New at P & P–CRAFT DAY! by Pam Crooks

To fill unscheduled blog days that pop up periodically throughout the year, the fillies will be featuring some crafts, decorating ideas, and a variety of other fun things we think you will enjoy.

Now, I’m not a big knitter although I’ve been knitting most of my life.  Basic projects, mostly, like winter scarves, but my all-time favorite is a simple washcloth.

what if life were a ball of yarn?

I’ve made stacks of these over the years. They’re great for tucking into Christmas stockings (yep, my adult daughters still get them hung on our mantle), to give away as bridal shower gifts, to needy families during the holidays and so on.  They wash up beautifully, absorb beautifully, and are my favorite go-to washcloth in my kitchen towel drawer

I can make one of these in two good nights in front of the television. The instructions are super-simple, and I’m happy to share them with you.



Size 8 knitting needles

100% cotton yarn (I love the Peaches & Crème brand)


  • Cast on 4 stitches. (I usually do 5 stitches)
  • Knit 1 row
  • Knit 2 stitches. Move yarn over to front to create an extra stitch.
  • Finish row.
  • Work until 50 stitches are on the needle.

To Decrease:

Knit 1 stitch

  • Knit 2 together
  • Yarn over
  • Knit 2 together
  • Knit to the end of the row
  • Repeat until 4 stitches are left on the needle.
  • Cast off. When 1 stitch is left, cut 6″ tail of yarn and pull through the loop.  Tighten, then weave tail through.  I use a crotchet hook to do this.

I’m giving away a washcloth to two winners.  To be eligible, just tell me if you like to do needlework?  Knit? Crotchet? Counted cross stitch?


Website | + posts

Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at

67 thoughts on “New at P & P–CRAFT DAY! by Pam Crooks”

  1. I do lots of crafts and needlework, including embroidery, quilting, sewing, cross-stitch, crochet, etc,. but no one ever taught me how to knit.

    • Well, heck! That’s amazing you’re so prolific at needlework, Janice, but don’t knit. I bet you’d be really good at it. I find it easier than crotcheting.

  2. I crochet a bit for a beginner kind of stuffs and I knit a very tiny bit. I’ll have to try out this pattern when i finish my crochet projects. THanks so much for sharing! 😀

  3. When I was in 5th grade, I had chicken pox while one brother was in the hospital, so I spent time at a neighbor’s house while my parents were at the hospital. The neighbor taught me to knit a tiny santa bell.

    But after that, I never learned more than how to crochet a straight line.

    I’m more into sewing and have a Jane Austen quilt to work on.

    • Sewing is a great skill, and I miss my sewing days, Denise! I remember you telling me about your Jane Austen quilt. I’d love to make one of those, too!

  4. I would love to learn how to knit or crochet. I tried needlepoint one time and it looked too much like knots. I am not very crafty.

  5. I have done counted cross stitch in the past – have tried both knitting and crocheting and it isn’t my thing!

  6. I taught myself how to crochet when I qS in my 20’s. Now with arthritis in my hands it is hard to do. I learned to embroidery as a little girl, and it took years to finish the kitchen towel I was working on. I taught myself how to knit when I was about 11 years old, but never knew how to decrease, cast off, so I never made anything. Grew up watching my mom sew, so learned how to make my own clothes, which I did for years.
    I like to do craft projects, but would rather read a book.

  7. I’ve tried and I’m just not very good. But my Aunt Jean is amazing at all this. I still have many of her crocheted pictures she made for me growing up and an Afghan she made me.

  8. I’m not particularly crafty, I did used to do counted cross stitch quite a bit in my younger days. I guess I might’ve started as a teenager. But haven’t done it in 5+ years.

    • I do think counted cross stitch was much more popular years ago. Nowadays, there are so many other crafts to do – and other distractions to take up our time, too!

  9. My girlfriend taught me to crochet a chain when I was a child but don’t remember how other then that I never did learn how. I can sew but can’t do needle work. Always wanted to though.

    • And maybe you will someday, Quilt Lady. But sewing is a great skill. I wish the schools taught sewing like they used to do. The benefits are enormous.

  10. it took me over 30 years to learn how to join a chain for crocheting, now i have made scarfs, shawl’s blankets, and currently working on some Christmas presents for my family. I also have been loom knitting for about 9 years. and i can only do counted cross stitch, it has the pattern with x’s on it.

    • How wonderful that you’ve learned to love crocheting, and I love that you’re already planning gifts for Christmas!! Good for you, Elaine! I’m intrigued by loom knitting!!

  11. Welcome today. Oh but these are wonderful. I had a friend who could whip these out. And she did give them as gifts. I would trade her one of these for some handmade greeting cards. Alas she has been in heaven for the last ten years now. I know a little crochet and have tried these. But they always turn out like something from a horror movie, LOL LOL. I love to do count cross stitch, make greeting cards, sew and quilt. These are the colors of my kitchen, blue and yellow. Thanks for offering them up. I have also started sewing and quilting for Christmas. My daughter has moved into a new apartment and now has a table to eat at. She loves dolphins and her boyfriend loves killer whales. So I am making them some placemats. Two with two different dolphin scenes and two with two different killer whale scenes. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    • I really love card making but love receiving handmade cards even more. My daughter really got into them and made dozens and dozens of them. It’s a shame we don’t send cards and letters more often. Darn email and text messages have changed all that, haven’t they?

      • I am the same way. I LOVE to receive cards and letters in the mail. I have been told I am OLD school and to get with the times. LOL LOL I know the smiles and warmth a card or letter in the mail gives. Will I stop? Nope!! It has become a ministry of mine through church also. To those who have a baby, sympathy, encouragement and get well, they get a card from our church family. I keep my name off of it. Even the return address label is the church address. The Lord has wired me to put smiles on peoples faces and help them to see a little sunshine. I will continue until He says to stop. Thank you for your writing stories. It does the same thing to millions of us readers

  12. Love your washcloths, Pam! I’m an avid cross-stitcher. I just started a new project this week that be a wedding sampler for my son and his bride who will marry in 2022. I figured I best give myself plenty of time to finish before the wedding. 🙂

    • I wedding sampler will be perfect, Karen!! It will become a treasure for them to cherish throughout their married life.
      Ohmigoodness, yes, it’s a good thing you’re starting now. You’re already so busy! 🙂

  13. I learned to cross stitch many years ago when I was very young. I enjoyed this hobby but knitting was impossible.

    • Haha!! Well, Laini, as with anything, the more practice, the easier it gets. But I’m very, very basic. I find easy patterns like my washcloth one to be very relaxing.

  14. I used to crochet, but since my right wrist is now fused in one position, I can’t crochet anymore. I do embroider some, though not as much as I used to. My favorite hobby now, other than reading, is making cards.

    • Oh, another card-maker! Good for you, Trudy. Much easier than crocheting, but with a fused wrist, I can’t imagine that even embroidering would be much easier. It’s good that you’re staying creative – good for the mind and soul!

  15. I never did crochet nor knit but I did cross stitch which was easier and I made many napkins and tablecloths. This was done when it was popular way back and my grandmother showed me the basics.

  16. I have only ever don crochet, but it has been a long time. I wish I knew how to knit, and I love the potholders.

    • Thank you, Venetia (what a pretty name!). I appreciate you stopping by! Maybe you’ll get back into crocheting again some day. It can be very relaxing.

  17. Hi, your wash cloths are beautiful! I used to love to embroider and I put together Christmas stockings from kits for my 2 now grown adult children with with own little families , it was alot of fun. I tried my had at knitting and crocheting, but I was not successful at either. Have a great week and stay safe.

    • Hey, Alicia! Oh, I love Christmas stockings from kits!! I’ve never done one before, but my daughter has, and I think it’d be fun to make them. The details are so fun. Even better, they give you everything you need. Great keepsakes!

  18. When I was a young girl I would buy scrapbooks at Woolworth’s. The covers were striking and absolutely special. The covers were beautiful and colorful – either scenes, horses or a setting. The paper was lightweight and used to glue photos, postcards or craft items. I collected them and created scrapbooks filled with family photos or special events, such as travels, or a famous person.

    • Oh, I remember scrapbooks, Sharon! They were the rage like photo albums. I know just what you mean, and I’ve kept every scrapbook I ever made. They’re like a time capsule, aren’t they? So fun to go back and reminisce over those pages!

  19. I am 67. I purchased a little green Coats and Clark 29-cent Learn How book when I was in the 7th grade at T.G.&Y. It had knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting and huck-towel weaving. I taught myself how to do them all, except I never could figure out the tatting. Knitting, I was fine, even cables, as long as it was a square piece; I could never figure out the increasing and decreasing. The tatting shuttle was a problem; there were no instructions how to load the shuttle. In 2017, I discovered needle tatting, so simple and so pretty. I even sell tatted spool-pin doilies for the top of a sewing machine through The Marketplace pages and the Singer-Featherweight Shop! It has become more difficult to do handwork now, because of pain and numbness in my wrists from arthritis and carpal tunnel, when I hold my wrists at the cocked angle to do the handwork.

    • Hi, Sherry!! Oh, tatting has truly become a lost art. I have a few pieces from my grandmother, and the intricacies are mind-boggling. I never learned, but I think the pieces are so beautiful.

      Great to ‘see’ you here! Thanks for stopping by!

  20. I’ve tried it before but I’m not good at it. Thank you for the chance. It’s pretty

  21. Hey, Patty!! I’m so glad you’re here. We all have our skills, don’t we? It’s what makes us all different. What gives one person joy leads to um, well, frustration and despair in another. LOL.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  22. I never learned to knit but I do crochet sometimes. It’s been a while since I’ve even done that! I need to get back into crocheting and love beautiful crocheted items. I spent most of my pandemic time reading and doing a few little craft things. Nothing major.

    • Hi, Ruth! Reading is good, too! I hope you get into crocheting again, even occasionally. There’s such satisfaction in completing a project – and it’s good for the mind, too.

  23. Patty, I love embroidery, cross stitch, and making up designs for my own embroidery pieces. When I was young I crocheted and I could knit. I had a stroke and forgot how to do a lot of these crafts. My daughter and I signed up for a knitting and crocheting club at the library because the ladies told us they would teach us to do both. We actually went to learn to crochet with the club but the pandemic cancelled everything until it is safe. We will be there as soon as the world gets back to normal.

    • I’ve been thinking of doing the same thing, Nancy – a class is the perfect way to learn and be inspired by your classmates and teacher.

      Darn Covid, anyway!!

  24. I grew up doing the Needlearts-crocheting, embroidering, tatting, and sewing. Some of the others I tried but these are my favorites.

    • “Needlarts” ! A term I’ve never heard before – I love it. Because, yes, indeed, needlework is an art for someone who has the joy and patience to work with a needle and thread/yarn.

  25. I have done all kinds of needlework but my favorite is embroidery followed closely by crocheting. A few years back I won best of show at the Del Mar fair for a knitted afghan and also sent it to the State Fair where it garnered a winners ribbon too. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have needlework projects to do.

    • Oh, I wish P&P has a way for our readers to attach a picture. I would love to see that afghan!! Congratulations on your awards – wow! I’m impressed.

  26. I enjoy sewing, embroidery, and needlepoint. I enjoyed learning to quilt, but have not done much more than a few small projects. I have not tried to crochet but did try knitting. I took needles and yarn with me when I went to the tropics in the Peace Corps. I had delusions of teaching myself to knit. I did learn to knit and pearl but could never combine them or start another row. Needless to say, there was no-one I could ask for help. I haven’t done much lately, but am eager to get back to sewing and needlework.

    • Howdy, Pat! We can always count on you joining us in the evening. If I recall, you’re still working, right?

      If retirement is on your horizon, maybe you’ll be able to get back into sewing and all kinds of needlework. I think as we get older, we get more patient. Less distractions and more eager to learn.

      Great to hear from you, as always!

Comments are closed.