A few years ago I took up teaching knitting and crochet to help support my yarn buying habit. I’m still doing that because its a lot of fun. And it supports my yarn buying habit. In the past week I’ve had quite a few of those students reach out to tell me they want to start the new year with learning new stitches. No problem. That’s what I’m here for! And I’m ready with a whole bunch of dishcloth patterns for them to start.
Dishcloth patterns are awesome for teaching new stitches. They are small projects so you can get them done quickly. They are just dishcloths so if you mess up a bit in the making of them, its okay. A wonky dishcloth will still wash your dishes, or face, or baby’s butt, as well as a perfect one. Best of all dishcloth patterns are free… mostly. All the dishcloth patterns I’m pushing here today are free. Think of them as free mini-lessons!
And if you’re not feeling motivated to learn new stitches, you can always make these dishcloths because of the zombies. Now you see I’m in my forties and I’ve been hearing about zombies and the coming zombie apocalypse my entire life. Zombies are kind of popular right now because of a certain TV show but they are nothing new for me. Hollywood has been telling me that those brain-eaters are coming and I should get ready my entire life. Message received Hollywood and I’m not the only one. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, one of my favorite authors, wrote on her blog a while back
They (people who think knit washcloths are a waste of time) don’t understand how useful your skills are going to be after the zombie apocalypse. They’ll be washing their faces with rags and leaves while begging us for a washcloth. We will be as Gods. – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka The Yarn Harlot
Exactly. So let’s just start with the washcloth/dishcloth (its all the same) that Steph was making and see where it takes us!
4 Free Knit Dishcloths with Interesting Stitches
The Bee Stitch is a simple use of “knit one below”. Its a nice textured stitch that lays flat. This stitch is handy for all sorts of things like scarfs, borders, blankets, and of course dishcloths. Its a simple four row repeat and tons of people have published their version of the “pattern” but you can start with Lindy’s. Its nice, simple, and to the point.
Bobbles are another great texture stitch in knitting. There are all kinds of bobbles. Big puffy ones, garter stitch ones, small knobby ones, and more. Once you get into making bobbles, you will have your favorite way and you will try to push that way onto everyone you know. You’ll be comparing bobble making techniques with your fellow knitters and you won’t be able to stop yourself. But all that comes after your first bobble washcloth. Start with Molly’s. Its a good one.
And once you’ve done that, and become a bobble expert, you can move on to patterns that use bobbles as decorative accents like this:
Exfoliate! (Sorry. I couldn’t help myself. Dr Who fans will appreciate that and non-Dr. Who fans will forgive me because non-Dr. Who fans are accustomed to forgiving the random dorkiness of Dr. Who fans.) Grab this little freebie even if you don’t need to practice bobble making. Its so freaking cute.
I can’t move on to the crochet dishcloths (which I’m doing right after this) without The Ballband Washcloth. Its the bomb of knitted dishcloths. Originally published by Peaches’nCreme (I think) and made vintage-chik by the Mason-Dixxon Knitters, its the most popular knit dishcloth ever.
Now let’s learn some new crochet stitches. That’s the wonderful thing about crochet; no matter how many stitches you know, there is always a new one other there that you’ve never seen before.
4 Free Crochet Dishcloths with Interesting Stitches
The Star Stitch doesn’t get enough love in my opinion. Its a lovely textured stitch and its not hard at all. But, this is a stitch the requires you to put your hook into the stitch you just made in certain specific places and that can be hard to explain in a written pattern. The Star Stitch really is something you have to see done before you get it. So start with this pattern/photo tutorial from myhobbyiscrochet.com.
One of the things about crochet is the people make up names for stitches all the time. So when I clicked on the Berry Stitch Washcloth by Cheryl, it wasn’t the berry stitch I was expecting. It was something different! How wonderful. So I grabbed a copy of this one for myself.
Insert hook in specified stitch or chain, draw up a loop, leaving the loop on your hook, chain 3, y/o draw yarn through both loops on hook, Berry Stitch made.
With filet crochet you can make any picture of anything in yarn. You can make ducks and teddy bears and flowers and I found all those (and so much more) in free dishcloth patterns. Which one to link? In the end I went with this free filet crochet tutorial by Craftsy. It teaches the basics and it teaches you how to read a filet crochet pattern… or even make your own. So give this one a try to start and then go nuts. making open squares and closed squares to make any picture you like.
Again there are lots of versions of the “puff” stitch. The one used here by Moogly is puffier and longer than most. Its an interesting stitch and I think it would make for a WONDERFUL baby blanket. So soft, so smooshy. But make up a quick dishcloth with it first to see if you like it too. If not.. at least you’ll have one more dishcloth when the zombies are taking over the earth.
Which one am I making for the zombie apocalypse? The Bee Stitch.
P.S. If civilization collapses because of stock markets or governments not being able to balance their checkbooks or because we bred a super-bacteria from taking antibiotics for the flu or some other completely preventable, stupidity-caused catastrophe, I’m going to be mighty horked off. I was promised zombies.