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Free Knitting Pattern for Simply Special Washcloth
Hand knit linens can add a special touch around your home. I designed this washcloth pattern to be easy, but special enough to bring a spa-like feeling to your bath. These washcloths would make a great gift, presented with a pretty bar of soap.
Using Cotton Yarn for Household Linens
I would suggest using 100% cotton yarn when knitting household linens like washcloths, dishcloths, hand towels, and burp cloths. Cotton will allow you to machine wash and dry these items like you would your other linens. There are a number of great 100% cotton yarns on the market including Dishie by Knit Picks, Peaches & Creme, Lily's Sugar 'n Cream, and I Love This Cotton! yarn.
I used I Love This Cotton! for my washcloths, and it's so soft to work with. It does, however, seem to knit up at a finer gauge than some of the other brands. If you use Peaches & Creme, Sugar 'n Cream or some other brand, you may find it easier to go up a needle size or two and then just delete 6 stitches from the pattern to get the same size cloth.
1 skein of I Love This Cotton! (180 yards/165 meters) in pale denim. I was able to make two 9 x 9 inch washcloths from 1 skein of this yarn.
size 6 needles or correct size to get suggested gauge
tapestry needle for weaving in ends
20 sts x 28 rows = 4 inch square in Stst, though gauge can be a little off. If your gauge swatch is larger, just delete 6 sts from cast on and you should get a similar sized cloth.
8 x 8 inches or 9 x 9 Inches
k = knit
kf&b = knit st front and back (increase 1 st)
k2tog = knit 2 sts together (decrease 1 st)
sl = slip st, all stitches in this pattern are slipped purlwise
s1wyif = slip st with yarn in front (bring yarn to the front, slip st, then bring yarn to the back)
s1wyib = slip st with yarn in back (slip st with yarn in the back)
ssk = slip 2 sts separately, knit sts together (decrease 1 st)
For explanation and tutorials for these stitches, visit knittinghelp.com.
Start with an I-Cord Cast On
I added an i-cord edge to my washcloth. This might seem like a bit more work, but I think it adds a nice finished trim to this cloth. If you do not want to knit the i-cord edge, you could just knit a garter border instead.
The i-cord cast on might not look right until you have 6 or so sts on your needle. Just stay with it and trust that it will look great!
For the I-cord Cast on: Cast on 3 sts. Knit these 3 sts, then slip them back (purlwise) to the left hand needle. Knit front & back into the 1st, then k2. *Slip the last 3 stitches from the right hand needle back to the left hand needle. Knit f&b, k2.* Continue casting on sts this way until you have 45 sts for 8 inch cloth or 51 sts for a 9 inch cloth. Then slip the last 3 sts from right hand needle to left hand needle, k2tog, k1. Slip the last 2 sts back to the left hand needle, and k2tog. You should end up with 43 sts (for 8 inch cloth) or 49 sts (for 9 inch cloth).
Once your cast on is complete with either 43 or 49 sts, turn your knitting and begin washcloth pattern. This pattern is knit back and forth. You may find it helpful to put a safety pin in the lower right-hand corner on the RS to remind yourself when you are knitting on the right side of the pattern.
Simply Special Washcloth Pattern
This pattern includes a 3 st i-cord edge, printed in italic. Again, this might take a few rows to start looking like the finished edge. If you are knitting a garter border instead, continue these 3 sts in garter.
R1 (RS): S1wyib, k1, s1wyib, *k1, p5,* repeat ** until last 4 sts, k1, s1wyib, k1, s1wyib.
R2 (WS): K1, s1wyif, k1, *p1, k5,* repeat ** to last 4 sts, p1, k1, s1wyif, k1.
R3: S1wyib, k1, s1wyib, k2, p3, *k3, p3,* repeat ** to last 5 sts, k2, s1wyib, k1, s1wyib.
R4: K1, s1wyif, k1, p2, k3, *p3, k3,* repeat ** to last 5 sts, p2, k1, s1wyif, k1.
R5: S1wyib, k1, s1wyib, k3, p1, *k5, p1,* repeat ** to last 6 sts, k3, s1wyib, k1, s1wyib.
R6: K1, s1wyif, k1, p3, k1, *p5, k1,* repeat ** to last 6 sts, p3, k1, s1wyif, k1.
R7: S1wyib, k1, s1wyib, p3, k1, *p5, k1,* repeat ** to last 6 sts, p3, s1wyib, k1, s1wyib.
R8: K1, s1wyif, k1, then k3, p1, *k5, p1,* repeat ** to last 6 sts, k3, then k1, s1wyif, k1.
R9: S1wyib, k1, s1wyib, p2, k3, *p3, k3,* repeat ** to last 5 sts, p2, s1wyib, k1, s1wyib.
R10: K1, s1wyif, k1, then k2, p3, *k3, p3,* repeat ** to last 5 sts, k2, then k1, s1wyif, k1.
R11: S1wyib, k1, s1wyib, p1, *k5, p1,* repeat ** to last 3 sts, s1wyib, k1, s1wyib.
R12: K1, s1wyif, k1, then k1, *p5, k1,* repeat to last 3 sts, then k1, s1wyif, k1.
Complete rows 1-12 for a total of 5 times for 8 inch cloth or 6 times for 9 inch cloth.
Begin I-cord bind off.
I-Cord Bind Off
Once you have knitted you cloth to the size you want, begin the i-cord bind off.
First, cast on 2 additional sts at the beginning of the row. Make sure these two new stitches are on your left needle, then k2 (these are the new sts), ssk. *Move the resulting 3 sts from the right hand needle back to the left hand needle. Then k2, ssk.* Be sure to pull your yarn tight as you work through binding off your sts. Continue in this process until you have only 4 sts left. Then k1, ssk. Move these two sts from right hand needle to left hand needle. Again k1, ssk. When you are left with only two sts, move them back to the left hand needle and ssk the last two sts. Cut your yarn leaving a tail and pull it through your last st.
Weave in your beginning and ending yarn tail well (more than you usually do so it doesn't work itself out in the wash). If you have any tail still loose, wash your cloth first. Then trim the end of your yarn and enjoy!
© 2013 Donna Herron. No part of this pattern may be copied or reproduced in any way without permission from the author/designer. For personal use only. This pattern and materials made from this pattern are not meant for commercial sale.
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