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How to Knit an Eco-Cotton Dishcloth

Updated on September 16, 2012

Dishcloths Made with Red Heart Eco-Cotton Yarn

Making Usable Crafts for the Home

Whenever someone asks me if I have a dishwasher, I always tell them that I have a "1970 model with two speeds: wash and dry. If you are assuming that I do not own a dishwasher, you are correct. I do not own one and probably never will.

I grew up washing dishes by hand and never knew the luxury of a dishwasher. When I was a teenager I learned how to make my own dishcloths from cotton yarn. I have found that these cloths are durable and far more superior to dishcloths that you may purchase at your local store. Some knitters prefer to use the Sugar and Cream brand cotton yarn, but I have found another type of yarn that I like even better. For my dishcloths, I use Red Heart Eco-Cotton Yarn. This yard is spun from used cotton t-shirts. It is a bit more expensive than Sugar and Cream, but I like the fact that it has been made from an item that would have otherwise been discarded.

These dishcloths are easy to make and can be made in one sitting if you knit quickly. The pattern that I will be sharing with you today is easy and can be used by beginner and experienced knitters.

Basic Instructions:

Start with size 7 knitting needles. I prefer to use plastic or bamboo needles with the cotton yarns because metal needles tend to result in fraying or splitting fibers.

Cast on 4 stitches. For the first row, knit 4. Now for the second row, knit 2, yarn over, and continue knitting until you reach the end of the row. Continue the knit 2-yarn over-knit until you count 42 stitches.

When you reach 42, the pattern changes. At this point, knit one. Now, instead of going through one stitch to knit, go through two stitches. Next, yarn over and go through two more. Continue knitting until the end of the row. You will see, that you will gradually begin decreasing rows. When you have only four stitches left on the knitting needle, it is time to bind off. Begin the binding off process by knitting two. Bring the bottom stitch of the two stitches you just knitted over the top stitch and pull it off the needle, leave just one stitch on the needle, now knit one more. You will have two stitches on the needle, pull the bottom over the top like you did before. Repeat the process until you just have one stitch remaining. Cut the yarn and run it through the last stitch. Work in any remaining ends with a yarn needle.

If you have any trouble, do not give up. Any beginning knitting book will illustrate how to make each stitch. With a little practice, you will be knitting all the time.

Congratulations, you have now finished your first dishcloth. Happy knitting!


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    • sherrituck profile image

      Sherri Tuck 5 years ago from Virginia

      The great thing is that perfect or not they still serve a purpose. Sometimes I'm almost at the end and realize that I have a huge hole in the middle. I pull it out and start over. It's a lesson in patience.

    • Homesteading profile image

      Julie Z 5 years ago from North Central Florida

      Love knitting washcloths. It is the only thing I can knit actually. Some make it out nicely, others look like a ton of stitches were skipped, but like you, there is no dishwasher in my home. Or at least one that works. So the screwed up dishcloths, still serve their purpose. Great hub. :)