Homemade Dishcloths — A Guest Post by: Sheila


We’ve been pretty bad here at Fun Things To Do While You’re Waiting this summer about keeping up with playlists and guest posters. Summertime is just busy… for everyone… and no one likes to be shaken down for a guest post- or, do the shaking for that matter! So, I am eternally grateful for Sheila Ralston who so graciously and consistently provides us with quality posts that are so pertinent to our interests. I have a ton of leftover yarn from finished projects and never know what to do with them. I’m also trying to do more with what I have instead of buying new AND trying to do better re: the environment… that is why today’s guest post is a grand slam. Sheila gives us not one… not two… not three… NOT EVEN FOUR, but FIVE awesome patterns to knit your own dishcloths. I love that you can totally just toss them in the wash when you are done and save on sponges which breed germs. These are some great patterns- especially for a beginner as they are quick and teach techniques. Plus, they are all knobbly which is great for busting grime! Another win for Sheila!

Knitted dishcloths are popular projects among knitter and crocheters, and deservedly so. Their reusability make them a practical and eco-friendly alternative to sponges and plastic dish scrubbers. Rather than discarding them when they become smelly and germy, you can throw them in the wash with your other cotton towels, boil them, or soak them in color-fast bleach.

Also, since dishcloths are basically oversized swatches, knitting them is a great way to try out new techniques. Of the nearly 3,000 free knitted dishcloth patterns to be found on Ravelry, there are patterns that allow you to sample cables, lace, intarsia colorwork, texture patterns, entrelac, knitting in the round with double-pointed needles, charted patterns, you name it. Crocheters may find 900+ free dishcloth patterns made with all kinds of techniques as well. (Note: You  have to be signed in to Ravelry to see the links above. But Ravelry accounts are totally free, too, so that problem solves itself!)

Finally, since they are such small projects, they make great hurry-up gifts. Over a weekend you can make a set in colors that complement the recipient’s kitchen. Thoughtful and handmade!

Here are a few simple knitted dishcloth patterns to try. (Note: My kitchen does not have the colors shown in these washcloths, but I kind of wish it did, so viola.) Threedishcloths


All patterns:
Needle size: US6/4.25 mm, or size needed to achieve gauge
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream Cotton, or equivalent craft-quality worsted weight cotton (such as Bernat Handicrafter, Knit Picks Dishie, etc.).
Gauge: 18 st per 4 inches/10 cm over stockinette stitch

Seed Spot Dishcloth
Seed Spot Dish Cloth65 yards of worsted-weight craft cotton yarn
8″ x 8″ (20 cm x 20 cm)

Cast on 35 stitches
Knit 6 rows.
Next row: K3 *p1, k1, repeat from * to last two stitches, k2.
Repeat this row until piece measures 7.25 inches/18.5 cm from cast-on.
Knit 6 rows.
Bind off, weave in ends.

Garter Rib Dishcloth
garterribdishcloth50 yards worsted-weight craft cotton yarn
7.5″ x 7.5″ (19 cm x 19 cm)

Cast on 33 stitches
Rows 1-5: Knit
Row 6 (WS): *K3, p3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k3.
Row 7 (RS): Knit
Repeat rows 6-7 until piece measures 6.5 inches/16.5 cm from cast-on.
Knit 4 rows.
Bind off on wrong side, weave in ends.

Mitred Square Dishcloth
MitredSquaredishcloth35 yards color A, 30 yards color B worsted-weight craft cotton yarn
7.25″ x 7.25″ (18.5 cm x 18.5 cm)

With color A, cast on 64 stitches.
Knit 30 stitches, k2tog, place marker, ssk, knit 30 stitches.
Knit 1 row plain, slipping market as you encounter it.

Without breaking off color A, join color B.
Row 1: Knit to 2 stitches before marker, k2tog, sm, ssk, knit to end
Row 2: Knit 1 row plain, slipping the marker as you encounter it
Rows 3-4: Drop color B, and work rows 1-2 with color A.

(Note: The two colors will be carried up the side of the work. Always pick up new yarn from under the old yarn; this will result in an attractive twisted color pattern up the side of the work.)

twisted edgeRepeat these four rows until 6 stitches remain. With color B, k1, k2tog, sm, ssk, k1.
Bind off on wrong side, weave in ends.

Lafrowda Dishcloth
LaFrowdaDishcloth40 yards color A, 26 yards color B worsed-weight craft cotton yarn
8” x 8” (20 cm x 20 cm)

This pattern is adapted from a counterpane/afghan motif called Lafrowda Sqare from Motifs, Borders and Trims in Classic Knitted Cotton by Furze Hewitt and Billie Daley . It is worked in the round, from the outside in.

You will need a 16 inch circular needle size 6, a set of 5 double-pointed needles in size 6, and 4 stitch markers.

In color A, cast on 104 with circular needle & join, being careful not to twist.

Purl 2 rounds. Place markers every 26 stitches on first round, using a different colored marker to denote the beginning of the round.

Next round:
Round 4: With color B, *k1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1, sm, repeat from * three more times.
Round 5: Knit
Round 6: Repeat round 4
Round 7: With color A, knit.
Round 8-9: Purl.

Repeat rounds 4-9 until you have completed the last purl band over 24 stitches (6 stitches per side). (Note: Pick new yarn up from underneath old yarn as shown in illustration for Mitred Square Dishcloth).

Bind off in purl; sew cast-off edge to make floral motif, by joining middles of sides together in the center. Weave in ends.

Stashbuster Stripe Dishcloth
StashDishclothAbout 50 yards of worsted-weight craft cotton scraps, in various colors.
8.25” x 8.25” (21 cm x 21 cm)

This is a good way to use up odds and ends leftover from other dishcloth patterns. It is worked in the round from the center out.

You will need a 16 inch circular needle size 6, a set of 5 double-pointed needles in size 6, and 4 stitch markers (optional).

With any color, cast on 12 stitches, and distribute evenly on four double-pointed needles.

Round 1: *K1, yo, k1, yo, k, repeat from * 3 times, once on each needle.
Round 2: Knit.
Round 3: *K1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1, repeat from * 3 times, once on each needle.
Round 4: Knit.

Repeat rounds 3-4, changing colors as needed, preferably always at the beginning of the round, and changing to circular needles when able (placing stitch markers at beginning of each side), until piece measures about 6.25 inches (16 cm) across.

Work garter stitch border:
If starting a new color for border, work one round in knit for smooth color transition.
Next round: Purl
Next round: Knit
Next round: Purl
Next round: Knit

Bind off in purl.

Thread yarn through center hole stitches and pull closed. Weave in ends.


Sheila Ralston


  1. thanks for the tips. I have always had trouble knitting and this tips helped me so much. in the last week I was able to make 5 cloths and they turned out amazing. this article was so helpful. thanks again.v

  2. I love these dishcloths! I am a newbie to knitting so my question is how many stitches would I need to cast on for a 8”x8” square in the garter rib design that I would knit for a charity? They ask for that dimension as they seam together 8”x8” squares to makes blankets for underprivileged children. Maybe I could change the needle size instead,I just don’t know what to do? Thank you!

    • Dear Patricia, I’m so glad you like the pattern! How the sizing work depends on the gauge you get with your yarn. The pattern repeat is six stitches, so you may easily enlarge the pattern by just increasing the number of stitches you cast on by multiples of 6. You may need to experiment a bit with either the number of cast-on stitches or the size of your neeedles to get the correct size. Good luck, and thanks for knitting for your community!

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