You may be asking yourself, “Why on earth did you take the time to make dishcloths?”  I used to wonder the same thing about my Mom and Mother-In-Law, until my Mother-In-Law gave me one that she had made and I was an instant convert.  The homemade cloths are scrubby but not rough (for peanut-butter covered faces), and dry quickly.  Sinky dishcloths are so gross and these seem to stay clean longer.  And… they are quick and easy to make.

For all of these, I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn.  How exciting that they had several options that coordinate with my kitchen!  The yarn runs about $1.80 a skein (I’ve been told it goes on sale for close to $1.00).  Two skeins should make 3 dishcloths.  I made all three from a different pattern.  There are a ton of patterns online, both on the Lily site and elsewhere.  You can make them look like pretty much anything from a jeans pocket to a snowman, but I think a simple square will do.

The first one was crocheted (pattern idea found here).  It starts with a chain of 40 (pattern said 20, but I thought that was way too small) and the rest is a double crochet.  I just kept working until it seemed like it was a good size.  If I were to use this again, I would probably decrease by 5 chains or so.  This pattern is not difficult, is quite speedy to make, and I like the open weave, but I am not sure that I like how thick it ended up being.  My 3-y-o says it is her favorite because of the bright colors.  I have to agree that it is fun.

I ditched the crochet hook for the next two.  I like that the hook is small (knitting needles are far too enticing to a 14-month-old), but I prefer to knit.  So when I was looking up patterns on the Lily website and this pattern consisted of crochet directions that I would have to look up or knitting in stockinette stitch (knit every row, no purl, no tricky stuff) the whole time, the choice was simple.  This one was done on a size 7 needle.  I was excited about the lime color, but compared to the other two, it is not as fun in the end.

This one is my favorite.  The pattern is also an easy one — cast-on 4 stitches, knit one, increase one, knit to end and repeat until you have 46 stitches and then knit one, knit two together, knit to the end and repeat until you have 4 stitches left and bind off.  Easy, peasy.  This is the basic pattern that I found on the Lily site, combined with a pattern that my Mom and Mother-In-Law use.  I will probably stick to this one, but use bigger needles next time (this was knit on size 9 needles) to see if it opens the weave a bit.

Forgive the crazy edge… this one hasn’t been washed yet so it’s a little misshapen from my pulling on it as I knit.

So… if you are inclined to make your own dishcloths, I say give it a shot!  It is a small investment of time and money and a nice way to relax.  I could not find the study to reference directly, but I do remember reading that knitting has been linked to a meditative state of mind.  It is repetitive, simple and allows for theta waves, which are the brain waves that are active when we are nearing the sleep state.  Ever have those “aha!” moments when you are barely awake?  That is likely theta waves in action.  They allow access to parts of the memory that are used in intuitive thinking and creativity.  Creativity that leads to increased creativity… sounds good to me!

There you have it, crafty, Doctor and Mom all in one post. ( :