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In Praise of Dishcloths

I had the lovely chance to spend most of the weekend with my family this weekend, and at one point my sister looked at a dishcloth I'd made for our mom sitting on the counter top and she said "Hey Jen, you know those washrags you gave me for my birthday?" 


I cringed because she's not always super appreciative of handcrafted things. 

Let me fix that: she is always appreciative of handcrafted things.  She's watched me knit and crochet for most of our lives so she knows how these things go, and she proudly wears my scarves and hats.  She always appreciates the time and effort people put into making items when they could be doing any number of other things instead.  But she doesn't always get why people would want to do that.  She seemed a little taken aback when I wore a cowl out to dinner as an accessory (rather than wearing it to keep warm).  Sometimes she sees me working on something and just blurts out "Why?" because she's nothing if not honest, and really sometimes I don't have an answer. 

So with all that in mind, I cringed when she brought up the dishcloths I'd given her for her birthday because I was afraid she wouldn't use them or one of them had somehow turned out to be 'deficient' in some way (no, I don't even know how that would work).

"Yeah, are they alright?" I asked.

"I kind of put them all over my house.  Like decorations."

I loved it. 

I don't quite know if they're on a pile on her table, or being used as coasters in her living room, or if she has managed to find a way to artfully scatter dishcloths around her home like they're something to be showcased.  But I'm glad she likes them and they're not shoved in the back of drawer somewhere.  I had kind of been planning to give out a lot of dishcloths as gifts to friends and family and co-workers this year, but I was a little afraid people would have the same confused reaction they'd have as if I'd given them a box of Swiffer cloths or something.  This boosted my confidence a little that even the not-so-crafty people on my gift list will enjoy some nicely crafted cleaning supplies. 

I've built up a nice collection of dishcloths this past year because 1) I maybe have a slight compulsion with dishcloths now and 2) they're kind of perfect. 

Want to try out a new stitch?  Do it on a dishcloth.

Need a quick gift? Make a dishcloth.

Trying to take care of scrap yarn? Dishcloth.

Dishcloths are pretty dang perfect and I love making them.

I've crocheted several of the patterns from Dishcloths 

and I think I've crocheted at least half of the patterns in the other Dishcloths.

I knitted a few of the patterns in Knitted Dishcloths--see the blue dishcloth in the picture of the dishcloths I gave my sister?

I just started working on a pattern from Holiday Knit Dishcloths, and so far so awesome.  (I can't show a picture yet!)

There are so many great dishcloth pattern books out there!  Knitted dishcloths, crocheted dishcloths, and Knooked dishcloths--they're all fantastic!  You don't even have to take my incredibly biased word for it.  Even my noncrafting sister agrees.

But I mean, look at this birthday bundle.

How could she not?

4 thoughts on “In Praise of Dishcloths”

  • Mona Brumbelow

    What type of yarn do you like to use for the dishcloths?

  • Rev. Cynthia

    Because sponges are filthy & horrible for the environment, I use a clean dishcloth every day. I also don't have a dishwasher, so... Additionally, I have a separate set for the bathroom sink & tub (using disposble clorox wipes for the toilet). Education doesn't seem to convince everyone of this healthier more environmentally way to go, but at least we can try to do our part.Blessings,Rev. Cynthia

    • Jen

      I try to focus on the positive benefits of something rather than the negative consequences, BUT YES ABOUT SPONGES! SO NASTY. Back when I started using fewer paper towels, I wondered about all those dishcloths in the wash. They're probably less than 10% of my dirty laundry. That's nothing! Thanks for stopping by, and for bringing up the point about using separate sets to clean different areas.

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