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While I prefer to let dishes air dry, sometimes I still need to dry them by hand.

The other day, as I used a dish towel, it left the water untouched.

Next I tried a second, then a third.

All of them refused to wipe the dishes dry.

The best drying towel seemed to be one that’s probably at least 15 years old. Unfortunately, it also has a large hole in its center. :?

Have you noticed most if not all the dish towels lately in the stores are manufactured outside the USA?

The ones I’ve had the most problems with are new. Perhaps it’s the yarn, the dyes, or even the manufacturing process?

After exhausting the available dish towels, I reached for a knitted cotton dishcloth. Surprisingly, it did a nice job of drying the dishes. Perhaps a bit small, but the pattern could be easily enlarged.

Have you noticed there aren’t many knitting patterns for dish towels?

Oh, it’s easy to find dishcloth knitting instructions online.

Knitting Pattern Central has 277 dishcloth patterns, and 1 dish towel pattern. Even Ravelry lists 46 patterns for dish towels, but it appears only 25 or so are actually towels. And they have over 3000 patterns for knitted dishcloths listed!

Some are for dishcloths, just mislabeled as dish towels!

Why? Three possible reasons for the scarcity of dish towel knitting instructions:

  • Maybe they’re less popular because they’re a larger project?
  • Maybe many folks don’t hand dry many dishes any more?
  • Maybe designers just assume knitters enlarge dishcloth patterns themselves to make dish towels?

Making a dishcloth larger makes sense. An all-over pattern is easy to enlarge by simply adding more stitches — by keeping to the pattern repeat — and by adding rows to make a rectangle rather than a square.

You can see the dishcloth I enlarged by adding additional “bricks” to make a dish towel:

Dish towel made from ballband dishcloth knitting instructions

Dish towel made from ballband dishcloth knitting instructions

I found the ballband dishcloth knitting pattern inside the label of the Peaches & Creme blue denim cotton yarn.  Peaches & Creme cotton yarn is made in the USA from American materials.

When you want to hang the dish towel on a handle in the kitchen, you may want to customize the top, making it easy to hang or tie on the handle.

Of course, if you’re adventurous and don’t mind ripping and re-knitting if needed, you could try to make a top without knitting instructions.

Dish towel hanger top made without knitting instructions

Dish towel hanger top made without knitting instructions

You may find knitting dish towels with and without hanging tops easier — and faster — than you think! ;-)

When you’re looking for more specific instructions for a dishcloth and towel, check out my Garter Ripple Kitchen Set pattern.  It’s a knitted dishcloth pattern, using a simple lace stitch.

Garter ripple kitchen set

Garter ripple kitchen set

It’s available through Ravelry.  Here’s the link to buy now.

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