Quick and dirty crochet

Sometimes it’s nice to just knock out a craft without great concern for size, style or even accuracy. Enter the crocheted dishcloth! It has the added bonus of also being useful once completed. It seems that most people, when learning to crochet, get broken in either by a dishcloth or a potholder. I was apprenticed on a potholder. One of those mitered squares that never turn out square. My potholder supply is pretty good right now, but the dishcloth drawer was beginning to look a little sad. The dishcloths that Mr. Gren and I received as wedding gifts 9 1/2 years ago need to be transitioned into the rag drawer and some previous crocheted attempts turned out to be rather worthless.

9.5 years and a few bleach accidents later...

See, there are certain criteria to creating a good crocheted dishcloth. Uniformity, symmetry, and beauty? Throw ’em out the window! The things that really matter are:

  • Texture. An entire square of single crochet isn’t going to give you the scrubbing power you need to get off petrified scrambled egg. You need something with some oomph!
  • Size. It’s gotta be approximately as big as the dishwasher’s hand. In our case, the dishwasher is Mr. Gren, so the cloths need to be a decent size.
  • Sturdiness. I made the mistake once of making a pretty, lacy-looking dishcloth. It’s useless. The hole to yarn ratio is too great. You really need a pattern with compact stitches or the thing will disintegrate in your hands.

Other than that, it doesn’t have to be too perfect. It doesn’t even have to look that good. One pattern I read called for blocking the finished dishcloth which I find to be a little ridiculous. The whole purpose of blocking a crocheted or knitted item is to stretch it into the correct shape. Every time you wash the item, you have to block it again. Anyone else see the absurdity of blocking a dishcloth?

I feel a little like a connoisseur of dishcloth patterns. A couple of years ago, I tried out several and finally landed on two that meet all the above criteria. They both came from the September/October 2009 issue of “Crochet Today!”

It's supposed to be an alarm clock. I haven't made that.

One of the patterns was a mitered square. Hmmm. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I punished myself once and tried that one and it produced a pathetic little cloth. Uneven, of course. The two winners in this issue are called Offset Knot and Textured Weave. The third cloth in the picture below is from a blog called MoCrochet and features a sort of double crochet cross-stitch.

From left to right: Offset Knot, Textured Weave, and Alwine's Dishcloth

Check out the texture on these puppies!

Ski moguls

Basketweaving 101

X-ray vision

I could probably get another two, maybe three, cloths out of my ball of yellow cotton and trim them up in what’s left of the blue. I’ve never really been sure how many total you can get from one ball. It’s kind of like those old Tootise Pop commercials. How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? How many dishcloths can you get out of a  4 oz. ball of cotton? The world may never know.

At any rate, there are more dishcloths in my future. For some reason, though, Mr. Gren is not nearly as excited about that as I am.

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