Washcloth Crazy

It might surprise you to know that there are currently over 11,850 different washcloth designs listed on Ravelry. They can be broken down as follows:

  • Knitting 9,000+
  • Crochet 2,730+
  • Machine Knitting 15
  • Loom Knitting 9

Did you realise they were such a popular project? No? Neither did I.

Washcloths is a term that describes dishcloths/face cloths or flannels (as I’ve always called them). If you look at the top 5 patterns on Ravelry in more detail the figures speak for themselves.

  • Grandmother’s Favorite (American spelling) has over 12,800 projects listed. It’s a worsted weight knit, the pattern is free and it’s a quick, simple knit.
  • Ballband Discloth is a Mason-Dixon Knitting design. It’s knit in aran weight and there are over 9,750 projects on Ravelry.
  • Chinese Waves Dishcloth with over 3,500 listed isn’t as popular as the first two, but it has a great texture. The design uses worsted weight yarn and is also free.
  • Waffle Knit Dishcloth is a lovely little textured washcloth. It’s knit in aran weight, is free to download and there are over 3,100 projects listed on Ravelry.
  • Double Bump Dishcloth has slightly fewer projects listed at 2,870+ but it’s still a very popular knit. Knit in worsted weight, it’s also free to download.

You’ll have noticed so far all of these patterns have been for knitted washcloths?  The crochet washcloth with the most projects is the Oh So Soft Baby Washcloth. It has the slightly more modest figure of 1,360+ projects listed on Ravelry. Just like the knitting designs I’ve mentioned, the pattern uses worsted weight and is free to download.

I’m also sure that by now you’ll have spotted a similar theme to the patterns we’ve mentioned?  Aran or worsted weight yarn. That’s because making washcloths seems to extremely popular in America and the most commonly used weight of yarn in the USA is worsted. However, tension/gauge isn’t usually a concern when making washcloths so you can usually use any weight of yarn available, providing you alter your needle/hook size accordingly.

It’s important to note that ‘raw cotton’ is the yarn of choice for dishcloths, and when we say raw, we’re referring to the matt, unmercerised cotton, rather than the shiny one.

Washcloths make a great little gift; I made several a while back that I wrapped with a bar of handmade soap to give as teacher’s gifts at the end of the school year. For those I used The Almost Lost Washcloth design, which is a pretty spiral, aran weight knit with 1,800+ projects listed on Ravelry.

To make our washcloths I used Rico Creative Cotton Aran yarn, which at that time was only available in a range of solid colours. It’s one of those great yarns that’s often overlooked because of the lack of pattern support. However, I’ve been a champion of it for a while now and have knitted baby cardigans, blankets and have ‘started’ a cardigan for myself in it (one of my Naughty Little Bugger’s I’m afraid).

It’s fantastic to work with, whether knitting, crocheting or weaving and doesn’t ‘tire’ your hands like some cottons, because it hasn’t been mercerised.  Each 50g ball contains 85m/92yds of 100% cotton and there are 40+ solid colours currently available.  If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, it’s as cheap as chips and yes you guessed it, it’s great for washcloths too.

Did I mention that Rico Cotton Aran is also available in a range of 18 different prints too? Some are multi-coloured or variegated, and there are also several speckled shades thrown into the mix. The great thing about all of the shades available whether solid, variegated, multi-coloured or speckled, is that they all work well together and can easily be matched up to make your project.

When I contacted Rico to ask for a few balls of their Creative Cotton Aran to use in this washcloth post, I expected them to send a couple of balls for us to make some samples for pretty photographs. However, those lovely folks at Rico have given us a bag full of their Creative Cotton Aran to share with you, our lovely readers, and after chatting amongst ourselves, we’ve decided to split it up into pairs of balls (chuckle).

That means eight lucky winners will each receive two balls of Rico Creative Cotton Aran.

To be in with a chance of winning we’d like you to tell us what your favourite colour is?

That’s it, short and sweet for a change.

(This offer is only open to our readers living here in Ireland, north and south, sorry).

Winners are selected randomly.

You can enter as many times as you like, but can only win one prize.

We’ll announce the winners on Saturday September 3rd.

Do you like the flower washcloth?

While I was searching through all the lovely washcloths listed on Ravelry, I spotted the Flower Power Dishcloth by Doni Speigle and couldn’t resist trying to make one.

Despite crochet not being my first language, I’m rather pleased with my first attempt and who knows, I might even be tempted to make a few more to give away as gifts again.