ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Knit a 50-Cent Dishcloth in 1 Hour

Updated on May 27, 2016

A favorite use for my double point needles is making dishcloths. This lens shows you how, step by step. You'll find it's so easy because there are only a few steps.

The finished cloth measures 5" X 7.5" (5 stitches = just over 1"). This size is easiest for me to handle but you can vary the size simply by adding rows or stitches. I like to use the dishcloth flat or folded in half. To have it larger would be unwieldily for me.

I knit these cloths tightly on size 7 needles. When I made my first one I used larger needles, but since the cloth stretches slightly when wet it made the holes too big for my use.

If you want to knit loosely you might try size 6 needles. If you want a double size cloth cast-on 48 stitches. Then knit 104 rows in the main color, starting with a cast-on row and 4 additional rows in the trim color. Then at the bottom knit another 4 rows for trim and cast off. This would make a splendid utility cloth.

At the bottom is a list of items to choose from to make this project. The large spool of white cotton yarn is a fantastic buy, but I like some color in my dishcloths so I've added several color combinations to choose from.

For a tutorial that shows how to cast-on yarn onto a knitting needle you'll find my how-to here.

Beginning with Step 2. you're going to need point protectors. See the article I wrote about them here.


All Photos copyright 2013 Leslie Sinclair


Lily Sugar 'n Cream Yarn Ombre (02223 Mod Ombre
Lily Sugar 'n Cream Yarn Ombre (02223 Mod Ombre

I used this yummy vibrant green, aqua and yellow cotton yarn on most of the dishcloths that I produced last year in this series. Yellow is my favorite color, and aqua is a color that makes one feel better. In my case it reminds me of a favorite place from my childhood.

My grandparents owned an estate on a peninsula in a small lake in Oregon's northwest. It was close to the ocean, on a little hill, and mostly covered in deciduous forest, but the long driveway on the crest was bounded by towering evergreens.

Outside the high cast iron auto gates sat the groundskeeper's cottage where we lived through many delightful months of childhood play days. All the colors remind me of warm sunny days under blue skies, with countless clam digging excursions to the ocean shore, and many an early morning catching fish in grandpa's big rowboat, down a long rickety line of wood steps to the old boathouse.

 

Time required: 1 - 2 hours per cloth

Difficulty: easy

Cost: 5 dishcloths - $2.51 Lily Sugar'n Cream Worsted Weight Yarn

Materials:

  • One skein Lily Sugar'n Cream Worsted Weight Cotton yarn.
  • One partial skein multicolor yarn of same type.

Tools:

  • Two Size 7 double-pointed knitting needles.
  • Two point protectors.

I Like Double Pointed Needles

Clover Takumi Bamboo 7" Double Pointed Knitting Needles 5-Pack: Size 6
Clover Takumi Bamboo 7" Double Pointed Knitting Needles 5-Pack: Size 6

Of course you can use regular size 7 knitting needles for your own dishcloths, but I like saving money, so I get the end protectors and use these for all sorts of projects.

Earlier in life I used exclusively metal knitting needles and I still have a few sets after decades of moving around and losing the rest in the mix. Now that bamboo needles are available, I like to use them for my arthritic fingers appreciate the light weight.

My ecological side appreciates the renewability of plant products, and the artist in me likes the natural color played against the richness of yarns. For many items I prefer wool yarns, especially hand dyed wools. The dishcloths, though, call for cotton.

Although I have experimented with a part acrylic yarn on some of my cloths. They turn out much softer, very nice to use, but the main drawback I've discovered is that it's more challenging to squeeze all the water out when done with a batch of hand dishwashing.

 

Instructions:

1. Cast on 24 stitches with multicolor yarn. Note the irregularity in the stitches left of center. I like evenness in my knitting, even in a simple project like dishcloths, so I took the stitches off back to those nagging uneven ones and recast the rest of the row.

2. Here is the completed cast-on row with a knot I tied at the end.

You'll notice that the row is very short, less than 4" but once you get into the rows the cast-on row will loosen up and the cloth will be about 5" wide.

3. Continue knitting each row until cloth measures 7" long.

Switch back to trim yarn.

4. You can see that I've changed back to the multicolor yarn to finish the last few rows. Trim rows will add another half inch.

I vary the number of finishing rows with the colored yarn, from one to three, plus the casting-off row. Otherwise I can get bored, after all - this is a utilitarian item, but it gives me a bit of a boost to make each cloth in the set unique in some way.

This photo shows the middle of the casting-off row. The finished top edge is at the right, with only one stitch remaining on the right needle.

5. This photo shows the proportions for this simple cloth. See the soft ridges the all-knit rows make.

I like it because it makes enough texture to maintain a better grasp of the cloth than I got with the old store bought waffle weave cloths.

Boye Point Protectors, for Sizes 0 to 15-Inch, 4-Pack
Boye Point Protectors, for Sizes 0 to 15-Inch, 4-Pack

Finding these point protectors was like finding morel mushrooms in the forest back in my child rearing days when daddy would take us all out on marvelous hikes in the mountains.

We knew that dinner those nights would include a big platter of fried fresh mushrooms that we picked ourselves. When we ate on site we fried the shrooms in lots of country butter and served them up on sloppy buttered fire-toasted bread.

Having lots of circular knitting needles reminds me of childhood, watching the elder ladies in the family knit up gifts. Something about the curve of the needles appeals to me, and of course there's only one needle to lose. When I returned to knitting after a many-year long layoff my knitting kept slipping off one end of my needles, prompting a search on Amazon where I was pleased to find these.

 

Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 3 years ago

      You beat me to this one. I will post a dishcloth pattern as well, great for beginners and it really helps to get the feel of knitting needles in your hands.

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 3 years ago

      Fabulous photos and easy-to-follow instructions - thank you so much.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @sousababy: Thanks. It's so funny how a utilitarian item like this can be relaxing to make and that makes them even nicer to use.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @GrammieOlivia: Well, the more the merrier - maybe we ought to do a dishcloth exchange meet-up.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @Zeross4: I thought knitting wins hands-down for ease of learning. Have fun.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Your pictures and instructions make it look fun and easy.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @smine27: You're right, smine27, it is both. Are you going to make some?

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Nicely done, Papier!

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      Very nice!

    • georgepmoola2 profile image

      georgepmoola2 3 years ago

      What a good idea, very clearly explained! Good lens!

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @georgepmoola2: Maybe you're ready to give it a try?

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @Whatsittoyou: Aren't they easy and useful! It's funny but the first ones I made were after my children were already grown.

    • RainFern profile image

      RainFern 3 years ago

      Thanks for showing us how to do this! I will definitely be trying my hand at knitting, soon enough. And a dishcloth sounds like the perfect way to start. Plus, they would make excellent gifts for friends and family!

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @RainFern: You're right, dishcloths are easy and you have something to do with it even if the knitting turns out uneven. When I first knit lacy edges into my cloths I ended up with a trapezoid and one end was too large for my hand so I gave it to a friend whose son thought it was too beautiful to use. :-)

    • profile image

      Reconix 3 years ago

      I need to get some needles and knitting wool

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @Reconix: Don't you just find it so soothing to knit, and once you make a wool garment you've got it for a lifetime.

    • profile image

      Reconix 3 years ago

      @lesliesinclair: I wouldn't argue that it's not a useful skill, because it certainly is put at better practice with things like this, rather than a set of socks or a t-shirt but depending on your skill level... it's by no means soothing, frustration sharply comes to mind. Never the less, inspiring post for a mmm, might just give that a whirl, or a knitt as you might call it ?

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @Reconix: Aww, the secret is to maintain a loose grip on the needles, and know that after all, it's nothing but a dishcloth. Once the simple stitch is learned then it's easy-smeasy to do another stitch and then another row. It's like learning to tie a knot - seems tough at first, and then your muscles learn the twists and turns and you can do it blindfolded.

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 3 years ago

      Great lens. I usually crochet dishcloths, only because I am so slow. But I will try your suggestions. Thanks.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I don't knit - yet - but this looks like a project I might want to try. I do crochet and have made dishcloths. It's a lot of fun and a great project to sit and relax with. I really like your pictures and cheerful color choices!

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks, Susan52. Before I learned to crochet I learned to knit. I think Mom was looking for a helping hand in that department. I find knitting easier and you're right, it's relaxing. Of course for any complicated stitches there may be a little stress in that type of project, but for the dishcloths it's a breeze.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @lewisgirl: Wow, it's surprising to me how people find crocheting faster and easier than knitting, but it must be a very personal thing. Have some knitting fun.

    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Oh I am going to make several of these for sure !

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @linfcor: You may find that after knitting all the cloths you need, you find yourself knitting these little gifts for others. One set I gave away I packaged as hot dogs in buns.

    • profile image

      Filmography101 3 years ago

      what a fun little project!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      I really like the looks of your dishcloths. This is an excellent project. Very practical and cost-effective. Very doable.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Thanks, they really are fun to make and it's always pleasant to use something you like.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @Filmography101: You bet! Making these reminds me of earlier days when I knitted up a storm.

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 3 years ago

      I'm going to make some crochet versions using your knitted dishcloths as inspiration - they look very good indeed.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @Craftymarie: Thanks, I think that's a nifty idea.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 3 years ago

      Great info. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 3 years ago

      This is a great project and, it looks really easy for those who know how to knit. I never learned to knit, just to crochet. Thanks for sharing this.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @dellgirl: Maybe it's because I learned to knit in childhood that it seems easier to me than crochet, but this project works for both methods.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @SteveKaye: Hi Steve_Kaye, thanks for your enthusiastic response.

    • GollyGearHope profile image

      Hope 3 years ago from Skokie, Illinois

      It's a fun project - but the math doesn't make sense. I love knitting and crocheting, but it's never cost-effective! My time is certainly worth more than $.50/hour!

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @GollyGearHope: The yarn is such a bargain and many cloths can be made with one ball. My time is valuable too, but how I make this count is to use my downtime for this type of creative activity. Looking at the view or watching the news (ugh) is so much more pleasant when I'm turning out a little bit of knitting in a jiffy.

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 3 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

      I love these!

    • GollyGearHope profile image

      Hope 3 years ago from Skokie, Illinois

      @lesliesinclair: I totally agree! Just saying we do it for fun and to make idle time productive, not to save money!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

      I used to crochet stuff like this all the time as a teen, but I was completely inept with knitting needles.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @GollyGearHope: Yes, the fact that it does save money is incidental.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @MelRootsNWrites: Isn't it fun, whichever way you do it.

    • profile image

      acreativethinker 3 years ago

      These dishcloths look lovely and are a great way to use up any leftover

      yarn. :)

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @acreativethinker: Yes, sometimes I use small balls of yarn, and that's ok with me because I don't mind extra knots at the sides in my own cloths.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 2 years ago from Texas

      They look great. Wish I could sit down one day and learn to do that.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @DANCING COWGIRL: It can be funny how a little thing like a homemade cloth can provide some pleasure each morning when I take a fresh discloth out of the drawer.

    • profile image

      marsha32 2 years ago

      When I started making dishcloths with the cotton yarn I knitted them all.

      Now I crochet them.

      They last for years!!

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @marsha32: That's swell. For me it depends on how it feels to use the needles or hook and the needles are smoother for me.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 2 years ago from Canada

      I've known people who had hand knitted dishcloths but never thought of making them.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @TreasuresBrenda: Just like me - heard about them for years before I tried it myself.

    • SMW1962 LM profile image

      SMW1962 LM 2 years ago

      This looks like a fun, easy project. I can't wait to try it!

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @SMW1962 LM: Here's hoping you find it as satisfactory as I do.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 2 years ago

      It's been years since I've done any knitting - but I sure am thinking about it now! :)

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @Johanna Eisler: Isn't it funny how something so simple can bring us back to an activity we used to enjoy.

    • sarahjsnider profile image

      sarahjsnider 2 years ago

      Crocheting and knitting dishcloths is such a great stress reliever--they're just big enough that you feel you've accomplished something, but not so big that you get bogged down. Can you explain why you recommended DPNs for this? I would have used straight knitting needles.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @sarahjsnider: It felt better in my hands to use the short double-pointed needles. I find them useful and handy for so many projects. With the whole set I have most every size I need and they work wonderfully for the dishcloths.

    • Vickie Moses profile image

      Vickie Moses 2 years ago

      Very nice and color! I tried knitting once, but I could never get the hang of it. Maybe I will try again.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @Vickie Moses: Thanks for the words and I hope you find it fun too. I think the struggle is in learning the proper tension to hold between the needles. You might just try making a 3" square, or a set of them, until you're comfortable with the tension, so you can see that the stitches are even. I remember having such a tight grip on the needles that I kept pulling them apart, making big waves in the design. Then, when I began to relax, knowing it wasn't such a serious matter, my stitches became even and I began to find it relaxing to knit.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 2 years ago from Northern California

      Little confused by the "Download" ad for the PDF creator (thought it was the pattern for the dishcloth). Great color combination and photos.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 2 years ago

      Have been thinking of making one of these for some time, thanks for reminding me how good they are to make.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @HealthfulMD: Glad you like the colors and the photos. It was such fun composing them. Re: the download - it wasn't part of the article, but must have been one of the rotating ads placed by the system, not me.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @BestRatedStuff: You bet! One of the simple joys in life is making utilitarian things beautiful.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 2 years ago

      Discovered I had no talent for this sort of thing but I'm still intrigued and really ought to give it a try again!

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @Cari Kay 11: Yes, yes, sometimes we start with one idea and then learn just a little technique that makes us try a new approach and that one works.

    • profile image

      sirteacup 2 years ago

      These are the most adorable dish cloths I've ever seen. Thanks for the tutorial, I can't wait to try this out.

    • lesliesinclair profile image
      Author

      lesliesinclair 2 years ago

      @sirteacup: I actually enjoy pulling a fresh cloth from the stack each morning, hope you will too.

    Click to Rate This Article