Friday, June 14, 2013

How to Crochet a Dish Cloth

I've been crocheting with cotton balls. Oh, all right, I admit that is a little bit misleading since I am actually referring to these cotton balls ...

Balls of Lily Sugar 'n Cream 100% cotton yarn. I have a bag full of this stuff that I've collected in every color of the rainbow. In 2007, I started knitting again when I saw the TV show "Knitty Gritty" and they were making bar cloths. I immediately drove to Michael's to buy cotton yarn! My personal favorite project to make with this yarn is a dish cloth, which I usually knit, but last weekend I had the urge to pick up a crochet hook.

I decided to finish off some of the partially used skeins of yarn left over from other projects. I started by making a single crocheted center square and then changed yarn to add a border around it in a different color. The border is done by single crocheting all the way around the square, then again in double crochet or half double crochet or whatever stitch you like. I am a left-handed self-taught crocheter and I really don't know what the particular stitches are, usually just winging it until I get something I like. I tend to have the most fun when things are a little loosey goosey and, believe me, there was plenty of ripping out and redoing until I got into a comfortable rhythm.

Here is my first completed dish cloth ...

Is it just me or do you obsess by doing the same thing over and over? You know, get on a kick that just keeps repeating itself because it's enjoyable ... chicken salad sandwiches for lunch every day, reading the same author one book after another, wanting to wear the same outfit repeatedly because it's so comfortable? Well, I also do this with crafting ...

Somebody stop me ... except I'm having so much fun amassing a nice little pile of dish cloths as we watch TV during the evening. They make great gifts, are wonderful not only for dish washing but face washing too, and the cotton yarn is soft and natural so great for baby wash cloths.

This project is made with just a few inexpensive supplies and very basic stitches so it's a great way to teach yourself to crochet and make something wonderful in the process with your own two hands!

Here is my basic method for making one of these dish cloths:

Crocheted Cotton Dish Cloth

1 or 2 skeins of 100% cotton yarn (use coupons at Michael's and Jo-Ann's - around $3 for a 120 yard skein or you can buy larger cones)
Size H/8 crochet hook
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

To help you get started or if you need a refresher, great instructions for basic crochet stitches can be found at

  • Chain stitch 25
  • Skip the first stitch and single crochet in each of the remaining 23 chain stitches
  • At the end of each row, chain 2, then turn and single crochet across the row
  • Single crochet in the front loop of each stitch - this keeps it light and lacy
  • This will give you a width of approximately 6"
  • Continue to single crochet back and forth until you've made a square

Here is where you begin with new yarn if you're changing color for the border. You will cut your first yarn, leaving a 3" tail, then pull it through the loop to fasten it off. When you start the new color in that same corner, hold both tails against the edge and enclose them with your single crochet to eliminate having to weave them in later. (This is probably my favorite trick because I hate weaving in ends!)

Or you can continue on with the same yarn and make a single color dish cloth ...

  • Single crochet all the way around the 4 sides of the square but this time insert your hook under both the front and back loops together -- this makes a heavier border
  • When you crochet over the beginning point where you started your chain, hold the beginning tail next to the edge and enclose it with your single crochet stitch -- this eliminates having to weave in the tail end
  • When you've made it all the way around, chain 3 at the corner, then start a round of double crochet (okay, I caved and looked it up and apparently the stitch I use is double crochet), again inserting your hook under both loops

  • When you reach each corner, double crochet 3 times in the same stitch/hole to help you turn the corner nicely
  • When you've made it all the way around to the beginning, chain 3, then slip stitch your original corner stitch together with the last stitch to complete the round
  • Cut the tail at about 3", then pull through the loop and weave it in with your yarn needle. Finished size is approximately 8" square, but you can make them any size you like. You should be able to get two dish cloths from each skein of yarn or four if you're using two skeins of yarn and changing color for the border.

Dish washing is a lot more fun with a pretty little dish cloth that you made yourself. Or it should be anyway!

So many projects, never enough time.

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