Since working on the "How to Crochet" series for Tip Junkie I have been thinking about some of my first crochet projects. I learned this craft from a fourteen year old young woman who had amazing patience with me and I'm sure a lot of good laughs. I could not figure out how to make a crochet hook do what she was doing! We were making ribbed crochet baby hats for a humanitarian project. I so wanted to contribute something so I kept at it and finished a couple hats with much love even if they were more than a bit wonky!
The nice thing about hats like those (essentially a ribbed rectangle you cinch at one end and top with a pom-pom) and washcloths like these, is that it doesn't really matter if your stitches are even, your gauge correct, or even if you miss a few single crochets--they still work. Perfect for a beginner. I worked at those hats for a year or so--they became my go-to baby gift--and my work improved. The hats did too!
These ribbed washcloths are just what you need if you've been hoping to learn to crochet. You can practice chain stitches and single crochet stitches and still have something to show for it. Make some new dish cloths for your kitchen in bright summer colors or wrap some up with a nice bar of soap and give spa cloths to a friend (see these I gave away last year). Hand made, 100% cotton cloths like these are a nice little luxury.
If ribbed washcloths seem like something you'd like to try, click to view the step-by-step tutorial. You can also read my How to Crochet series here.
RIBBED WASHCLOTHS TUTORIAL
• 1 skein 100% cotton yarn, such as Lilly Sugarn’ Cream
• "I" crochet hook
With a size I crochet hook, form a slip knot.
Skip the first chain next to the hook and work into the second chain from the hook with a single crochet.
Work single crochet stitches in each chain to the end. You should have worked 26 sc. Count your stitches in each row to be certain you haven't skipped the first sc stitch or missed the last. If your rows look jagged you have likely missed a stitch--just pull out the rows and work it again. The photo below shows the last chain stitch (marked by the red pin) in the initial chain--be sure to work the final sc into this stitch so that you have 26 sc.
*Chain 1 and turn.
(The turning chain does not count as the first sc.) Starting with the first chain from the hook (marked with the red pin below), ...
...work 1 sc into the BACK LOOPS ONLY (indicated by the red pin in the photo below) of each sc to the end. (Working into the back loops on every row will create the ribbing in the crocheted fabric.)
You should have 26 sc.**
Repeat from * to ** until your work is square.
Fasten off by cutting your yarn and pulling the tail of the yarn through the last working loop on your hook. Pull the tail to cinch in a knot.
Weave in ends. Do this by threading the tail of your yarn through a tapestry needle (a large metal or plastic needle with a blunt end and large eye)...
...and inserting the needle back into your work weaving it into the stitches to hide the yarn. I work into one of the loops on each stitch--turn your work over as you're doing this to be certain the needle is hidden on the other side of the work as well.
Pull the needle to pull the yarn all the way through. Then you'll weave the yarn back the other direction, skipping the first stitch, to secure it. (You can turn and weave again if you'd like but twice should do the trick--your yarn ends won't unravel.)
There you have it! Everything you need to know to make some cute and hard-working cotton washcloths!