Thursday, 2 January 2014

the perfect sofa moment…

…or the importance of a handmade dishcloth

the funny thing about being Someone Who Works With Her Hands is that, when the day is done, if there is a teeny bit of time left, it is almost impossible to sit and 'do nothing'. 

watching tv is not remotely relaxing on its own. for full sofa contentment there has to be some form of crafty busy-ness.

unfortunately the enjoyable embellishment of lovely ladies' lampshades is too tricky for a sofa moment (see here for why)… and anyway no Upholsteress would attempt 'proper work' unless in the workroom wearing apron and business-like attitude. 

the ideal Sofa Moment involves a creative task that can be done without making a big noise, getting up and down, thinking too hard or following a tricky pattern. it also needs to be finish-able quickly as a sense of achievement is paramount for contentment.

i believe i have finally found the perfect The Sofa Moment project. here is

The Crochet Dishcloth


now, I knoooow you can buy multi-packs of dishcloths for pennies,
but when every day involves technically skilled challenges to be solved artfully and perfectly, what could be a more enjoyable way to wind down than by creating something so simple and lovely? 
and of course back in doris' day a kitchen sink sporting a handmade dishcloth was a badge of honour in terms of housekeeping prowess. shop bought didn't 'do'

if you're not already sold, let me share with you one more thought… 
there is simply nothing nicer than stepping out of the bath and reaching for a beautiful soft and yarny white dishcloth with which to chase a squirt of Cif about. and when all is rinsed and smelling Cif-y, the cloth looks pretty draped out to dry until the next bathtime.

it's true that the handmade dishcloths in the kitchen and utility sinks have acquired a patina of age, especially those 'mistakenly borrowed' to clean the car. but the great thing about natural white cotton dishcloth yarn, unlike its shop-bought inferiors, is that when soaked in a bleachy solution it comes up soft, strong and sparkly again.

The Crochet Dishcloth Pattern

to be frank, there is no set pattern. as long as your dishcloth ends up a sensible sized square, you have got it right. about 10in is a comfortable size to wring out with both hands when wet. 

after being taught the basics of crochet, i decided to teach myself new patterns by picking squares from this book:

i'm sure that any crochet book with a few square patterns will do just nicely.

for crochet beginners, creating a square is a fine way to practice new stitches and patterns. my favourite dishcloth is simple double crochet with a teeny picot edge. so simple that it can virtually be done in the dark, it makes a good choice for a cosy Sofa Moment.

as craft cotton comes in lovely colours as well as pure white and natural white there is nothing to stop you from using your Sofa Moment to make a 'treble crochet stripe dishcloth' … 

or a 'granny square dishcloth'…  

or keep to simple white and make a lovely 'flower square dishcloth'…

by happy coincidence, you will require the size of a dishcloth in terms of pattern repeats ('rounds') to perfect the technique of fancy crochet stitches. 
this of course means that handmade dishcloths are hugely economical both creatively and technically. and as a ball of dishcloth yarn costs less than £1 from which you can create two dishcloths, well it's a wonder we aren't all still doing it.

The Crochet Dishcloth Gift

imagine after the end of a wonderful dinner, weekend visit, or christmas gift-giving, handing your host a creamy white handmade dishcloth all tied up with a bar of pure fragrant household soap. her thrill with the lovely handmade goodness of your gift will mean more than a lifetime's supply of shop-bought dishcloths. it have cost you pennies… and by creating it you will have enjoyed a Happy Sofa Moment and added a brand new crochet stitch to your repertoire of craftiness.

Win win!

A Pattern for the 
Simple Double Crochet Dishcloth

(i'm not a crochet expert or pattern-writer, but this should see you though)

using a ball of natural white dishcloth cotton and a 5mm hook:
• make 31 ch.
• 1dc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc in each remaining chain. Turn.
• repeat working these rows until you have made a square.

To make the picot edging, working around the edge of the dishcloth, 1ch, 1dc in the same place as the ss, 1dc in the next 2dc, *3ch, ss in last dc worked (one picot made), 1dc in each on nect 3dc, repeat from * to end.


  1. agreed there is nothing nicer than a knitted cloth but seeing your fancy ones i clearly need to step up my game ;) x

  2. My mum bought me that book for my birthday - think making dishcloths from it sounds ideal! Hope you are well x

  3. thank you Ginny and Tracy. making dishcloths gets quite addictive. i've never been able to bring myself to buy a 'normal' one from the shops since i started my Sofa Moment habit. send me a photo when you've made one! xx


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