how to knit a dishcloth

I like to call these Grannie washcloths.  Kinda like Grannie’s Fudge but without the chocolate.  They are so darn cute and useful and easy to make.  I’ve made 4 this week already and this is the perfect little project in which to learn to knit.  They make THE perfect little handmade gift and you’ll love the texture of them as dishcloths or as facial cloths.  I’ve been knitting them for years and giving them as gifts with bars of soap or with a little kitchen basket of goodies.  It’s the perfect gift for guests, or friends, or your favorite relatives.  If you’ve never knit before, these videos and instructions will walk you through every step.  If you’re an expert knitter, consider making a couple and sending them to me so I can take them on my trip with Compassion to Nicaragua in June.  I think these will be the perfect little gifts to take  for the girls that we meet there.  For the older girls, I’ll include a bar of handmade soap and for the little girls, these will make perfect little baby blankets for tiny baby dolls.  Also, the time spent knitting these is the perfect chance to pray over the kids that we’ll be visiting.

If you’ve never knit before, let me just sing the praises of this long lost art. It’s so relaxing!  And yet, you are doing something productive with your hands.  My mother in law was kind and patient enough to teach the girls and me how to knit several years ago and I am so thankful.  We like to knit while we listen to books on tape. (Homeschooling at its finest!) When we lost our house to fire, I mourned the loss of the sweater I had been knitting for Caiti as she prepared to leave home.  Knitting that sweater was like therapy to me and gave me plenty of time to ponder the joys and heartache of motherhood. Do yourself a favor and learn to knit!  This project is easy enough that once you get the hang of it, you really don’t have to think.  You can carry it with you every you go and knit while you wait for kids at their various activities.  I like to knit at night before bed or when Stevie and I are watching American Pickers.

So,  knit with me, why don’t ya!!  I think you’ll  love it.


Size 8, 9, or 10 knitting needles (I prefer bamboo)
Clover Takumi 13-Inch Single point, Size 9

Cotton yarn (Usually called Sugar and Cream and it comes in a variety of colors)
Lily Sugar’n Cream Yarn, Potpourri


Here are the official knitting instructions.  If this all looks like greek to you, never fear.  I’ve made a video of each step to make it easy to learn and follow along.  The video took 47 years to upload so even if you don’t want to learn to knit, watch the video and laugh at my Southern twang, so at least I’ll feel like those years of my life weren’t wasted!

Cast on 4 sts.

Row 1: Knit one row.

Row 2: K2, YO, knit to the end of the row.

Repeat row 2 until there are 44 sts

Next row: K1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, knit to the end of the row.

Continue decreasing until 4 sts left. Cast off.


K1—knit one stitch

K2tog—knit two together

YO—yarn over



Do you knit or crochet or stitch? I was visiting a friend who had a handmade crocheted dishcloth and now I’m obsessed with trying that, too.

Tell me all about your handicrafts!  Maybe someday I’ll even learn tatting, although it looks pretty tough to me!

how to knit a dishcloth

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183 comments on “How to Knit a Dishcloth::{for the beginner}”

  1. I love knitting these dishcloths ~ I haven’t made any in a few years. Loved your video!! I would love to send some for your Compassion trip. What date would you want them by? Thanks!

  2. That’s such a great idea, Edie. I’m not a knitter, but I sure would love to learn. Thanks for sharing it. I’m sure it will be such a blessing to those girls.

  3. As in all things, you posted this in God’s good timing….just THIS MORNING I looked at my knitted dishcloths and thought, “wow, it’s time to knit some new ones”. But then my next thought was, “do I even remember HOW?!” 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!!!

  4. Love this, Edie! This exact pattern was my grandmother’s favorite, and I’ve recently taken up knitting again in honor of her. My grandfather used to tease her for falling asleep while they watched TV and knitting with her eyes closed. Her hands were never idle! As I struggled recently with a round of writer’s block (writer’s doubt!), I was reminded of that story of her falling asleep knitting and how she’d startle awake, unravel the row she did wrong in her sleep, and begin knitting again. Not everything that unravels is ruined, and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. A good reminder for all our creative endeavors in life!

  5. I’ve never learned to knit, though I would love to someday. For some reason it just looks so complicated to me. I do crochet though, and make all my own dishcloths and also give them for wedding showers and other gifts. It really is the perfect project to carry around. My crocheting goes everywhere with me.

  6. I can knit in a pinch, but I’m really more of a crocheter. And tatting isn’t so bad if you already know how to crochet. I have crocheted since I was a teenager, learned how from books, and then when I played the old lady in Agatha Christie’s play The Ten Little Indians,(who dies onstage while knitting) I decided to learn to knit for real for the play.

    I just really always felt crocheting was easier for some reason, and it goes so fast. I take a project with me on long car trips, as I can talk to my husband and kids while working on a project. I agree, this sort of work is so relaxing!

  7. LOVED hearing the birds singing in the back ground! I have been trying to knit, off and on, for about 20 years. This is the closest I have come to understanding to date. And I thank you, from my whole heart! And I don’t really hear a twang. Of course, I live in the Western NC Mountains. 🙂

  8. I have a girlfriend whose Aunt Mamie could knit and crochet. However, her tatting was SOMETHING ELSE!!!! Christy has a bedspread that Aunt Mamie tatted. Oh My Stars, how she ever did ALL that I will never know. And her work was perfect- I have begged Christy for that bedspread for years- It used to stay in her closet. When I visit, I always use it. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The weight of it so HEAVY from all that thread I suppose. It is wonderful. Christy has finally started using it 🙂
    This past Christmas, Christy made me a gorgeous red velvet Christmas stocking with white fur & white eyelash fringe, my name is handbeaded & there are several of Aunt Mamies tatted appliques- they look like small snowflakes or flowers of sorts-they are attached with pearl and gold buttons onto it. You should see it! And she had thrifted the most gorgeous red velvet dress that she had applied a tatted collar that Aunt Mamie had created onto this dress. I am completely in love with tatting!!!
    Those dish/bath cloths are perfect. That yarn looks so soft- pretty color too-
    I’d love some of those. A sewing person I’m not-
    My congratulations to all of you who do-Loved your video- Thanks for sharing-
    I’m from Georgia, living in Louisiana. Always love hearing you talk 🙂 Nothing like a Southern accent 🙂
    Lafayette, Louisiana

  9. i can knit but am much more used to crocheting. I would love to learn how tatting someday. The work is so beautiful. I would love to make these for you to take to Nicaragua with you. I watched every second of your video so you haven’t wasted those years uploading it. I know this may sound crazy but your hands look so young. I have beat mine up over the years with the crazy projects I take on, gloves are always a second thought. I am usually well into a project before I even remember them. Do you use anything special on your skin? Mine need some help!

  10. I have NEVER even considered knitting… until now! Seemed way too daunting for someone with no knitting background… thanks Edie!! : )

  11. Eddie, thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to record a video (and upload it!) of this project. My dear aunt used to make these for me. When she passed away, I said to my Mom, “I’m sure Aunt Lois is sitting up in Heaven knitting my dishclothes…but it’s sure not helping me here on earth!”… So, my mom started to knit them for me and would tuck a few in my Christmas gift each year. I cried the day Mom picked up her half-knitted dishcloth and couldn’t figure out what to do with it (she has dementia now)… I realized I was going to need to be a big girl and learn this myself. So, thanks for helping me get started!

  12. I love to knit and to crochet, and I would gladly knit you up some dishcloths, but I think the cost of postage, and the distinct lack of cotton here in the uk would sadly make it too costly for me at the moment.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your upcoming trip, sounds like it could be incredible. Are you taking your family?

    Much love xx

  13. I knit and crochet. I love knitting these washcloths, I just learned how last year. My grandmother knitted for 60 years and I learned how to make these in time to give her a set before she passed this year. I was excited to show her something other than a scarf! At the moment I am doing a lot of work on the Quick Loom as I like the texture it produces. Last night I started working on a prayer shawl for myself in the hope of combining two passions and making me better at just sitting down and spending time in prayer. Working with my fingers while praying helps my mind not to wander. I’ve never done one before and it’s an adventure!

  14. Yea! I just finished my wash cloth. I think I’ll give it to my sister who’s hosting our Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday.
    You’re an excellent teacher. This was my second attempt at knitting ever, crochet has always been my thing. My first attempt at knitting (three years ago!) was a scarf that turned out uneven and way too short ’cause the store stopped selling that particular yarn before I could finish my project. Now it’s a cute little wash cloth. 🙂

    • SWEET, Celeste!! I’m so happy! And the perfect gift for your sissy. I’m glad to know the video was helpful b/c when my sister watched it, she looked slightly confused. It all seems so easy once you know what you’re doing but it’s hard to imagine starting from square one. My mother-in-law was so patient with me when she taught me to knit. It really does help to have someone sit with you and teach you step by step. So glad it turned out well and just in time for Mother’s Day!!

  15. it’s on my 40 before 40.
    i have until june 22nd.
    help me Lord.

    if you end up being the one that “teaches” me to knit through a video, i think i’ll have to drive to bean station and hug your neck and sit on your porch and drink something from your bar and eat some of your lip-smackin’ good food.
    the end.
    wish me luck.

    • Ms. Tara,
      RUN, don’t walk to Hobby Lobby and get your supplies. You HAVE to do this. Am I being bossy enough? And you most certainly must bring your knitting to the coffee porch and join me for an afternoon (or a few days) of lovely knitting fellowship.
      Okay, make it happen, sister.

  16. A girlfriend and I WANT to learn how to knit, maybe this is a great place to start. Thank you! : )

    Am I allowed to break my commenting silence lately bu saying I love this new font you’ve got goin’ on?? Super cute. Yo’re the original chalkboard girl to me.


    • You’re so sweet, Marie!! Yes, I love the font, called Roskrit, I think. I’m always looking for fun new fonts and since I’m finally adding my first chalk wall to THIS house, I went in search of chalk fonts. Can’t wait to show you the new project!
      You should most definitely learn to knit. It occupies a space in the brain that can simultaneously relax and be productive. It’s one of life’s great joys and you, of all people, would love it.
      p.s. Happy Mother’s Day to you too, dear.

  17. I love knitting this pattern. Very theraputic. I’d be happy to knit a few washcloths for you to take on your trip. Address?

  18. I love to knit. after an entire life spent craft impaired, I can do dishclothes, scarves and am now knitting a baby blanket. I guess I’m okay as long as it’s square or rectangle. I would really like to knit some placemats. If anyone has any ideas, please email me! thanks, sarah

  19. Thank-you.. for being there and reaching out in neat ways to help us and showing us that our Lord cares for us in everyway including at the sink. I am breaking out my needles to make some gifts of love too. God bless you.

  20. I’ve learned to knit and crochet through school, my mum and on my own, but for some reason I always put down my needles and hooks for years on end and have to relearn every time I pick them back up. This makes me want to take up knitting again. I ALWAYS stitch though. Mostly cross-stitch. I like making practical things that are still pretty.

  21. A friend once gave us an aprox. 18 inch ‘square diamond’ blanket {in the exact same pattern} for our toddler – who loved it and uses it every night for his cuddle blanket. It is now falling apart and I would like to make him a new one.

    How would I make a larger version of what you have done? Do I still start off with 4 stitches and just keep going until it is large enough? Or would I start off with a few more stitches right at the beginning? I’d appreciate it if you could offer some advice, thank you!

    Also if I use a larger ply wool {and the matching size needle} would it work okay, if I want a chunkier style? Thank You again.

    • I think that both of those things would work, Beth, but I’m certainly not an expert. There’s so fast to knit that you could sure try it without feeling like you wasted too much time!

  22. “Maybe someday I’ll even learn tatting…”

    I had an uncle who took up tatting after he retired. He made some amazingly intricate items. He attempted to show me a few knots, but I’m afraid that I didn’t catch on very well.

  23. Thank you!!!! I’ve had a few people try to show me how to knit. I just couldn’t catch on. I was taught how to crochet, and have been wanting to learn to knit. This is the perfect little project to get started. I found you on Pinterest. 🙂

  24. Hi Edie, thanks ever so much for this great tutorial and cute washcloth pattern… yes, yes, I know you are calling them dish clothes but I don’t use dish cloths so I decided to make mine a smidge bigger as you suggested and use them for face clothes! 😀 I’ve played with knitting off and on, mostly off, over the years but the last couple of years I’ve finally been bitten by the yarn bug and am currently learning to knit lace shawls… note I said learning 😀 You are so right about knitting, it is so soothing and meditative plus one has a cute project at the end… who knew?! Looking forward to reading your blog now that I’ve found you (via Pinterest)!
    Hugs and thanks again for this great pattern

  25. i searched for a good DIY present, and i thought yours was perfect. i have already purchased the yarm you have a link of, but i was wondering how many wash cloths you think I should be able to make with the spool of yarn you recommended, using the same pattern you have in your video.

    I am excited to start this project and hopefully i dont make a mess of it. Thank you for uploading and sharing =D

  26. found this last night & am half way to making my first ever dishcloth, thanks. I didn’t quite get the casting on so I just did it how Mum showed me, still looks good.

  27. Love the video, am trying to learn how to knit and this is the first video that I could understand. i particularly like that you showed how to hold the yarn, thats the hardest part for me…

  28. Thank you so much for what I think is the perfect beginner’s knitting tutorial. The speed at which you knit, the angle from where the video was shot, the right amount of information, repetition at critical points in the design, all these make this the best video out there. In a couple of days, I (complete newbie knitter) made 2 of these dishcloths and I still come back and refer to your tutorial. Thanks so much!

  29. Thank you so much. My sister is on the other side of the USA and she makes these all the time but I needed someone to SHOW me how. Loved your video, you have a calm voice. Great teacher!

  30. Thank you so much for this video. I have known how to knit but not how to actually make anything. Your video was really great. I have now finally knitted a dishcloth thanks to you.

  31. Hi….I loved your video 🙂 I making these for my boyfriend grandmother that we visit every June. I must add I am very new to knitting so with that being said lol I’m knitting this with a 5.5mm bamboo needle but my dishcloth is looking very loose….not tight like yours 🙁 am I doing something wrong?

  32. Hi I am new to knitting. I just made the wash cloth I love it. I was wondering if this pattern would work for a baby blanket if you just keep going going with the increase and knitted on circular needles? Your video instructions are great!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  33. Just learned how to knit thanks to you. Very good video, made it easy for me. I really enjoyed it and am now knitting my second dishcloth 🙂

  34. My mom passed this pattern on to me about 20 years ago and it’s SO easy and so pretty. I’ve given away bunches as gifts and manage to keep a few for myself. Thanks for sharing this. Love the pattern!

  35. My mom knitted these dishcloths all the time. She would always keep me well supplied! She has now passed and I have all her knitting notes and supplies…I am a knitter but have never done the dishcloths. Thanks to your wonderful video, I will pick up where she left off!

  36. I am now not sure the place you’re getting your info, but good topic.

    I needs to spend a while finding out more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for excellent info I was on the lookout for this information for my mission.

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  38. I love the video! Thanks for sharing it has sure helped me begin to knit. My only problem is my pattern is not looking like yours. Ive worked all the way to 30 stitches and doesnt look the same. So I started another one and ive watched your video over and over and my stitches are the same but not like yours. What am I doing wrong? Can I somehow send a picture of what mine looks like?

  39. I love this pattern. Is there a way to knit this on a loom? I haven’t been able to find a similar pattern with the eyelets around the edge. It has such a nice finished look!

  40. Hi! I love this pattern and I have made the dishcloth and I was wondering if there was a way to convert this pattern into a baby blanket. I’m planning on making a baby blanket and would like to use this pattern. My intent is to use 17 inch circulars with the baby Bernat bulky, chenille textured yarn. I’d appreciate any advice or suggestions that you can give me. Grace and Peace!

  41. How many dishcloths can I expect to make with one skein of yarn? What is the best way for me to judge in the future?

  42. I prefer crocheting much more than knitting, I think things happen faster in crochet, but knitting is so beautiful too. Thank you for the great idea, the video and the instructions This dishcloth will be my weekend project this weekend.I prefer cleaning with homemade cleaning solutions and the perfect addition to them is a handmade cleaning cloth. Knitted from the proper yarn a cloth can be used for cleaning almost everything. Thank you for sharing your idea. Greets!

  43. Thank you SO much for posting the video tutorial for this. My grandmother was “famous” for knitting washclothes and giving them away to everyone she met and even those she didn’t. I love using them. She passed away a couple months ago and I kept telling myself that I could learn to knit them. I was inspired to try last weekend and found your tutorial and it was perfect to help me learn. I just finished my first one last night and am feeling accomplished. I might not have been brave enough to teach myself if you hadn’t had such a thorough and easy to follow video.

  44. I’m a crocheter and wanted to learn how to knit so when I see a pattern I can do it and I love knitted dishcloths, thank u for this video and pattern perfect for a knitting dummy like me 🙂

  45. Hi! Thank you for the pattern. I am a crochet person but i figured i’d give knitting a try and i started first with this pattern. My finishing corner is always longer than the rest of the dish-cloth. What do you suggest I am doing wrong? It’s just not symmetrical…
    Thanks for the wonderful video, that helped SO much!

  46. Many thanks, all the way from Australia, for this wonderful tutorial. I can now finish a knitted project AND understand the written instructions! I have started making these for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for next year, and am sure your tutorial is a blessing to many others who just needed to be taught in a way they could understand 🙂

  47. Doing the breakfast dishes this morning I was quite disgusted by the appearance of my dish cloth, went to find another but discovered that there was no other! As my motto for some years has been “when in doubt, look up the Web( is WWW the next God, I wonder?) and there you were, quite dishey if I may say so.

    Quick read then in the car to the nearest yarn shop for yarn and needles (and a “knitting for dummies” book, just in case). And now, with a cup of tea at hand and needles at the ready I am about to start! Mind you, this will probably prove to be the most expensive dishcloth ever when I factor in time, gas, book, yarn and needles. But what the heck; I’m long retired, alone since my wife died so there’s nobody to mind if I drop a stitch and start to cuss. So here goes … and thanks. Eric H

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  53. I just finished my first dishcloth and it’s pretty cute! I just had a problem understanding your casting on technique and ended up just tying a slip knot and then doing a normal cast on. Does this way of casting on have a special name that I can look up for further instructions? Thanks!

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  70. So I just tried this and mine doesn’t look like a square… it’s a diamond! Anyone know what I’m doing wrong?!?!

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