Free pattern…and reflections on the perfect knitted dishcloth

Dishcloth free pattern

Like many households, we are trying to “reduce, reuse and recycle”. At least I am, and I’m forcing everyone else come along for the ride.

We have been kitchen sponge users for a couple of decades now.

A while back I knitted some cotton dishcloths but they were rejected by a majority (ie everyone except me) in preference to the sponges from the shops.

Dishcloth free pattern Rhonda Hetzels
One pattern I used was this waffle weave one (where did I get this pattern? It might have been from Rhonda Hetzel’s book Down to Earth). It ended up being used as a face washer in the bathroom, where it was very popular.

The knitted dishcloths were considered too big and too thin (although Rhonda Hetzel maintains correctly that they dry out quicker between uses and therefore it’s harder for bacteria to multiply) because everyone was used to small thick sponges.

Endeavouring to Give The People What They Want, and perhaps ease the transition from shop sponges to knitted, I’m trialing some smaller, chunkier handknitted dishcloths.

Dishcloth free pattern three dishcloths
I’ve made three to try, all from the same 8ply cotton. The stripes alleviated knitting boredom, and were kind of fun to do.
Dishcloth free pattern Liz Haywoods
Wanna try one? The tension is very firm to give a thick, inflexible fabric, much like my family’s current attitude to knitted dishcloths.
Dishcloth free pattern hanging dishcloth
The all-important hanging loop to enable drying between uses….when one actually gets around to doing the washing up.

So, we’ll give these a whirl and see how well they perform. I like them already.



  1. Peggy on September 18, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Fantastic! I do these too, but I crochet out of cotton yarn and give them away as Christmas presents to like-minded friends, bundled in groups of three or four, tied with a ribbon. I know they are used because I see them used in friends’ kitchens. But you’re right, thicker is better than thinner — too easy to put a hole in a thinner one. They are a great way to keep your hands occupied while watching Netflix. I simply do a double-crochet so the work grows slowly but I don’t have to worry about where I am in a pattern.

    • lizhaywood on September 19, 2019 at 7:36 pm

      Hmmm…might try a crocheted one. Good idea giving them as presents in bundles of 3 or 4.

  2. Laurinda on March 10, 2021 at 6:18 am

    I was a dedicated sponge user too, until I found the Double the Fun Ballband dish sponge on Ravelry. If you make it the suggested size, it’s like a full size sponge. I make them smaller (casting on only 15 stitches) because I always liked the small ones.
    Also, there’s some scrubby, plastic, hairy-looking yarn from Red Heart, which is perfect for the bands, so they can do some decent scrubbing, too. I can whip one out in 2 hours, including tying the ends, stuffing them inside, & crocheting around the outside edge
    The key to keeping them from getting musty is to get them really soapy, don’t rinse out the soap, but squeeze out the water before you hang them to dry. They’ll be good for at least a week

    • lizhaywood on March 10, 2021 at 9:42 am

      These are all GREAT ideas – thanks so much Laurinda!
      (Other readers, the pattern is here and it’s free.)

  3. Deb Mattson on December 5, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    I love this useful and hilarious post.My family, too, is inflexible like your dishcloth fabric. I occasionally knit dishcloths and other family members hide them in the bottom of the drawer. Oh well. Thanks for all your great information.

    • lizhaywood on December 5, 2022 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks Deb, it’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone in this world when it comes to the anti-knitted dishcloth brigade. Three years on and still no progress on that front, but I use the cloths shown in this post for other cleaning jobs.

Leave a Comment