I’ve really been on a cotton kick because of the warm weather (and because cotton is great, as illustrated before), and I was all pumped up ready to do a blog post on crocheting a tunisian simple stitch washcloth out of some pretty blue cotton I’ve had lying around. And then this post from Purl Soho doing exactly what I wanted to do pops up on my Pinterest feed.
Well, hell. There’s really no reason to reinvent the wheel here. Or is there?
UPDATE 8/18/2020: There’s now a growing playlist of Tunisian Crochet tutorials on the Morale Fiber YouTube channel – perfect for beginners wanting some basic Tunisian instruction!
Reasons why Tunisian Simple Stitch is the ideal stitch for washcloths:
1. Two-sided: Tunisian simple stitch creates a smooth surface on one side of the work and a nubby, ridged surface (similar to garter stitch) on the other side. (The smooth side is pictured above, the nubby side is pictured below)
2. Tunisian simple stitch rows are compact and set close together- no gaping holes in the stitchwork. Unlike the first crochet waschloth I attempted, which was in double crochet in a large gauge – terrible idea. It wasn’t the kind of dense, solid material you want for a washcloth.
3. Tunisian creates a firm fabric that doesn’t like to stretch (unlike knitting). So you’re crochet that looks neat and firm when made stays that way even when used to scrub! Again, my first washcloth ended up looking more like a fishing net because I used double crochet and it stretched like crazy.
In the end, there are a lot of crochet washcloth patterns out there. Even the skein of Bernat Cotton DeLux I used sported a free pattern for a crochet washcloth – one I beg you not to attempt, for the love of solid, usable washcloths.
I used a 6.00 mm tunisian crochet hook, some cotton yarn (pictured above) and a 25 stitch long Tunisian simple stitch repeat. Note that Purl Soho has a good Tunisian simple stitch tutorial if you need a primer.
The Purl Soho pattern uses Blue Sky Skinny Cotton. At which I laughed.
Blue Sky cotton at 14.50 a skein? For a washcloth? Uh… no.
There is so much affordable cotton yarn at the hobby stores and online – Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton is another of my favorites. You certainly don’t need to run out and buy boutique yarn for this kind of project.
Don’t have a tunisian hook? Fear not. Again, most of us don’t have Purl Soho budgets … some of us may not even want to spare the extra cash to get a special hook. The good news is that my washcloth is small enough to fit on a regular crochet hook with a stopper rigged up to the end.
You could use duct tape or rubber bands, too. Anything that stops your stitches from slipping off the end of your hook.
The Best Crochet Washcloth Pattern:
Materials: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton DeLux, or other worsted weight cotton. A coordinating color (optional), tapestry or yarn needle.
Hook: 6.00 mm tunisian hook or regular hook with a stopper.
Gauge: 4 stitches in tunisian simple stitch = 1″
Row 1: (forward pass) draw up a loop from each chain stitch.
Row 2: (backward pass) Yo, draw through one loop. *Yo, draw through 2 lps) repeat to the end.
Row 3: Ch 1 (counts as first stitch of forward pass), draw up a loop through each stitch to the end.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 22 more times.
When last backward pass is complete, chain 10. Slip stitch at the base of the chain (hanging loop for washcloth is complete), cut yarn and tie off.
Attach contrasting yarn color, single crochet in each stitch or row edge around the entire washcloth , working 3 sc at each corner. Join with a slip stitch when round is complete.
For an extra border, slip stitch in each stitch two rows in from the edge stitches around the entire washcloth. Cut yarn and tie off.
Weave in all ends. Congratulate yourself for not having spent $50 on a damn washcloth.