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A Tale of Two Dishcloths

10/3/2013 1:58:00 PM

Tags: Homesteading, Handmade, Crochet, Dishcloths, Product Comparison, Crafting, Donna Rae Barrow

Donna BIt was the best of dishcloths, it was the worst of dishcloths ...

Before my mother passed away, she made so many colorful and useful dishcloths, hand crocheting each one from cotton yarn. They have been used daily for a few years. Some are showing their wear, some have faded, and some have gaping holes!

Tale of Two Dishcloths

So I picked up where she left off, crocheting replacements from Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. I was quite happy with these new dishcloths, patting myself on the back for being so resourceful and homey. That is until I went to a beekeeping conference with a friend ... 

Mom's dishcloths

During the 5-hour ride, during some lectures, and before shutting off the dorm room desk lamp at night, my friend quietly added stitch upon stitch with her crochet hook, creating dishcloth after dishcloth. But her technique was so different! She used 2 colors of cotton crochet thread to make her dishcloths! After our trip, I decided to put both techniques to the test!

Two fibers, two hooks

When I crochet dishcloths with Sugar and Cream Cotton Yarn, I use a size K crochet hook, a lovely wooden one gifted to me by my precious daughter. I used a self-striping coral/taupe/cream/white variety this time. Then I grabbed two spools of Royale Classic Crochet Thread, one in variegated blue and white, and one dark blue, and a size G crochet hook. 

Two fibers, two hooks

Wanting this test of the two cloths to be fair, I used the same crochet (non)pattern for each one. For the cotton yarn cloth, I chained 26, then single crocheted in the second chain from the hook, and continued with a single crochet in each chain to the end of the row. At the end of the row, I chained one, turned and repeated the single crochet process, row after row, until the cloth was a square-ish shape I liked. For the cotton thread cloth, I followed the same (non)pattern, but I crocheted with 2 threads, combining the variegated and the dark blue on the hook, and I began the cloth by chaining 52 instead of 26.

Finished cloths with corresponding fibers

The finished dishcloths were so nice I almost didn't want to use them! But I had to compare them. Into the soapy water they went ...

Testing the cloths in soapy water

The distinct differences in the two cloths was even more apparent when wet: the cotton yarn cloth was dense and more tightly woven, yet soft to the touch making it perfect for wiping down the farm table and counters or washing delicate china; the cotton thread cloth was more openly woven and had a slightly "scrubby" feel, which I had a hunch would be perfect for dried on messes that might end up in the sink.

Washing with the Sugar and Cream cotton

Washing with the Royale classic crochet thread

After washing a few things, I brought the dishcloths out to the line to dry in the sunshine. The cotton yarn cloth held its shape more consistently than the cotton thread cloth on the line. But the cotton thread cloth would probably dry faster than the cotton yarn cloth.

In the end, I decided to do more research by happily crocheting both types of dishcloth through the colder days of winter ...


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10/4/2013 8:31:42 PM
Donna, I have no idea what all those great instructions mean but I do like the end result. I'm afraid the crocheting and knitting ended with my grandparents. My Mom did crochet a few things but not as much as my grandma. The art was lost after my Mom. My wife nor my daughter ever showed any interest to learn. For them it was just easier to buy them at the big box store. Have a great crocheting day.

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