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I have designed three dishcloth patterns that only require knit and purl stitches, and they are available here for free! They are easy and fast to knit, and they have plenty of structure that make them excellent for cleaning the kitchen counter. They are also super pretty. I have carefully chosen patterns that are ideal for learning how to read your knitting – that is, to recognize a purl stitch from a knit stitch.
All you need to know…
All you need to know before you get started on these dishcloths is how to cast on, how to make the knit stitch, and how to make the purl stitch. The rest you can learn here, including how to read the patterns and how to switch between a knit stitch and a purl stitch in the same row. If you already know how to read a basic pattern, tink to undo a mistake, bind off, and weave in the ends – go ahead and download the pattern. If not, keep reading.
Materials and equipment
You should always use 100% cotton yarn for dishcloths. I recommend Lily Sugar ‘n Cream or a similar sturdy, worsted weight cotton yarn. It is easiest to knit with a light color, because you can see the anatomy of the individual stitches. I used 4.00 mm needles (US size 6), but you can use 4.5 or even 5.0 mm if that’s what you have. Personally, I prefer knitting with metal needles when I knit with cotton yarn, but you can use whatever you have. Getting gauge (the same number of stitches and rows per inch as required by the pattern) is not so important for something like a dishcloth.
You will also need scissors and a darning needle for weaving in the ends. I strongly recommend using stitch markers to make it easier to count your stitches and keep track of where you are in the pattern. If you use ring stitch markers (e.g. ChiaoGoo stitch markers) choose the smallest size that fits on the needle. Alternatively, hanging stitch markers are really nice (e.g. Pretty Warm Designs), or you can use a little loop of scrap yarn in a contrasting color.
Guide for the new knitter
If this is one of your first projects, perhaps even your very first, then I will guide you through the process. Follow the links below, and I will teach you
- how to read a knitting pattern
- how to alternate between knit and purl stitches
- how to read your knitting
- how to use stitch markers
- how to tink – undo knitting stitch by stitch to fix mistakes
- how to finish a knitting project
Go ahead and take a look at the patterns. I recommend starting with the dishcloth with the diagonal pattern. This is the perfect pattern to learn to recognize both purl and knit stitches, because there’s only five stitches per row that stand out. After completing only a few rows, you will no longer need to stare at the written pattern and count your rows. Instead you will read your knitting, recognize where you are in the pattern, and know exactly what to do next.
How did you do?
It brings me great joy when my writings are of use to you, and this is my first pattern I have shared with others. Please let me know in the comments how you like the dishcloths, and if the instructions and guides need updating, are sufficient or whatever you think. If you have an Instagram account, I would love to see photos of your dishcloths. Tag me with @knitwithhenni and I will get notified.