Life Skills & Home Economics

Learn to Knit a Basic Washcloth

Not long ago knitting seemed to me one of those daunting, complicated skills ladies my age only possessed if it had been passed down from a mother or a grandmother with saint-like patience and heaps of talent. Many of the matriarchs in my family are patient and talented, just not when it comes to knitting! I taught myself to knit a few years ago using many of the same video tutorials and instructions I would like to share with you today. If you’re looking for a new skill to learn in your homeschool this fall or a way for the kids to create uniquely handcrafted gifts to hand out for Christmas, this is it! Let’s learn to knit a basic washcloth today, yes?

learntoknitabasicwashcloth

The only supplies you’ll need to get started are knitting needles, yarn, and a pattern. Later you’ll need a pair of scissors to clip the end of your work and a darning needle {affiliate} to weave the loose yarn ends into the outside border of the washcloth.

suppliesneeded

I prefer using the Clover Takumi Bamboo Knitting Needles, Size 7 for this pattern.

For yarn, any of the Lily Sugar ‘N Cream Cotton Yarns are a good choice. This yarn is offered in all sorts of color combinations and makes the BEST washcloth! I picked up a bunch of the “Super Size” skeins at Joann Fabrics last week for $2.99 each regular price. Using one 40% off one item coupon and my Teacher’s Discount Card for 15% off the rest, I only paid $18.41 (after tax) for 7 skeins of yarn, each of which will make 3, 7 1/2″ washcloths.

My favorite washcloth uses a basic pattern found all over the internet, often called Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth. It uses only two basic stitch combinations and is very beginner friendly.

Step 1 – Cast On 4 stitches:

caston

Here’s a video to show you how to Cast On.

In this particular work, you don’t need a long tail when casting on….just enough to cast on the 4 stitches. A tail 8 inches or so is plenty long!

Step 2 – Knit across the first row using the Knit Stitch:

knitfirstrow

Here’s a video to help you learn the Basic Knit Stitch.

The first part of this video teaches the basic knit stich you’ll use for the 1st full row after casting on, but only knit one row!

Step 3 – Knit 2, Yarn Over (Increase), Knit to End of Row:

k2yarnover

Knit two regular stitches like you just learned, do a yarn over, then knit to the end of the row. Repeat this step until you have 44 stitches on your left needle.

Here’s a video to teach you how to do a yarn over.

Don’t pay attention to the references to the purl stitch in the video; we don’t do any purling in this work. The important part of the video is how to do the yarn over and for you to see the little hole the stitch is supposed to make. This is how we increase the number of stitches on the needle.

Step 4 – Knit 1, Knit 2 Together, Yarn Over, Knit 2 Together, Knit to End of Row:

step4knittingcollage

Once you have your full 44 stitches, we’re going to start to decrease our stitches and finish the other side of the work. The knit 2 together stitch is used to decrease the amount of stitches on your needle. You’ll knit one regular stitch, knit 2 stitches together, do a yarn over, and knit two stitches together once again. Then knit regularly to the end of the row. You’ll repeat this pattern until you have just 4 stitches left on your left needle.

knittingalmostfinished

Here’s a video that teaches the knit 2 together decreasing stitch.

Remember, these videos aren’t teaching the same pattern we’re doing so they might look a little different, but that’s ok. What’s important is that you see how to do the stitch!

Step 5 – Cast Off

castoffcollage

Casting off, sometimes called binding off, is how we finish the washcloth.

Watch this video to learn how to cast off your last 4 stitches.

Step 6 – Clip Work Free & Weave in Loose Yarn Ends

weavingandclipping

Clip your washcloth from the ball of yarn leaving a few inches of yarn. Take your darning needle and weave the loose piece of yarn through the edge of the work just enough to make sure it doesn’t start to come unraveled. After weaving, clip the excess yarn close to the work to complete the project.

And there you have it……

finishedknittingcollage

An adorable and functional knitted washcloth! These are great for washing dishes, they feel soft and lovely when used to wash your face, and they make a great addition to any home. I genuinely look forward to September each year when I start knitting a few of these every day to offer my customers a variety of gift-giving options alongside the handcrafted soaps, lotions, and sugar scrubs I sell at The Handcrafted Homestead.

Knitting has become such a catharsis, something that helps me relax while I enjoy some down time here and there throughout the day. I’m very much still a beginner myself; the whole of my knitting knowledge is contained to simple square and rectangle works, but I knit nonetheless, and I love it! It’s a skill not many of my own generation posses, and it’d be a shame to see even fewer of our kids learning to knit, don’t you think?

Do you knit? Crochet? Sew? What are you working on right now?

What is one skill considered “old-fashioned” that you want to ensure survives into the next generation with our kids?

About the author

Danielle

Danielle is a big-city Southern California girl who, after a number of years spent enjoying the majesty of small-town Montana, moved back home to be near family and make a go of her backyard homesteading dreams. She’s married to her stud of a high school sweetheart and together they’re raising three handsome, rough-and-tumble young men. Their family loves the Lord and homeschooling is just one of the many ways they have endeavored to give their whole lives to Christ. Danielle and her family are having a blast working to turn their healthy DIY spirit into a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

1 Comment

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  • My mom taught me to crochet when I was 8. I’m 48 now. I taught my daughter to crochet and she learned to knit from a family friend.

    I hope these skills never become extinct. Besides learning something useful from the crafts, it’s so much fun to pick out yarns, craft with friends, and share finished projects as gifts. 🙂

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