One of my best friends is getting married in a month, and I recently attended a bridal shower for her.
She's asked for a lot of wonderful red things for her kitchen (and has threatened to steal my red refrigerator), so I knew some cute red-and-white dishcloths would be a cute, useful addition to her kitchen.
I also gave her a copy of Gooseberry Patch's "Farmer's Market Favorites," which happens to have a cute red-and-white gingham design on the cover.
I wanted to make a dishcloth that would mimic that checkerboard look, and found this waffle dishcloth pattern here. I made it using white and red Lily Sugar'n Cream yarn, which is made of cotton and works well for dishcloths.
I followed the pattern at the link above almost exactly, with one notable exception. The pattern says you should crochet the body of the dishcloth with white yarn, crochet the border with the contrasting color, then weave the chain of the contrasting color through the dishcloth and finish it by whip-stitching around the border to keep the chain in place.
I thought it was silly to whip-stitch on top of a border that already existed, so I changed things up a bit. I made the white part, then the chain and wove the latter through, making sure all the woven ends stuck out on the back side of the crochet. (The side with a less noticable pattern.) Then, I just made sure that when I was crocheting the border using my red yarn, my hook went all the way through those loose ends, to keep them in place. I thought it worked really well, and even the back didn't look too bad.
I knew I wanted to make another red and white dishcloth, and decided on this pattern for a ruffled version. I've made it several different times, and it is both pretty and easy to make.
I decided to incorporate the red yarn by making stripes in the body of the dishcloth. I love red-and-white stripes so much.
So, I crocheted two rows of white, then two rows of red (using instructions I found here to carry my yarn almost invisibly up the side). I continued to do that until I had five red stripes. When the main square was done, I crocheted two rows of red in a single crochet around the border (this took care of any carried yarn that was visible on the back side), then used white to add another border row of HDC and then DC ruffles. Because of the pattern this dishcloth uses, the stripes took on a nice, wavy look.
I love both of the finished dishcloths, and I think they made a cute little gift, along with the cookbook. I'm thinking about making a set for myself, now.