The Best Crochet Washcloth

Crochet Washcloth 1

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?

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)

crochet washcloth 3

Nubby scrubby goodness.

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.

An offset single crochet, ch 1 mesh? Uh.. no.

An offset single crochet, ch 1 mesh? Uh.. no.

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.

crochet washcloth 2

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.

crochet washcloth 4

Necessity is the mother of invention and also it’s a good excuse to get wine.

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″

Ch 25.

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.

-MF

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Tunisian Crochet Fantasy Hood

Crochet Pixie Hat / Hood

Folk tales and children’s stories seem to have stayed with us, at least here in the USA, long past our breaking into adulthood. Fantasy and Sci-Fi especially draw from narratives we learned when we were still in short pants, even shows that blur the line between speculative fiction and realistic fiction, like the popular Once Upon A Time, or the many many YA / adult books and shows featuring vampires or werewolves. It seems contradictory, our obsession with stories meant for children, and yet these stories were probably originally told for the adults the children were going to grow up to be. And with their themes of threatening darkness and treacherous paths into the woods, maybe we need them more now than ever… if only to help us realize that the scariest thing in the woods is probably us.

One of my favorites themes from folk tales is Little Red Riding Hood, particularly more modern versions where Miss Hood is less innocent than originally portrayed. There’s tons of awesome art to be found in this vein, like on this page and this one.

I promise there’s a yarn-related payoff to punctuate my mytho-philosophical rambling.

Elf and Pixie hats from 2012 -

Elf and Pixie hats from 2012 – “Snowy Owl,” “Skittle Puke,” and “Hunter.”

I became slightly obsessed with “elf hats,” as I called them (usually called a stocking cap, I think), back in 2011 and 2012, those long pointy caps capturing my imagination and bringing to mind all those faerie stories I love so much. I crocheted at least ten of them, selling most of them and gifting a few (and making one for myself) before moving on to the next obsession. Now I’ve come back around to them again with the “pixie hood” style that can be seen all over the crochet and knit world at the moment – though I favor the longer, more dramatic point that’s akin to the elf hats of yore.

So with my new refiguring of the elfy, pixie, faerie-y hat I bring you the Tunisian Crochet Fantasy Hood, Little Red style.

Update: There is now a newer, longer, more deluxe version of this pattern for available for purchase. It uses a 6.5 tunisian hook and worsted weight yarn (with art yarn or faux fur yarn trim) and includes detailed phototutorials and written instructions – see my post on the Trickster Hood for more details!

Pixie Hood - Tunisian Crochet Fantasy Hood

Tunisian Fantasy Hood

Size “H” Tunisian Hook

3 skeins Patons Classic Wool Roving (120 yds, 100g/3.5 oz, #5 Bulky weight, color shown is Cherry)

1 1” button

Tapestry or Yarn Needle

Stitch Markers

Gauge: Make gauge swatch 10 sts and 10 rows in Tunisian simple stitch. 1” = 4 sts

For help with increasing in Tunisian Simple Stitch, please refer to my tutorial post on increasing and decreasing in this stitch pattern.

To start, Ch 3, leaving a long tail for stitching later.

Increase Rows:

Row 1: Insert hk in the 2nd ch from the hk, draw up a loop. Insert hk in the next ch, draw up a lp.
Row 2: Yo, draw through 1 lp. *yo, draw through 2 lps* rpt to end.
Row 3: Ch 1, insert hk in between first two vertical loops/bars, draw up a loop (1 inc made). *insert hk under next vertical lp, draw up a lp* rpt until 1 stitch remains. Insert hk between last vertical bar worked and last remaining vertical bar, draw up a lp (1 inc made). Insert hk into last remaining vertical bar, draw up a lp.
Row 4: Rpt Row 2.

Repeat rows three and four 45 more times, or until the working row (the top) of your triangle measures about 28 inches in width.
Place a marker on either end of the working row.

Straight Rows:
Row 1: Ch 1, *insert hk into next vertical loop and draw up a lp* repeat to end.
Row 2: Yo, draw through 1 lp *yo, draw through 2 lps* rpt to end.

Repeat rows one and two 26 more times, or until the section from your working row to your markers measures 8 inches in height. Do not cut yarn.

Ch 1. With RS facing, insert hook in the last bar worked and draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook (first Double Chain stitch made). Work 8 more double chain stitches, attach with a sl st to the base of your double chain, forming a loop. Cut yarn and finish off.

On the opposite end of the hood edge, cut a length of yarn or thread and fasten on the 1” button.

Thread the long tail from your beginning chain through a yarn or tapestry needle. Folding the hood in half lengthwise, sew the edges of the point together using a whip stitch. Stop stitching and weave in your ends once you reach the point where the increase rows end.

Weave in all ends.

This pattern is intellectual property of me, Morale Fiber. Please don’t reproduce it in any way without permission of the author. Feel free to sell items made from this pattern, just please link back to me if you do!

This hood would be lovely in any yarn really, not just the yarn shown here! That’s why I gave the pattern measurements as well as the row counts, in case you want to try it with a different weight of yarn. I myself am likely to make some more. If you have any questions or thoughts about this pattern, please don’t hesitate to comment here.

Pixie Hood / Crochet hat

Safe journeys through the woods, friends.
-MF

Increases and Decreases in Tunisian Simple Stitch

Ahh, Tunisian. It’s like the bastard child of knitting and crochet. Like knochet… critting … I guess we’ll stick with Tunisian.

Tunisian simple stitch combines all the solidity of crochet with the flat smooth feel of knitted fabric while creating a dual texture: woven-looking on one side and nubby (somewhat garter-stitch-esque) on the other. If you have never tried Tunisian crochet I highly recommend experimenting with it. If you need a good guide to learning it, check out this tutorial from the Crochet Spot.

The best crochet washcloth I ever made was with Tunisian Simple Stitch and a vintage terrycloth boucle yarn. I will never again crochet a washcloth that is not Tunisian stitch. That’s how good this thing is.

You don’t even need to run out and buy a special Tunisian hook, at least not for experimentingI made that washcloth using a regular crochet hook with a wine cork jammed on the end. After all, the cork already had a hole from the corkscrew.  What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Tunisian Increase

I had some trouble locating a quick photo guide to increasing and decreasing in Tunisian simple stitch the other day, so I jumped to provide. The extended instructions are below. Hope it inspires you!

Tunisian Increase 1

Both increases and decreases are made on the forward pass of Tunisian simple stitch.

Tunisian Increase 2Increases are placed between two vertical bars (shown highlighted in green) on the forward pass. Insert the hook into the gap (shown circled) wherever you wish to place the increase.

Tunisian Increase 3

After inserting the hook through the gap as shown, draw up a loop to keep on the hook as you would if you were working one of the vertical bars.

Tunisian Increase 4

Continue to work the row as normal (make sure you don’t miss the vertical bar right after the increase!)

Tunisian Increase 5Shown above is the forward pass, with the increase stitch highlighted in blue. Once you finish the forward pass, work the return pass as normal.

Tunisian Increase 6Shown above is the swatch with the increase stitch highlighted in blue.

Tunisian Decrease

Tunisian Decrease 1

Decreases are placed by combining two vertical bars on the forward pass.

Tunisian Decrease 2

Insert the hook under two vertical bars at once.

Tunisian Decrease 3Yarn over and draw the loop through both bars. Continue the forward pass as usual.

Tunisian Decrease 4Shown above is the swatch with the decreased stitch highlighted in green.

You can also make a decrease in Tunisian simple stitch by merely skipping one vertical bar, but I don’t prefer this method. Enjoy knitchet croshit … uh, stitching.

-MF