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I’m a fan of hand knit dishcloths. Every time I use one, I’m amazed at how long they last.  And how much better they are at scrubbing than manufactured dishcloths.

Although they can be fancy with embossed-looking images, they don’t have to be.  A knitted dishcloth pattern can be as simple as garter stitch. I just finished knitting one in about three hours.

Grandma's Favorite Knitted Dishcloth

Grandma's Favorite Knitted Dishcloth

I used a dishcloth pattern that’s been around for years. It’s called Grandma’s or Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth.

Its name suits. It’s a quick and easy knit. All you need to know is how to: cast on, knit, yarn over, decrease, and cast off.  That’s it.

It can be customized if you get tired of the basic knitting pattern, as explained later in this post.

Grandma’s Favorite Dishcloth

Materials: Approximately 1 ounce of cotton worsted weight yarn and 1 pair of knitting needles in appropriate size.

So what’s an appropriate needle size? Whatever size you want to make the knitting as tight or as loose as you want. I knit loosely, and usually use size 5 or 6 needles. Many knitters use size 8.

Instructions:

Row 1: Cast on 4 stitches.

Row 2: Knit 2 stitches, yarn over, knit to end of row.  Turn.

Repeat Row 2 until you have 44 stitches on your needle.

Next Row (Decrease Row): Knit 1 stitch, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to end of row. Turn.

Repeat this row until you have 4 stitches left. Cast off.  Break yarn, and pull it through last stitch to knot. Weave in yarn ends.

Knitter’s Tip: If the dishcloth doesn’t look quite square, try gently pulling it into shape. It’s not unusual for the first and second halves to look different when the dishcloth first comes off the needles.

So what are some easy variations?

  • Crocheting a Hanging Loop
    You can add a look by not breaking yarn when you get to the last stitch. Using a crochet hook, chain 8, attaching the chain to the last stitch or corner or next to the last stitch. Break yarn and weave in ends as above.
  • Adding a Slipped Stitch Edging
    You can make a lovely slipped stitch edging by slipping the first stitch of each row as if to purl.  My video gives you the slipped stitch edging knitting instructions.
  • Knitting in Reverse Garter Stitch
    If you want practice purling or just like to purl more than knit, you can knit the entire dishcloth in reverse garter stitch instead of garter stitch.

    To knit Grandma’s Favorite Dishcloth, the basic instructions become:
    Row 1: Cast on 4 stitches.
    Row 2: Purl 2 stitches, yarn over, purl to end of row.  Turn.
    Repeat Row 2 until you have 44 stitches on your needle.
    Next Row (Decrease Row): Purl 1 stitch, purl 2 together, yarn over, purl 2 together, purl to end of row. Turn.
    Repeat this row until you have 4 stitches left. Cast off.  Break yarn, and pull it through last stitch to knot. Weave in yarn ends.
    This post gives you more detailed reverse garter knitting instructions.

  • Changing the size
    Want a larger or smaller dishcloth? Then increase to 46 or 42—or whatever sizes you want—before decreasing.
    You can even make square dishtowel by enlarging the pattern. You may however need more than one ball of yarn.
    Knitters tip: Hand knit dishtowels seem to absorb water better than store-bought ones.
  • Using your imagination to customize—
    If you want to knit in colors, you can knit stripes. You may either find you have a lot of ends to weave in, or if you carry the yarn from row to row you may want to crochet a border of single crochet or knit an I-cord border to cover the yarn loops.
    If you change colors after either 2 or 4 rows the yarn carried will be short lengths. You can also make wider stripes of more rows, breaking the yarn between stripes.

So now you have the basic instructions and five easy variations.

Another variation of the garter stitch is my Garter Ripple Kitchen Set, based on an easy lace knitting stitch called “Feather and Fan.”

Garter ripple kitchen set

Garter ripple kitchen set

It’s a great way to brighten up your kitchen or to practice lace knitting on a small project.  Buy now!

Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s,

Ina

The Knitting Yarn

Disclosure:

I may have a marketing connection to a brand, topic or product listed on the website. Through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made.

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