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One Thing Leads to Another: Dishcloth/Square/Ornament

Last night I grabbed some scraps of worsted weight cotton yarn in candy cane colours (aka red and white) and a crochet hook. I'd decided to make a dishcloth. I began with Tunisian crochet and then frogged. I began again in a different Tunisian stitch pattern. I frogged again. I decided to do a different shape, which only led to more frogging. Rip-it, rip-it, rip-it! I wasn't feeling the love, so I set my Tunisian hook aside and grabbed the pouch of regular crochet hooks, rummaged around and found a size H (5mm). I began crocheting and this time the frogs were quiet. I happily crocheted away whilst listening to Christmas music--Mannheim Steamroller.

front of the dishcloth/washcloth
back of the cloth--a bit different than the front side--I like this side, too
As I was crocheting, I was thinking that this would make a nice square that could be used for blankets, sweaters, or shawls and the stitch pattern itself could be done in the round to make a hat. If done in the round, it would look like the back side above.

Then I was playing around with the completed square and turned it sideways so that it was a diamond shape. Then I folded the two side corners in towards each other to get a cornucopia shape, which I liked a lot. This afternoon, I made a smaller square using some scraps and did the same thing, leaving a long tail which I used to sew the two sides together from the bottom point.

The result is this cute little cornucopia.
I like the way the stripes on either side are going in different directions. This would be more pronounced on a bigger square. Here's what the back looks like:
I left a long enough ending tail to create the hanging loop, but I could've just woven the tail in and stuck an ornament hanger in the top. Or I could have sewn a small button to the front and made a small loop to go around it at the top, which would have allowed me to fold the top down and close it.

This could be done with any square, of course, and in any size. Larger ones could hold twigs, pine cones, dried flowers, a small bundle of cinnamon sticks, or a bunch of holly. Smaller ones made out of thread could hold single sprigs. Medium sized ones could be filled with chocolate (also a great use for a gigantic one!) or a small trinket of some sort.

We stopped using wrapping paper years ago, in favour of reusable gift bags. Two of the squares above, or any other square, rectangle, triangular, circular, semi-circular, etc, design, whether knitted, crocheted, sewn, woven, etc, could be sewn or crocheted together, leaving an opening, to make a festive gift bag. If you're a loom knitter, making a hat, turning it upside down, and threading a drawstring through what would be the brim would create a nice bag. This is a great use for scraps and means there is nothing to be thrown away once the gift-giving has been done.

The same holds true for the dishcloths. They can be laundered and reused over and over again, unlike sponges, and because they can be any shape you like, they're great projects for beginners or the more experienced. They're great for experimentation, practice, to play with stitch patterns or colour combinations, to learn a new technique, and are excellent for using up scraps, odd balls, and leftovers. They just go on and on, too. I still use some dishcloths I made 5 or 6 years ago and while they've faded a bit, they're still intact and they get the job done. I use cotton scraps for dishcloths (and my napkins, which I keep rolled up in a crocheted basket on the kitchen table) and I make sure to weave in the ends extra securely, since they will get a lot of use and be washed a lot.

The square above is very easy to adapt to any yarn, hook size, or project. Simply start with an even number of stitches for your chain and keep going until you have the size you want. It's nice as a square, but would also be a great scarf, stole, blanket, etc. You can do stripes or make it all one colour. You could hold two strands of thinner yarn together. You could use scraps by either making every stripe a different colour or just joining a bunch of scrap balls together and crocheting away. You could make a bunch of strips and then join them--so many possibilities and each one would give you a different look. I did three rounds of single crochet (dc in UK terms) as a border, but this is easily adaptable, too, so it can be whatever kind of border you want. I wanted a solid one for the dishcloth, but would do something else for a scarf , stole, placemat, or blanket.

For the dishcloth/washcloth, I used worsted weight cotton yarn in two colours (in my case, red was colour A and white was colour B) and a 5mm (H) hook

I began with A and made a chain of 24, but any even number will do.

Crocheted Square (US terms)
--With colour A, chain an even number of stitches.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, *ch 1, sk next ch, sc in next ch, rep from * to end. Change to colour B, if making stripes. Ch 1, turn

Row 2 and all subsequent rows: Sc in first st, *ch1, sk next ch, sc in next sc, rep from * to end, ch 1, turn. If making stripes, change colour after every odd numbered row. I carried the yarn up the side, since it was a short distance and it would be covered by the border. This eliminated many ends!

When the piece is as long as you want it, add the border of your choice.

I'm not sure what I will be working on later, but I have some commission work to do, so I will be spending some time on that shortly.

I hope today is a good day in your part of the world!

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