The Checkerboard Dishcloth / Trivet is one of those timeless country treasures. This simple idea can be elaborated upon to make full beautiful sets to enhance the decor of any kitchen. The most important thing to remember is to pick the colors that best match your own kitchen. I suggest a dark and a light color, to bring out the checkerboard design. But I’ve seen some lovely checkerboards done with muted colors as well. The traditional colors for a checkerboard dishcloth would be red and white, or blue and white. The traditional size is 5 stitches x 5 rows for each square. It’s the size and weight of the yarn that controls the actual size of the squares. With that said, don’t limit yourself to 5 x 5. The true beauty is ‘Making It Your Own’.
Although a graph pattern isn’t needed to make this I’ve included one (with limited written instruction) so you can practice the free lesson, “Reading Graph Patterns”. The graph pattern also allows you to change the shape and size until you get exactly what you want.
Tapestry Color Change:
Extended Double Crochet:
(Alternate Double Crochet)
CH = Chain
SL ST = Slip Stitch
SC = Single Crochet
EDC = Extended Double Crochet
Yarn: I used 4 ply cotton. If this is going to be a dishcloth you can use any 4 ply worsted weight yarn. However, if you plan on using this for a Trivet (setting a hot pan on it), you must use cotton yarn. Acrylic may melt with heat, wool will burn and put off a bad smell. 2 oz (90 - 100 yards) of your dark color, 2.5 oz (115 - 125 yards) of your light color.
Hook: G / 4.0 mm
Gauge: Your gauge is not important. However, using the basic tapestry crochet method (carrying one color while crocheting around another) 20 stitches = 4 inches, 19 rows = 4 inches. As long as you come close to this you’ll have a nice sized dishcloth.
The Checkerboard Dishcloth is a practice pattern
for Tapestry Crochet Color Change,
and for Reading Graph Patterns
Each block equals 5 stitches and 5 rows. The overall grouping of blocks equals 7 blocks, alternating in color. At the end of each 5 rows you will alternate the color blocks to form the checkerboard pattern.
Ch 46, add second color, start checkerboard pattern.
The basic pattern is very simple. Single crochet (around your second color) 4 stitches. In the 5th stitch change color.
When you are done with the checkerboard center - LEAVE both colors attached to do the edging.
In the free PDF (at the end of this page) you'll find the full size graph pattern. Because of page speed I'm only including a smaller version here.
The edging is simple, and it gives a finishing touch. The first round is single crochet, the second round is extended double crochet, and the third and last round is single crochet. So why did I use extended double crochet? Extended double crochet stitches stand up much more straight than simple double crochet. The straightness of the stitch gives a much more ‘professional’ look. You can learn how to do extended stitches here: https://www.moms-crochet.com/extendedcrochetstitches.html.
An Extended Double Crochet stitch starts exactly like a regular double crochet stitch. Yarn over, insert your hook, and pull up a loop.
Here’s the small change. Pull a loop through ONE loop on your hook.
Just like a normal double crochet, pull a loop through TWO loops on your hook.
And pull a loop through the last TWO loops on your hook.
Checkerboard Dishcloth Edging Rnd 1: 1 Single Crochet in each stitch around, with 3 Single Crochet stitches in each corner.
You should still have both threads attached. Drop the white and pick up the blue.
Your first stitch will be in the side of the last block stitch.
Ch 1, lean your work so you are crocheting down the side, 1 sc in each row/stitch down, stop just before the 1st corner.
Before we continue I want to explain how the bottom row is going to be crocheted.
At the bottom, where your first chain to start your project is, you are going to skip over the chain (it will end up inside your stitches), and crochet into the space between the 1st row stitches.
Each corner, as you go around, will get 3 sc stitches. Knowing ‘how’ you will crochet into the bottom, your first (and next) corners will go into the stitch space just above the chain.
Continue until you get back to the start position. 2 sc in the same stitch you started in, which will equal the 3 in each corner.
Cut the blue thread leaving about 3 inches of yarn. Tie it to the white yarn.
Checkerboard Dishcloth Edging Rnd 2: 1 Extended Double Crochet in each stitch around, with 3 Extended Double Crochet stitches in each corner.
Ch 3 and turn.
2 edc in the 1st stitch (equals the 3 for this corner counting the chain).
1 edc in each stitch around - 3 edc in each corner.
Drop the white thread and tie on a NEW blue thread. Do a sl st, using blue, into the next stitch (you could just pull a loop through). Cut the white leaving about 3 inches of thread. You will hid this thread at the end.
Checkerboard Dishcloth Edging Rnd 3: 1 Single Crochet in each stitch around, with 3 Single Crochet stitches in each corner.
Ch 1 and turn.
As you begin this round, bring the loose blue end up and crochet around it. This will hide this end and you can snip it when you’re finished. Don’t bring up the white thread as it will cause a lump in this corner.
At the end sl st 1 into the next 2 stitches and bind off.
Want More Lessons and Ideas About Tapestry, Fairisle, and Intarsia Crochet?
See The Index on the Website: https://www.moms-crochet.com/picturecrochet.html
Tapestry Crochet Color Change
Tapestry Crochet Color Change goes a little further than just showing you how to change colors. I also share tips to keep your yarn from tangling, I talk about the importance of yarn tension, and I share some information that many other places don’t. Like what (you may ask)? Like the importance of keeping the same order of your colors when working (and why).
How To Read and Work With Graph Patterns
This lesson is so simple that you’ll wonder why graph patterns ever made you nervous, lol. Reading and working with a graph pattern, no matter if it’s for Tapestry, Fairisle, Intarsia, or even Filet Crochet, opens up a world of beautiful patterns. Want to get an idea of what’s possible? Just do a search for Cross Stitch Patterns (but don’t forget to come back here).
Go Beyond Checkerboards
Available in Mom’s Crochet Shop
This ebook includes a design for Brickwork, Gingham, Houndstooth, and Jigsaw. Often people don't realize that these historic designs did originate from the checkerboard.
Click the button, "Free Pattern Download" to download your free PDF copy of the Checkerboard Dishcloth.
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