Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kitchen kloth in heavy single crochet

The handiest thing I like in a kitchen is a small bit of fabric that can pass for a dishcloth, light potholder, or sponge. Not too big -- about 8 inches across means it is small enough to squeeze out with one hand but also big enough and solid enough to use for just about anything, even a light hot mat or coaster for under my teapot. It needs to be made out of cotton, to be absorbent.

But the real trick is the pattern stitch.

Single crochet by itself will stretch out of shape and become all lacy over time. Any bigger stitch will have bigger spaces between the stitches. I want a solid fabric. But I don’t want it to be too thick and solid -- I’m not trying to make wall board.

This is where heavy single crochet can come into play: This is like a fabric of single crochet with chain stitches thrown in. The chain stitch keeps the single crochet from stretching out of shape -- chain stitch is often used to lock in a stitch (like in Cluster stitch).

This can work over any number of stitches, but for the sake of these instructions, start with an even number. Here is the base row: Ch1 to turn, *sc1 in next two stitches, ch1. Repeat from * across, ending with 2 sc.

As usual in crochet, this stitch has you inserting the hook under the top two loops of the stitches in the previous row.

In the next row, ch1 to turn. *Sc1, ch1 but do NOT skip 1, sc1 in the very next sc, skip the ch of the pr r. Repeat from * across, ending with ch1, sc1.

Notice that you are making a ch in between the 2sc of the previous row and skipping the ch1‘s.

In the next row, ch1 to turn. *Sc1, skip the ch of the pr r, sc1, ch1 but do not skip 1. Repeat from * across, ending with sc1, sk the ch, sc1.

Notice that the chain stitches are squished between the single crochets, adding bulk, and it’s all basically a single crochet fabric. And yet, if you stretch it, the single crochet stitches hold their shape very nicely.

Repeat the last two rows for the pattern stitch. The number of stitches should stay the same in every row. This makes a satisfying fabric for a dishcloth. For the sample pictured here, I used a worsted weight cotton (like Sugar and Cream) and a size I/5.5 mm hook. My gauge came out to about 3 stitches per inch -- so starting with Ch24 works well.

1 comment:

fairyhedgehog said...

Thank you for the pattern. I need to try this!