New Kitchen Washcloths

Stack of Washcloths

Bear had a great Aunt who made us a couple of handmade washcloths as a wedding present, and I have to confess, back then I could not understand why you’d go to that much trouble for a washcloth when paper towels are so cheap. Ten years later, I always smile to myself when I pull that washcloth out to wash the dishes with. Oh younger me, how silly you were to not appreciate the indestructible glories of a handknit.

Those first washcloths have finally given up the ghost, so I thought it was time for a whole new batch of them. They are hands down the very very best things to use to wash dishes or wipe counters. The yarn makes all these lovely ridges that are great scrubbers, they are tougher than any sponge out there, they’ll never scratch anything delicate, and they just get tossed in the wash so no nasty little germ factories like what normally sits by the sink, and no dead trees. For relatively little effort you get a healthier family, healthier home, and healthier planet. Win, win, win.

Basketweave washcloth
I’ve made tons and tons of the fantastic washcloths from the gals at Mason-Dixon and they are really great, but I absolutely detest weaving in ends, and that one requires a lot of it. But it has that great texture, and I really wanted to keep that.

I also really prefer the process of crochet to the process of knitting. It’s easier on my hands, it goes faster, it’s more mindless for me, but crochet creates this big bulky fabric, and knitting can create this lovely smooth fabric, so I usually go for the knitting. This was a perfect project for crochet – bulky only works in it’s favor – and I could seriously crank out the yardage in a hurry that way. I found this basketweave stitch and knew it was perfection.

I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cotton. Out of 3 balls I got two washcloths. Here’s my quick pattern:

Chain 29

DC in third chain from hook and 26 times more to complete the row. Ch 2, turn.

Now starts the Basketweave pattern:

Row 1: Back Post Double Crochet (BPDC) (see below) 3 times (the 2 chains from the last row make your first stitch) [Front Post Double Crochet (FPDC) (see below) 4 times, BPDC 4 times]* repeat * twice more, Ch 2, turn.

OK, all that sounds terribly confusing, but really you’re just making seven blocks of four stitches, alternating the Front Post and Back Post stitches.

Row 2: FPDC 3 times, [BPDC 4 times, FPDC 4 times]* repeat * twice more, Ch 2, turn.

Row 3: Repeat row 2. I think you’ll see here that you just FP the FP’s and BP’s the BP’s until it’s time to make a new square.

Those three rows create the square. To make the square that alternates it, you just have to flip the FP’s and BP’s. So the next square would go like this:

Row 1: FPDC 3 times, [BPDC 4 times, FPDC 4 times]* repeat * twice more, Ch 2, turn.

Row 2: BPDC 3 times, [FPDC 4 times, BPDC 4 times]* repeat * twice more, Ch 2, turn.

Row 3: FPDC 3 times, [BPDC 4 times, FPDC 4 times]* repeat * twice more, Ch 2, turn.

Then you’d have your second row of squares, so you’d go back to that first way for the third set of squares.

I hope that makes sense. If it doesn’t just reading through it, then try it as you crochet. It’s really simple, I think it will just pop out at you as you work it.

OK, now there’s those special stitches:
These work just like a double crochet stitch, but instead of going through the loop, you go around the post made by the previous row. Which direction you go around the post, makes the stitch either push forward, or pull backwards.

Back Post Double Crochet:
Yarn over, and insert the hook from the back

Back Post Double Crochet Step 1

Go around the post and push the needle back towards the back. Yarn over and pull it all through.

Back Post Double Crochet Step 2

Then treat it like a regular double crochet. Yarn over, pull through two loops. Yarn over again, pull through two loops, leaving one loop on the hook.

Front Post Double Crochet:
This works exactly the same way, except you come at the post from the front, around the post from the back, and then through to the front.
Front Post Double Crochet

If you know how to crochet, you can totally do this. Just read as you’re working instead of trying to make sense of it all. It really doesn’t make sense unless you’ve got the crochet right in front of you.

I meant to do this project in the Spring. It just seems like a Spring kind of project, new washcloths, perfect to have ready for all that Spring Cleaning, but when Spring was here I was busy working on Halloween projects. I got all turned around trying to work ahead for magazines, and I really didn’t enjoy that. I’ve never realized before how much the season affects what I’m inspired to do.

This timing worked out OK too though, because after all that Halloween madness, I needed a seriously mellow palate cleanser, and this was just right to work on during this never ending sickness.

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Comments

  1. reese, are you going to be selling these on etsy? my aunt made me 2, 3 years ago and i love them for the reasons you stated. i will check your etsy store. i want to buy some. thanks, sonia

    • What I don't get, is do you do the BPDC in the SAME stitch 4 times, or in every block of three? As there aren't enough stitches to do just one, so I am totally lost!

  2. These have been my favourite dish cloths forever. My nan makes them for me for Christmas every year!

  3. Ann Martin says:

    What pretty pics… the stack of your cloths (almost) makes me want to do dishes, ha. Excellent tutorial too. I used to crochet a lot and now feel the need to get out my supplies today.

  4. Reese Dixon says:

    I don't think I'll be selling them Sonia, mainly because I'm kind of a slow crocheter so I'd have to charge a lot to make it worth the time. If you have your heart set on it and $20 each doesn't sound like too much, then email me and I might be persuaded.Selling handknits is hard.

  5. finally, i can do something you can do too.

  6. another plus for crocheting dish rags is knit is stretchy and crochet not so much.crochet dish cloths keep their shape better. I like the weave/fancier patterns so send out as gifts but a simple hdc works too and is super fast.

  7. Hi Reese – first time commenting. I'm coming out of the woodwork to ask a question that commenter mfranti may have answered…Let's just say…hypothetically…that I can't wrap my little brain around this fancy stitchery and all I know how to do is a basic crochet stitch, would it work to use the basic stitch for making wash cloths? Would they hold their shape still? I guess my question is really: did you do this stitch purely for aesthetics or for functionality as well?

    • I learned the other stitches by watching youtube videos. If you know the basic stitch you can get the others they're not much different. Just search double crochet how to on youtube.You can make a wash cloth with single crochet but it will take much longer and won't be as pretty. Good luck!

  8. I think I may try these! I am so tired of the nasty dish sponges, especially since my cats keep walking off with them. Thank you!!

  9. Am excited to make these dishcloths but I am wondering what size crochet hook you used? Thanks!

  10. Reese Dixon says:

    Since it was just a washcloth and didn't need to end up any specific size, I just used the size hook the yarn recommended. For the Peaches and Cream I want to say it was an F?

  11. Dave & Bonnie says:

    Question? I did not notice the size hook you used. Is it a "G" I really like this different design and can't wait to start. Just need the hook size…thanks TONS!!!

  12. Thanks for this new, fresh pattern..at least I haven't ever made or seen this one. I went straight to my stash of cotton thread and started making this one. Thanks again!

  13. LOVE this pattern. I have been making washcloths for awhile, but struggled to find a pattern I really liked. It looks great and the stitch gives it extra thickness, can't wait to use the two I made today. THANK YOU!

  14. I notice that you mentioned knitting washcloths for softness but prefer crocheting overall. Me too. But could you recommend some easy washcloth knitting patterns? I've done one recently and prefer the feel of it–but it's tedious.

  15. Anonymous says:

    in the pattern for basket weave washcloths i do not see what size hook you used or how many rows you do. what should the finished cloth measure. janice

  16. I hate the first row of crocheting. It is such a struggle to find the stitches in my chain. I get so frustrated. After the first, I love it. Any suggestions?

  17. Reese, Are you sure you start with ch 29 or ch 30? If you do it with 29 and then work on 26 it makes it lopsided, but if you work with 30 and do 27 then you can do 3 sets of 8 (24) and then the 3 to begin with. Please let me know if this is correct.

  18. im in no wise a computer wizard. But to get the pattern you have to print out 17 pages? cant afford the ink for this, please make the pattern more accessable to the ones out here who truly want your patterns! thanks cindy

    • If you will highlight the part you want to print and then select "selection" in your "print" box (where it says "print range"), it will only print what you have highlighted.

    • mamageorgia says:

      Cindy, I just copy paste only the pattern part, never the whole pattern.

    • Go to print preview and you can print only the pages you select.

  19. Hazel Lathan says:

    What size needle do you us.

  20. NANCY HARRIS says:

    THANKS FOR SHARING THIS PATTERN, MY DUGHTER REQUESTED SOME DISHCLOTHS FOR X-MAS PRESENTS 2012. I CROCHED ALL MY X-MS PRESENTS FOR 2011; WHICH INCLUDED: SHOWER BACKSCRUBBERS,SLIPPERS EARFLAP HATS, FINGERLESS/FLIPTOP MITTENS, HEADBANDS, SCARVES,& WRIST WARMERS, WHEW! I PLAN TO GET A HEADSTART THIS YEAR. i'VE STARTED A STR/FAN STITCH AFGHAN & A BEACH COVERUP; I LIKE TO HAVE MORE THAN 1 PROJECT GOING SO IF I GET TIRED OF ONE I CAN PICK UP THE OTHER. I'M 72 YR. OLD CANCER SURVIVOR &HAVE BEEN CROCHETING FOR OVER 30 YRS. THANKS AGAIN, NANCY HARRIS (AUSTIN, TEXAS)

    • 72 years old and wrists strong enough to crank out all that crochet? You go, Nancy! Whoo Hoo! Crossing my fingers that my future looks like you.

    • joyce aylward says:

      hi nancy I would love to have your pattern for the beach coverup. would you mind sending it off to me. . It sounds like a wonderful idea. I would love to try it for my grand-daughters. thanks. loads

  21. NANCY HARRIS says:

    THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT,I STILL GET EXCITED ABOUT NEW CROCHET PATTERNS, EVEN AFTER ALL THIS TIME. IT GIVES ME GREAT JOY AND SATISFCTION TO THINK OF THE PERSON WHILE I'M MAKING THE GIFT.

  22. I have made some for my sister, my daughter-in-law, and for gifts. Everyone loves them. Thanks

  23. Cindy,

    If you copy just the pattern part of the page and then paste it into notepad or wordpad on your computer then you can print out just the pattern and it saves soooooo much ink.

  24. I dont see anyplace to print this pattern. Please tell me how to do this as i would love to get started making these for Christmas gifts. Thanks in advance.

    • flutteringblessings says:

      Right click at the start of the pattern and holding the mouse click down, scroll to the end of the pattern.(if it is going totally slow then use the down arrow it speeds it up) It will be highlighted in blue. When you get to bottom of pattern let go of mouse.
      Now go to FILE at top left and select print, it will have a box below the print OK button and you choose SELECTION. it will then only print the part in blue. There you go a small one page print out of pattern.
      You can also highlight it all and then holding down the CTRL button and hitting the C letter it will copy it, then open up MSWord or notepad and PASTE it in there and print ftom that screen. You can adjust the size and color there also. I made mine a darker color and size 12 font. (do that when it is highlighted and all change at once)

  25. Thanks for the instructions. I have made a couple of these. I did find that my side edging didn't look quite as nice as yours so I did a SC twice around the whole washcloth.

  26. dressmaker says:

    I have made several of these dishcloths and intend to give them to others. Help save a tree and enjoy the yarns. I get yarns from Smileys yarn that work up great. Then I have an excuse to buy more!

  27. Jaderenee says:

    I didn't see your reply to janice to her question about pattern info. Could you please post the hook size, finished washcloth size, guage, and any other particulars that would help those of us who would like to duplicate these cloths? Thanks, Jaderenee

    • The gauge and finished size really didn't matter to me since it's just a washcloth, so I didn't bother to keep track. Same with the hook size. I just used the size called for by the yarn I chose.

  28. hi Reese! just stumbled upon your site here, so happy i did. cant wait to look at all your goodies and try them myself!! we'll chat soon!! Cyndi

  29. Brenda Gerbino says:

    Do you just use any kind of yarn like even the red heart super saver or do you have to buy something cotton. I just want to make sure that the yarn i use is absorbent.

  30. Hi Reese (Tresa), I've been wanting to try the basketweave pattern. Your instructions are very easy to follow and I'm having fun learning a new style (to me) to try. BTW, I lived in Modesto back in the 60's and it was a nice town then too. Thanks for sharing!!

  31. For anyone asking questions, I tried this out with Bernat Handicrafter yarn and an H-size crochet hook. It ended up a decent size. I've no way to measure it with the materials on hand but it seems about 8 inches by 8 inches. I also did 5 rows of blocks, but just keep crocheting until you get it to a size you like.

  32. Sarah Hill says:

    I used size H hook and they tuned out to be 8×8. It’s one of my favorites!

  33. I am just getting back into crochet after many years. I had a hard time at first with the instructions about the front and back posts. I finally figured it out and it was very easy. I love the look of the basket weave pattern. I added a sc row around the entire outside edge once I finished the dishcloth just to give it a finished look really adds a nice touch.

  34. Kathryn says:

    Love how you write up your directions, Reese. It’s almost like having you sit next to me explaining each step as we go! Thanks.

  35. Craftybowler says:

    Hi Reese. Your instructions are great! I just sat here at my dining room table and crocheted one! It was so easy!!! I used a G hook and love the turnout. Thanks again for the pattern. It is a kkeeper!!!

  36. jeanne marie says:

    this is a neat pattern but how do you print it ?

  37. Question: What should the overall size be when finished. It took me a good bit of time to get the hang of this stitch, and now on a roll, but a slow roll:) Thanks! Kathy

  38. please how do i get to print this one?

  39. Pat, I use Print Friendly & PDF which is a free downloadable program to print or make PDFs. Easy and friendly to use.

  40. Laura Collier says:

    My printer is on the blitz……….can't use it. Do you have print-outs that you could sell of your patterns? I have taken the time to hand write all these instructions off for this cloth. I made my sister 5 knitted dish cloths last year for Christmas, and she is wanting some more this year. Busy, busy, busy! Thanks for the great patterns!! Love them all!

  41. wow I just stumbled up on this site and love it. Thanks for the new basket weave dishtowels. I do lots of different things and this site covers them all. Your site is so well organized, but I loose track of all the ideals I want to go back and try. Are they a Favorited site to post them all in. I keep them in my favorite site on my computer, but they get all mixed up with the rest of my things it keeps me hunting for the one I wanted. For the one who asked about the printed patterns. I fine it easier just to go back to the site to read and follow them from the instruction she wrote. I can make the words larger and read them better. lol over time my eye site goes fuzzy and instead of stopping i just make them bigger lol.

  42. A friend sent me this link, and I found that I cannot see the imagines in Chrome. It is fine in Safari, but I can't see them in Chrome. Just thought I'd give you a heads up.

  43. Denise Caskey says:

    do you make these to sale them? I would love some.

  44. I’m a beginner but I caught on pretty quickly… I’m looking forward to crocheting this washcloth but wanted to make one a bit bigger. Does anyone know: is the pattern for multiples of 4? If I know this, I’m hoping to increase the size a bit :) Thanks so much!

  45. that's a nice kitchen washcloths then and i like it then. that's probably the best.
    thanks, tips for small kitchens

  46. Right away I am going to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming over again to
    read other news.

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