Dishcloths and Memories

Knitted Dishcloth.JPG

One of my first posts I ever wrote; spoke of my yarn stash and how I was trying to use it up. I have been somewhat successful in that endeavor. I say somewhat because it never seems to totally disappear. It might be a little like the story of the widow’s oil in the Bible.

I should confess that it probably never disappears because I tend to keep purchasing yarn here and there for various projects. It never fails that you always end up with some extra from any project you do. At least I end up with some extra each time.

When I ventured over to the stash and looked through it I found some Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn. I thought I should probably turn it into a couple dishcloths as mine are getting pretty tacky.

Years ago, my Grandma made dishcloths and taught me how. I never knew what a YO (yarn over) was until she showed me.  I even have her pattern, in her handwriting, on a 3 x 5 index card. It is very special, at least to me, to be knitting a dishcloth from that pattern. Her spidery handwriting brings back more memories than just dishcloths.

In looking back she taught me way more than just how to make dishcloths. She taught me that there is a satisfaction in making something with your own hands that can be used in your home. She taught me that even things like dishcloths can be beautiful and colorful.

I can still see her sitting in her kitchen, on her chair with the wheels on it. (I personally thought that was pretty neat as our dining room chairs did not have wheels!) She would be hunched over the table, reading a pattern, a pile of yarn in front of her and a bowl, in the middle of her table with a single rose floating in it.

When she saw you come in the door she always made sure you sat down for a visit (at the table) and were served a piece of cake, cookie, banana bread or some new muffin she had tried. I learned at her kitchen table that a person could visit, eat lunch, and knit at the same time!

Grandma shared easily and so in the spirit of my Grandma I would like to share the dishcloth pattern with you. These are not too difficult to make if you can knit and do the YO thing.

They are a great project to take along when you travel; as they don’t use a lot of yarn or take up half your car with needles and balls of yarn. It is a pattern that works up quickly and is not overwhelming.

I also love how these clean my dishes. They have a slightly “bumpy” texture to them, which works great for scrubbing. I have also discovered that if they become stained or tacky looking; they make wonderful cloths for scrubbing the floor.

Knitted Dish Cloth
Sugar ‘n Cream or other cotton yarn
Size 10 knitting needles

Cast on 4 stitches
*K2, YO, K to end
Repeat from * until you have 45 stitches on the needle.

**K1, K2 tog, YO, K2 tog, K to end
Repeat from ** until you have 4 stitches on needle.

Bind off.
Weave in loose ends
K = knit, K2tog = knit 2 stitches together, YO = yarn over
NOTE: Grandma always made them with 45 stitches.
I tend to knit looser than she did so I do 40 stitches.

I hope you have as much fun making these as I do. I also hope you find them as useful and pretty as I do. If you do give these a try….let me know how they turn out for you.

In looking for a quote to go with this post I ran across a bunch of them by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. They are so funny …..perhaps because so many of them are so true!

“Achieving the state of SABLE is not,
as many people who live with these knitters believe,
a reason to stop buying yarn,
but for the knitter it is an indication to write a will,
bequeathing the stash to an appropriate heir.”

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,
At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
“SABLE- A common knitting acronym that stands for Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,
At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much




75 thoughts on “Dishcloths and Memories

  1. Anne Mehrling says:

    You knit people into your heart, Faye. If this post had come a few weeks ago, I might have asked my visiting friend who knits to get me started. No, it’s better left alone. By this time I would have been twisted in knots of frustration, or in this case, knits of frustration. Meanwhile, I’ll be thrilled for you that you have your grandmother’s pattern.

    If I had your pattern in your gran’s hand, I’d scan it. John laughs at me for scanning things, but I lose small bits of paper routinely. If you scanned it, everyone in your family with a computer could have it. I scanned grandson David’s letter to the tooth fairy when he lost his first tooth. He is 21 years old now. The paper is long gone, but I can look at it whenever I please. Maybe I took a photo of it; probably didn’t have a scanner back then.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      I sometimes think Grandmas feel like having grandkids is a do over. By then they know what worked and didn’t work with kids and have another chance to help a kid! Also they usually have more time to spend with kids. Love those grandparents!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. beeorganizedwithpamela says:

    Love this. This is my dishcloth pattern too. It is one thing I can always use. Here is another one: Waffle Knit Dishcloth from Homespun Living
    Materials: 1 ball Lion cotton yarn; additional yarn for colored stripe, if desired.
    Size 6 needles (4.25 mm)
    Cast on 38 stitches.
    Knit 3 rows for border. Row 1: (right side): Knit. Row 2: K 3, purl to last 3 stitches, k 3. Row 3: K 3, (P 2, k 1) 10 times, p 2, k 3. Row 4: K 3, (K 2, p 1) 10 times, k 5.
    Repeat these 4 rows, 6 times. If a colored center stripe is desired, change yarn now and work rows 1 – 4, 2 times in desired color.
    Change back to main color and work the 4 row pattern, 6 times.
    Knit last 4 rows.
    Bind off and weave in ends. No YO. LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. goldenbrodie says:

    Enjoy hearing about your sweet grandmother and how she taught you so many practical and heartwarming things. My grandmother was not a knitted or a needle woman, but she was a skilled maker of useful clothing such as around the neck aprons, waist aprons,
    white handkerchiefs for my grandfather, handmade patch quilts from her scraps, simple long skirts for her granddaughters, doll clothes and lovely table napkins. (There was never a paper napkin, paper towel or paper plate in her home. I so enjoy communicating with you. We share so much and it’s just warming my heart right now in a very golden and sincere way.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Timelesslady says:

    I learned so much from my grandmothers too. I think of them all the time. I have several cotton dishcloths and I love them. I usually keep them for wiping the grandbabies faces after eating. They are so soft. Thanks for the pattern. I have rudimentary knitting skills, but I might be able to create one of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. susieshy45 says:

    My knitting needles are rather big for my cotton yarn. I am wondering whether this pattern can be used for crochet as I have smaller crochet needles but not knitting needles. I didn’t know the YO stitch in knitting and had to watch a youtube video to learn. I did up to 15 stitches and found out my pattern was getting rather triangular- I stopped here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Yes!!! Your pattern should get triangular. Right up until you reach the 40-45 stitches and then as you knit 2 together each row; it will go the other way and finish as a square. You are doing it right Susie.
      I have ever only knitted this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. thecobweboriumemporium says:

    *playing catch-up* …..

    Ohhh it’s too too pretty to use as a dish cloth!

    I read this post and by the end I had the over-whelming feeling that I wanted to pack a bag, book a flight and come over there to get you to teach me exactly how to do this. (I can knit plain and pearl, (I think it’s called stockinette stitch) but nothing else, and … I can’t go round corners either. If you want a scarfe, I’m your (wo)man. lol)

    I couldn’t bring myself to use that blue dishcloth. I’d have to use it like a doily would be used. It’s way too pretty for such a mundane job.

    God Bless you Chicken… your blog posts always fill my heart with joy – and leave me feeling warm to the core and ever so slightly teary eyed. I love you for it.
    ~ Cobs. x

    Liked by 2 people

      • thecobweboriumemporium says:

        LOL… I think it’s because I’m a ‘pearls’ person.

        Purl .. seems to look like a possible medical term in some way:-

        Doctor Ing: “Mrs. Cobs I have your results. You’re suffering with Purl. Don’t worry, it happens to us all as we get older. It means you’re losing your mind. Your mind has Purled.”

        However … I’ve just asked Mr. Cobs what he thought Purl sounded like it would mean if he hadn’t met the word before, and after a moments thought he proclaimed: “Something to do with building.”
        I can see where he’s coming from with this idea.

        Sigh … you’d think I was too busy to be troubling my brain with thinking. But then …. my brain has Purled.
        Love you Chicken. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • thecobweboriumemporium says:

        Y’know … I think we just made a new word with a new meaning. 🙂

        Now … to infect the world with this new word! It is our duty. Naturally.
        [giggling like mad here]

        On your marks, get set,……. GO! Go infect the world with PURL! (If you can remember of course. lol). Cobs. x x

        Liked by 1 person

      • thecobweboriumemporium says:

        I like that thinking Chicken!
        C’mon…. let’s me and you CHANGE THE WORLD! One purl(ed) at a time.
        (I wonder if it will eventually make it’s way into the dictionary? Ohh such joy! … and it will all have begun with US! Perfection!)

        Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      If you can knit you can do this!!! The corners make themselves on this one. YO you just put the yarn over the needle without turning it into a stitch and go on to make the next stitch. (that wasn’t very clear was it? LOL)
      I am always so glad to see that you have stopped by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thecobweboriumemporium says:

        You know … I think I’m going to give this a go. I do have some wool, in a bag, somewhere… I shall find it out and see if I can give this a try. If I do, and IF I’m proud(ish) of the result, I’ll share it on my blog!
        (don’t hold your breath though, chicken because I struggle with ‘proud’. LOL) xxx

        Liked by 1 person

      • thechickengrandma says:

        hahaha. I also struggle with proud. Waaaaay back when I turned 40 I purchased a guitar. (might have been my midlife crisis?) I never learned to play it very good because I was too “proud” to practice when my husband was around. (I wanted to be perfect before anyone heard me.) He is a farmer so he is pretty much around when I am around.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thecobweboriumemporium says:

        I have a dreadful time with ‘pride’.
        One of the teachers in my first (infant) school was telling the class that pride was a sin. She had first to explain to all us little children what a ‘sin’ was, but once that had been done, the ‘pride is bad’ lesson had settled itself right into the centre of my brain and from that moment I had an anti social relationship with pride.
        [big sigh]

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Kewrites says:

    I love your grandma for passing such a skill to you. It is true there is satisfaction if you can make something nice with your own hands for your home. Sadly the only thing I do with my hands is cooking:-( I bought a sewing machine, was determined to learn on YouTube how to make clothes but that hasn’t happened till now

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Deb says:

    What a lovely story of your grandmother, family and enjoying the important things in life. I used to knit a long time ago, don’t know if I remember how. I love the color of the yarn and the design, what a great idea! And even better what a treasured memory each time you make and use one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. says:

    What a lovely memory! And you have proved the quote true.. She did leave something for her heir. very heartwarming. I am usually crocheting by now but have not yet-this inspires me to get going on my stash-I guess we all have them! thank you for this sweet post! touched my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jessica says:

    I love imagining your grandma at her table- I especially love the rose in the bowl part. This post is especially fitting because today we were studying Grandma Moses, the artist. I guess she believed in having beautiful things in a home. That’s what your dishcloths sound like. Love that you are carrying on a tradition you learned from her!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ame says:

    i learned different kinds of needlepoint stitches from my grandma, but for some reason i never learned knitting or crocheting. i’m not sure i have any memory of her doing either though i know she knew how to do both. they’re something i’ve always thought i’d love to learn how to do someday 🙂

    i love how she taught you to receive company, to visit. that is priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

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