Simple Knitted Dishcloth

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This tutorial for a simple knitted dishcloth is perfect for the beginning knitter. You will love making your own handmade dishcloths and they make wonderful gifts as well!

Three knitted dishcloths folded and stacked

I learned how to knit several years ago and it has become my favorite craft. I love to sew and embroider as well but knitting has become my favorite handcraft for several reasons.

First, I enjoy making really useful things. Of course, with sewing you can do this as well. But with knitting, I can make scarves, hats, mittens, sweaters, and other items that my family needs here in Alaska.

I also like how portable it is! I can take a knitting project with my anywhere. On a trip, while I’m waiting during my girls’ music lessons, and so on. I love to sit in front of our woodstove in the evenings and knit. Whereas with a sewing project, I have to pull out my machine and bring my supplies down to the table.

Three knitted dishcloths laying on a table

Another reason why I love knitting is the availablility of local yarn here in Alaska! You’d be amazed at how many farms here produce their own beautiful, handmade, one-of-a-kind wool. Almost everything I knit is made from local wool and it makes each project even more unique.

Knitted items make wonderful gifts as well. I think just about everyone would be thrilled to have a handmade accessory to wear in the winter or a cute dishcloth with a locally made bar of soap.

This dishcloth tutorial is one of the first items that I learned how to knit and I still enjoy making them today not only for our kitchen but as gifts.

Knitting is an important old-fashioned skill that is still useful today. Having an activity that uses your hands to create something is relaxing and meaningful.

Follow along for instructions on how to make and enjoy these knitted dishcloths. Whether you’re a beginner or just looking for a new knitting project or gift idea, you’ll love whipping these up anytime!

3 knitted dishcloths with a bar of a soap

Supplies for Knitted Dishcloths

You don’t need anything fancy to make your own knitted dishcloth!

  • 100% Cotton Yarn- You need to use 100% cotton yarn since your dishcloth will be wet most of the time. I’m not able to buy locally made 100% cotton yarn so I do purchase mine from a local yarn shop. There are several brands of 100% cotton yarn but I like Lily because it’s grown in the US and is a natural cotton yarn. It’s also machine washable which is important for a dishcloth. One skein will make two dishcloths.
  • US Size 6 Knitting Needles- I like to use circular needles for just about everything but you can also use standard knitting needles.
  • Darning Needle- For weaving in the yarn ends.
A ball of cotton yarn laying in a knitting bowl and a set of knitting needles

How to Knit a Simple Dishcloth

This simple knitted dishcloth is such an easy pattern, you’ll have it memorized in no time! I love this pattern because I don’t have to count rows or really pay attention. It’s so easy I can just knit and enjoy myself! I leave the more challenging projects for when I can really focus.

Here’s how to knit a dishcloth:

  • Cast on 4 stitches.
4 stitches cast onto a knitting needle
  • Row 1: Knit 2, yarn over, knit to the end of the row.
Hands showing how to do a yarn over the needle in knitting
  • Repeat Row 1 until there are 50 stitches on the needle.
A knitted dish cloth halfway done
  • Row 3: Knit 1, knit 2 stitches together, yarn over, knit 2 stitches together, knit to the end of the row.
Hands showing hot to do a knit-2-together on knitting needles
  • Repeat Row 3 until there are 4 stitches remaining on the needle.
Showing the decrease sticking of a knitted dish cloth
  • Cast off.
Hands showing how to cast off on knitting needles
  • Use a darning needle to weave in the yarn ends.
A darning needle to weave in the ends of the knitted dishcloth

Variations of a Knitted Dishcloth

This dishcloth pattern is so simple but it doesn’t end there! You can easily use it as a starting point and create several other projects using the same stitch pattern.

  • Coasters- Make a smaller version of a dishcloth and use it as a coaster! Start decreasing once you have about 25 stitches on the needle.
  • Baby Blanket- On the other hand, keep knitting and make a baby blanket! Increase until you have about 200 stitches on the needle, or until you feel that it’s large enough, then decrease.
  • Shawl- Similar to a baby blanket, keep increasing until you have a couple hundred stitches on the needle. Carefully wrap it around you to measure and make sure the shawl is the size you want. No need to decrease, just cast off and you’re done. It will look like half of a blanket, a triangle.
3 knitted dishcloths laying on a table

How to Use a Handmade Dishcloth

I love knitting these dishcloths not only because they are quick and easy but because I really love using them!

I handwash our milking machine twice every day after the morning and evening milking and I always use one of my knitted dishcloths. They lather up so well and they’re soft but also can be used to scrub.

Then I just toss them in the washer and dryer along with our other towels and wash up really nicely.

Over time the yarn can fade but if they’re knitted well, they’ll hold out for a long time!

3 knitted dishcloths folded and stacked next to a bottle of dish soap

They’re not just for dishes either! These make excellent washcloths! Knit a different color washcloth for everyone in the family to use in the shower.

Gifts Ideas for Simple Knitted Dishcloth

As I said, these make great gifts! They’re cute and practical and everyone loves receiving something handmade! Here are some ideas:

  • Give a dishcloth with a bar of homemade or locally made soap. Or a bottle of homemade dish soap. There’s beauty in the details and somehow, doing dishes using a pretty little dishcloth that you or someone you know made makes the job a little more enjoyable!
  • Knit one for a baby gift! Give an expecting friend or family member a baby washcloth along with a bottle of natural or homemade baby bath soap.
  • Knit one as a washcloth for a friend and give them some bath salts or bubble bath too. Perfect for a relaxing bath!
  • Knit a few miniature versions as described above as coasters for a new home gift.
3 knitted dish cloths folded and stacked

I hope you enjoy this simple knitted dishcloth as much as I do!

Simple knitted dishcloth Pinterest image
3 knitted dishcloths laying on a table
5 from 1 vote

Simple Knitted Dishcloth

This simple knitted dishcloth is my favorite knitting project! Handmade dishclothes are so nice to use when cleaning and they also make a great gift!
Active Time1 day
Yield: 1 dishcloth
Author: Lisa Harlow


  • 2 US size 6 knitting needles
  • 1 Darning needle


  • 1 skein 100% Cotton yarn


  • Cast on 4 stitches.
  • Knit 2 stitches, yarn over, and knit to the end of the row. Repeat until there are 50 stitches.
  • To decrease, knit 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together, yarn over, knit 2 stitches together, then knit to the end of the row. Repeat until there are only 4 stitches remaining.
  • Cast off the last 4 stitches then weave in yarn tail ends.


Use as a dishcloth or a washcloth! Wash with towels.
Customize by making smaller for coasters or larger for a baby blanket. These make wonderful gifts! 


  1. 5 stars
    I love this post, Lisa. I am more into crocheting these days, but I started knitting about a decade ago and loved it. I’m always making dishcloths and washcloths and find that everyone seems to like them and will even ask me to make them more. I can’t wait to give this pattern a try. Will you share a scarf pattern? I am needing scarfs and hats these days.

  2. Thank you Melanie! I haven’t learned how to crochet yet but would like to one of these days! I’m actually just finishing up a shawl pattern to post soon but I will work on a scarf pattern after that. Thank you for the idea and for commenting!

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