Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Simple Knit Washcloth

Last year I started to knit.  So far I've really only successfully made washcloths.  But, quite a number of them at that.  And this is only the beginning.

I find knitting so relaxing and enjoyable.  I like to sit in a comfy chair, preferably by the window or outside, and just knit a while.  I really enjoy it because it is such a practical, useable craft skill to have.  It makes me feel a hint of connection with countless women before me.  It is a wonderful way to fill a few spare moments with productivity.  I also just find it amazingly fascinating--one piece of string, a little time, and skill, and you can make fabric.  Crazy...who thought of that?!

Here is what I think is the easiest dishcloth pattern I've found.  It is a traditional pattern, so I don't know who to thank for it.

Step # 1:  Cast on 4 stitches.
Step #2:   Knit one row.
Step # 3:  Knit two, yarn over, and knit to the end of the row.
Repeat step #3 until you have your desired width on the diagonal of the dishcloth.  This is the increase section of your washcloth.  I usually stop increasing when I have 50 stitches on my needle, though I've experimented with a few different sizes.  I like 50 the best.

Now you need to start the decrease section of the washcloth.

Step #4 Knit one, knit two together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row.
Repeat step #4 until you only have four stitches left on your needle.  Bind off, cut the yarn, and pull it through the last loop.  Weave in ends. 

Tada!  It is so easy.  You don't have to think too hard or check off lines on the pattern to avoid losing your place.  It may not be fancy, but it IS a washcloth after all...not a piece of art.  They clean up the dishes well and are soft enough to wash your face with as well.  I have color coded mine with certain colors being for dishes and household cleaning and others being just for human body cleaning.

Short hand the pattern goes like this:
CO 4 st
Knit 1 row
K 2, YO, K to end
Repeat until desired width.
K 1, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K to end
Repeat until you have just 4 st left.
BO, cut the yarn, and pull it through the last loop. 
Weave in ends.

My ultimate knitting dream is to make my own socks (Matt's too).  Practice, practice, practice.  I'll get there yet.  In the meantime, I've got some really nice washcloths.

6 comments:

  1. This is how I learned, too - knitting bunches of wascloths! And also much smaller squares to wash dishes with :)
    -Jaime

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    1. For a while I was just making chunks of fabric. I'd knit for a while and then unravel and do it over. It was a good way to practice getting my tension right and whatnot. But, soon I realized that I could practice all that while making washcloths...and actually have something to keep and use in the end. It was a much more satisfying way to practice.

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  2. I use this pattern all the time - works up fast and I love my hand made dish clothes best.

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    1. They are so much better than store-bought cloths! I couldn't go back now.

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  3. Those will make nice gifts for others if you are knitting more than you can use. Think of those for Christmas, wedding showers. You could make a basket of your jams, breads, cakes, or whatever and tuck in a pretty dish cloth. I cannot knit, but I would like to get those as a gift since I am always honored to get handcrafted items. I took a picture of tie-dyed socks sent to a guy here in town from a friend in CA. You could knit and Matt could dye.

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    Replies
    1. Gifts are a great idea. Each year for Christmas I try to come up with something homespun that others will enjoy. I think a dishcloth and some preserves might be right in order.

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!