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Crocheted Dishcloths

| 11/7/2013 8:06:00 AM

When I was younger, my aunt Audrey attempted to teach me how to crochet. I was really good at making unintentional trapezoids and not much else. Being the kind of person who will do something well or not at all, I gave up and turned to cross-stitching to satisfy my creative urges. Thankfully, Aunt Audrey kept me supplied with her crocheted dishcloths, which I have used to wash dishes for most of my adult life. They weren’t always the most beautiful, as she likes to use whatever cotton she has on hand (or can find cheaply), but I always preferred them over store-bought cloths. 

Last year, one of my “New Year’s Goals” was to learn something new.  So when my friend Peg offered to teach a crochet class to our Homesteader’s League, I decided it was time to finally get the hang of it. It was kind of like riding a bike. The chaining and single and double stitches all came back to me easily. With Peg’s help, I figured out how to make a square instead of a trapezoid, and in two hours I had made my very own dishcloth! 

Crocheted dishcloths

But it was different; heavier. It looked dingy after the first time I used it. Something wasn’t right. This wasn’t like Aunt Audrey’s. May be it was just the pattern. Before I knew it, I was learning all kinds of new stitches on you-tube and trying every pattern I could find (free) online. Still not right. I grew frustrated. I gave up (again)!

One day, while cleaning out the linen drawer, I found one of Aunt Audrey’s dishcloths that I’d forgotten I had, and examined it closely. Sure enough, I discovered she didn’t use cotton yarn. She had used two strands of the (much thinner) mercerized cotton. I asked her what size (it comes in a 3 or a 10) and I got the same answer that I’ve gotten every time I ask her for a recipe. “Oh, I don’t know.” (I can tell you now that it doesn’t really matter. Use what you have on hand or can find cheaply!)

I figured if she crocheted like she cooks, I was never going to get a pattern from her, because it’s all in her head and it’s never exactly the same. Turns out, I got lucky this time. My mom had just had hip surgery and Aunt Audrey had given her several colors of mercerized cotton, along with directions, to keep her busy in her recovery. I felt like I hit the jackpot! 

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