crocheted mittens & dishcloths

by | Jan 8, 2020 | Artistic Endeavors, Yarn Crafts | 48 comments

Over the Christmas break, I did a lot of intentional sitting around.  While I’m not typically a sitter-arounder, but was much needed and I embraced the slower pace.  I didn’t want to be entirely idle, though, so when we weren’t playing a game or doing something together as a family, I pulled out my yarn and bag of hooks and crocheted.

I made a pretty pair of wool mittens since the first pair I made was out of the wrong kind of yarn and ended up being so large that they slid off my hands when I attempted to wear them.  They were good practice, though, so these could turn out better.

I followed this video tutorial…

…and I’m very pleased with how they turned out.  I’ve worn them a few times and they are warm and comfy (well, when it’s not too cold or windy here in MN.  For the sub-zero days, I need a pair with a liner.)

I made my gloves a little longer in the wrist by adding a few more rows in a pretty cream yarn.  I’m planning to make a hat out of the same green yarn with cream trim and a cream faux-fur pom.

The yarn I used was purchased from Ingebrestsen’s, a nordic marketplace that carries wool yarns for knitting and crochet.  The Rauma yarn ended up being the same weight as the yarn the instructor used in the video tutorial, so it was perfect.  They are small skeins, so I wasn’t sure how many I would need, but I was able to make both mittens with one skein.

As with all the things I make, they are not perfect, but they are perfect enough and the next pair I make will be even better.

I also made a ton of dishcloths!  The stacks of them in my kitchen are getting almost comical.  They are a great way to practice stitches, though, and easy to make while I’m watching TV.  It’s hard to pay too much attention to a pattern when my focus is split.  Practicing stitches also helped me realize I had a UK Crochet book and a US crochet book that I was bouncing between and I was getting so confused as to what’s what!  I finally have it sorted, though, and learned the US treble stitch instead of the UK, which is a US double crochet.

I played with alternating stitches and creating different patterns.  I even learned a pom-pom stitch, which I thoroughly am smitten with.

Jeff bought me some pretty rosewood crochet hooks from Etsy.  You can find the one photographed HERE.  I use a size 5 hook and the Sugar n’ Cream cotton yarn in Ecru.

The thing that I’ve been most pleased with is seeing my progress in the consistency of my stitches as well as the shape of the pieces I make.  The dishcloths are actually square!

And I love using them!  I find that I’m using paper towels less often, because I use these for cleaning the counters, wiping out the sink, etc.

And even after a few uses and washes, the cream ones don’t look too bad.  I was concerned about staining, but they are holding up pretty well so far.  We’ll see how they look in a few months!

The next projects on my list are a hat to match the mittens and a pair of Nordic-style knee-high socks!  I ordered some wool sock yarn from Ingebretsen’s for those.

One funny thing…as I was trying to get pictures of the dishcloths, everyone wanted to “help”.

Both cats were rolling around, batting the yarn and laying on the dishcloths like they were a little bed put there just for them.  Sebastian was lumbering back and forth over kicking the ball of yarn, exciting the cats even further.

Calvin was observing this and thought it was hysterical, so he joined in.

I just stood there, holding my camera at my side, rolling my eyes.  It was funny, but I was trying to get something done.

“Okay!  Everyone out!”

I coaxed everyone out of the studio, closed the door, and finished my work with an audience watching me through the glass door.  Mom is no fun.

Several of you have mentioned picking up crochet after years or learning how to knit or crochet for the first time.  Has anyone started?

PS – You can find my favorite resources for beginning crocheters HERE.


  1. Kim

    I have always been a knitter, and still don’t know how to crochet at this point. I always thought that crochet looked “cheap” and inferior compared to knitted items. I think it’s from all those church bazaar type holiday craft fairs and their gaudy offerings. But in recent years, I have wanted to learn how to crochet, because crochet is better for making certain types of things, especially anything round. It is also my dream in life to make a granny square blanket at some point, because I have lots of colorways ideas. I am good at self-instruction so maybe 2020 will be the year!

    I do think that a lot of how something turns out is not just the skill of the hands, but also the choice of the yarn color. Yarn color is EVERYTHING it determining whether or not something looks professional and excellent vs. shoddy and gaudy. There are so many gorgeous yarn colors now that I buy balls of yarn JUST for their color and use them as décor items on my shelves!

    • Cindy

      You’re right about yarn color, but also yarn quality and the fiber it’s made out of! Walmart acrylic yarn always looks cheap, while lovely cotton or wool or any natural fiber usually looks more professional. It’s a lot more expensive, but so worth it.

      • Marian Parsons

        Yep, I totally agree! I look for yarns that feel nice and prefer natural fibers. I just ordered some linen yarn off of Etsy!

  2. Cindy

    I’ve been crocheting for years. I find it relaxing and yet useful when watching TV. My grandmother could just look at a pattern and make it. I have the bedspread she made my mother as a wedding gift as well as a large tablecloth my mother made for me. I generally work on afghans and my first baby afghan is still in use some 40+ years later. Until I lost my cats last year every afghan I made was thoroughly cat-tested before it was washed, blocked, packaged and given away.

  3. Babs

    I do want to learn how to crochet. I also have arthritis at the base of my thumbs which can be painful. I don’t know if the crochet motion will make my arthritis better or worse. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    I find myself wanting to learn how to do anything and everything you do! Great inspiration and if I tackle half of what you do I will feel like I have accomplished something. Thanks!

    • Addie

      I have been a long time crocheter and also have arthritis…too many years working in pharmacy with child proof lids. I find the rhythm of crocheting as a relaxer to daily thumb use. It is also a good idea to hand stretch a bit before and sometimes taking a break during. I really have no problems with it. Remember: You gotta keep using it or you will lose it!!!
      Good luck….and please give it a try!!!

      • Marian Parsons

        Thanks for responding to this, Addie! I would’ve thought the same thing…that it could be therapeutic if not overdone.

        • Marijane

          Just make sure you LISTEN to your hands. If they are beginning to become painful take a break & do something else. The exercise of handcrafting will provide exercise for the muscles of your hands maintaining your fine motor skills.

    • Margo

      Hello Babs,

      I suffer from arthritis to the point of bi-yearly cortisone injections. When I retired I decided I would try crocheting to see what if I could tolerate it. I use a crochet hook with a rubber handle that I found at Walmart. Turns out, the crocheting was actually good for my hands let alone the calming effect it had on my anxiety after retiring. I made 12 afghans that year and haven’t had a cortisone shot in my hand since. It seems that driving the daily commute to work is what was hurting my hands since I would grip the wheel so tight for that hour+ ride. The hook isn’t as pretty as Marian’s, but it is great if you have arthritis. Good luck!

    • Kathie B

      I learned to crochet at 12 and have done so on and off since then. I have arthritis in my hands and my doctor suggested that I crochet, amongst other things, to keep my flexibility. I use Clover brand hooks as they are ergonomic in design. I find that they really make a difference to arthritic hands. Good luck with learning. I’m sure you will love it.

  4. Amber

    I have been crocheting for years. But, appreciated the idea of having it ready for down time over Christmas. Thank you for the reminder and the dishcloth book recommendation. Also, the sugar n’ cream yarn bleaches pretty well if it isn’t colored. .

  5. Nancy

    I’ll have to say, you inspired me to pick up crochet again purely because of your color palette! The yarn aisle sometimes gives me the creeps with all the bright colors and snaggly yarn. Your choices are calming and smooth looking. The last thing I want is yarn that irritates my dry skin 🙂

  6. Isobel

    I once heard that Amish artisans, by choice, have a teeny weeny flaw in their work. I do not know, however, if there is validity in this statement. The reasoning behind this process is that only God creates perfection. Somehow, this gives me a quiet peace as I paint, knit crochet, do needlework Never think of them as imperfections, as they are truly a reflection of your growth. The Lord has truly blessed you with very unique abilities. I am so pleased you are willing to share your work.

    • Liz

      I love that analogy of imperfection, Isobel, it’s helpful in so many areas, isn’t it?!

    • Liz

      Marian, your washcloths and mittens are beautiful and you are inspiring me to learn to crochet. I would love to see you sew squares together to make a coverlet- maybe a hobnob design??

      • Marian Parsons

        I am working on a chunky granny blanket, but it takes a ton of yarn, so I’m just working on it slowly, square by square.

  7. Jean Clayton

    Nice mittens! You got with the using fewer paper towels. Now I am off to search my stash for some cotton to practice new stitches. I tend to stick easy projects to ensure I complete them, but you have inspired me. My mother advises that with socks or mittens start another at the same time so you don’t complete one and give up! Keep posting.

  8. Brenda

    It’s funny that you mention crochet today. I have a quilted table runner that developed some area that needed repair. I’ve been making small crochet flowers to aid in the repair work. I try to do this when my cat is busy elsewhere, as he too tries to be helpful. Do you have problems sweeping and mopping with your kitties? Love your mittens and dishcloths! I should give these a whirl!

  9. PJ

    I love your mittens! I am at the “just practicing” stage of crochet. I crochet a bit to practice and then pull it out and repeat. Once I get to the store for more yarn, I will carry on and complete some dishcloths. Thank you for the inspiration.

  10. DeniseW

    I’ve become inspired to learn to crochet after seeing you learn. Also to Babs, I also have arthritis in hands/wrists and it doesn’t seem to hurt while I am actively crochet but it does hurt alter so it kind of balances out for me (or that’s what I tell myself).

  11. Jill

    Hello! Your work is lovely! I do not see the name of the dishcloth book. Can you help?

  12. Jude Jones

    Is there a tutorial someplace fir the oom pom/popcorn stitch? I would live to learn that. Thank you!

    • Marian Parsons

      I learned it from a book, but I’m sure there is a tutorial on You Tube for it. It’s basically 4-5 double-crochet stitches in one stitch and then gathered at the top (so, you remove your hook and put it through the first and last loop to connect them together.) It’s simpler than it looks!

  13. Lucy Holland

    I have crocheted for decades. Idiots delight! as it can be done while watching games.
    I’m getting a head start on Christmas 2020 gifts which will have kitchen usefulls as well as crocheted dishrags (my friends are all downsizing & only want those usefulls). During the cold season I’m working on those rags. I didn’t think wool yarn would wash well so I’ve been using cotton. Your thoughts?

    • Marian Parsons

      I’ve only been using cotton for the dishcloths, but I used wool for the gloves because it’s warmer and water-resistant. I’m not sure about using wool for dishcloths…

  14. Libby

    I am a southpaw and many people tore their hair out trying to show me how to crochet! Finally a lefty friend sat beside me and showed me step by step and it took! I have done a ton of dishcloths like you, and a small doll blanket for my granddaughter. Have not tried anything that requires counting and changing shapes. Very relaxing thing to do in the winter!

  15. Jeannie

    The mittens are very pretty & a hat that color…with your coloring will be wonderful! My sister tried several times to teach me to crochet but I just can’t seem to get it. My boss tried teaching me to knit. Again…I finished what they helped me do but haven’t been able to pickup a pattern & “go for it”. I love the dishcloths though. Just found some my sister-in-law made me so I’ll be using those! And MAYBE trying again. 🙂

  16. Sheran Steading

    I applaud your mittens! I have crocheted and knit for years and enjoy both! I love to make dishcloths, too and they make great gifts. Once, I made ecru ones, similar to yours, tied them in the center with pretty ribbon and added them to Christmas gifts as extra “bows”. They were quite lovely and well received.

  17. Donna

    I love crochet or knitted dishcloths. I have several knitted ones I use daily. For some time you can keep them looking good by occasionally soaking them in OxiClean prior to a wash.
    I learned to crochet from my Mom. She and my paternal grandmother were excellent crocheters.
    I can only aspire to be a good.


  18. Sandra K Boff

    I keep a cone of cotton yarn in a side table in the livingroom. When I have to throw out a dish rag I just crochet up one that evening.

  19. Shelley

    I’m SO impressed with how far you have come in such a short time! I hope you are proud of yourself! Mastering the fancier stitches – you go girl!!!

    My Mother-in-law used to make me dish clothes and they were the best for any chore. Sadly, she is no longer with us, so I cherish the tattered remnants that I have left. I just can’t part with them.

    I only wish I had taken the time to learn (so many things) from her, before it was too late…I know her family recipes, but the knitting and crocheting pulls at my heart strings as regrettably being “too” busy. So cherish your knitting/crocheting time, don’t ever take it for granted!!!!


  20. Ellen Shook

    My grandma Thompson who lived with us died in 1950 at age 79. She was a Master of hte Craft in the true sense of the phrase. I am sitting on a “bedspread” she made of very fine cotton thread. When I was a tiny child, I mostly remember her as sitting in her rocking chair, her feet upon the radiator in her room, with her crochet needle flying. I have a lot of her pieces which no one really uses any more. But I still have them. I look at them sometimes and marvel at her skill. She taught me the basics before I was 5, because that is when she died. When I was a young mother in my 20s, crochet was all the rage again, and I made lots of afghans, throws and shawls, mittens and hats. It was like my fingers had some memory of what to do. I am thinking about trying it again. I wonder if I can still do it?

  21. Meda BRANWELL

    Hi Marian!
    I’ve enjoyed your blog for several years & I’m in awe of your many gifts & talents….especially your painting. 🎨 Although I could never do that, you’ve inspired me in other things…antiques, vignettes, photography, etc. And now, you’re inspiring me to take up crocheting again. In college, & as a newlywed 44 years ago, I knitted & crocheted lots. In fact, I knit a couple of sweaters & crochet several “Granny Square” afghans. I set those aside during child rearing & career years, but now in retirement, I think I’ll go for it again. Thank you! 😍

    I do want to highly recommend an amazing place for good quality yarn. It’s called The Loopy Ewe & is owned by a neat friend. It is an internationally known online store, as well as a walk-in store. It’s been very successful & so expanded into quilting fabrics & supplies a few years ago. The owner does all sorts of fun, unique & inspiring things, so I think u & many of your readers, will enjoy their website & shop. 🥰🧶

    • Kathy Scruggs

      I have wanted to learn to crochet for years. Being left-handed without a crocheting friend, the books were never any help for me. Your post about the beanie class at church inspired me to give it another go.
      Number one, I am truly impressed with your progress in just a few weeks.
      Number two, you have inspired me to keep at it. Between You tube videos, the books you recommended, the discovery of a yarn shoppe in my little town, and sheer determination I am happy to report ….I kinda, sorta know how to do this!

  22. Sheila

    Marian, you need to visit a yarn shop! Do you have one near you? I love making dishcloths, too, though I knit. My favorite is the Ballband Dishcloth. It’s a pattern that’s often on the ballbands of Peaches and Cream kitchen cotton.

  23. Karen Zimmerman Chaudoin

    I have known how to knit and crochet since a child as my Norwegian grandmother always had handwork with many mittens, potholders, and crocheted or knitted edged and embroidered pillowcases miles to our family. Currently knitting a scarf with a variety of different stitches (love herringbone!). But seeing your dishclothing made me find the giant ball of beige Sugar and Cream stored away and I’m going to make some and get that beautiful wood crochet hook and try those mittens! I did knit a pair of Scandinavian gloves in gray and white and left them at a mall and knitted a wool Nordic sweater. A you have inspired e to get back t using the hooks and not just knitting needles and quilting needles! I just bought a Featherweight 221 so I may sidetrack for a little simple sewing though. Perhaps an Aron?

  24. Gloria

    Where is the pattern?

  25. Karen Zimmerman Chaudoin

    Oh thank you again and excuse please my texting errors in previous comments. Just a note-I visited the shop you mentioned and ordered some blue and some green yarn for mittens! But that shop! Oh my! I grew up with some of the food items and I can’t wait to
    order some lingonberry syrup or preserves! What a wonderful find! Thank e!

  26. Graham

    Marian, I too, finally picked up a crochet hook and am in the process of teaching myself from YouTube videos and Pinterest. Apparently I’m not a quick study! I like the idea of using different stitches for dish clothes so l’m off to Hobby Lobby tomorrow with coupon in hand. I had picked up some yarn at the thrift store a few years ago and it quickly became evident that all cheap yarn is good for is practice. Once I perfect my stitches, I’ll make those mittens !

  27. Connie

    I didn’t take the time to read all the comments, so others may have already addressed this. My Mom & aunt used to make these dishcloths out of the Sugar ‘n Cream yarn & they hold up so well; they are both gone now but all of us daughters have stacks of hoarded dishcloths they made for us! They are all I ever use in the kitchen, and when they start wearing out or getting holes in them, I just add them to my rag stash & use them for things like washing cars, cleaning ceiling fan blades – cleaning anything yucky that you use rags for. They bleach out well, make great hostess, teacher or any small gift as needed, especially 2-3 stacked & tied with a pretty ribbon like you did for your giveaway Marian! Once people use them, they want more! I think your new Pom-Pom stitch dishcloth is great looking and would really aid with those hard to clean dishes. And I would pay extra for your gorgeous green & ivory mittens!

  28. Rebecca

    Babs, my Mother is 78 and has really bad arthritis in both of her hands. I now have it in the base of my left thumb. The motion of the crochet is a great exercise for the hands. Crocheting helps keep the fingers and hands from freezing up. You also have to know when to stop. There are time when I want to finish an item on one sitting, but my left thumb won’t allow it. Also wearing one of the specialty gloves for sore hands and fingers really helps.

  29. Lisa

    Sometimes the Lord places a path in front of you that draws you to it. I recently won a basket raffle with lovely alpaca wool made products. Also in it were quite a few beautiful skeins of alpaca wool. At the same time, you have been highlighting your crochet journey. So, I ordered and just received two of the crochet books you recommended. I will be embarking on my crochet journey in the next few weeks! Thank you!

  30. Rochelle

    I find crochet much easier than knitting–it’s really mathematical. I started out 25 years ago, and really taught myself, starting with items that didn’t require fitting, such as afghans and dish towels, and progressed to other things. I used to crochet Christmas ornaments with the very thin crochet thread, but that got to be too difficult as I got older, so I’m back to making afghans.

  31. Kathy

    Marian my good friend broke her ankle and took this up while she was bedridden and made me 3 or 4 washcloths, she had me to Hobby Lobby and get cotton skeins. Well they are my favorite, I got several ecru just like yours. She has also done baby blankets and I just loved how it reminded me of my mom and her favorite hobby. Love that you are doing this

  32. Peggy

    Several months ago, I bought some cotton yarn and crochet hooks with the intention of learning to crochet. They sat in the bag until I saw your first crochet post. You’ve inspired me to try it, and I thank you!
    I’ve sewn most of my life, even had a drapery and slipcover workroom for a few years. I never liked knitting too much because it was too slow. I don’t have my workroom anymore and needed something to do, so I think I’m going to enjoy learning this new skill.

  33. Carla

    I knitted some dish cloths a few years ago all in different stitches and soft colors using cotton yarn. I thought they would be so pretty in the kitchen and they were. They were beautiful! Then I used the first one and it became stained. I was so distraught after all that work that I just could not bring myself to use another one. So I pulled them from the kitchen and gave them to my daughter to use in the bathroom as face cloths (wash rags/colths) she loved them in fact she asked for them. At last the objects of all my hard work had a safe place where they could be used, loved and appreciated for a long time.

    You might keep that in mind if you find yourself facing the same delima. Love your blog.

  34. Ginger Marshall

    This is a late comment 😉 I crocheted in my early 20s for a couple of years & then 2 years ago I asked my sister in law to help me get back in the saddle, but that only lasted through about 2 dishcloths. Then when you picked up crochet I was inspired to try again. I’m a quilter & usually take handstitching on trips, but for a trip in February I took both stitching & crochet. Crochet won hands down! Turns out crocheting is something I could easily pull out of my bag & work on with minimal effort, & easily put away again…. No scissors, no thimble, no thread to cut & thread through a needle, no stopping & starting as I finished a section. Crocheting may just become my go to for trips from now on! maybe….. 😉


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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