Free patterns for knitted dishcloths
I have designed a new knitted dishcloth set – they only require knit and purl stitches and are perfect whether you are a beginner or a more experienced knitter looking for a quick stash-busting project. And the knitting patterns are free! Scroll down to go straight to the patterns.
Learn to keep track of your rows in a knitting pattern
If you have followed Knit with Henni for a while you may have already knitted one or more of my Three Easy Knitted Dishcloths. Those three were specifically designed to teach new knitters how to recognize a knit stitch from a purl stitch. That skill will come in handy for the new dishies as well, but the two new patterns, the Diamond Brocade Dishcloth and the Sugarcube Dishcloth, will also require some row counting. Knowing how to keep track of what row you are knitting in a pattern is an essential skill for all knitters. If you are new to knitting patterns and row counting, these patterns are perfect for you! Take a look at my Ultimate Guide to Row Counting for Knitting to learn the different approaches to keeping track of knitted rows and to count your rows when you inevitably lose track anyway…
Both the Diamond Brocade and the Sugarcube Dishcloths have a seed stitch border that stabilizes the cloths, preventing the fabric from curling. Within the border, the pattern is a repeat of 8 rows, and each row has a unique repeating pattern of knit and purl stitches. You can keep track of the rows with pen and paper, a row counter or a chain row counter, and I suggest placing stitch markers to separate the border stitches (first and last 4 stitches) from the pattern within the border.
The right yarn for dishcloths
You need a dishcloth to be durable, absorbent, and machine-washable at high temperatures. That is why there is only really one good choice for the type of yarn: You will want to use 100 % cotton yarn! I prefer to make dishcloths from medium 4 worsted weight. That is the US term. for my UK readers that is Aran weight, for my Aussies that’s 10 ply, and for my Danish readers it’s pind 4-5. I like the relatively heavy weight yarn for this purpose because it’s more durable and you will have cloths with the perfect thickness. Depending on the exact yarn you choose and your personal preferences, you will need knitting needles US size 6-8 (4-5 mm).
When I lived in the US my go-to dishcloth yarn was always Lily Sugar ‘n Cream. Affordable, all-American cotton, available in oh-so-many pretty colors. The label says it’s machine-washable at warm temperatures, but I have washed mine at hot (bacteria-killing) temperatures, and they survive just fine. The color will of course fade slightly, but it’s only a dishcloth. They can go in the dryer as well. A comparable choice is Peaches & Creme which is also sold at Walmart. There’s also Knit Picks Dishie, although it’s a little more expensive. I haven’t tried it myself.
You can also buy Lily Sugar ‘n Cream in the UK, but otherwise, I suggest DROPS Paris for my European readers. It’s sturdy, yet soft, affordable and there’s a big selection of colors. For the sample dishcloths for the patterns, I used Stina 8/8 from Svarta Fåret which is a Swedish brand. I love the two colors I chose, and the yarn quality is great.
Knitting needles and gauge
When you knit something like a dishcloth, it is not so important exactly what size it is, and therefore your tension is not that important either. You should knit with whatever knitting needles you have in the appropriate size-range for worsted weight yarn: US sizes 6-8 (4.0-5.0 mm).
My tension was 21.5 stitches in 4 inches (10 cm) on US size 6 needles, and the finished cloths are about 7.5×7.5 inches (19×19 cm) after blocking.
Generally, my advice would be to pick whatever needle size is suggested on the label of your chosen yarn, or perhaps one size smaller, if you like me prefer a tight knit dishcloth. Any needle material will do, but you may find it easier to knit on metal needles, rather than bamboo because cotton yarn has a lot of drag.
The Knitting Patterns
Buy the PDF pattern for the Diamond Brocade Dishcloth
If you are interested in a ready-to-print PDF pattern for the Diamond Brocade Dishcloth, or if you would simply like to support Knit with Henni, you can purchase the pattern for $2 in my Ravelry Store.
Buy the PDF pattern for the Sugarcube Dishcloth
If you are interested in a ready-to-print PDF pattern for the Sugarcube Dishcloth, or if you would simply like to support Knit with Henni, you can purchase the pattern for $2 in my Ravelry Store.
If you have any questions about the patterns, please don’t hesitate to ask! Put your question in the comments below. If you are wondering about something, you can be sure that you are not alone, and I will be happy to help.
You will find some general help on how to read a basic knitting pattern here.
Bind off in pattern
When you have a border in seed stitch (alternating knit and purl stitches) like you do here, I think it looks nice to bind off in pattern. For seed stitch that is really simple. You bind off the standard way, except instead of knitting every stitch you work each stitch as if you were still doing the seed stitch. So, it goes like this:
k1, * p1, BO1, k1 BO1; repeat from * to end