I have so many projects on the needles at the moment, between Faire du Vélo, working on my F/W collection, and the couple other patterns I'll be releasing in the fall; I guess I felt the need to get back to basics and knit a project as easy as they come.
Weirdly, I'd never knit a dishcloth before. My very first project was a scarf - probably a half-finished, uneven, somewhat holey garter stitch scarf - but once I really got the hang of knitting I realized what a poor choice of project a scarf really is for a beginner knitter. Scarves require a certain amount of knitting stamina, which might discourage many folks who would otherwise turn into marvelous knitters if they started off with a smaller project.
Dishcloths are so great for that. Practical when finished, regardless of whether your climate is cool or warm. Big enough to really get a chance to practice the knit stitch, but small enough to finish in a reasonable amount of time. And if you finish one and you're still itching to knit, you can simply knit another! And then you have two FOs! And for the advanced knitter? A dishcloth is a super quick and easy project you can dress up or down to suit your whims, and sometimes the simplest things can bring us the greatest pleasure. I found I enjoyed working up this simple garter stitch dishcloth very much.
I went with garter stitch for the simplicity (all knit stitches!) and because a striped sequence in garter stitch shows up differently on the reverse side. I like that subtle hint of visual interest.
I'm moving house soon and the new kitchen could use a few new dishcloths, so I think I'll make a couple more of these over the next week. The internet is certainly not lacking in plain garter stitch dishcloth instructions, but I figured I'd write up what I did here anyway, just in case you'd like to make one too (or you know someone who might). I've named the "pattern," as much as you can call it that, Housewarming, in honor of the new house this was made for. I think a stack of these all wrapped up would make a lovely housewarming gift, to boot. These instructions will yield a striped dishcloth like the one in the photos, but if you're brand new to knitting and you don't want to try stripes just yet, you can simply knit all the rows in the same color.
- 2 different colors of 100% cotton yarn, 1 skein/ball each (you'll only need one skein if you're skipping the stripes). In the dishcloth pictured, the main color is white, and the contrasting color is blue.
- knitting needles
- tapestry needle to weave in ends
Worked up with worsted weight yarn on US size 6 (4mm) needles, the dishcloth came out around 8.5" by 9"
Cast on 40 stitches.
Using your main color, knit 4 rows back and forth.
Now you'll start working with your contrasting color, but don't break the main color yarn (it will hang from the project when you're not using it). Knit 2 rows in the contrasting color.
Change back to your main color yarn. Work 2 rows, then twist your yarns to carry the contrasting color up the side. Work 2 more rows in your main color.
Repeat these 6 rows (between the **asterisks**) 11 times (you will have 12 stripes in total). Be sure to twist your yarns at the end of the even-numbered rows (except for the last four rows of your main color), so both colors are carried up the side when you're not working with them. You don't have to do it this way, but this means fewer ends to weave in!
Bind off all stitches, and using the tapestry needle, weave in your ends. Step back, admire your work, and prepare to put it to good use!