Sunday, October 24, 2010

Knitting with Grandma: Dishcloths

The first thing I learned to knit was the humble dishcloth. It was a very simple pattern that my grandma showed me one evening over Christmas vacation. I can make them without even looking now (as a matter of fact--this is what I've been doing to feel productive while I'm vegging out and watching 'Lost' DVDs), but that first one made my fingers hurt for days. I couldn't even begin to tell you how many of these I've made over the past few years, as they're one of the things I get asked for the most. I've tried other patterns but they're a little too involved for something that's going to wipe up messes and occasionally end up in the garbage disposal.

I've looked online for this pattern, but I don't even know what it's called so I've had no luck finding it. I've seen pictures of it, so I know it's out there somewhere. Just in case I have any knitters following along, I thought I'd share the pattern here. It's really not difficult to do, and a few of them together make a really nice gift. Plus it's something to keep your hands busy during TV time--and off of the munchies (bonus!).

These are knit on the diagonal--other than the knit stitch you only need to know a yarn over increase, and a knit two together decrease. I use Lilly's Sugar 'n Cream yarn for these--the colors are endless, it knits up nicely, and washes well. I also use #9 needles.

1.  Cast on 4 stitches.
2.  Knit a row. Knit another row (for stability). You're still at 4 stitches.
3.  Knit 2 stitches. Yarn over. Knit the rest of the row.
4.  Repeat step 3 over and over again. Each row should have one more stitch than the one below. You'll begin to see a triangle developing. I usually go up to 48-50 stitches before I begin to decrease.

5. Knit one. Knit two stitches together. Yarn over. Knit two stitches together. Knit across.
6. Repeat step 5 over and over again. Now each row will have one less stitch than the one below.

7. When you get down to 4 stitches, bind off. Weave in your ends. Go wash some dishes.

 If you look close you can see the stitches running on the diagonal instead of straight across. The yarn overs also create that nifty border.

If you're new to knitting and need a stitch refresher (or if you want to learn how to knit), click here.  

Have fun!

OH! One other thing--I've got a nice little giveaway planned in the very near future, so stay tuned for that announcement!


  1. I love this washcloth pattern! And funny that you should mention the garbage disposal because I just had my first knit washcloth end up there! No damage, though :-)

    I'd love if you linked this up to my knitting party; Fibers on Friday, a linky party dedicated to yarn!!

  2. This noob is thanking you for that link. :D

  3. Oh they are lovely, mine are boring and plain. I did a crochet one recently and it is very thick and sturdy more of a floor cloth really. They would make lovely facecloths too wrapped around a nice bar of soap, tied with a ribbon... oh you have got the old brain cogs whirring now thinking of Christmas gifts!
    Kandi x

  4. I love to make these,too : ) So easy and pretty! These are called GrandMa's Favorite least that's what I've seen them called on the web ;-)

  5. They look really pretty. Funny, I haven't seen anything like that since my childhood I think... I'd probably crochet them with a thick cotton yarn and use them for hot pots and dishes etc? A bit like ovengloves?
    That's the great thing about this time of the year, to be able to sit inside and do all those things :-) Have a lovely week, Love from London x

  6. Visiting from All Thingz Related -- I was given some of these years ago and LOVED them. They are the best kitchen cloths ever. Thanks so much for sharing the pattern. I'm looking forward to making some!

  7. I'm just loving the look of these! I've never actually used one, but I'm going to have to give it a try for sure! I'm happy to be your newest follower of you delightful blog! I'd love to have you as a friend at Frou Frou Decor! Be sure to show off your sweet creations every Friday at my party - Fabulous Friday Finds! Hope to see you there!
    ~Terrell @ Frou Frou Decor~

  8. Hi!
    I found you through "Anything Related". Just had to smile when I saw your dish cloths over there. I can't knit...yet! but I must tell you that I received these dishcloths as a hostess gift 2 years ago and love them! They still look great, wash beautifully and are still being used daily. What other Christmas gift can you say that about??

  9. These are the same ones my grandma made but never showed any of us girls how to do and I could never find the pattern. Thank you so much for writing it down here. Hopefully I can make one for each of the girls in our family as a Christmas surprise. Thank you again.

  10. I learned how to knit in High School Home Ec class. I cannot wait to make these. I tell ya that it seems like I buy dishclothes from the store a million times during the year. I sure hope these homemade ones last for a long time. Thanks for the post. You have inspired me to get my fall/winter crafts prepared to work on while stuck in the house.

  11. That pattern is actually called Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth, and it's posted all over the net :). It's like the granny square, it's been around forever & reshared & reloved each time someone knits it!

  12. This pattern is on the back of the yarn label for kitchen cotton yarn by sugar and cream

    I love these too. I make them without the hole too by replacing the YO with a knit front & back stich and decresing witht the passover stich method.

  13. Very lovely colors. And how nice to be knitting with grandma! Though I've only knitted once in my life. I found the yarn mingled in grey, orange, and yellow in your picture is exactly what I had. What a coincidence. I'm living on the other side of the earth!

  14. seems ordinary enough, but i've received these as gifts and LOVE them! thank you for the tutorial!

  15. Lovely and useful. I was just given one by an older neighbor lady. I'm happy to know how to make more.

  16. Someone mentioned that they add Aunt Lydia's crochet yarn to this pattern, using two balls at one time? Has anyone ever heard of this.

  17. My end result of the washcloth comes out Wonky… any suggestions of what I maight be doing wrong? After I tug at it and work with it for a little bit it’s finally square. I’m just worried it won’t be square when the customer receives it. Thanks

    1. Here's what I do as that happens to me too sometimes. On the decrease half of the cloth, when I have maybe twelve? fifteen? stitches left on the the middle of that row I throw in an extra k2tog. Somehow, that seems to do a little something to that last corner to make it look a little better without affecting anything overall.



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