Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crochet: Ribbed Washcloths (Tutorial)


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!


(Yarn: Lily Sugar'n Cream in Hot Pink; Fabric: Windham Fabrics "Storybook VIII Toss")

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!


(Yarn: Lily Sugar'n Cream in Light Blue; Fabric: Kate Ward Thacker "Butterfly Garden" for JoAnn)

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.

(Yarn: Lily Sugarn' Cream yellow; Fabric: Michael Miller "Ta Dot" in Stone)

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


Materials:
• 1 skein 100% cotton yarn, such as Lilly Sugarn’ Cream
• "I" crochet hook

 
With a size I crochet hook, form a slip knot.


Chain 27.


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!



33 comments:

Leonie said...

oh thank you for this!!!
I have been stumbling along trying to make some dishclothes and mine are so terribly wonky!!
This is a fantastic tutorial...as soon as the kids go to bed I'll have another go!
Love the colours you've used too.

Pacas said...

so beautiful, yet so simple!! thanks to share, I'll do it for sure :)

stitchknit said...

Your tutorial is so well done! I will refer students to your site, as it is simple, beautiful and easy to understand.
Thanks for taking the time to put this post together.

Stitchknit

Eva North said...

Hi I loved the tutorial for washcloths, I've been a self taught beginner crocheter for awhile and needed something that wouldn't look icky so thank you for this pattern.

Kim-A Creative Spirit said...

Found you over on LaBellaDiva and LOVE your blog already. Looking forward to getting to know you.

Miss Holly said...

I am a 30 + years crocheter and I have to tell you your tutorial is outstanding...it is as clear as any could be...I think you should do a how to book!!! Really well done!

Elasha said...

I just found your blog and have loved browsing your beautiful creations! I've also been looking for a simple washcloth pattern and this is it. Thanks! I just hope I am good enough to tackle one of those gorgeous sweaters you've made for your little one!!

Mandi said...

just taught myself to crochet. I think I am ready to try this. Thank you!

Peggy said...

Thanks so much for sharing your directions for the wash cloths. I tried some on my own but I really like yours. I've been teaching myself to crochet. I've started out on easy stuff. I really enjoy your blog. Your photos are super good.

MrsKnight said...

I agree with Miss Holly. I've been crocheting for 15 years and this is a FANTASTIC tutorial which really takes a lot of guesswork out for the beginner. REALLY good job. And thanks for the washcloth pattern. I was looking for something durable with a bit of rib to it. This is perfect.

Anneliese said...

It makes me so happy to hear you all say this is a good tutorial! I'm so glad it works for you. I hope you're all having success with the washcloths and more!

Sara said...

I'm in need of some new washcloths and I'm loving these! Linking up at Tangled Happy next week. Thanks for sharing this. :)

Charity said...

Thank you for the pictures. My grandma taught me to crochet a long time ago, and I never did more than a double stitch. I looked at a few tutorials for this as a way of getting back to practicing and yours was the easiest to follow (especially with the help of the pictures). Thank you so much for posting.

Randiocoy said...

I love this tutorial! However I jumped ahead and missed a key point. so I was just single crocheting! I forgot to only use the back loops! I am a beginner! I need a break! LOL. Thanks so much for this!! LOVE it! I found you on pinterest, and you have become one of my favorite blogs to follow!

Joanie said...

I love this tutorial as well! I made several of them and I do love them, however, they dont hold their shape. I have been using them for about 1 or 2 weeks now and they all are now oblong (rectangular) and not square anymore. What am I doing wrong? Help! thanks, Joanie

Anneliese said...

@Joanie: Cotton is great for absorbency but it does stretch a lot. If the non-square shape bothers you, you could "block" the washcloth by reshaping it into a square when it is wet and letting it dry. You could also see if the cloths are stretching along the rows, which I'm guessing, and compensate by crocheting more rows (instead of longer rows).

Anonymous said...

Your tutorial uses wonderful pictures and is the most user-friendly that I've seen! Very impressed!

Tia said...

Lovely pattern! Just started crocheting a couple days ago and hoping to do a lot more! Great blog! Thanks :)

Tara Mae said...

Hello Anneliese,
Thanks for the tutorial! I think this would also make a great cowl & scarf!

Sara said...

This is a great tutorial for a beginner! I would LOVE if you would link up to my new link party for the fiber arts!
http://www.mymerrymessylife.com/2012/06/new-link-party-hookin-on-hump-day-1.html

Jean said...

You did a very very good job on this teaching!

Anonymous said...

These are so cute! I've been looking for washcloths to crochet not only knit, but none has been to my liking before today!
I'm so grateful for people like you, who share their creativity with lazy people like me.

Annelin

crafty bowler said...

Very nice. And i love your color choice!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this pattern! I made two wash cloths along with matching rick rack towels for Christmas presents. Wonderful directions and they turned out great.

Josi said...

I am a self-taught crocheter get overwhelmed when I try to read patterns since I don't know the lingo. Thank you for your easy to understand instructions and photos. I made a bunch of washcloths for Christmas presents and they turned out great. You are a blessing to share as you do. Thank you.

Anneliese said...

@Josi: Thank you for such a kind comment! I love hearing you were able to use the tutorial to make gifts. I am sure they were genuinely appreciated. Merry Christmas.

Tracy Stokes said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I've just made my very first crochet dishcloth. :) Happy days!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial! I am a beginner and just started my first cloth. It looks terrific so far! You're instructions are so clear, I'm not finding it frustrating to follow. It's a great sense of accomplishment :)

Cindy Navarino said...

I just found you site -- wow , wow I'm almost done with my first one - excellent ,excellent - I'm making these for Christmas gifts- Since I also make my own soaps this is will be perfect together !

eight by six said...

I've just found your blog via Pinterest and I'm working on a couple for mothers day - thanks for the great tutorial. Amanda

Anonymous said...

Normally,I don't comment on blogs but was so very impressed with your tutorial, I had to say Beautifully Done!
I too am a crocheter of 30+years. I've taught several friends to crochet and am always looking at the way tuts are done. Yours is exceptionally well done, not only with the clear photos, bright colors, and layout but easy to see and understand all the stitches, "back loop only" , and the tricky first and last stitch of a row with the use of a bright red pin. I believe your "struggle" in the beginning has truly given you a talent you weren't even expecting...the ability to take that struggle and make things easy for others to understand. You are to be commended for your work and your caring enough to take the time to help others in a beautiful way.

Pam said...

Thank you so much for this pattern. Very easy to learn and I love the ribbing! Will be making some Christmas presents! :)

Hlm0401 said...

Thank you for this tutorial. Clearest non-video tutorial I've seen for crochet. Visited your site to make my 5th or 6th engineers cap (my son can't go see Thomas this weekend without one), so glad I saw this tutorial too. Your site is full of great patterns.

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