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Knit a Nifty Dishcloth

Author Photo
By Kimberlee Bastien | Mar 26, 2019

This is the third of 12 basic homestead skills we’ll be presenting throughout the year from Kimberlee Bastien’s new book, 52 Homestead Skills. We invite you to join Kimberlee and her family on their homesteading journey. Visit the 52 Homestead Skills page to learn more about this series and to buy Kimberlee’s book.

A dishcloth is the perfect project to learn all the basic knitting skills you need.

Have you always wanted to learn to knit, but just haven’t got around to it? I challenge you to give it a try. All you need is an abundance of patience and some practice.

This is the pattern for a dishcloth I made in a knitting class with the help of my mentor, Stephanie Perry, from Sperry Handmade in Moncton, New Brunswick. It’s a great beginner’s project, as you’ll not only practice most of the basic stitches — knit, purl, increase, decrease, cast on, and cast off — but you won’t need to do a lot of knitting, compared with making a scarf or hat, for example.

So what are you waiting for? Find a mentor, grab a pair of needles, find a cozy spot, and enter the exciting world of knitting. Just one warning: There’s a good chance you’ll become obsessed with this skill, which could lead to spending hundreds of dollars on knitting supplies and having a large closet full of yarn you’ve special ordered. In addition, knitting may lead to learning to spin wool and thinking that buying an alpaca is a great idea. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Tools & Materials:

  • Worsted weight cotton yarn (about 100 yards)
  • Size US 7 or 8 needles

Pattern:

Cast on five stitches using a knit cast on.

Increase Section

K5
K2, yo, k3 (6)
K2, yo, k4 (7)
K2, yo, k5 (8)
K2, yo, k6 (9)
K2, yo, k7 (10)
K2, yo, k8 (11)
K2, yo, k9 (12)
K2, yo, k10 (13)
K2, yo, k11 (14)
K2, yo, k12 (15)
K2, yo, k5, p1, k7 (16)
K2, yo, 14 (17)
K2, yo, k5, p3, k7 (18)
K2, yo, k16 (19)
K2, yo, k5, p5, k7 (20)
K2, yo, k18 (21)
K2, yo, k5, p7, k7 (22)
K2, yo, k20 (23)
K2, yo, k5, p9, k7 (24)
K2, yo, k22 (25)
K2, yo, k5, p11, k7 (26)
K2, yo, k24 (27)
K2, yo, k5, p13, k7 (28)
K2, yo, k26 (29)
K2, yo, k5, p15, k7 (30)
K2, yo, k28 (31)
K2, yo, k5, p17, k7 (32)
K2, yo, k30 (33)
K2, yo, k5, p19, k7 (34)
K2, yo, k32 (35)
K2, yo, k5, p21, k7 (36)
K2, yo, k34 (37)
K2, yo, k5, p23, k7 (38)
K2, yo, k36 (39)
K2, yo, k5, p25, k7 (40)

Decrease Section

K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (39)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p23, k3, k2tog, k3 (38)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (37)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p21, k3, k2tog, k3 (36)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (35)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p19, k3, k2tog, k3 (34)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (33)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p17, k3, k2tog, k3 (32)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (31)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p15, k3, k2tog, k3 (30)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (29)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p13, k3, k2tog, k3 (28)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (27)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p11, k3, k2tog, k3 (26)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (25)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p9, k3, k2tog, k3 (24)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (23)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p7, k3, k2tog, k3 (22)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (21)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p5, k3, k2tog, k3 (20)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (19)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p3, k3, k2tog, k3 (18)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (17)
K2, yo, ssk, k4, p1, k3, k2tog, k3 (16)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (15)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (14)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (13)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (12)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (11)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (10)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (9)
K2, yo, ssk, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3 (8)
K2, yo, ssk, k2tog, k2 (7)
K2, ssk, k3 (6)
K2, k2tog, k2 (5)

Bind off all stitches using knit bind off.

Finishing

Weave in ends and clip tails. If desired, you can block this project using a steam iron, or simply run it through the washer and dryer.


Helpful resource

A good source for information on all things related to knitting (and crocheting) is the Craft Yarn Council, which covers multiple topics, including:

  • Hooks and needles
  • How to read a knitting pattern
  • Knitting abbreviations and chart symbols
  • Standard yarn weight system and yarn labels

Homestead Skills

MOTHER EARTH NEWS 52 Homestead Skills follows homesteader Kimberlee Bastien, as she learns one homesteading skill per week over the course of an entire year. The book details all of Bastien’s adventures, from building a beehive and becoming a beekeeper to creating her own laundry and dish soap. Whether you already live on a homestead, are transitioning onto one, or are only thinking about it, 52 Homestead Skills will help turn your dreams into a life worth living. Order from the Capper’s Farmer Store or by calling 800-234-3368.

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