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How to Crochet Dishcloths and Washcloths

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Crocheted Dishcloths

Click here for free dishcloth patterns. Photo © 2009 Amy Solovay, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Crocheting Dishcloths and Washcloths:

Dishcloths and washcloths are both satisfying projects to crochet. They offer a fantastic opportunity to try out different crochet stitches and color combinations. They don't involve any significant investment of either time or money; they work up quickly, and when you're finished you have a useful item that you can give away or keep.

It's easy to crochet a dishcloth or washcloth. Here are the basic instructions to follow:

Choose a Pattern:

Chose either a dishcloth pattern or a stitch pattern to use. Whichever you prefer, we've got you covered with plenty of free patterns to choose from:

Choose Yarn:

Choose a yarn to use. For dishcloths, you'll probably want to choose a kitchen cotton yarn, although there are other possibilities. I've also seen crocheters use cotton embroidery floss, mercerized cotton yarns, and cotton crochet threads to make dishcloths. The key: choose an absorbent material that can be machine washed and will stand up to significant wear and tear.

These same criteria also apply to washcloths, but for a washcloth you have one additional consideration. The material you choose should also be soft enough for prolonged use on human skin. Kitchen cotton is adequate, but you might prefer to choose an even softer yarn.

Choose a Crochet Hook:

In many cases, you'll be able to use the crochet hook size suggested on the yarn label or your pattern. When crocheting dishcloths or washcloths with worsted weight kitchen cotton yarn, I usually use a 5.00 mm crochet hook, which is a US size H. You might be more comfortable using a G or I or J hook, depending on how you crochet and the pattern you choose.

Calculate the Number of Chain Stitches in Your Starting Chain

If you're going to use a dishcloth or washcloth pattern, your pattern will tell you everything you need to know from here on out, including the length of your starting chain.

If you decided to use a stitch pattern, you'll need to figure out how long you want to make your starting chain. See Sandi Marshall's article about starting chain formulas for some helpful insights; the stitch instructions will usually include information about the "multiple" which you should take into account when you decide how many chain stitches to begin with.

Crochet the Dishcloth or Washcloth:

The next step is to crochet your dishcloth, working in the stitch pattern you've chosen. When you're finished, weave in your ends. You may wish to wash the finished project before using it. Enjoy!

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