Saturday, April 24, 2010

When is a Sponge Not a Sponge?

When it’s made of cotton!  Wanna hear a confession?  I haven’t owned a sponge in almost two years!  That’s right… TWO! 

I may not have mentioned this, but I love to crochet!  I can knit too but, it just isn’t as fun as being a hooker!  I can it down and repeat the same stitch over and over again with out getting bored as long as there is a good movie or tv show on.  If I don’t have either of those, then a great conversation will work, too. 

Once upon a time, TF had mentioned that a friend of his used dishcloths rather than sponges for washing dishes.  It’s something I’d never seen, but I was intrigued.  A few years later and in the middle of a deployment, I found my hooks in a box.  I was given a huge spool of cotton yarn that seemed like the perfect material.  One night while incredibly lonely I sat on the couch with a glass of wine by my side and started to chain.  Then single crochet. 

Before I knew it I had some little wash clothes.  I instantly knew they’d be wonderful for wiping down the counters.  I gave them a try and they worked fabulously!  I was smitten.  If you could be smitten with homemade washcloths, that is. 

The next night I tried to make them a little denser so they’d work well for scrubbing.  What I came up with were little “dish-cleaning cloths.”  Instant love affair.  Since those two nights, we’ve not owned one sponge!  Ok, they won’t soak up the spilled coffee on a bad morning, but that’s what towels were invented for.

I keep a basket next to the kitchen sink filled with the cloths.  About 15 or so with each.  A fresh one for each day.  Before, I toss them into the dirty laundry, I zap them in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Make sure it’s wet, though.  Also, you might want to let it cool for a little while before you retrieve it.  Trust me.  I learned the hard way.  TWICE!  Then on laundry day, just wash them on hot with your socks and undies. 

There are two advantages to doing using cotton dishcloths. 

A-    One is that as long as you don’t use terrible chemicals, when they wear out just cut them up into smaller portions then compost!
B-    I’m hoping that I can use this as a cheap ploy to get LBG to help with kitchen cleaning when he is old enough.  I’ll make them in an array of colors and then he can choose which color he wants to use.  Then when one dies (all but one has lasted well over a year!) he can put it into the compost bin!  We’ll see if this plan actually works, but I’m optimistic! The kid’s going to need to learn to clean somehow, right?!

Now, for all those hookers out there, I’m going to share my patterns.  If you don't know how to crochet, I highly suggest hitting up youtube and learning how! 

These are my own and I’d really love it if you’d only used them for yourself and gifts.  Also these aren’t exactly scientific, but who cares?  It’s not like you are wearing them!  Also I don’t feel like using fancy abbreviations… so you will just have to read it all out!

Dish-cleaning cloths
Size F crochet hook
100% cotton yarn- worsted weight
no gauge

Chain 17
Turn and Single Crochet in 2nd chain from hook.  Continue across Single Crothet across.  Chain 1 then turn.
Repeat the Single Crocheting across, chain 1 and turn for 16 more rows. 
Bind off and weave in tails.

You’ll want to make the stitches fairly tight to give it a semi-scrubby quality.  The edges curl but it’s really not a big deal!

Counter Wiping Cloths
Size G crochet hook
100% cotton yarn- worsted weight
no guage

Chain 30
Turn and Double Crochet in 3rd chain for hook.  Continue Double Crochet across.  Chain 2 then turn
Repeat the Double Crochet across, Chain 2 for 16 more rows.
Bind off and weave in tails.

Tighter stitches seem to work better.

Happy Hookin’!

PS.  My digicam is charging right now, but tomorrow I’ll show you photos of my basket!


Debi said...

I want to learn to crochet. I am more of a knitter. I knit longies, and skirties, dish rags, all kind of things. I saw a crochet pattern for making a scrubbie for dishes, you know like the ones you use to scrub stuck on food. But it was for crichet so that has renewed my intent on learnign to crochet. Now to learn more than making a really long chain.

The Mother said...

It's a ton of fun! I lose track of time when I'm on a roll! There is something about the repetition that makes me feel so relaxed!