed into scary kitchen creatures and kids' underwear that died the bucket-of-bleach death. So, I know how very real your story is :)
      Maybe our next craft night will be a wash cloth night??
      (Happy Birthday!)

  5. Hopped on over from the Sheenazing list...thanks for sharing! Quick question though - how do you wash your wash cloths (funny to say "wash wash", haha)? Seeing as how I'm a huge germ person, I'd love for you to ease my mind on that... and good luck with the nominations!

    1. Hi Lauren! Welcome :)
      They are 100% cotton and are 100% washable (even in a washing machine!) When they wash, they shrink up a bit (but not even that much, really). Once they're wet again they're back to their original shape and size.
      The instructions on the yarn indicate that you should wash each color separately the first time around to avoid the colors running. I haven't washed mine yet, but I've given several as gifts and this is the report I've gotten - when you first use them, it appears that the dark colors bleed into the light ones, but eventually even that runs off and the colors are back to normal. Hope that helps! (if I think of it, I'll try to come back and update on this once I wash and use mine.)
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Happy to have you here!

  6. I'm pinning this for later. I'm loving simple, pretty, functional things these days and since I always seem to run out of dish towels and kitchen rags before laundry day, these are just what I need. Thank you for writing about this!

    1. Your welcome! Hope you get to make some :)
      (If I recall, a comment you made here several months ago encouraged me to write more about my craft and crochet projects. So, thank you!)

    2. Yes, and I've been loving all your crafty updates!

  7. Love these! Thanks for the tutorial.

  8. I LOVE these! serious talent (and patience) right there!

  9. Gosh! This makes me want to relearn how to crochet! These are beautiful!!!!

  10. I really like this and I have not seen this before. I feel I have made every dishcloth out there but this is unique. Question row 3 and on Im not sure where bump is. Do I turn work or???
    Thank you

    1. Angela, thanks for your question! I went back to read what I wrote, and you're right that it wasn't very clear. Once you're done with that second row, you're done working in the back bumps. Everything after that is worked in the regular stitches (which in this case would be each half double and each slip stitch.) And you will turn the work after each row + ch 1. Hope that helps!

    2. Well Theresa I appreciate the quick reply. I get it and thank you so much.


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