Maria is a Master Gardener, public health educator, grant-writer, artist, photographer, editor, & proofreader. She lives in coastal Alabama.
Dishcloth in the Making
"These dishcloths are so easy to make, and work so well, I will never use another 'store-bought' dishcloth again."
I happened upon this dishcloth pattern about 10 or 12 years ago, in a delightful needlework shop, The Needlecraft Center, in the small and charming college town of Davidson, NC. Unfortunately, after 50 years in business, the shop has closed.
I use it to make knitted cotton and microfiber dishcloths. The display made for the pattern was worked into a baby blanket with silky-soft chenille type of yarn. As I was looking at it, the shop's owner approached me and said, "That pattern is so easy, and it makes great dishcloths, too. You just make it smaller."
Actually, for dishcloths, it needed to be a lot smaller. I have decided it would also make a good afghan, if you don't mind having a square-shaped afghan. This pattern is so simple, I can make a knitted dishcloth in a couple of hours. Really -- in about 2 hours. Most recently, I made red ones and green ones for use during the Christmas holidays. These dishcloths are really fun to make, and I have turned out lots of them.
The Only Knitting Stitches and Abbreviations You Will Need for This Pattern
This is a Good Project for Beginning Knitters
You need to know only these three stitches and their abbreviations:
K = knit
YO = yarn over
K 2tog = knit 2 together
The pattern that emerges when every row is knitted (no purling) is called "garter stitch".
You Can Have Your Own Handmade Microfiber or Cotton Dishcloths
This one is done in black microfiber yarn. My experience has been that the microfibers don't fade, compared to the 100% cotton yarns that can fade over time.
Both are quite absorbent and work just fine. The microfiber seems to dry more quickly. I love my handmade dishcloths. You will love them, too.
An Up-close View of the Stitches - You can see the body of the cloth is just a straight garter stitch.
This light blue dishcloth is viewed on the diagonal, showing a better view of the stitches. The pattern is worked on the diagonal, that is, beginning with only 4 stitches cast on, then by adding one stitch per row, until the desired width is reached. Then the rows are decreased by one stitch per row until there are only 4 stitches left.
A Dishcloth In the Making
Here's the Pattern
This pattern will always "work up" into a perfect square.
A) Using size 10 needles, cast on (or knit on) 4 stitches. I prefer to knit on; it gives a more finished look to the edge.
B) Row 1 -- Knit across
C) Row 2 -- K2, YO, K to end of row (this is the first increase row)
D) Repeat Line "C" directions until there are 43 stitches on your needles.
E) The next row (the 44th) will be the first decrease row:
F) K1, K2tog, YO, K2 tog, K to end of row.
G) Repeat Line "F" directions for all remaining rows until there are only 4 stitches left.
H) Bind off.
To Make A Baby Blanket or An Afghan:
Simply continue adding "increase" rows until the width suits your needs. Then begin decreasing. Otherwise, follow the same directions.
Do you knit?
My Stash of Yarn
Good Quality Yarn Makes All the Difference
Be sure to purchase good quality yarns. Others are cheaper, but do not work or handle as well.
Also, items made from cheap yarns don't last as long.
I became fed up long ago with yarns that split and/or break while I am working with them.
Some Great Yarn Shops I Have Visited
In our travels, as well as having lived in 4 states, I have visited many yarn shops around the country. When we lived in North Carolina, my favorite yarn shop was The Needlecraft Center. In Michigan, I frequented The Crafty Lady, as it was called at that time. In Colorado, my favorite shop was The Knitting Habitat. They made me feel right at home immediately. You, too, can visit some of them right here:
- Crafty Lady Trio in Macomb, Michigan
- Charlotte Yarn in Charlotte, North Carolina
- Knit One, Stitch Too in Huntersville, North Carolina
Best Nice Yarns for Making Dishcloths
The best yarns for dishcloths are 100% cotton and microfiber. Both are absorbent. The microfiber dries quicker. The cotton will fade over time. Because making these is so fast and easy, I don't mind. If they fade, or become stained, I just make more.
Brittany Knitting Needles
I discovered the Brittany brand of straight knitting needles only a little over a year ago. I have really enjoyed them. They work much better than the brand I previously used. And I have a pair of rosewood needles that I love, but they are a size 6, much too small for this pattern.
Thank you for visiting this page. Let me know you visited, and tell me about your knitting projects.
© 2011 MariaMontgomery
Are You a Knitter?
MariaMontgomery (author) from Central Florida, USA on December 06, 2012:
@webmavern: Hi, webmavern! You're very welcome. Get those needles out and start knitting. I hope Santa leaves you some great yarn. Merry Christmas to you and thanks for the squidlikes and comments.
webmavern on December 04, 2012:
Thanks for this easy to follow dishcloth pattern. I will get my needles out after Christmas, have a feeling Santa might bring me some yarn!
MariaMontgomery (author) from Central Florida, USA on August 04, 2012:
@tracy-arizmendi: I'm so glad you have enjoyed them. I love mine, too. Someday I'm going to teach you to knit. It's very relaxing.
MariaMontgomery (author) from Central Florida, USA on August 04, 2012:
@anonymous: Thank you so much, Tipi. I know I thanked you on your bio page, but thought it would be nice to say thank you, here, too.
Tracy Arizmendi from Northern Virginia on August 02, 2012:
I love the dishcloths you made for me. I was just thinking the other day how well they have held up compared to store bought ones.
Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on June 02, 2012:
I am a guy and the people who hate me call me a Rocket-Mutha. ha! I have been buying a lot of bamboo towels lately, they seem to be much softer. Squid Angel blessed.
poutine on February 12, 2012:
My sister does those helpful dishcloths for the rest of our family and we love them.
anonymous on January 01, 2012:
Stopped back to bless the needles of those who knit dish cloths.....carry on!
anonymous on December 31, 2011:
My daughter had been knitting dish cloths for a while and loves it but I don't know if she has thought of using the microfiber yarn. I knit squares when I was growing up but they were just line by line...not your fancy cast on and off by rows. A very nicely done tutorial and a productive way to pass time...we all need dish cloths!
norma-holt on December 27, 2011:
This is a wonderful idea. I recently bought some cotton cloths manufactured in Israel which I now use in my kitchen. They are great and when used once they just go into the wash and come up like new again. Store bought cloths are bacteria farms. Featured this on Cooking Utensils, Ideas, Recipes and Accessories. Hugs
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on December 27, 2011:
What an awesome fast and easy knitting pattern! Thank you for sharing it with us!
Laraine Sims from Lake Country, B.C. on December 24, 2011:
Age 6 or 7 my first knitting project was a scarf. I wish that I had kept it. Full of holes where I had missed stitches. My brother's was much better than mine. I can knit stitches around him now though. I love knitting.
I have made the dishcloth many times .. if you have scraps of yarn it turns out pretty too.(all diff. colors) Angel blessing.
Delia on October 29, 2011:
When I was a little girl in Germany I had to learn how to sew and knit before I was 7 years old...Your lens is nicely put together well presented and written...Thank You for sharing....this deserves a ~d-artist Squid Blessing~
Mickie Gee on October 24, 2011:
I learned to knit many years ago and was a failure at this wonderful craft. I have recently taken up this hobby again to knit scarves for a local women's shelter. Finding it very satisfying. Thank you for the tip about using good quality yarn. I will look for the brands that you found on Amazon.