Let’s talk about dishcloths! We’ll cover everything you need to know about making this fun DIY project including lots of easy knitting patterns!
Be sure to read all the way to the end so you don’t miss a thing.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Why knitters love to make dishcloths
How to knit a simple dishcloth and tutorial
15 FREE dishcloth knitting patterns
What yarns are best for dishcloths
Materials you’ll need
Why Knitters Love to Make Dishcloths
Did you know dishcloths are one of the most popular knitting projects out there.
Portable - Dishcloths are small projects so you can easily stash them in your purse, knitting bag, computer bag or tote.
Easy - If you like knitting with friends, at the movies, watching tv, or listening to a podcast, dishcloths are an excellent choice. Many are easy and very rhythmic patterns allowing you to pay attention to something else while knitting.
Quick - Since most dishcloths are between five and ten inches square, they knit up fast. They’re on and off your needles in a very short time.
Satisfying - Do you love the feeling of ccomplishing something? You’ll have near instant gratification when you knit a dishcloth.
Skill Building - If you a beginner knitter, check out dishcloth pattern #5 below. It includes a tutorial on how to knit a dishcloth. Many of the other projects in this post feature textured yet easy projects. Trying them will allow you to learn new stitches and build your skills.
Stash Busting - Not much yarn is needed to knit a dishcloth so it’s a great way to use up random skeins in your stash.
Great for Gifts - Dishcloths make great gifts! Add a little bar of soap, wrap it up with a pretty ribbon and you’ve got a thoughtful handmade gift that they’ll actually use.
How to Knit a Simple Dishcloth
If you’ve never knitted a dishcloth before and are looking for where to start, download this Traditional Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern by Staci Perry (Very Pink) on Ravelry. It’s a beginner dishcloth project.
Then check out the video below.
Perry created a tutorial on how to knit a dishcloth. It’s a step-by-step video that’s easy to follow. You’ll be able to go at your own pace and replay as needed.
Once you get the hang of knitting a dishcloth, it’s time to try different shapes, textures, and yarns. This post is packed with 15 more projects to inspire you.
15 Easy Dishcloth Free Knitting Patterns
1. Alaina’s Simple Seed Stitch Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern. It’s a seed stitch pattern which alternates knits and purls on each row creating little bumps. The texture is helpful for a dishcloth because it proves an extra bit of scrubbiness to your dishcloth.
This dishcloth is knit from end to end with a garter stitch edging that is worked as you knit.
2. Gramma’s Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern by PJ Allen on Ravelry. This popular diagonal knit dishcloth pattern uses Sugar’n Cream ombre shades which change color as you knit.
3. Diamond Brocade Dishcloth Free Pattern to Knit by Knitting Unlimited. Don’t let the diamond pattern on this project scare you; it’s really just a combination of knit and purl stitches to create the design edged by a garter stitch border to keep the edges from rolling.
4. Reverse Miter Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern by Ari Whitlow on Ravelry. Image by @geneticcrafter. Mitered knitting is much easier than it sounds. All it means is that you are creating a corner in your work. It’s done by increasing with yarn overs at the center of a row. The result, as you can see above, is gorgeous and we love it for ombre and self striping yarns to show off the shaping.
5. Farmhouse Kitchen Knitted Dishcloths free from Just Be Crafty. More knits and purls! This dishcloth uses simple stitches to create ridges throughout simply by switching up the knit and purl rows. The garter stitch edging keeps this project from curling.
6. All Washed Up free knitting pattern by Jill Arnusch on Ravelry. Here’s another textured pattern using more knit and purl stitches. As you can see, this project looks good knitted in either solid or ombre colored yarns.
7. Corner to Corner Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern is a really simple knitting project. It’s a diagonal knit dishcloth pattern worked from in garter stitch.
8. Slant Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern from Knit Picks is what happens when you knit a diagonal dishcloth and switch colors halfway through. The result is a dramatic two-color dishcloth that’s knit on the bias. It’s also a beginner project that’s easy to make.
9. Dippity Doo Dah Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern is possibly the easiest project on this list. Cast on knit every row and then bind off. Done! What makes this dishcloth unique is the color change for 1/4 of the project. This is a DIY project anyone can knit.
10. Kitty Prints Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern. Meow! Knit some friendly feline paw prints into your dishcloth. This project has garter stitch edging to keep it from curling. The rest of the pattern is worked in stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl one row) with the paw prints being created when you reverse the stitches for the prints.
11. Eleanor Sheep Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern from Down Cloverlaine. Create a picture using just knit and purl stitches. This dishcloth has a seed stitch border. The sheep is made in stockinette stitch and reverse stockinette in the center.
12. Reversible Textured Dishcloth free pattern to knit by Sammie Carraher on Ravelry. If you want to make a dishcloth that looks good on both sides, try this textured pattern. It’s still and easy knit and uses just knits and purls.
13. Any Size Any Yarn Garter Square Dishcloth free pattern to knit by Holly Terrell on Ravelry. Many dishcloths are knitted using worsted weight yarn. This pattern allows you to make one using any yarn you have at home (great for stash busting!) and make it larger or smaller than the standard size dishcloth.
14. Easy Nine Patch Dishcloth Free Knitting Pattern by Vicki Mikulak on Ravelry. Basket weave is my MOST FAVORITE stitch pattern to make so I had to include this one in the list. It has a garter stitch border and uses a combination of stockinette and reverse stockinette to create the nine patches. It’s a fast and fun project.
15. Whale of a Cloth Free Knitting Pattern by Down Cloverlaine. Such a cute pattern, you could use this as a children’s washcloth instead of a dishcloth. It’s created with a garter stitch border and the whale is worked using a combination of knits and purls.
What kind of yarn is best for dishcloths?
When it comes to knitting dishcloths, think natural plant yarns such as COTTON, LINEN, and HEMP. They are absorbent, durable, and easy to wash and reuse.
One of the most popular yarns for dishcloths is Lily Sugar’n Cream Cotton. It’s available in many solid and variegated shades. I’ve used it for many dishcloths and it holds up great. If you want to check it out, here’s a link to a combination (ombres and solids) pack on Amazon.
If you are looking for more muted shades, check out these soft cotton shades from MindfulKnits. The colors are meant for mindfulness and relaxation, perfect if you plan on using these for washcloths instead of dishcloths.
What Knitting Materials Do You Need?
You don’t need many materials to knit a washcloth. In fact, you probably have many of these tools already in your home.
If you’ve downloaded one of the free patterns above, check the pattern for yarn and needle size.
Yarn (usually worsted weight #4, check the pattern for yarn weight and yardage required)
Straight knitting needles (usually size US 4-7, check the pattern or yarn label for recommended size)
Darning needle to weave in yarn ends
Ruler or measuring tape
What is your favorite thing about making dishcloths? Let me know in the comments below!