The author is a homemaker and retired medical transcriptionist. She holds a Masters degree in English and loves to write.
I love to knit dishcloths and that is the only needlework I do at the moment. Knitting dishcloths is sublimely rewarding since you know that your own fingers have touched and run through every inch of the yarn. So, when you handle your dishcloth, it's like hugging yourself.
This article includes a pattern for knitting a striped dishcloth. Despite the fact that I've finished many more complex and elaborate patterns, my all-time favorite pattern is also the easiest. This particular pattern uses a simple garter stitch throughout, so you'll be able to complete the project quickly.
In This Article
- Supplies You'll Need
- Easy Cotton Dishcloth Pattern
- How to Knit on the Diagonal (Using an Increase Method)
- How to Care for Your Knitted Dishcloth
- My Knitting Journey
Supplies You'll Need
The supplies you need are:
- A set of size 8 knitting needles. Bamboo needles are my go-to knitting needles. They're silky smooth, light, and have a pleasing give to them. At first, I was afraid that the bamboo needles' wood tips would get dull over time; however, this is not the case. The tips stay sharp and glide through the stitches with ease.
- 1 skein of Lily Sugar n’ Cream white cotton yarn. If you plan on knitting several dishcloths, I recommend purchasing a cone of the Lily white instead of a skein. It is much more economical.
- 1 skein of Lily Sugar n’ Cream contrasting color cotton yarn. It's fun to select the color of yarn to be used. My favorite color is plain white since the end product turns out to be so bright, crisp, and cheery. I can also bleach white dishcloths. The smell of a freshly bleached cotton dishcloth is heavenly to me. However, I also love a variety of hues, including robin's egg blue, lavender, cornflower blue, and country yellow.
- A darning needle.
- A pair of scissors.
Easy Diagonal Dishcloth Pattern
With the contrasting color, cast on 4 stitches.
1st row: Knit across with contrasting color.
2nd row: Knit 1 with contrasting color. Increase 1 stitch in next stitch. Knit to end of row.
You will have 5 stitches on your needle.
3rd row: Knit 1 with white. Increase 1 stitch in next stitch. Knit to end of row.
4th row: Knit 1 with white. Increase 1 stitch in next stitch. Knit to end of row.
5th row: Knit 1 with contrasting color. Increase 1 stitch in next stitch. Knit to end of row.
6th row: Knit 1 with contrasting color. Increase 1 stitch in next stitch. Knit to end of row.
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Repeat rows 3 through 6 until you have 12 colored stripes and 57 stitches.
Next rows: With white knit 2, knit 2 together. Knit to end of row. Repeat this row until you have 4 stitches on your needle. Cast off. Work in your tails with the darning needle.
How to Knit on the Diagonal (Using an Increase Method)
Because this dishcloth is knit on the diagonal, there are many increases and decreases—in fact, each row begins with either one increase or one decrease. I increase using a method that doesn't leave holes in the dishcloth.
- Knit your stitch as usual, but leave the stitch you just went into on the nonworking needle. Do not take it off.
- Make your increase by knitting into the BACK of the stitch, from the top down, in the same stitch you just worked.
- Pull your yarn through, and your working needle will now have one new stitch.
- Remove the stitch from the needle that isn't in use.
This little trick is easy, and I'm sure you'll figure it out.
How to Care for Your Knitted Dishcloth
- You may want to block your cloths before you wash them, to help keep them square, but it isn’t required.
- Lily Sugar n’ Cream cotton yarns are colorfast, so you may throw all of your creations into the washer and dryer, as hot as you like, and they won't bleed.
- You'll notice that your dishcloths have shrunk when you pull them out of the dryer. They'll be nice, thick, and dense, as well as extra soft and fluffy. They will go back to their original size when you use them in the kitchen and they get wet.
My Knitting Journey
When staying at our cottage on Frenchman Bay in Maine, we often spend our evenings relaxing in front the television set. My husband has always been a Star Trek enthusiast, and he can find one or two episodes of the franchise to watch practically every night on cable TV. Whether it's an original Star Trek with Captain Kirk, the Next Generation with Jean Luc Picard, or Deep Space Nine with Captain Sisko, any flavor will suffice. I enjoy knitting, so when Star Trek comes on I pick up my knitting needles and multitask, making a slew of cotton dishcloths while paying a little bit of attention to Star Trek at the same time. Just as my husband has seen hundreds (probably thousands) of repeat episodes of Star Trek, I have knitted hundreds of cotton dishcloths. Those dishcloths bear witness to how many Star Trek episodes my spouse has seen.
I’ve enjoyed knitting and crocheting since I was ten years old. On one summer day at her lake cottage in Mecosta, Michigan, my aunt Nina taught me how to crochet for the first time. I became so obsessed with crocheting that I set a goal for myself that year to crochet scarves for every member of my family as Christmas gifts.
I learned to knit in 4-H Club. Keeping a loose tension was the most difficult thing for me to master at the time. Because I wrapped and pulled the yarn so tightly around my needles, I had to force my needle tip into each and every stitch for each new row I knitted, which did not go so well. It took weeks for me to figure out what I was doing wrong and to loosen up my tension. It had been my immature belief that “tight” was “good,” but I was wrong.
I gradually progressed from potholders to scarves, hats, mittens, and sweaters, with my first sweater depicting a tiger's head on the front. In this digital age, each stitch of my tiger's head may be thought of as a single pixel, similar to the yellow, red, and blue pixels that sweep over our television screens, row by row, pixel by pixel, to create the images we see. An image knitted into a sweater takes place the same way, except in slow motion.
To make a knitted picture, you run your colored yarns behind your rows and pick up and knit the proper colored stitch, or "pixel," so to speak, in proper sequence. I suppose it is more correct to say that TV screens mimic knitting as a digital process, instead of the other way around, since knitting existed first.
My tiger sweater is still with me; however, it is made of wool and the moths ultimately found it and put a big hole in it—but I think I can easily fix it.