Randomly on a Wednesday

1. I finished a washcloth while I was thinking about what to start next. I did what I always do with washcloths, 30-ish stitches (this one is 32) with worsted weight cotton (the cheap stuff) and garter stitch borders. I whacked Bee Stitch into the centre of this one – because I think it’s nicest, but I suppose the world is your oyster if you’re not as obsessed with Bee Stitch as I am.

2. Do any of you remember way back when knitting online was all about The Knit List (this was so long ago that it was an actual listserv) and knitting washcloths was a big deal. Huge. Whole webpages devoted to it, massive lists… I swear it was an actual fad, and this was before Ravelry or Pinterest so it was seriously hard to get a good knitting fad going.Β  I don’t know what came over any of us, but it was a bright and noble time for the humble washcloth.

washclothsidetub 2016-08-31

3. These pictures make my bathroom look clean. It’s not.

4. I’m still working on that pair of socks I mentioned yesterday, but I feel like I might be coming down with another few washcloths.

5. You know, I was just looking at the patterns for a bunch of washcloths, and it would appear that most people call them dishcloths. That doesn’t seem right. I’m not washing dishes with them, and I don’t think I ever would. Do you? Would you? Doesn’t it seem like if you’re going to handknit something to rub on things, that you should rub it on animate things?

5.b That just autocorrected to “intimate things”.Β  No comment.

washcloth 2016-08-31

6. I guess maybe the person washing the dishes is animate enough, but it still seems like I wouldn’t be making the most of its knitting mojo. When you use them in the bath, the thing doing the washing and the thing being washed both get to enjoy it. (Although it’s usually going to be the same person who’s using it and being washed, so I guess that’s still just one person pleased by the cloth no matter what you use it for, but I’m standing by my position. I’d rather be pleased two ways.)

7. Although now that I think about it, I suppose that an argument could be made that the act of washing dishes could be elevated by having a really nice cloth to do it with, handmade tools making everything you do a little more lovely, connecting all the work you do with your hands together in circle.

8. Screw it. I think they’re for the bath.




236 thoughts on “Randomly on a Wednesday

  1. I first heard of them (and received them as gifts) as dishcloths. I made the leap to wash cloth by using it on my granddaughter in the bath. Personally, I think they work well for both and when I make them as gifts, that’s what I tell the recipients.

  2. Maybe it’s just my warped (i.e., elevator DOWN) sense of humor, but not only did I snort at 5b, but my first reaction to 6 was, “For me, I can think of more than two ways” πŸ˜‰

    And I use them for dishes – but they were gifts to me, I don’t seem to have the washcloth mojo.

  3. I haven’t been knitting long enough to remember the washcloth fad, but I’ve embraced the Spa Soap Coat (Soap Spa Coat?) trend. That way my expensive soap doesn’t shatter into tiny fragments when I (inevitably) drop it as I’m showering. And it hangs, so any drips after the shower are caught by the cotton rather than going down the drain before I can use it, or making the soap dish slimy.

  4. Your point 7 is exactly what I was going to write.
    My hand knit dishcloths do the job better, last longer and are more pleasurable to use than anything I can buy. Last year I gave sets of 7, in the colours of the rainbow, as Christmas presents and they were extremely well received. I also have to keep my son and daughter in law supplied with pink ones!
    (Am appropriately being asked to ‘touch the house’)

    • Totally agree! My mom has knit hundreds of “dishcloths” and my cousins all beg for them. She thought it was really funny that my M-in-law was using them as washcloths!
      To each their own, as usual. πŸ™‚

  5. Knitting washcloths on turquoise blue vintage Hero needles saved my sanity on many a long bedside vigil. Whenever I am stressed or feeling blue my fingers crave the comfort of those needles and some cotton. My favorite is the old standby pattern Grandma’s Favorite. I look forward to knitting up a bee stitch version as soon as I find my cotton stash.

  6. I have to say that I thought hand knit things should be reserved for use on people. THEN, my friend knit me a beautiful washcloth for the kitchen of my new house in the colors I have fallen in love with. I was unreasonably pleased with how it looked hanging over the faucet of my sink, which is pretty much SMACK dab in the middle of my house and visible to most rooms. It doesn’t get used as much as the work-horse store-bought washcloths that I used everyday. But when someone comes over, that washcloth is hanging over my faucet just to show off that I am a knitter, loved by a knitter who thinks me knit-worthy, and have impeccable taste. At least that’s what it tells me, hopefully others get that same vibe too.

  7. I love knitting dishcloths for my own kitchen and gifts for others. In the shower though, I prefer natural sponges. Isn’t it great that our hand knits are so versatile?

  8. I go on dishcloth binges! I knit them for the bath and for the kitchen. Nothing gets the counters wiped up as well as a cotton cloth. I don’t actually rub dishes with them, preferring a brush for that. But mothers of new babies love them as do my friends when I make them as gifts. I like to give them with some bath gel, or beautiful expensive soap, or baby wash for the newbies. They are often what I knit while deciding on a new project.

  9. I have friends who swear by them as excellent dishcloths. I’ve never managed to get into them for dishes. But I’ve made piles of them for washcloths, dishcloths, dusters, however they’ll get used and loved…

  10. Hmm. Had to look up Bee Stitch – and all the info I found says cast on an odd number of stitches, but you said you used 32. What are you doing differently?

    Your washcloth looks lovely (and yes, the bathroom looks clean)!

    I have used knitted cloths as dish cloths (dishes and cleaning up the counter, etc.) and while I’ve heard of using them as a wash cloth, I have never done so. I like them for this purpose because you can throw them in the washing machine.

    Maybe I’ll have to try one with bee stitch and see if I’m converted.

    oh – and yes, I’m old enough to remember the Knit List!

  11. What did we do to deserve you? You are a gift to the world. What they’re called or used for is much less critical to me than the fact that this post cracks me up.

  12. I use them for dish clothes, but I don’t knit them fancy. Just on the diagonal with plain garter. I love them and use them until they crumble. Side note: I have an aunt that ONLY knits these dishcloths. Can you image? The same project over and over for 40+ years. It boggles my mind.

    • My mom could be your aunt, all DISH cloths all the time for 40ish years – except every new member of the family gets a hand knit Christmas stocking. My mom finds it odd when I’m trying to find the perfect pattern or the perfect yarn, she says she just likes to knit. Since it doesn’t matter to her what she knits, she knits dishcloths and gives them away to anyone and everyone πŸ™‚

  13. I am on the side that uses them almost exclusively for washing dishes and other kitchen type applications. I also use them as cleaning rags around the house when they get old and ratty looking (this happens with surprising frequency)

    • Oh yes. Ours have a definite life cycle: Intended Use (dishes or bath) –> regular cleaning –> pet-related cleaning (we have a small menagerie in our house, including some caged pets, and so there’s a lot of cleaning involved). After that they’re usually deserving of a decent burial. πŸ™‚

    • Same. My mom knit them all the time and gave them to all of us. Now I try to make them for my kids, too. I do not keep up as well. Funny, we used to knit them a lot when we were camping!

  14. I use them for wiping down counters and wiping out my cast iron – they work way, way better than the store-bought variety, and last longer. My college-age little brother actually asked me to make him some when he moved into an apartment, as he had used them at my place and was amazed at their superiority.

  15. I grew up in Missouri and there it was washrags and dishrags. Dishcloths and washcloths sound so much nicer. Trying to retrain myself.

    • I love making them. I have friends and family come back and ask for replacements. I make and use both dish and washcloths, although for several reasons, I have an abundance of purchased dishcloths to use.

      When I was growing up my mother said always said “warshrag.”

        • My late mother-in-law would have used the dishrag in the warsh wooder. That’s how she pronounced “water”, but although she lived in Balmer (Baltimore), she was from North Jersey. An accent totally unlike the wise guys on The Sopranos, who were from Noit Joizey (North Jersey). Just sayin’.

          • My late mother-in-law had a similar expression/ accent, and she was a life long resident of Prince Edward Island. It was “warshing and renching” the clothes so of course they would be “warsh cloths”.

  16. I use sport wt. cotton from cones (that I bought so long ago I don’t remember where from) for dish cloths and nicer worsted wt. cotton for wash cloths. I love doing the dishes with pretty dish cloths – it doesn’t seem so much like work, then. . . .
    ps: some are done with bee stitch. . .

  17. Dishcloths! Definitely. Love ’em. Better than terry or microfiber or… well, I haven’t found anything better for scrubbing dishes or wiping down the counters and table.
    I have one knit “washcloth.” Still only like terry for the bath.

  18. I use knitted dishcloths to wash dishes. I crochet washcloths – they are the only things I crochet. I have yet to dream up a reason why I do this.

  19. The first thing the lovely elderly woman at my church (Doris) taught me to knit was a dishcloth. Cast on 3, K2, YO, Knit to end. Turn around and repeat until you get up to 40ish stitches. Then repeat the whole process but add in decreases to work to the other point. I use that pattern when teaching anyone to knit. Ahhhh tradition. I see fancy patterns. Never have tried one, and I am not sure why. That bee stitch looks lovely. Maybe I will give it a whirl.

    • Gramma’s Favorite… it’s also my favorite for dishes and kitchen work.

      So yes Steph, I do use dishcloths to wash dishes, because they are the BOMB for glasses, and scrubbing gently, and getting grimy stuff out from the sink, and it makes doing dishes nicer.

      Also, washcloths in the bath/shower have their place as well, and a different stitch is nicer.

      I do remember the Knit List.

  20. I use them as “kitchen cloths”. They are the best thing there is for wiping down counters, cooktops, range hoods and appliances. I find the simplicity of knitting them to be very comforting. I use them until they are rags and then they get used up for car washing, etc. I like Grandma’s favorite too.

  21. I have a post suggestion. How the heck do you get the woven ends of cotton yarn to stay woven in? I have tried several different things and none seem to work.

    My sister-in-law loved knitted dishcloths.

    I was desperate for a washcloth the other day; got out one from my potential gift stash and used it. They beat the heck out of the terry cloth ones you buy! I shall be knitting more if I can get the woven ends to stay woven in.

  22. I’ve been knitting or crocheting dishcloths for years now and won’t use anything else for washing up. I’ve given loads to friends and they all feel the same way. So many patterns out there so lots of variety.

  23. I have never knit either type of cloth myself (it would surely eat into sock time) but my Gran has made me many. She intends them as dishcloths and I was initially reluctant, but actually I love them for washing up. They clean dishes really, really well as they can scrub a big too.

  24. My mother-in-law knits the basic “ball band dishcloths” and gives them away as gifts. I look forward to receiving mine every Xmas, and they work great. I hate knitting with cotton (no give = hard on my hands) but occasionally I knit them and usually give them as gifts packaged with some nice soap for washcloths.

  25. My aunt made me some, her mother in law made her learn to knit them because she “wouldn’t be around forever” to knit them for her. She used them as wash cloths in the kitchen, for scrubbing the counter, etc. But not for washing dishes. I actually use mine in pot holder fashion for not dangerously hot things, like bowls of soup when I’m carrying it around the house eating. I made several for my mom when she came out to visit once and she was ecstatic. I have no idea how she uses hers!

  26. Well, thank you for reminding me about these. I love to knit them because they are fast and simple and good for short attention spans. (School teacher and this is the first week for the kids – I NEED knitting therapy). I don’t have time to knit too much right now, so this is a perfect project.

    Never used one in the bath. Don’t like the thought of my beautiful cloth getting used on certain body parts . . .

    LOVE LOVE LOVE them as dish clothes. NOTHING better than a knitted cotton dish cloth. NOTHING.

    Going to go dig out my cotton yarn and my needles now and surf for dish cloth patterns. I love to surf for patterns . . .

  27. For my washclothes, I like a nice cotton chenille. It has a pleasant texture. I do admit to knitting a lot of dishcloths out of that cotton. They are great dishcloths! They just work really nicely on the counter and they look cute when I leave them out to dry. I also knit swiffer cloths with that cotton. Best floor cleaning cloths I have and I can throw them in the washer/dryer and use over and over.

    • I love knitting swiffer cloths, too, because it just cracks me up every time I use them that I spent my knitting time making cosies for my duster. My kiddo is not a fan of my knitting….except for hand knit washcloths, which she claims are the best for face care. I make her a new batch every year or so. And then another swiffer cover, just for giggles….

  28. I have always used them as dishcloths and never washcloths. Wash clothes are squishy cotton terry things that I buy at a store. Dishcloths are what I make using Sugar ‘n Cream or some other cotton yarn along those lines and they can NOT be beat. I simply refuse to use scrubbers bought at a grocery store – they simply don’t work as well.

  29. I wasn’t a fan of hand knit dishcloths until I tried one. For me, it really elevates the task of washing dishes to something more luxurious. The feel of a hand knit cloth in my hands is just better. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you give it a shot. πŸ™‚

  30. I use them to wash my dishes, so much nicer than the store bought flimsy things. I have also made some scrubby types to use with my shower gel.

    God bless.

  31. Knit List, yes. Dish/wash/whatever cloths, no. Of all the things I’ve knit, I’ve never knitted one of these. I have seen them in use, and to me they are thick, lumpy, and quickly look like something even the dog wouldn’t drag in.

    Oh wait, I knitted the peacock dish cloth and gave it as a gift, but doubt it was ever used. Do you remember the craze for this on the Knit List?

    • Oh my, knit list, yes! That’s when I first recognized the power of the internet as community! And, I made several of those peacocks! I did them with fine crochet cotton and gave them to my Mom, who was of the old school and used doilies.

      • I was one of the original Knit List listserv members at the university! I made several washcloths/dishcloths. I never had the nerve to do the peacock because I was afraid of lace. I conquered lace years later, and now need to find that pattern and do it!

    • Oh yes, I remember the Knitlist, and the craze for the Peacock. Mine was made from Speed-Cro-Sheen as I recall. Came out lovely, I was afraid to use it, and I haven’t seen it in years.

      I’m a big fan of knitted squares for either face cloths or for cleaning up the kitchen.

  32. I do cheap cotton cloths but my favorite are spa cloths using organic DK weight cotton. These are wonderful for babies or given with beautiful handmade soaps. My kitchen dishcloths are knit with a hefty cotton/linen blend and last forever.

  33. I recently learned to knit using free dishcloth patterns on the web. I am currently on row 16 of a pattern with cables! I’m knitting cables!! For a dishcloth and love it! It’s a great project for beginners and practical too.

    • Congrats! Remind us to show you the secret ‘Cable Club Handshake’. (It involves a very convoluted wrapping of your wrist around mine). Enjoy the cloths. Hope you get lots of compliments.

  34. So I will be, yet again, the odd woman: my kitchen sports hand knit dishcloths and towels. As well as my own weaving for dish towels.

  35. I make both washcloths AND dishcloths…I buy the cheap cotton dk yarn (like the Sugar n Cream) or fingeringweight cotton and make that into dishcloths. Usually the basic start with 3 stitches and increase / decrease on the diagonal with the yarn over border. Those are for dishes.

    I also make people washcloths and use a thicker worsted weight cotton chenille usually knit them square, and use a good thick stitch like seed stitch or something similar. These are very nice and make me feel pampered. I usually knit either wash or dish cloths in the morning…a few minutes of knitting with my coffee before work.

  36. I agree with you. These are for the bath & the shower. I make mine 40 stitches wide & knit them on the diagonal in garter stitch because I love them big & soapy & scrubby for all my parts!! My male friends like em big too – they say there’s nothing as crappy as a teeny weeny wash cloth except a teeny weeny bar of soap. As for dishes, well, I like the round two sided scrubby things I find in a package of two for a buck in the dollar store. They hold the soap really well, scrub without scratching & dry out completely between uses. There’s nothing like finding a slimey hand knit dishcloth in the corner of your sink – where they always run to hide – to change your mind about using knitted ones.

  37. I have knit dishcloths for my mother in law and for *her* mother and they swear by them. And I’m as certain as I can be they’re not just being polite. I put a hole in my own before I really got into it so haven’t really used them!

  38. When I make the Grandmother’s favorite pattern, those are generally destined for the kitchen, because they are the best for cleaning countertops, etc. The prettier patterned clothes are what I use to wash my face with.

  39. I knit dishcloths as a set of three or four. The colors I like all start with the word hot, like Hot Blue, Hot Pink, Hot Green, Hot Purple, Hot Orange. It’s whoever makes the cheap cotton yarn, that’s what brand I use. I pick out three or four washcloths in various colors and call them a set. Roll them up, tie with a ribbon and throw in a bag.I give them to people for their new babies or I give them for kitchen cleaning and use. Not many people I know take an actual bath, or use anything but liquid soap. Now I have to go look up Bee Stitch. I have no idea what that is, but must make some as lovely as yours.

  40. I tend to call mine dishcloths because I’m more likely to use them in the kitchen (though, it should be noted, I never actually use them to wash dishes — they’re for wiping wet counters or when I go to pick up a hot pot lid). When I’ve actually knit them with the intention of washing a person, I’ve called them washcloths.

  41. I have just never been able to wrap my mind around washcloths. How do people use them? When I’m in the shower or bath, if I’m washing, it’s me and soap. I don’t need anything else to help the soap do its job. So what do you DO with a washcloth? Is it like… just instead of your hand? I don’t get it. Help me.

    • Soap up the cloth and rub your body with the cloth! It makes the soap go further. Personally I use a scrunchie (a plastic netty thing) and shower gel, but feeling a bit tempted to knit a flannel (washcloth)!

  42. I knit dish cloths. I have never used one I knit as a wash cloth. In fact I need to knit more dish cloths because I only have a couple that haven’t fallen apart from good use. My MIL also makes crochet ones for dishes (our wedding gift from her was a set that all matched with matching hanging towels). After a decade they are all dead, as are the ones she made us a few years ago (she crochets the way some of us knit, and dishcloths are her alternative to socks). But they were awesome. Better than sponges.

  43. I use them as dishcloths. I find it hard to find worsted cotton here in Australia but DK cotton makes a wonderful dishcloth. I desperately need to knit some more because they are in constant rotation and my originals are looking a bit sad. They definitely elevate the act of dishwashing – one of my least favourite chores – and are much more functional than bought cloths. They are a bit scrubby and much more robust and much more hygienic because they are easy to throw in the washing machine and also easier to hang up rather than leave sitting in the sink (not me, my partner!). I do have a couple of worsted weight ones I use in the shower, but they are so quick to knit and I love knitting them so much that it’s no hardship to whip up a couple extra for the kitchen sink. I’ve been told that if you knit them out of acrylic they work great as pot scrubbers but that’s a bridge too far for me I’m afraid.

    Bee stitch is also my favourite. Hard to go past. But my dishcloth ones are mostly garter, because it’s quick, easy, and scrubby.

    • Hi Kate,
      Bendigo Woolen Mills create a 10 ply cotton in 200 gram balls at a very economical price. I’ve knit lots of wash cloths from it and find it to be great. I order through their website regularly and the system works well. And no, I’m not an employee or anything, just a happy customer. Hope this is helpful!

  44. I knit dishcloths, because I use them to wash dishes. I’ve never knit a washcloth, because I don’t use washcloths. (Yes, that’s me with my hands directly on the shampoo, using that as body wash and touching my everything without the decency of a cloth) I like knit or crochet dishcloths because they are excellent at scrubbing with the textures. I give them to family members and they can decide whether they are dish or wash cloths. I don’t care as long as they use them.

  45. I knit dish cloths for me and other people to use. What difference does it make if that’s what you and other people want to use it for? I really like knit dish cloths. I thought I would hate them. I got a bunch of Bernat cotton really cheap at Michaels (25% off coupon on sale prices and it was on sale! score!) and have a ton of them. They are great.

  46. I LOVE knitting cotton washcloths; so relaxing and mindless and quick. This year for Christmas gifts, I am knitting washcloths that I will package with fancy soaps and loofahs. And we are growing the loofahs!

  47. I’ve found knitting dishcloths or washcloths hehe to be very therapeutic. I’m a fairly new knitter, just started in January, but they are my favorite thing to knit so far. Even when they drive me loopy. Im part of a dishcloth weekly kal group on ravelry so I try to make one a week, they’ve been the most supportive and lovely group of people I’ve met and helped me along with learning to knit in more ways than I know! Come down with the bad case of the washcloth, it’s good for knitting mojo.

  48. They’re always for washing dishes, and wiping counters, and even as trivets in a pinch. Never in the bath. I prefer bath puffs or soap sacks, lovey handknit cases to hold the soap and act as washcloth. Also, I find “the cheap stuff” (aka kitchen cotton) to be too rough and unrefined as a cloth for the body. Bamboo Pop (bamboo/cotton mix), now that’s something luxurious for bathtime!

  49. I only use handmade dishcloths–knit or crochet, depending on what I’m feeling like doing at the moment. I also knit and crochet washcloths. Same patterns, different uses. I don’t see why I shouldn’t have nice things to use to wash my dishes as well as to wash my body.

    Mostly, in my house, whether something is a dishcloth or a washcloth depends on what color cotton I’m using–does it match the color scheme in one of the bathrooms? Then it’s a washcloth. If it looks better in the kitchen, it’s a dishcloth. Or a cleaning rag–actually, they all end up getting demoted to cleaning rags eventually, once they’re worn and battered and starting to look straggly.

    I was never trendy, though. I make dish or washcloths when I need a new one. Or when we move somewhere new, and I want to decorate. I’m doing that now, for that matter–knitting a bunch of washcloths in the colors of our master suite in our first house, which we’ll be moving into after Christmas. They make nice soothing projects to alternate with the Christmas “yarning” (our household verb that combines knitting and crocheting, since both of us do both to varying degrees). After I have a stack of them in those colors, I’ll make some dishcloths for the kitchen.

  50. Who cares what you call them? Just USE them! They are great for scrubbing dishes and nonstick (what a misnomer) cookware — they really get the melted cheese/dried oatmeal/burned sauce off! They are also great in the bath — yours, the dog’s, even the car’s.

  51. The Knitlist! I had almost forgotten…how could I.

    I am of the kitchen/discloth persuasion. I also make kitchen towels, but those are knit from 50/50 cotton/linen (usually Cotlin DK from KnitPicks). The striped Williams-Sonoma kitchen towels used to be cotton/linen but no more. I began making my own out of necessity, but now I wouldn’t have any other. They are so absorbent and no lint on glassware!

  52. I love washcloths.. I admit that I mostly use them as personal dinner coasters, for picking up my too-hot-bowl-of-food-that-I-just-want-to-snuggle-because-my-hands-are-numb-with-February.

  53. I call them dishcloths. They are the BEST to use in the kitchen. But I also knit them, different colours, to use in the bathroom for washing. I love to use them everywhere, and I was on a bit of a tear myself this summer, knitting over a dozen and still playing with the cotton and the patterns.

  54. Must …. learn …. bee stitch ….
    Just as soon as I finish 20 afghan blocks (10 done, 10 to go), a pair of socks, a sweater (gansey), a cotton shrug.

    • I wondered what has been happening with Joe’s gansey…Wouldn’t it be hysterical if someday The Harlot just posted a picture of Joe wearing it and said TA DA!

  55. I was wondering about dishcloths- wouldn’t they harbor the bacteria? Do you have to soak them with a chlorine before washing in a washer once a week? That is what I read and it sounds like a lot of work. I knit them but then only use them for wiping dust, etc Maybe microwaving it for a minute? Like regular kitchen sponge.

    • I find that the open weave of a knitted dishcloth allows it dries more quickly than store bought woven dishcloths. Therefore, less bacteria. I usually change my dishcloths every day or two anyway. I’ve never knit a facecloth (never call them wash cloths) but I must try the bee stitch for one. For dishcloths i’ve only knit the garter stitch ones that start with 3 stitches and increase.

  56. I do remember the Knitlist. I used to look for your postings because you were able to write about knitting and life in a way that would have me laughing out loud and then I’d have to read it to my husband who would also laugh.
    I have made dish cloths and wash clothes. I prefer to put the effort into wash clothes, for the luxury of it. I made a young relative beautiful lace clothes for part of a wedding present. She used them for dishes. I didn’t knit for her again.

  57. I make a lot of dishcloths to be used on the dishes. But they tend to be when I am trying to learn a new crochet stitch or remember how to crochet more than just a long chain. My knitted ones are washcloths and are used on humans or sometimes the cat.

  58. The knitted ones I think should be for the bath, I’ve made them for dishes and they don’t last; crochet however is brilliant for the dishes and scrubbing those little sugar mountains off the bench and they seem to last well even if my crochet isn’t square (or even close to it)

  59. I’ve knit many, many washcloths, but always give them away, have never used them myself!! My mother in law loves them for dishes, so I am happy to keep her supplied!

  60. I use plenty of knit dishcloths. I have a drawer full in the kitchen. They definitely do elevate the lowly and hot job of washing dishes.

    I have a few washcloths in my bathroom. Perhaps I’m doing it wrong. Maybe using the wrong cotton? But whenever I wash with a hand knit washcloth, I feel fuzzy, almost like I had licked a cat with my body. I may have to try a few more different brands and types of cotton, but so far this is the way things are.

    The men in my house, husband and 2 sons, don’t care for them. They want the bath poufs of plastic mesh. I can see it at times, especially if I have to scrub off a lot of dirt. However, if they do handle a washcloth, hand knit or not, it generally gets tossed into the hamper while wet. I’m not willing to subject any handknits to that treatment.

    I advocate testing new stitch patterns with cotton and appropriate sized needles. Done swatching? I have a new dishcloth and a swatch.

  61. They’re dishcloths for me, too. I actually mostly use them as kitchen decor, draping one over the faucet, but not really using it. However, my mom loves them for washing dishes, so I try to take her a new one every time I go to San Antonio to see her.

  62. Sometimes I knit a thin strip of matching or contrast color tulle along with the cotton. Plain garter stitch; tulle every row makes a great dishcloth/scrubber. Tulle every other row makes a great exfoliator washcloth.

  63. Basic worsted cotton for dishcloths or washcloths. I seldom use them myself, I find them too bulky for my hands. A few years ago I bought a whole whack of DK organic natural-coloured cotton from a lovely woman in Texas (Hi Leef if you’re reading) – beautiful green and brown. They make the most wonderful spa cloths that soften with washing – I give them as gifts with handcrafted soaps, some chocolate, etc.

    My daughter has knitted tons of dishcloths for her kids teachers – Christmas, end of year, etc. 2 or 3 of those with a Tim’s gift card – she always got thank you notes – and requests for more when the kids moved up a grade. Recently pulled my granddaughter over to the dark side – we’ve tried several times to get her knitting, but this time I think it has stuck. She’s knitting dishcloths like crazy! Almost time to step it up. Guess I need to do some bee stitch ones for Christmas.
    Chris S in Canada
    (ha – touch the chair – guess I’m supposed to sit and knit!)

  64. I have made tons of cloths – especially on long driving trips – but tend to save rather than use them. I must break that habit! And I will try the Bee Stitch – yours are very pretty. I will also try them as “washcloths”. My most common use is to put between pans in the kitchen to prevent scratching, or between the pan and its lid!

  65. Ah Stephanie! When knitting with the cheap cotton on 30-odd stitches I call the results “dishrags” and use them in the kitchen. For the bath, I knit with fine linen (more like 70-80 stitches) and fine needles (2-3mm) and call the results “spa cloths”.

  66. Have a friend who had a bit of wool left over from a class. She decided to make a wash cloth with it and uses it in the kitchen . Says it is wonderful, soft, effective and seems to resist bacteria and doesn’t develop the nasty order that ordinary dish cloths do. I think I might try it…. good way to try new patterns.

  67. All of my hand knit wash cloths have been for dishes so far, mostly because I have a natural sponge and a loofah for the shower. But I’ve made them for people who were horrified I thought they’d use them for something as gross as dishes. As long as they get used for something, I don’t care either way. Though I will postulate that the colors probably last better if they’re used in the bath rather than for dishes.

  68. Over here (UK) or maybe just in our family, we call what you call ‘wash cloths’ ‘flannels’.

    Flannels are definitely for washing people.

    The things used for washing dishes are called ‘dish cloths’ and are something else again. Though I suppose you could knit your own if you wanted. Usually we use plastic scrubby things, though I have heard that old tights/panty hose work quite well too!

  69. Stephanie-dear – I remember the KnitList when your girls were wee and your posts about knitting and family life were so real and true, and someone (lots of someones) said, “Stephanie, you should really write a book.”

    Dishcloths: I really don’t like knitted dishcloths. Maybe it’s the cotton yarn I use, but they’re not very absorbent. It’s like washing dishes with a rock.

    Washcloths: I knit them with sport weight linen, which softens with washing, and they make nice teacher gifts.

    • I must agree about using them for the kitchen. I have also found them way too heavy. I am, however, going to be using them more and more as washcloths because I dislike the new way the store bought ones are made.

  70. As a frequent reader, thank you, who has delved into the archives a few times, I remember on book tours people were giving you massive quantities on dish/wash cloths and I believe you were going to do something with them. Did you and if so what was the plan? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Thanks always for your brilliant wit.

  71. I regularly make washcloths as gifts; birthday, leaving, you compliment my knitting. People frequently ask me how do they know whether it’s for washing dishes or washing them. My standard; once you use it for one, it’s no longer for the other.

  72. I guess I’m just boring. I started knitting dishcloths when a friend of mine’s aunt, who always knit them for her in white, died, and she asked me if I could make some. Eventually her daughter took over knitting them for her.

    While I’ve knit them of ombre Sugar ‘n Cream, I usually use white, because I bleach the heck out of them. I don’t use them to wash dishes, but they’re great for wiping up anything in the kitchen, and for putting between things in the cupboards that you don’t want clanking into each other.

    For washing dishes I actually use a Dobie (plastic scrubby stuff around a relatively fast-drying sponge core by 3M), which I’ve found to be very reasonably priced when bought by the case from Amazon. One purchase lasts a looooooooong time, and in fact, since I discovered I could get them there for under a dollar apiece, I’m still on my first batch.

  73. I make both. For dishcloths it’s the Ball-Band Dishcloth – sturdy, easy, scrubby. For washcloths it’s a garter border and whatever I feel like in the middle, usually a swatch of some sort.

  74. Sign me up for Team Dishcloths “Used For Kitchen Things That Aren’t Dishes”. I prefer a sponge for actually washing things, but the dishcloths are always out for cleaning the counter, stacking between my non-stick pans, wrapping around a pint of ice cream, etc.

    (I also have a few homemade swiffer cloths, although I find that thin pieces of polar fleece are the best for picking up pet hair, and doesn’t need to be hemmed once you cut it.)

  75. Funny. I call then dishcloths but I do not do dishes with them. I use a brush for my dishes. What I do with them is wipe down things, like the table and counter tops. Every morning I pick out a fresh cloth to use around the kitchen for the day so it is always fresh. I just love seeing and using my handwork so often during the day. And they work really well.

  76. I knit and use them as dishcloths. I love them for washing dishes. I haven’t purchased a dishcloth in a store in over 8 years. And this post reminds me-I have 2 balls of ‘kitchen cotton’ sitting in a yarn basket. I think I need to knit a couple dishcloths this weekend.

  77. I have yet to use the cloths I had made as they’re pretty samples for my shop… however here’s a thought, in the UK washcloths are called ‘face’ cloths ,but I reckon that they’re really used for washing every other bit of skin other than the face…weird… or is it just me?

  78. Interesting! First of all, I am firmly in the “use a washcloth in the tub, dang it!” camp. I’m all about scrubbing myself gently. BUT, the cloths I have made for washing purposes have all been for the kitchen sink, with the exception of some Tunisian crochet cloths I made for taking showers. I like the sturdiness of a good garter or seed stitch cloth for gently scrubbing stuck-on stuff.

    And yes, oh how I remember the Knit List days and the fascination with wash/dishcloths. It seems so comical now. I remember when I finally removed my name from the list; I’d finally been on it long enough to have seen the same 10 questions earnestly asked and answered over and over again. Kudos to those participants who could unironically answer, for the 50th time, how to pick up a dropped stitch. And kudos to them who do so repeatedly in more modern forums. Teachers walk among us!

  79. I like the term washcloth although I have some for dishes. I like them also because it helps me with stich patterns. Just love making small projects sometimes.

  80. I use them for both and for cleaning… they work a LOT better than any commercially produced cloth, the only difference is what pattern and whether I use a dark colored yarn or neutral colors…

  81. My friend had a baby a couple days ago. I didn’t finish the sweater I started, so I’m throwing together some itty bitty baby socks because I can finish them today and give them to her and the baby sweater will be for the baby due in October. (and another coming up in Jan. It’s the year of the baby!)

  82. I’m spoiled rotten. My husband is in complete charge of the kitchen (cooking and cleaning). He absolutely loves hand knitted dishcloths and will use nothing else. So, when I can’t figure out what I want to knit next, I work on a dishcloth just to keep my hands busy so my mind can contemplate.

  83. The popular dish cloths around here are the ones I make for scrubbing. I cut nylon net (not tulle!) into 1″ strips and double that with cotton yarn and knit it into squares with BIG needles. They’re great for scrubbing pots and pans, and safe to use on non-stick things. They’re kind of a pain (literally!) to make though. The netting is rough (well, duh!) and it’s kind of hard on the hands.

  84. My mother LOVES me to knit her DISHcloths. She swears by them and tells all her friends all the time, how wonderful they are. Strangely enough, she would never ever use them in the bath. Have I mentioned though that she’s a little crazy? πŸ™‚ Seriously – I made them for Christmas for everyone I knew a couple of years back (3 – 4 per person) and told them to use them however they wished. I, personally, have handknit ones in both the bath and the kitchen. I love to knit them because it’s a fast knit and I can be done before I get bored with it. (Short attention span here. Probably inherited some of the crazy from above.)

  85. I often get a bunch of kitchen cotton from other people’s stashes in colors that I don’t always like, so the warshcloths (yes, I warsh) for the dishes are done in those colors. The pretty ones are for washing me and gifts.

  86. What ever became of your state washcloth project? My partner and I were just discussing this the other day–I was lucky enough to meet you at Sock Summit and present you with a South Dakota cloth. (BTW…my vote is bodies not dishes πŸ™‚ )

  87. It cracks me up that you got 111 responses to a post about dishcloths. The Dishcloth Force is strong. And I am kicking myself for passing up some colorful cotton in a yarn store over the weekend.

  88. I use them for dishes. My husband’s aunt gives each adult a simple garter stitch one every year. And, I love them. I also have a bunch my mom has crocheted. They scrub better than anything else to get the dishes clean.

  89. I knit dishcloths, washcloths, and use leftover cotton yarn to knit cloths to donate to the animal shelter for their use in cleaning up around the shelter. The have been my “go to” knitting on many a vacation since they’re small and quick and I end up with something very useful. They’re a great little project for learning new stitches or techniques without a big commitment of time. And they look so pretty!

  90. Dishcloths are my TV knitting, and I love them. I agree with 7. They are lovely, way better than store-bought. I give many away as gifts. Try it sometime!

  91. I call them wash clothes, and I agree with you. Did you know that they don’t have wash clothes in Europe ? Went to Ireland and had to take my own with me. They have beautiful plush towels, but no wash clothes. Makes you wonder.

  92. When I use them on my body, I call them “facecloths” , when I use them in the kitchen, I call them “dishcloths”.

    And I remember getting up early every morning so that I could knit while reading all the posts on the Knit List. I remember when everyone was crazy for the X hour baby jacket. (X because the number kept changing!)

  93. I knit tons of dish/wash cloths and use them both in kitchen and bath. I can see there’s going to be a run on all kinds of cotton yarn this weekend. We’re all contemplating new stitch patterns and dish/wash cloths. Quick, everyone run out and buy stock in a yarn company — Stephanie has started a run on cotton yarns.

  94. I have a set of handmade dishcloths that we use every day – each one is a different lace stitch that I was learning. I love them because they have a little more scrubbing power than a plain dishcloth. I’ve never used a handmade in the bath!

  95. I use a free pattern from Lily (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/double-thick-dishcloth) for a Double Thick Dishcloth full size for people washing and 6″ size for dish washing and counter wiping. My 2 year old granddaughter prefers the Ballband pattern dishcloths under her plate and snacks. She has to have “my cloth” on the table at Meemaw’s house. I use the Ballband pattern to make washable Swiffer dust mop covers from MDK’s book.

    I grew up in Southern Indiana, right on the Ohio River/Kentucky border; my grandmas warshed and renched too.

  96. My sister likes using them for her dishes. I don’t! So I use the ones she has made me – for washing my face in the shower….

    Linda in VA

  97. I love them as dishcloths, I think they clean better, and they don’t start to get nasty as fast and therefore last longer that the store bought ones I use. I like to use nicer cotton for my washcloths as I like to feel spoiled πŸ™‚
    I think either way if it is doing its job awesome!

  98. I think it depends on the quality of the yarn you’re using if its used as a dishcloth or a washcloth. The cheap Sugar N’ Cream stuff is for washing dishes because its sturdy and kind of stiff/scratchy. Softer cottons/bamboo blends I’ve given as washcloths or soap holder/sock/scrubbies.

  99. I only ever use mine for dishes. Scrub well and can be thrown in washing machine so a fresh one is used every day. They last about a year.

    • Sadly, no dishwasher in this house, but even in the house we use to live in, I didn’t use it every time. There are only 3 of us and sometimes it’s just faster/easier to do them by hand:)

    • we still have to wipe down counters and wash things that don’t go in the dishwasher. and sometimes I too darn lazy to empty the dishwasher, so I end up washing the few dishes that are in the sink. Normally I use a sponge, but I do use a cloth to wipe down appliances and countertops.

      • I live alone and have a single drawer dishwasher by Fisher &Paykel, it takes 1 minute to unload…..awesome.
        I get most of my knitting cotton from the local charity shops, if it is nice it’s a washcloth if it isn’t or I don’t like the colour much then it gets to be a dishcloth.
        I make heaps for gifts as this is my tv knitting on bamboo needles which are so nice to use.

    • I’ve had a dish washer for a couple of years. I wash things that won’t hold up like wooden spoons, old butter dishes and ancient mixing bowls by hand. Plus wipe down spills with them.

      • I am 60, and my mother never had a dishwasher, and I have never had one. Now, with just two of us in the house, we don’t need one.

  100. I call them wash clothes, because it sounds nicer to me, but I do use some of them for dish washing. I have two different cheap cotton I use for making them, one is soft and nice to work with and I make wash clothes for washing me with those:) The other is a stiffer cotton that I use for dishes or even scrubbing other inanimate objects at times.

  101. Knitted a bunch, but never really got into it. I need to knit with a springy fiber or my hands ache for days. I did enjoy the ones I made as dishcloths. Nice and scrubby, held up well. Though in our climate you have to be careful about letting them dry out or they’ll stay wet for days.
    Now I am the heathen who uses bought(!) microfiber(!) in the kitchen. They have a really tight, bumpy weave and scrub like nobody’s business. My counters are so clean they feel polished. I can’t got back to any other cloths after that. (Ducks the flying food headed my way.)

  102. I made 3 (what I think) were gorgeous washcloths as a gift, only to find my friend was using them to wash the dishes with. It annoyed me to no end, I don’t know why. I knit both dishcloths and washcloths for myself — how did I expect her to know the difference?

  103. I use them for dishes because the first one I was given was called a dishcloth. I like mine knit tighter than usual (smaller needles) because they seem to last longer – they don’t catch on fork times and stuff.
    I never even considered using them in the bath/shower. I guess I’ll have to try them.
    p.s. I had to click or touch the sunglasses – clearly I’m not supposed to do dishes but go outside and enjoy some sunshine!

  104. Here’s how my crazy works… cloths knit on the diagonal are dishcloths and those knit on the horizontal (is that the right term), like yours pictured here, are face cloths. This is how I tell them apart when folding a load of laundry. Also, varigated colours are dish cloths and solid colours are face cloths. Don’t ask me why, but these two distinctions make the most sense to me.

  105. Must say that in my family (raised in Connecticut, USA), these are called wash rags, if used on one’s body, or dish rags, if used on one’s dishes. It must be a local thing, because friends who are also from CT have never heard this!

  106. I can’t bear to wash dishes with a dishcloth – but I do make them as “towels” to dry my hands in the kitchen. I make the Mason-Dixon Ballband ones for the kitchen – delightful project for next to the phone because I can knit it without thinking.

    For washclothes – I was inspired by your post on this many years ago when you made a bunch for your aunt (I think?). I don’t see you giving them as gifts on Christmas – but they are wonderful gifts. A nice pattern for a washcloth is:


    Thanks for this post – always an inspiration to knit something beautiful and useful.

  107. I’ve made lots of dish cloths and everyone loves them except my mother in law who refuses to get them wet so she uses them for hotpads. But my current cloths are for people washing and will be bundled with nice soap for Christmas.

  108. I’ve had several given me as gifts, and I love them. One is under the ceramic canister that holds one needlepoint-end of each of my circular needles. One is under my hot cocoa mug right there by the computer, so reliable that I can reach for it in the morning by muscle memory alone. I treasure the knitters and their acts of love in making them and I treasure my little squares of love-knit cotton.

    And boy do I remember when they were a Knitlist fad. I remember thinking, seriously? People…knit…dishcloths?? But that was before I’d even heard of hand knit socks as a real thing. Man, the world has changed.

  109. You know what? I don’t care what they are used for. If they give pleasure to the knitter, and pleasure to the recipient, then that’s enough for me.

  110. I call the bathroom ones wash cloth. The kitchen ones are dish rags. I have some super cheap crochet kitchen dish rags. And hand knit wash cloths in the bath, mostly use them on my babies (who are now 5 and almost 2, ahem). The crochet ones are much rougher and great for scrubbing burnt stuff.

  111. I always have a ‘go bag’ with yarn for cloths in it. I have knitted them while sitting in hospital rooms, the nursing home, while waiting at dr. appointments, at ball practice, riding in the car, and I am sure many other times. I make a bunch (around 50) every year for my mom and I to give to co-workers and friends. We give them with other small items as gifts. I don’t know what they are used for – washcloths or dishcloths – but people always tell us they love them. I use mine as dish cloths.

  112. I have knit one dishcloth in my life (linen), and it hangs on the stove handle to be used for drying my hands after I have washed dishes.

    I have knit many washcloths (cotton), which live in the bathroom and are used for a variety of wiping, drying, dabbing, scrubbing, sudsing tasks,

  113. Thank you for saying what I have been thinking for YEARS. I used the patterns on those websites you mentioned before Ravelry, and was always confused about the names. Who would use lovely cotton, and spend the time to make something to wash the remnants of food off your DISHES?? I live in Australia, and know them as “facewashers”.

  114. My mom loves to knit dish/washcloths. They work wonderfully as dishcloths, to wash dishes, and clean up perfectly well in the washing machine. That cheap cotton holds up well! It *does* make washing the dishes a little better, knowing I’m using something handmade.

  115. I made them for dishes, for years and years. Dishcloths were how I practised my knitting skills at a young age and learned new patterns. I still use them for dishes. I’d honestly never even considered knitting them to use as washcloths for myself until your posts about them. But now I need to make some πŸ™‚

  116. I’m in the dishcloth contingent, but when I give them as gifts I don’t specify to the recipient how to use them. Once, I specifically knitted my SIL some washcloths and she ended up using them as doilies. Go figure.

  117. Once upon a time, I knit my mom a lace washcloth. I took a photo of it, much like yours, perched primly on the bathtub with a nice bar of soap. I envisioned it living a life of leisure in Mom’s guest bath, perhaps. A short while after giving it to her, I noticed it in her kitchen. The holes in the lace were already gaping from heavy use. “That’s the best dishcloth I’ve ever had!” Mom exclaimed. “Make me more.” So, now I knit dishcloths. I use sturdier stitches, though, like Bee and Trinity.

  118. Let me add my 2c worth — My washcloths are clones of yours (thanks to “Rudimentary…”) and my dishcloths are multicolored Tunisian crochet. Problem solved.

  119. The ones I have were all gifted to me as dish cloths, so that is what I use them for. Although, they do wear out eventually. If I made then myself, I might hesitate to use them so roughly.

  120. Someone could do a sociology/anthropology project with these comments. πŸ™‚ The amount of passion and thought we put into dishcloths/washcloths is fascinating.

    I call them humble-cotton-squares-elevated or washcloths. Knitting the ball band pattern with cotton yarn saved my sanity 10 years ago when family drama hit its peak. I use knit washcloths daily for wiping surfaces in the kitchen, cleaning around the house, and tidying in the car, but never for washing dishes. They are good for dry dusting, too.

    I recently realized I had crocheted and knit a pile of white cotton washcloths over 20+ years from the same cone of cotton yarn, and most of those washcloths had never been used. Today they are neatly folded in quarters and stacked on a shelf in my bathroom. They make me smile when I see them, and I have a clean, dry washcloth whenever I want one.

  121. I put a large tab on the corner of mine, put a button on the front, hung it around the handle of my stove and called it, a hand towel. I plan to make more of these hybrids and use them all over the kitchen.

    Wash clothes can become dish clothes which can become hand towels. That’s evolution for you.


  122. I love to knit washcloths and love your variation – I’ve even made a few. I do love a hand knit ecru washcloth for bathing, but I also make them for dishes, usually in brighter colors. Those suckers can scrub, clean, absorb a spill, whatever you need. When the colors fade, they become cleaning rags, even though they aren’t really rags just good faded cloths. I have never had one wear out. Lo, the humble wash cloth.

  123. I love them for dishes. I usually do the diamond one – Grandmother’s Favourite, I think it is called. I make little scrubbies with the leftover yarn, which are great for removing makeup.

  124. I love Bee Stitch very much. Interesting stitch rip along with, sturdy, handsome hardy stitch. Strong for lots of scrubs or bathing. I think it is time to start piles of warshcloths πŸ™‚ for Christmas! Friends and family really like tea towel size cloths for counters and warshcloth sizes. My heart is full, knowing I will be bee-stitching (har har) very soon.
    p.s. great photos of tub, cloth, soap

  125. Dishcloths all the way. I switched over from sponges about eight years ago and have not looked back. Having them is one of the heady pleasures of being a knitter.

  126. I knit one dishcloth. I used it in the kitchen for washing dishes and it just didn’t dry as it hung over the faucet. I ended up using it to clean the bathroom where it had more time to dry and eventually it got too soiled to use. I never thought to use it as a washcloth. Maybe I’ll make another one. Or try a DK or sport yarn.

  127. My mother and mother in law still make these (my mom also makes the kitchen towels that are half terry,half crochet). When I make them, I use them as facecloths, when I get them as gifts, I tend to use them for dishcloths.

    BTW, I was feeling a little down today….until I read your post!! πŸ™‚

  128. My side of the family does Secret Santa every Christmas among – we draw names at Thanksgiving (October) and that’s the only gift we’re responsible for. Because we don’t swap gifts with the whole family at xmas, I’ll knit everyone dishcloths and hand them out at Thanksgiving – most of my family is heavy into baking, so the dishcloths get used.

    With my inlaws, we don’t do Secret Santa, but I make them dishcloths as stocking stuffers. I usually make 3 or 4, and reuse the ball band from the yarn to wrap them in, and each ‘bundle’ goes to each person or couple at Christmas. (I do the same at Thanksgiving – one bundle per couple.)

    Although my family tends to use all their cloths for kitchen use, my inlaws traditionally use one as a washcloth, one for cleaning the bathroom, and the other one or two for kitchen & dining room use. They get really well used, to the point where they’re all worn out (or mostly worn out) by the following Christmas.

    They’re all well worn gifts, which I love – and couldn’t be less expensive in yarn cost or time consumption. It’s great to see that they’re being used, and how great is it that I’ve converted my inlaws away from using paper towels – they only use hand knit dishcloths for cleaning! (How green! yay!)

  129. I remember reading the The Knit List ALL THE TIME. During this time I printed off many knitting washcloth patterns. Earlier this week, I was looking in my yarn stash and skipped over some bright orange cotton yarn, gonna turn off the computer now and grab it and start on a wash cloth – perfect timing with fall coming soon…Thanks for the idea… Janice – Southeastern WI, USA

  130. I absolutely use them to wash the dishes-they do a great job, so long as they have lots of garter stitch. I hate the crocheted ones because they take too long to dry. Recently my aunt gave me one that’s a half-sized rectangle, and it turns out that’s perfect. But much as I love using them, I hate making them. So I buy them from old ladies who sell them for less than the yarn would cost me.

  131. I used one of my washcloths as a dishcloth, and one sharp knife cut a strand and killed it dead. Now they are hostess towels.

  132. My MIL swears by knitted/crocheted dishclothes for washing dishes. I made three of them for her a few years ago, and she has yet to use the third one. So I’m making her a bunch so she doesn’t have to stockpile!

  133. Hoosier heretic here:

    I’ve knitted baby washcloths in a soft, thin cotton, and dishcloths in heavier cotton and hated the way my hands felt afterward. Recently, I tried the synthetic Scrubby yarn for dishclths and hated it even more for the same reason — SQUARED!
    So if someone gives me knitted or crocheted cloths, I will love the giver and use and appreciate the gift, but dishcloths will never be a do-it-myself thing. Not worth the pain. (Slinking away now, going back to knitting sweaters, socks, hats and blankets in lovely, warm, stretchy wool.)

  134. I don’t use washclothes in the bath. Am I weird? I don’t use a loofah or sponge or anything. I guess I’m unfoliated.

    Anyways, I love to use mine to wash dishes. You can knit different sizes and types to fit better into deep glasses and it fits way down to get all the cracks I can reach with my hand or sponge. Also, sponges can’t be washed and are gross and collect germs. Dishclothes can be washed over and over again.

    I did have a washcloth I knit for my face and it was wonderful.

  135. I’ve made both dishcloths and wash cloths in the past for friends but the one I’ve made for myself seems to be called a wash cloth. I don’t know why, maybe I just like that term better or perhaps it’s because I use it for washing my face. Now I’ve seen your patterned wash cloth I may have to try that stitch pattern.

  136. I have a few handknit cloths–some my mother did, and wanted me to crochet borders. Nope, don’t crochet. But I use them for my china/crystal/silver, beautiful things that were gifts and many inherited. I’m downsizing from all that now, but the last wash before the consignment store will be with the knit cloths.

  137. I remember the Knit List. I remember the scads of patterns. I knit washcloths for my sons, only to find one of their aunts wanted one. When she bragged to another of the sisters, that she had a hand knit wash cloth from me, I knit another. I came to view them as a good stitch pattern learning tool. I remember encountering the first of your essays there too. It was the one that went on about suppositions of strangers and the amount of morality they attributed to a lone knitting woman on public transit. I snickered. I’ve been slowly taking up Machine Knitting, which is a different pursuit than hand knitting. Thanks for the reminder about the washcloths – maybe it’s time to try bee stitch backwards on the Bond.

  138. These washcloth/dishcloth posts should come with warnings. The last time you did this I ended up with a stack of them and more cotton yarn than I’d ever thought I could use. It may happen again…
    Incidentally, my old babysitter knit and sold these cloths. She labelled them as being suitable for both purposes! I use mine only as washcloths, though.

  139. I’m with you Stephanie.

    And I avoid any confusion by calling it a facecloth. Actually, I grew up calling it a facecloth even though we used them on all the other body parts.

  140. I’ve made them for years to be used in the kitchen or bath with a note suggesting they not be used as potholders, which some people are prone to doing. Cotton burns. I’ve used wool and the same patterns for pot holders. I’ve also custom made them to fit various size pans so the can be stacked without scratching. The only use I’ve not yet seen mentioned is that I make small ones to be used as a pad for a cell phone on a desk or night stand so it doesn’t get scratched and it doesn’t rattle so loudly if a call or text is received while the phone is silenced.

  141. Knitting and crocheting cloths are definitely making a comeback. Books are coming out on the subject here in Denmark.
    I haven’t tried using them myself but they look so pretty.

  142. I keep myself supplied with dishcloths in cheerful colors. I use them for cleaning up the kitchen–the counters, the stove, dishes, whatever needs a swipe. I like that they’re much thicker than towels and don’t need folding. I used to knit them for gifts, but found most people didn’t seem to love them like I do, so now I just knit them for me.

  143. Quite a popular gift amongst my family and friends! Here’s a poem I wrote on the subject. Feel free to copy, print and give with your gifts circling your own crafty method. Just please don’t alter it and please do include my by line.
    The Humble Handmade Washcloth Poem By Mary G. (nanaknits1 on Ravelry)
    August 15, 2016

    Don’t make fun of me!
    I’m as practical as can be.
    In your home I will be “green”
    And lookout dirt I’m rather mean!
    Rinse me out and hang me to dry
    And no mildew will make you cry.
    In the laundry I can go.
    Cold water and tumble dry low.
    Pretty please do not use bleach
    And my lovely colors will not leach.
    I’m hand made, that is true.
    Every stitch I thought of you!
    When I am old and quite done for
    Contact my crafter and request some more.

    Method: (crochet, knit or woven)
    Pattern used:
    Yarn used and content:

  144. Not the dishes, though I do love my dishes and still do them by hand, but as facecloths, and body cloths what could feel better. I also make small ones for my wee dog’s rather runny eyes (very gentle) and I’m now thing of making them out of thin cotton yarn as napkins. Yup, I always use cloth napkins. My family loves them, and I never, ever ask them how they use them.

  145. I completely agree, couldn’t understand the obsession with them as dishcloths, but can totally get behind them as washcloths — I think I might just fall down that rabbit hole.

  146. We, I for one make dishcloths. Many of them, and there are always a few available for the quick giveaway. Many people used to frown on my dishcloths and say things like: “they are sold in supermarkets, you know – and they are not expensive…” – only to come back a couple of days later saying “Well, I admit that I first thought you were a bit crazy making dishcloths. But these are so lovely and wonderful – would you mind very much making me another one?” (I also tell people that they can obviously use that particular cloth for wiping whatever they want – but as a rule they end up as dishcloths)
    There are only handknitted dishcloths in my kitchen. And nobody in the family uses washcloths, so that would be kind of a waste.
    For everything else: lovely work, Stephanie – as always!
    Greetings from Germany, Maria

  147. In July I went back and read your 8/9/13 post about the bee stitch washcloth and then wrote myself simple instructions to follow. I knit and ripped until I could do it and then knit up two cones of dishcloth cotton into bee stitch dishcloths. Then I taught it to a group of fifteen friends one Saturday, and they’re making them as well. Fabulous, Stephanie! Thank you.

  148. I call them dish cloths, but they’re really “counter and microwave” cloths. I knit mine in a horizontal rib (garter with a stockinette row thrown in) so they’re good and squishy. We don’t use them as wash cloths – but mostly because there are five people in my family and I don’t knit enough of them frequently enough to serve the purpose. I’ve also knit “burp cloths” which I think are very nice because they look better than an old cotton diaper over your shoulder, but are absorbent and completely washable.

  149. I knit dishcloths, usually from Grandmother’s Favourite pattern. Good summer knitting or knitting when I can’t concentrate well, and make washing the dishes much more enjoyable.

  150. Dishcloths are the one knitted item I have managed to force family to actually use. Everything would disappear into a dresser drawer (or worse). When I first gave them dishcloths, they admitted they were afraid to use them. The next time I visited, I offered to wash the dishes, and so initiated the precious cloths. That did the trick. About half a year later, family members began sidlling up to tell me in whispered tones that they enjoyed handwashing the dishes better when they used my dishcloths, and could I please make more.
    I doubt I could use such forceful tactics to get them to use a washcloth the next time they wanted to bathe…

  151. I know them as dishcloths, and that they were the only thing that my Nana – who could make just about anything – would knit. It fascinates me that knitting to her was merely a functional activity, whereas my mother truly embedded the joy of knitting into me.

  152. Yes, they’re totally for the bath at our house, too. Face-washing, mostly. And chest-warming while lying in the tub.

    I remember the Knit List. I lived for a new batch of posts! I had them all saved to 3″ disks for future reference. Hahaha!

  153. Washcloths are the things I knit that are used to wash my face (and I get compliments on my “great skin” quite a lot)… goat’s milk soap + a hand-knitted washcloth. And good sunscreen!

    Dishcloths are the things that I crochet that are used to wash my dishes. I do dishcloths out of Sugar ‘N Cream (just like wash cloths), but the wash cloths are KNITTED and the dish cloths are CROCHETED.

    It’s a thing. And it works. And I enjoy using the stuff I make, so I can go either way: face or dishes.

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