Sunday, February 17, 2013

Strictly Utilitarian Handmade Dishcloths

Pattern at end of this post.

I love all the pretty patterns for dishcloths around blogland, but I've abandoned them for handmade dishcloths much smaller than the typical larger cloths.  Circa 2000, I knit some dishcloths from a pattern book for my mother, myself, and a friend.  But none of us liked them!  My friend was honest enough to say she preferred smaller dishcloths, and my mother just plain wouldn't use them after she first tried them.  They were heavy, the yarn stretched or became loose when wet, and they were awkward to use.

So now I always make my dishcloths in a tight, close stitch, foregoing many patterns that otherwise might be intriguing, making them about 6" x 6".  And for me they do work much better than the larger size.  (I tend to knit and crochet loosely, though, so I use smaller needles/hooks, too.) 

CD-sized; a bit larger with a border.

How about you? Am I the only one who doesn't care for the large-sized dishcloths and washcloths (although they definitely are pretty)?

A well-used, faded dishcloth that's still holding up. 

And of course, one has to have some pretty music to listen to while doing dishes. (I haven't had a dishwasher since 1977, so over the years I've put a lot of my time into dishwashing by hand.) Hallmark makes some lovely easy-listening CDs.

Spring is definitely in the air here today!

May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Wishing you a joy-filled week ahead,
PS: The extremely simple pattern for the knitted dishcloths above: Cast on 22 stitches; knit for first 5 rows; then - knit 5 stitches, purl 4, knit 4, purl 4, knit 5 - across each row until cloth is close to desired length; knit 5 rows; bind off loosely. I use size US 5 (3 3/4 mm) needles and inexpensive cotton yarn.


  1. Hi Bess,

    The cotton candy pink and creamy white one is TOO pretty! Practical too, I bet. My mother bought some for me from a church bazaar a few years ago and they've held up very well. Great job!


    1. Thanks for your kind words, Poppy! Have a nice weekend! Bess

  2. I don't use dishcloths, Bess, but if I did your pattern would be very useful and in pretty pale colours the finished items would be attractive as well as useful. I like your selection of CDs. Have a blessed weekend, Bess.

    1. Wishing you a nice weekend as well Linda!

  3. Love your homemade dishcloths Bess. They remind me of days gone by and bring back memories of a more simple life. They are such pretty colors too.

  4. A friend just gave me my 1st knitted dish cloth. I liked it, but found it too big and you say. Thanks for this pattern...I'll give it a try.

  5. I crochet small squares and they work great. A simple sc/dc back and forth. Everyone who receives them as gifts loves them, though some think they are too pretty to actually use. :) Best wishes, Tammy

    1. Sometimes they do seem too pretty to use ... especially since they tend to fade. I will have to try the sc/dc; that would take fewer stitches to be the size I want. Thanks for sharing the idea, Tammy!


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