I've been doing some knitting lately, but I was getting bored and thought I should try crochet again. I wasn't sure what to do and then I remembered the Easy Knit Dishcloth I did a while back. I thought it would be fun to come up with an easy crochet dishcloth. I decided on a design that anyone with basic crochet knowledge (how to chain and single crochet is enough here; double crochet if you want a frilly border) can do. I then went on to experiment with other variations that still can be accomplished with basic crochet knowledge. I'll cover the basic design and also some other tips oh how you can jazz up your dishcloth / washcloth.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Supplies
I prefer using a variegated/ombre with a solid cotton for each dishcloth but you can use whatever colors you like best.
- Size F-5 Crochet Hook - this will give you a tight stitch washcloth like I have, if you want the stitches a bit looser, you can go for a larger hook
- Larger or Smaller size crochet hook (optional) - Helpful if your initial chain is too tight or too loose; covered in Step 4
- 100% Cotten Yarn in your color of choice - you need 100% cotton for dishcloths - if you want a brand recommendation, I would say Lily Sugar N' Cream 100% cotton yarn won't steer you wrong
- Yarn Needle - if you have trouble weaving in the ends with the crochet hook, a yarn needle will come in handy here.
If you are raring go to, skip to Step 5, otherwise, check out the following steps for some extra information on basic crocheting.
Step 2: Crocheting Your First Rows - Version 1
Now, I'm no expert on crochet and to make these dishcloths you only really need to know the basics, but I did want to cover a couple things.
First, when you start, you begin with a chain that is the width you want the dishcloth to be. This will vary depending on how tight you crochet and how big you want your cloth but I would say anywhere from 25 to 30 stitches is good.
The easiest way to start your work is to chain how many stitches you want and then chain 1 extra. Then turn your work, skip that first chain and single crochet into the 2nd stitch from the hook (as shown in the photos). Then continue crocheting across until you get to the end. Then do the same thing where you chain one extra, turn, and single crochet into the 2nd stitch from the hook.
Step 3: Crocheting Your First Rows - Version 2
Another option when you start is to chain how many stitches you want, then chain 2 extra. Turn your work and single crochet into the 4th chain from the hook. You leave the first 3 as your first single crochet. Continue crocheting across and when you get to the end, chain 2 extra, skip the first 3 (the last of those 3 should be the last stitch of the last row you did) then single crochet into the 4th chain from the hook and continue across. Remember to single crochet into the chain when you get to the end of the row.
This method is a little more confusing and honestly, I don't remember why I did it this way, but I used this method for most of my dishcloths and they turned out fine. It's all a matter of keeping track of your stitches so you don't miss any. If you do, your square won't be so square.
Step 4: Too Tight or Too Loose?
As I mentioned in the Supplies step, you don't want your initial chain to be too tight or too loose because it can mess up your whole design (a little loose and a little tight might get worked out the more you crochet, but if it looks significant, I recommend starting over before it gets too late and adjusting your stitches accordingly).
If your initial chain is too tight your work will look like the first picture in that the second row is much looser resulting in your work curving up. To fix this, you need a looser first row. One way to accomplish this is to do only the initial chain with a crochet hook that is 1 to 3 sizes too large. Then, when you get to the first row of single crochets, switch back to your F crochet hook.
If your initial chain is too loose, your first row of single crochets will be tighter and it will cause your work to bow. You need your initial chain tighter. If you can't do it on your own, try using a crochet hook that is a size or two smaller.
Step 5: Dishcloth + Ruffle Border
Time to crochet!
This pattern is very very basic.
Start by making a chain that is 25-30 stitches long. Go by whatever looks wide enough for you.
Then, just continue going row after row of single crochet stitches. That's it :)
I didn't count my rows, because all you need to do is make sure it is square. You can measure it, or just fold your dishcloth diagonally and see if you have a square yet.
Now, you could leave it like this and it would be super easy, but it would be super boring. To fix that, we are going to go over some borders you can do. To start, a ruffle border.
If you want a clean color swap, when you get to the last stitch of your dishcloth, pull the new color through at the end and you'll be ready to start your border with your new color.
To create a ruffle, all you need to do is stitch 2-3 Double Crochet stitches into each stitch going around the cloth. I did 3 Double Crochets going all the way around. This creates a nice thick border. (To start the border, chain 3 to create your first double crochet.)
3 double crochet stitches in each stitch can get crowded, if you want a little less ruffle than you see here, try alternating 3 DC and 2 DC. Whatever you do, just be consistent or your ruffles will be more significant in some places and not as ruffly in others.
When you get all the way around, slip stitch into your first double crochet to close up the border.
If you want to go even further, you could change colors again and single crochet around the whole ruffle. You can really keep going as much as you want, but I think one more color around the double crochet ruffle would be good enough. But who knows, try it out and see what you think :)
Step 6: Dishcloth + Single Crochet Border
If you want something a little easier, do a single crochet row in a different color around the whole washcloth.
In order for the border to be nice in clean, remember to do 2 or 3 stitches in each corner. I say 2 or 3 because if your stitches are looser, 2 should do it, but if you crochet tight, you might need 3 to get around the corner without making it curl up.
Slip stitch when you get to the end and you are done!
You can continue doing more borders in different colors around just like with the ruffle border. This can also help make the dishcloth bigger if you think it's too small at this point.
Something to keep in mind is if you want to do a fancy border around your dishcloth, it helps to do a basic single crochet border first so you can see exactly where your stitches are, how many you have, and if the design will work going around. You don't have to, but it can help.
Step 7: Crochet in Back Loop Only
One last thing I wanted to add that is really easy to do for people who know the basics of crochet is crocheting in the back loop only. This can add some fun variation if you think the single crochet is too boring on its own.
All you need to do, is instead of crocheting through both loops, crochet only through the back loop in the row. The first and second images above show this technique. There really isn't much to it :)
If you do this going back and forth (always going into the back loop based on how you are looking at your work) you will get a nice ribbed look with your cloth.
For this blue dishcloth, I finished it off by doing a basic single crochet border in white around the full dishcloth and then did an additional single crochet row in blue but I only went through the back loops.
Step 8: Done!
Here is a look at the three washcloths I made using the basics of this tutorial.
Red has just a single crochet border.
Pink has a double crochet ruffle border.
Blue was created by crocheting in the back loops only and has a single crochet white border with a single crochet border around that in blue that is only through the back loops.
Have fun changing things up and see how your dishcloth turns out :)