Whether you use them as dishcloths or as washcloths, knitted squares are a useful and popular project for knitters of all skill levels. Who doesn’t love a beautiful, soft hand-knit cloth to pamper their face, or a cute and sturdy cloth for that thankless chore that is kitchen cleanup?
This collection of six knitted washcloths (or dishcloths) helps you brush up on your knitting skills. Links to video tutorials help you with unfamiliar techniques.
With these patterns, knitting garter stitch was never so rewarding! Relax into the meditative rhythm of all-over knit stitches and enjoy the beauty of color.
Beginning knitters will be comfortable knitting stripes, then progress to knitting on the bias. After that, step up to the joy that is a mitered square. Garter stitch intarsia techniques take you from beginning to intermediate skills in easy steps. There’s no purling needed!
This post contains affiliate links, which help support me but don’t cost you anything extra. Many thanks to Trailhead Yarns, who provided the yarn for this project.
The free pattern for the easiest cloth, Team Colors, is presented below. Buy a printable downloadable pdf of all six patterns, and knit your cares away.
Use a cotton or cotton-blend fine- or light-weight yarn to make these soft and absorbent projects. The pattern calls for five colors, so this is a perfect time to try out a colorful pack of mini skeins!
You enjoy creating new designs instead of relying on other people’s patterns. Your friends want to make the items you’re designing. How do you become a crochet designer?
There’s a lot to learn, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Here are my ten best tips for becoming a crochet designer.
This post contains affiliate links.
Crochet, crochet, crochet
Crochet a lot. Crochet many different types of things: hats, scarfs, afghans, pillows, amigurumi, shawls and sweaters. Crochet items where gauge matters so that you understand how important gauge is. Crochet sweaters for women, for men, and for children so that you understand ease and fit.
Pay attention to the techniques you use and try to understand the “why” behind what you are doing. You may learn that you don’t enjoy crocheting a specific type of project or with a certain type of yarn. Or you may find new favorites!
The more you crochet and the more varied your projects are, the faster you will learn the designer skills.
Learn from Others
Study what other crochet designers have done, and see what techniques they use.
As you learn new techniques, make sure you’re learning from reputable sources. Blog posts and videos made years ago may have a lot of views. This makes them show up at the top of a list when you do a search. And they may be at the top of the list because they are useful and answer your questions.
Yet not every post or video you’ll see will be accurate. It may be that things have changed recently and new terminology has come into fashion. There may be more than one “right” way of doing something. The information given may not cover the whole story.
Take time to look at many sources for information. Learning from books, blogs, and videos will increase your knowledge. Books like Design Your Own Crochet Projects by Sara Delaney can speed you on your way.
Take classes to up your skill level. Many in-person classes are on hold right now, but they are an excellent way to build your skills. Bloggers and teachers who teach at national shows such as the CGOA’s Chain Link or Stitches events are a good place to start.
And of course, there are thousands of YouTube videos to choose from. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for lots of crochet instruction.
Swatch, Swatch, Swatch
Swatching is the process of making a small sample of fabric using the yarn, hook, and stitch pattern(s) you’ll use in a project.
Most people think of swatching as a chore they have to do to match a pattern gauge. But swatching is much more than that! It’s a crucial tool for designers.
Swatching allows you to try out ideas before you commit to making an entire project. If you have a problem with the yarn or hook, or don’t like the stitch pattern, it’s better to find that out early on. Why wait until the middle of the project to find out you don’t like it?
Swatching allows you to get a feel for the fabric you are making. You can decide if that fabric behaves the way you want it to for your project. Play with combinations of hook, yarn and stitch pattern to get the exact fabric you want.
Crocheting is forgiving of experimentation, and that’s what swatching is all about. And yes, a good swatch also gives you important information about gauge.
While we are on the topic of experimenting, grab a stitch dictionary or three and try out different stitch patterns. Add stitch patterns to your design toolbox!
Try out a variety of patterns, hooks, yarns, and projects. This kind of play (it’s called swatching!) allows your creative juices to start flowing.
Here are some great places to start with stitch dictionaries:
Every Which Way Crochet Borders
Indepensable Stitch Collection
Japanese Craft Book - Crochet Motif Edging 300 Patterns
Japanese Craft Book 300 Crochet Patterns
The Big Book of Crochet Stitches
The Crochet Stitch Bible
Crochet Stitch Dictionary
The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs
Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia
Continuous Crochet Motif 60
Understand the Math
Designing for crochet is all about math. You are going to be using arithmetic in all your crochet designs, whether you realize it or not.
Knowing how gauge factors into everything is a start, but there is a lot more to know. You will save huge amounts of time, and lots of trial and error, if you take the time to learn the math behind the crochet.
Understanding the math ensures that your projects will turn out to be the size and proportions you intend. Don’t be scared! We are talking 4th-grade level calculations, and calculators are allowed! Learn more in my Math for Crocheters class.
Prepare a Professional Pattern
Have you ever felt discouraged trying to read a crochet pattern? An incomplete or poorly written pattern can make you throw your hook in the air with frustration!
Crocheters are more likely to trust you and want to make your patterns if they are easy to read and understand. Publishers and editors love designers who can compose well-written patterns.
Save yourself time and effort by coming up with a designing system. Develop your idea, make the project, and write the pattern in one integrated, seamless workflow.
In my online course Crochet Pattern Writing Workshop, you’ll start to create this type of workflow. You’ll develop a style guide so your patterns are consistently formatted. You’ll learn to write clear instructions. Improve the overall quality of your patterns for a more professional presentation.
Use a Tech Editor
A technical editor, or tech editor, checks your pattern between when you design it and when you publish it. They ensure that all of your math checks out and that you haven’t left out crucial instructions. A tech editor is a crucial step in presenting accurate, well-written patterns.
Think about how you’ll be taking photos. Don’t just take a picture of your project on the kitchen table with mess in the background. Use natural light whenever possible, and the best camera you have available. (Maybe you need to borrow a family member’s phone!)
Putting other items in the picture with the project to style it makes the photo more interesting and memorable, and encourages people to click on your pattern.
Many crocheters expect patterns to come as downloadable and printable PDFs, not as pamphlets from their local stores. Make sure that those who find your patterns are able to find you and any other patterns you may have. Include your email address or website on each pattern.
Promote Your Patterns on Social Media
Let your friends and family know about your pattern, and encourage them to share it. Your cousin who doesn’t crochet may have a best friend who is looking for their next pattern.
Use those beautifully-styled photos you took! Broadcast your news on all the channels you can think of: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter. Consider making a promotional video for YouTube or other video platforms. Tell the world about your awesome design!
Basic crochet skills are all it takes to make these Easy Little Baskets. Looking for a good project for a new crocheter? This is it!
Using just single crochet and small amounts of yarn, you’ll be soon be turning these out by the dozen! They’ll hold your crochet hooks, pencils, paperclips, glasses, keys, or tiny treasures.
Round, Oval, and Square-to-Round shapes can be crocheted with any yarn. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn you have on hand!
This post contains affiliate links, which don’t cost you anything, but may provide a small income to me.
Instructions for the baskets are given below. You may also purchase a downloadable ad-free pdf of the pattern which includes stitch diagrams for all three baskets.
You can use any medium-weight yarn you have on hand, in any colors you like. Depending on the yarn you use, you’ll be able to get several baskets out of a single skein. Use a smaller hook than you normally would with your chosen yarn, as you want to create a stiff fabric.
For the baskets pictured I used Universal Yarn Yashi, a 100% raffia tape. The raffia fiber is stiffer than regular yarn, but it adds a unique look to the crochet.
Each ball of Yashi has 1.41 oz [40 g], 99 yd [90 m]. I used 1 ball each #106 Hot Green, # 104 Super Pink and #105 Bright Aqua.
Round: 3″ [ 7.5 cm] diameter x 3½” [9 cm] high Oval: 6″ [15 cm] long x 3¼” [8 cm] wide x 3″ [ 7.5 cm] high Square-to-Round: 3¾” [9.5 cm] square x 4½ ” [11.5 cm] high
The finished size will vary based on the yarn and hooks you use. Size is not important in this project.
Worsted Weight Yarn: approximately 200 yds total for all 3 baskets.
US size I-9 [5.5 mm] crochet hook for raffia fiber US size G [4.25 mm] or H-8 [5 mm] crochet hook for acrylic or wool yarn.
It’s easy crochet: you’ll use single crochet, double crochet and slip stitch.. There are no seams at all; it’s entirely one piece. Crocheters just beyond the beginner level should find this bag within their ability.
12 sc and 16 rnds = 4″ [10 cm] with 5.5 mm hook and raffia yarn 16 sc and 18 rnds = 4″ [10 cm] with 5 mm hook and medium-weight yarn
Gauge is not crucial in this project. However, you should use a hook size that results in a slightly stiff fabric so that the basket holds its shape.
This pattern uses American crochet terminology.
Color designations are made as MC (main color) and Contrasting Color (CC) or Contrasting
Color 1 (CC1) and Contrasting Color 2 (CC2), because it really doesn’t matter which colors you use. Use the photos as a guide if you want to copy the colorways shown.
Baskets are worked in unjoined rounds. Leave at least a 4″ [10 cm] tail of yarn in order to have enough yarn to weave in ends securely.
CC, CC1, CC2: contrasting color, contrasting color 1, contrasting color 2 ch: chain MC: main color pm: place marker rep: repeat rnd(s): round(s) RS: right side sc: single crochet sc2tog (single crochet 2 together): [insert hook into next stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop] 2 times, yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on hook st(s): stitch(es)
With MC, ch 4, join with slip st to form a ring.
Rnd 1 (RS): Ch 1 (does not count as a st), 6 sc in ring—6 sc. Pm in first st to indicate beginning of rnd and move marker up as you work each rnd.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in first st, 2 sc in each st around—12 sc.
Rnd 3: Sc in first st, 2 sc in next st, [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] around—18 sc.
Rnd 4: 2 sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts, [2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts] around—24 sc.
Rnd 5: Sc in first st, sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, [sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st] around—30 sc.
Rnd 6: Sc in back loop only of each st around—30 sc.
Rnds 7-16: Sc in each st around, changing to CC on last st of Rnd 16. Cut MC.
Rnds 17-18: With CC, sc in each st around.
Slip st in next st. Fasten off. Weave in ends.
Ch 9. Rnd 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next 6 ch, 3 sc in last ch; continuing across the other side of the foundation chain, sc in next 6 ch, 2 sc in last ch; do not join—18 sc. Pm in first st to indicate beginning of rnd and move marker up as you work each rnd.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in next 3 sc, sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in last 2 sc—24 sc.
Rnd 3: Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 6 sc, [sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc] 3 times, sc in next 6 sc, [sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc] 2 times—30 sc.
Rnd 4: 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc, sc in next 6 sc, [2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc] 3 times, sc in next 6 sc, [2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sc] 2 times—36 sc.
Rnd 5: Sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 6 sc, [sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next st] 3 times, sc in next 6 sc, [sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc] 2 times—42 sc.
Rnd 6: 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc, sc in next 6 sc, [2 sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc] 3 times, sc in next 6 sc, [2 sc in next st, sc in next 4 sc] 2 times—48 sc.
Rnd 7: Sc in back loop of each sc around—48 sc.
Rnds 8-16: Sc in each st around, changing to CC on last st of Rnd 16. Cut MC.
Rnds 17-18: With CC, sc in each st around.
Slip st in next st. Fasten off. Weave in ends.
With MC, ch 4, join with slip st to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, 8 sc in ring; do not join—12 sc. Pm in first st to indicate beginning of rnd and move marker up as you work each rnd.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—16 sc.
Rnd 3: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 3 sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next 3 sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—24 sc.
Rnd 4: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 5 sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next 5 sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—32 sc.
Rnd 5: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 7 sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next 7 sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—40 sc.
Rnd 6: 2 sc in first sc, sc in next 9 sc, [3 sc in next sc, sc in next 9 sc] around, sc in same st as first sc—48 sc.
Rnd 7: Sc in back loop only of each st around—48 sc.
Rnds 8-15: Sc in each sc around.
Rnd 16: [Sc2tog, sc in next 10 sc] around—44 sc.
Rnds 17-19: Sc in each sc around.
Rnd 20: [Sc2tog, sc in next 9 sc] around—40 sc.
Rnd 21: Sc in each sc to last st; on last st, change to CC1. Cut MC.
Rnd 22: With CC1, sc in each sc around.
Rnd 23: Sc in each sc to last st; on last st, change to CC2. Cut CC1.
This is the story of my first knitting project. It’s a story that spans 50 years. It’s about yarn and memories and connections that come full circle. And it includes a free beginner pattern. This striped garter-stitch scarf is a good beginner project for novices who have the patience to knit a whole scarf. Don’t want to knit so much? Make it a coaster or cowl instead.
This post contains affiliate links.
In the Beginning
When I was about six, one of my favorite books was A Gift from the Lonely Doll, by Dare Wright. In the story, The Lonely Doll —whose name is Edith—knits a scarf for her dad, Mr. Bear. She knits diligently at every possible opportunity and (spoiler alert) the scarf ends up too long. It’s worth reading the book for all the adorable details.
Like my doll heroine, I wanted to knit a striped scarf for my father’s Christmas present. The scarf must be red and black, the team colors of his beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs.
My First Knitting Project
My maternal grandmother lived with us and was happy to teach me to knit. We started with a skein of black Germantown worsted wool, some leftover bits of red Germantown, and a pair of straight needles. She showed me how to cast on—the German twisted cast on, no less!—and how to do the knit stitch.
I knit and knit. The stitch count changed from row to row, but that didn’t matter to me.
I knit and knit and knit. I learned to change colors, although not always on the correct side.
I knit and knit and knit. The scarf grew slowly. Yarnover holes and incomplete stitches magically disappeared overnight. It’s the only time in my life that the Knitting Fairy has corrected my knitting.
I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit. Now it was starting to look like a scarf. I tried it on frequently to see if it was long enough.
I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit and knit . Nana kept urging me to knit a few more rows, but I was on deadline and anxious to finish on time. (Sound familiar?)
Just in time for Christmas, the scarf was long enough. Because the edges were so wobbly, Nana single crocheted around the whole thing to tidy it up. We wrapped it up in anticipation of the big reveal the next day.
On Christmas morning, Daddy opened the package. He made all the appropriate noises about how beautiful the scarf was, and how hard I must have worked to make such a special gift. Apparently it was the best gift ever!
I never saw him wear it, and I eventually forgot about it.
About 25 Years Later
Visiting my parents’ house, I caught a glance of red and black rolled up in the back of a drawer. It was my first scarf! Daddy had saved it all those years!
But that photo doesn’t really do it justice. Let me help you understand the scale of this scarf.
It is 4″ wide x 22.5″ long. Despite all my efforts, and even trying it on my skinny six-year-old neck, it was way too small to be worn by an adult male! Furthermore, we lived in Georgia where scarves aren’t even needed. The scarf came home with me, to remind me how much my technique had improved.
About 25 Years Later
As I wandered the aisles of a trade show, my eye caught a familiar sight: Germantown yarn from Kelbourne Woolens. I’m pretty sure I squeed out loud. I may have jumped up and down a little bit.
About Germantown Yarn
For that first scarf, and for many projects after that, Brunswick Germantown Worsted was my go-to yarn.
Knitters who have been around for a long while will remember this ubiquitous yarn. There weren’t nearly as many yarns available as there are now, but Germantown was a classic worsted weight standby that came in many colors.
When Kelbourne Woolens owner Courtney Kelly heard the story of my first scarf and what Germantown meant to me, she immediately suggested that I make another scarf, and provided the yarn for me to knit it.
My First Scarf Knitting Pattern
So here, fifty years after the original scarf, is the pattern for My First Scarf. This version is meant to be easy enough for new knitters to knit, and long enough and warm enough to actually be worn by an adult.
Presented in Georgia Bulldog red and black, of course. Note that black is not the best choice for beginners; feel free to use different, lighter colors for easier visibility.
The free pattern is below; you also can purchase a printer-friendly pdf.
Want to knit it in Germantown yarn? You’ll get 10% off the price if you use code EDIEECKMAN at checkout here.
Kelbourne Woolens Germantown (100% North American wool, 220 yds/201 m, 100 g), 1 skein each #005 Black (A) and #625 Scarlet (B), or colors of your choice.
US size 8 (5 mm) knitting needles or size to obtain correct gauge
Leave a 4-5″ [10-13 cm] tail of yarn each time you change yarns so that you’ll have enough yarn to securely weave in the tails. Each time you change yarn colors, the yarn tails should be on the rightmost edge of the scarf.
Recently a new player has arrived in the crochet world. WeCrochet is a new multi-faceted brand that focuses entirely on crochet. I interviewed Heather Mann, Marketing Coordinator of WeCrochet, about what crocheters can expect to see.
This post contains affiliate links, which may provide a small income to me if you buy something, but doesn’t cost you anything extra.
Tell us a little about WeCrochet, and why you felt there was a need for a crochet-specific brand.
There are many websites, publications, and brands devoted to knitting, but almost none that focus exclusively on crochet, yet crochet is increasing in popularity according to Google search trends. We wanted to create a place for Crocheters, by Crocheters, with patterns and content that is tailored to what Crocheters want.
What does WeCrochet offer than is different from other sites that offer yarn and crochet patterns?
carry our own yarn (co-branded with our sister site, Knit Picks), our
own crochet hooks, and develop our own patterns, but that’s just the
The most important component of WeCrochet is the community we are building within the already vibrant online crochet community. We feature Crocheters on our blog and in our magazine, feature community crocheters’ photos on Instagram and Facebook, interact with people via our Ravelry and Facebook groups as well as all our social media channels. I think the passion our staff has for crochet (we are all Crocheters too) spills out into everything that we do, and you can feel the love we have for crochet and our crochet community.
How did you become involved with WeCrochet?
I was a professional craft blogger (at DollarStoreCrafts.com) for 10 years, as well as running my own influencer marketing company, but I was ready for a change. I’m a super crafty person (I call myself an “omnicrafter”), and I’ve been crocheting for 15 years. When I found out Knit Picks was starting a crochet site AND that their headquarters are in my town, I couldn’t apply for the job fast enough.
I was the first person hired for the new crochet site and I participated in all aspects of defining the brand. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last year.
Your site is bright and appealing, and has resources for beginning crocheters. What do you offer more advanced crocheters in the way of content?
We are dedicated to serving Crocheters of all levels. Right now what we are doing to serve more advanced Crocheters is providing intermediate and advanced crochet patterns. We have focused on developing beautiful sweater and garment patterns, as well as resources and patterns designed to help beginning Crocheters level up into more advanced Crocheters. We also talk about intermediate and advanced techniques in our magazine, podcast, and blog.
It’s National Crochet Month. What is WeCrochet doing to celebrate?
We’ll be celebrating with a segment on the WeCrochet podcast, donating staff projects to Warm Up America, and doing some fun giveaways on our social media accounts. We’re also starting a new Crochet Along for the Bobble Diamond Blanket, that will go from March-April.
What else do you want us to know?
If you are a crochet designer, keep your eye on our Ravelry group for our submission calls so you can submit patterns to our upcoming publications. And all Crocheters, please feel free to reach out to us anytime via social media.
Yay Crochet Kits from WeCrochet are deeply discounts kits that contain the WeCrochet magazine plus tools and yarns you can use to make some of the projects in the magazine.
Here are some of the beautiful yarns available from WeCrochet’s website: