embroidered crocheted washer

Embroidering onto crochet

There is something about the end of the day that makes me want to reach for some yarn rather than sit at the sewing machine. Perhaps it's the quietness of the click of the knitting needles, or the silence of the moving crochet hook that is soothing and peaceful - perhaps it's the feel of the soft yarn when I'm tired. Whatever the reason is, I like to have a yarn project to pick up at night when the day and I are slowing down.

Washers are something I enjoy making because they are quick, very useable, and they provide me with a good opportunity to practice new techniques and colour combinations.

By definition, washers are used to wipe up messes ... right? So I avoid lacy patterns with large "holes" because I really, really hate accidentally coming into contact with yukky stuff.  
Today I want to show you how I did the embroidered outlines on these very easy, very plain, very reliable crocheted washers.

You'll need
- scissors  
- a large eyed wool or chenille needle which the yarn will pass through comfortably.
- soluble sheets to transfer your design. There are a few different brands, some which look and feel               quite different to this one, but as long as it's water soluble it doesn't matter what you use.
         You could use a stitch and tear out product, but I think for a washer you don't want any residue           from foreign substances.
 - a 3.5mm crochet hook. I want the "fabric" of the washer to be quite dense.

... and you'll need yarn. My go-to yarn choice is 8ply/DK cotton because it gives a quick result                      without being too chunky.

The crochet
Beginning with a slip knot, make 40 ch
Row 1 : make a dc into the 2nd ch from the hook. Make a dc in every ch until the end (39 dc)
Row 2 - 40 : 1 turning ch which is then ignored. Dc in every stitch until the end (39 dc)
Repeat row 2 until the washer is desired size. I did 44 rows altogether.
Cut yarn. Using the needle, thread the ends through the crocheted stitches to hide them. 

1. Using a permanent marker, draw your design onto the soluble sheet. I looked through resource pictures to find what I wanted, then traced them. How easy is that!
2. Cut roughly around the picture, leaving 1"-2" margin all the way around.
3. Using large tacking stitches, baste the picture onto the washer. 

(confession time : If you are seeing extra lines than the bird's outline, it's not time to get new glasses ... it's because I'd made a mistake tracing. These "mistake" lines will not be stitched over. I hope they don't distract you too much.)
4. Thread the needle with the contrast thread you will use to stitch the outline. I cut mine approximately 24" long ... 😲 eeps! that's pretty long! ... yes it is, but it's okay to do so, because this is 8ply yarn and we're stitching onto crocheted fabric and we're not going to start stitching with the "end" of the yarn.

5. If you look closely at the photo above you can see I've brought the needle up from the back, but left about a third of the yarn length hanging at the back. It's just hanging out, relaxing. We'll use that length to stitch with when we've finished using the other part of the thread. Just don't forget it's there! 
I begin this way because the back of the project will be v.e.r.y visible when finished so it needs to be reasonably neat as well. This technique helps achieve that.

6. Begin to stitch over the outline using running stitches ... just simple up and down stitching. Keep the stitches fairly short, about ¼" - ⅜" as you don't want the stitches to catch on anything when the washer is in use.

7. I've now reached the end of the wing I'm outlining and need to fill in the spaces between the running stitches. Because the back of the work is going to be very visible, I want to do it neatly. I like to keep flipping back and forth between the front and the back of the washer to check exactly where my needle is. 

The nature of crocheted fabric means that it can affect out where you think the needle is going to come out. 
Fill in the gaps checking all the time that you're in the right spot on both the front and the back.

8. When that length of yarn is used up, turn to the reverse side to thread the needle through the insides of the crocheted fabric to hide the yarn tail. Snip yarn and thread the needle with the remainder of the thread. It's time for it to do some work!
Depending where you are in the design you might use it to continue doing running stitch around the outline, or you might be ready to fill in between the running stitches. 

9. When all the stitching is complete, pull out those tacking threads and as much of the soluble sheet as you can. To remove the remainder of the soluble sheet, spray it with water or immerse the washer in a container of water. 
Ta- dah!

And the backs?

Not too bad 😉

You can find photos of more pretty washers on Instagram at #cleansweetly 

Thank you joining me today,
best wishes,



  1. They are so gorgeous Kellie! I love them - you're so clever!

    1. Thank you very much Sarah :) It's never too early to start Christmas washers is it? xo

  2. How clever Kellie! And super cute! I’m not a “super crochet-er” so I’ll practice that pattern too!!!

  3. I love extra detail that embroidery adds. Thank you, Kellie! :)

  4. They are so sweet and I love the idea of combining the embroidery and crochet, Kellie! They would make wonderful coasters (because I would feel so sorry to use something like that as a wash cloth :-) ) Thank you for sharing the tutorial!


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