Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Absolute Beginner's First Knitted Dishcloth (You Can Do It!)

Have you been practicing your slipknot and casting on?

NO?! (mock horror)

Well I guess that's alright, considering you're a real person with a life and everything. It doesn't matter since I've included the casting on tutorial video again in this post, because that's how much I love you. So no worries.
You're going to learn to make this!
This post is going to walk you through how to make your very first knitting project, a cute and functional dishcloth. It's very important for me to stress to you that you CAN do this, even if you've never even picked up a pair of needles before you. I have been knitting for two and a half weeks now (seriously, that's it, never even tried it before), and I was able to pull this off. So trust me, you can do it too.
I got mine at A.C. Moore and Michael's
You need:

*A ball of Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn (check out all the awesome colors!)
*A pair of #7 knitting needles (I got Clover Takumi bamboo--less slippery than metal, and bamboo is a very renewable resource!)
*You'll also need scissors and a yarn needle (or bobby pin or paperclip) at the very end when you're done.
Close up so you can see what kind of needles I got
Now before we get started, let me give you a quick pep talk (inspired by this post by Ashley of Make It and Love It):

You will probably kind of suck at this to begin with. The needles will feel really awkward in your hands, stitches will fall off, and you will very possibly end up with some unexplained holes here and there (this is still happening to me). Your first project is not going to be perfect; it may even be slightly hideous. But it will be YOURS, and you will be proud of yourself, and you will get better the more you do it. Don't stop or give up because things don't feel or look right. You'll get it in time.

Okay, enough of that touchy-feely stuff. Here we go!

First, you need to tie a slipknot at the end of your yarn, and then cast on 29 stitches. Here's a video to remind you how.

You should have a total of 30 stitches on your right needle (the slipknot plus the 29 you cast on). Now it's time to knit, baby! Follow along with the video, and feel free to pause and backtrack as needed. And shout out to my mom for the great camera work! :-)

After you knit your first row, you just start over again. Here's a video on starting a new row.

Now you just keep knitting your little heart out until you have enough rows that your dishcloth is more or less a square. To prove that I'm still a beginner that somehow ends up with holes in her knitting, here's a piece of evidence.
Now where did that come from?
Every few rows or so, count your stitches to make sure there's still 30. I tend to end up with 31 or 32 (not sure why!), so here's how you fix that.

Once you've got a square (and don't worry if it's days or weeks or whatevers later; work at your own pace), you're ready to finish off your work. Watch this tutorial to see how to bind off and tuck in the ends of string.

After you tuck in the tail of the string you finished with, you can do the same thing with the tail from the slipknot.

And then, drumroll please... YOU DID IT!
My finished dishcloth, holes, bumps, and all
Use it, frame it, or unravel it to start again, whatever floats your boat. Regardless, show it off for a bit first, and come back here to post a photo or tell us how it went!


  1. And what's my favorite saying?? No one will die from a mistake on a dish cloth. Good job!!

    1. Thanks, Tammy! You're an excellent teacher!

  2. Great videos! I have made 5 dishcloths now and I'm starting a sixth! I am making mine with 35 stitches and I am going to try to replace all of my washcloths in the next 6 months with homemade! I got my yarn on sale so it will cost me less the 50 cents a piece!! It wasn't until my 4th that I didn't have any strange holes or extra stitches.......but they are my creation! Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. Look at you changing up the pattern to suit your needs! That's AWESOME! I love your goal; I'm saving mine in our hope chest for our first home. Thanks for the kind words--I love you, Bethie!


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