How To Knit A Dishcloth: A Step by Step Tutorial With Pattern Included

This post may contain affiliate links.

How To Knit a Dishcloth

Learn how to knit a dishcloth with a basic dishcloth pattern, how to cast on, and cast off. Also included are links to common knitting terms.

How to Knit A Dishcloth

Generally, we’re not knitters. So let’s get one thing straight outta the gates. But, learning to knit basic pieces – like this dishcloth – is a skill worth learning. So we learned it, and we’re glad we did.

The good news is, you can learn it too, I promise it’s easy. To begin with, all you need is a pair of knitting needles, a skein of cotton yarn, a simple pattern, and a darning or yarn needle. Also, we’ll hold your hand through the process and help you along using the same simple resources we used to learn.

Note: if you’re interested in knitting dishcloths you should also check out how to make wool dryer balls.

What You’ll Learn

We’ll teach you the following basic dishcloth knitting know-how including:

  • needle size to use
  • pattern to use
  • basic knitting abbreviations
  • how to start with a slip knot
  • casting on (aka binding on)
  • how to do a knit stitch
  • a yarn over
  • how to knit two stitches together
  • and how to bind off (aka cast off).

When you’re done you’ll have a new skill, the gratification of knowing that you created something useful, and a fancy new dishcloth.

And then another, and another, and another – because once you learn how to make a dishcloth you won’t be able to stop knitting! Trust me.

How cool is that, right?

How to Knit a Dishcloth: Grandma’s Dishcloth Pattern

How To Knit a Dishcloth


  • Easy


  • A skein of your favorite “Sugar ‘n Cream” cotton yarn (buy online or at your local craft store)
  • Size 6 or 7 needles (US) (find needles here)

How to Knit the Dishcloth


Note: you make this dishcloth from one corner, diagonally to the opposite corner.

  • Cast on 4 stitches.
  • Row 1: Knit 4.
  • Row 2: Knit 2, yarn over, knit across the row.
  • Repeat Row 2 until you have 46 stitches on the needle.
  • Row 3: Knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row.
  • Repeat Row 3 until you have 6 stitches on the needle.
  • Bind off, cut the yarn (to about 6 inches), and weave back into the dishcloth using a yarn or darning needle.

Knitting Abbreviations

If you are only going to knit dishcloths and plan to stick to the basics like us you should only need to know the following:

  • slip knot = an adjustable loop used to begin many cast-on methods
  • CO = cast on (or bind on)
  • BO = bind off (or cast off)
  • yo = yarn over (wrap the yarn around the right needle)
  • k2tog  = knit two stitches together
  • EOR = end of row

Use this resource to learn all the knitting abbreviations.

Video Tutorials for How to Knit

We tried to pick these skills up from books, but it just didn’t work. The best way to learn how to knit is in person or by watching videos.

Start With a Slip Knot

How to Cast On

Learn How to do A Knit Stitch

How to do A Yarn Over

Learn How to Knit Two Together

How to Bind Off

Using and Giving Away You Knitted Dishcloths

You’re done, yay! Now you know how to knit a dishcloth and you’ve never been so excited to do the dishes.

Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, just keep practicing by making more. It took us two or three tries each to get them looking really good.

Knitting is a useful skill and relaxing hobby so make a bunch of these and give them away as gifts!


About Matt Jabs

Matt loves to inspire others to save money and live more sustainably. He is passionate about eating local, living simply, and doing more things himself. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our website activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.

DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.


  1. Kendra says

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    I can crochet– some.. looks like its time to learn to knit now, too 🙂

    Wondering if you have experimented with making the scrubbies yet.. like the round nylon-netting get-the-tough-crud-off style? I keep eyeing my orange and onion bags, wondering if they (and others like them) could be salvaged in this way…

    any ideas?

  2. Lynette @ Victory Homemaking says

    Love this! Was wondering, though, how you made the pretty edging around your cloth? Sorry if I missed that. I’m teaching my daughter how to knit so this is a great, easy, useful pattern.

    Thanks in advance for your clarification! LOVE your site!

  3. lindsey says

    hey, I’ve got tons of these! they’re dead easy, I can get two out of each ball and can practically make them in my sleep.
    They make great housewarming/hostess gifts and I love mine.

  4. Sue says

    Thank you so much for the easy instructions, I am almost done with my first one. It was easier than I thought! I just want to add that you make this dishcloth from one corner, diagonally to the opposite corner. I kept starting over thinking “this little thing doesn’t look like a dishcloth, what am I doing wrong?”. Then I looked closely at your photo and noticed you grow bigger as you go. I am a beginner, so I’m sure everyone else understood but me! It was fun anyway. Love your website!

    • Matt Jabs says

      Thanks for the tip for others Sue, we added it to the article for clarification. Glad you like the dishcloth, and way to go getting right into the project. Blessings.

  5. Sandra says

    Now I can’t wait to learn to knit! You have put together every thing I need to get started. I have been crocheting for years and have collected knitting patterns that I want to make. Thanks……absolutely love your website!

  6. Kathy says

    This is a great pattern for a beginner knitter to learn the diagnonal pattern. I’m an experienced knitter and made a baby blankets using a similar pattern. They were a hit and I even won a ribbon at a fair. I had some left over cotton crochet yarn and made wash cloths. Love them.

    Pot Scrubber: If you can find nylon yarn, it makes a fabulous pot scrubber. Knit or crochete two small squares, (cast on or chain 10 stitches). You can also crochet two identical circles. I join the squares (or circles) together by crocheting around the edges of the square picking up a stitch from each square. Before closing it up the square or circle, insert a small sponge to give it body. The nylon yarn becomes limp with use and the color fades but it wears like iron. Once you’ve closed up the square with the sponge inside, use a needle to tie a knot in the middle to keep the sponge from slipping around.

    One of my friends who is retired and on a limited income, made dish cloths for Christmas presents. Homemade gifts are remembered long after the store bought stuff has broken or been used up and costs less.

    Love all the wonderful ideas on DIY. Thanks so much.

  7. N says

    I use this pattern. It’s a super pattern! I have made many of these and they make great gifts also! Glad to see the sharing.

  8. Mary Harrigan says

    I have been knitting these dishcloths for myself, family and friends for more than 10 years. Haven’t bought a sponge since. I use all kinds of colors for the cloths used in the kitchen, one a day, then into the laundry basket. I’ve also cut the pattern to 40 stitches as I find them easier to work with when washing glasses, cups, etc. I also make larger ones, 50 stitches, for bathroom cleaning, knit those with white cotton only, and can bleach them if I want. I love these cloths and love that they take very little time and material yet last forever!

  9. Yvonne says

    You guys must have E.S.P. I learned how to knit about six months ago and bought “Sugar and Cream” yarn last week to knit my own dishcloth using this pattern but being new to knitting some of the steps were confusing me. This will help so much.

  10. Jaime says

    What would be the best way to clean the dishcloths? I crochet and could find patters for this style, but I’ve been worried about bacteria/germs trapped into the yarn. Any idea?

    • Cheryl Eustice says

      Just wash the dishclothes like any knitted or crochet piece.Make more than one so you can change them often.This is my favorite pattern for dishcloths.It is so easy and relaxing to do.They last many years !They knit up in no time and I am a slow knitter.They are the right thickness.Cotton yarn is at a good price.Comes in so many beautiful colors.Portable craft to do anywhere or anyplace.I call it mindless knitting,it’s that easy and relaxing to do.Downright cheap,considering how long they last.Cotton can be composted.Why not make many and sew the squares together to make a bath rug?I have used this pattern to knit baby blankets which is on lion brand web site.What I like about this pattern for baby blankets is that it doesn’t have a lot of holes for baby’s fingers to get caught in.The cotton yarn holds a lot of water-perfect for washing dishes.When you are tired of them for whatever reason and want to make new ones-use them for other household cleaning or put them in the rag bag.Don’t have a rag bag? Use a old pillowcase to keep old towels and what not to use for the knitty gritty chores around the house and garage.This is the perfect pattern for beginners.It would be a nice replacement for a bow on a present Even little girls would enjoy their own special washcloth in their favorite color.Knitting is so wonderful to learn.Think of never running out of mittens and hats.Have you ever had a child lost a mitten in the middle of winter? You try to find a pair to buy but can not find a pair anywhere.Knitting is a great skill to pass along-like fishing.What do they say about fishing? Give a man a fish and he eats for a day but teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime? I have been crocheting and knitting for 37 years and this is a pattern I keep coming back to.I also had to teach myself because my widowed mother had very little time to teach me to crochet and my knitting grandmother was too busy socializing after raising her seven children.

  11. Jolene says

    This is the same pattern I use! I learned how to knit and crochet from YouTube videos. I like crochet better, but I agree — basic knitting is very much worth knowing. As I was setting my dinner table last night, it occurred to me that I could (and should) knit some napkins too.

    • lindsey says

      i never thought of that either. Maybe I could make some, I bet If I had enough, they could more or less replace paper towels…