It’s lovely to use a beautiful dishcloth for an ugly task like washing the dishes. This dishcloth is both pretty and practical. It's a fantastic way to learn (or practice) the lacy treble crochet shell stitch, which is a variation on the shell stitch which incorporates treble crochet stitches alternated with chains.
Large Project Photo: Click here to see a larger picture of this dishcloth.
Row 3 of this pattern was updated on 1-6-2013. If your copy is older than that, you may wish to print out the update. When designing this dishcloth, I experimented with several different versions; when I originally published this pattern, I accidentally uploaded one version of the instructions and a photo of a different version. I am really sorry about that! I apologize for any confusion or frustration that this caused. The updated version now corresponds to the dishcloth pictured. The pattern was workable as originally published, but the dishcloth would look a little different than the one you see pictured. Both are lovely, in my opinion, but the updated version is a bit quicker to work.
Gauge and Finished Size:
My sample dishcloth measures about 7 inches wide by 7.5 inches high. Gauge is not important for this project, but if you want your dishcloth to be this size, you can measure the width of your piece after you've crocheted several rows. If it's turning out too wide, you can start over with a smaller crochet hook; if it's turning out too narrow, you can start over with a larger crochet hook. That's really up to you; your dishcloth will be useful even if it turns out a little larger or smaller than my sample.
To make the project sample you see pictured, I used Knitpicks Simply Cotton worsted yarn. This is an organic cotton yarn. Personally, it's important to me to use an organic yarn for this type of project, because I don't want pesticide-laden conventionally-grown cotton anywhere near my kitchen, especially not near my dishes or food. I used to use ordinary kitchen cotton for this type of project, but once I learned about how many toxic pesticides are used to produce conventionally grown cotton, I was horrified enough to switch to using organic cottons.
The color I used has been discontinued, but as of the time of this posting, Knitpicks still carries their Simply Cotton Organic line. There are several lovely colors available of this yarn, or you can try working with another brand if you prefer.
Amount of Yarn Needed: I used about 21 grams of Simply Cotton yarn in my project sample. I estimate it to be about 35 yards. Since everyone's crochet is a little different, the amount you need is likely to vary slightly -- especially if you substitute yarns. Please plan accordingly, and allow enough extra yarn that you won't run short if you happen to use more yarn than I did when I made my sample dishcloth.
Crochet Hook: I /9 - 5.5 mm
Other: Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.
Crochet Abbreviations Used on This Page:
Special Stitch: The Lacy Shell -- Work the following sequence into the same chain stitch or half double crochet stitch, as directed by the instructions below: *tr, ch 1, tr, ch 1, tr, ch 1, tr*
When you are directed to work into the center of a lacy shell, work into the center ch-1 space in the shell – the second of the three ch-1 spaces you crocheted when working the lacy shell in the previous row.
Optional: If you want to make the dishcloth out of one unbroken length of yarn, wind your yarn into two balls, one starting at each end. Then begin crocheting in the middle. After you're finished crocheting the first half, when it comes time to rotate your work and crochet back across the starting chain going in the other direction, you won't have to join new yarn; you'll simply begin working with the other ball, which will still be attached. This will make your dishcloth a bit stronger, and it will also help you to avoid weaving in a couple of extra loose ends.
Would you find it helpful to see pictures of this process? If so, you are invited to click here to see a photo tutorial with more details and instructions.
I didn’t do this in my project sample, because I thought of the idea afterwards. I plan to do this with future dishcloths I crochet using this pattern.
Row 1: Work a hdc st in the third ch from your hook. [Skip 3 ch sts. In the next ch, work a lacy shell. Skip next 3 ch sts. Hdc in next ch st.] Rep the sequence in brackets all the way across the row. You’ll end up with a total of 3 lacy shells in the row all together.
Row 2: Ch 4, turn. Your turning chain counts as the first tr in the row. Work 1 tr in the same st, ch 1, work another tr in the same st as the previous tr. [Work a hdc in the center of the next lacy shell, then work a lacy shell into the next hdc st.] Rep the sequence in brackets all the way across the row. At the end of the row, work a hdc st into the center of the last shell, then in the last st work 1 tr, 1 ch, and 2 more tr.
Row 3: Ch 2, turn. Hdc in first st. [Work a lacy shell in next hdc st, work a hdc st in the center of the next lacy shell.] Rep the sequence in brackets all the way across the row. End the row by working a lacy shell into the next hdc st, then working a hdc st into the turning chain.
Row 4: Repeat row 2.
Row 5: Repeat row 3.
End off and weave in your final end.
Next, you’re going to work back across the starting chain to mirror-image what you’ve already crocheted. Rotate your work so that what used to be the bottom of the project is now the top. If you’re right-handed, attach your yarn in the upper right-hand corner of the work; if you’re left-handed, attach your yarn in the upper left-hand corner of the work.
Row 6: Ch 2, hdc in same st. [Skip 3 ch sts. In the next ch, work a lacy shell. There should already be one lacy shell st in this ch, below the one you are working now. Skip next 3 ch sts. Hdc in next ch st.] Rep the sequence in brackets all the way across the row. You’ll end up with a total of 3 lacy shells in the row all together; they should mirror image the 3 lacy shells you worked in Row 1.
Rows 7 - 10: Repeat rows 2 -5.
Finishing the Dishcloth:
End off and weave in your ends. The dishcloth is now ready to be used.
References and External Links:
At the USDA website: Pesticide Use & Markets
At the USDA website: Statistics of Fertilizers and Pesticides
The Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches
Sylvia Cosh and James Walters
Publication Date: 1986
Lyric Books Limited
ISBN# 0 7111 0028 4
Encyclopedia of Needlework
Therese De Dillmont
Royal Society Crochet Lessons Book No. 9
By H.E. Verran Company,
Peterson's Magazine, Volumes 35-36
Publication date: 1855
Richardson's Complete Crochet Book,
Book No 2
Publication date: 1916
Published by Richardson's Silk Company
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Thank you for your interest!