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  • Had to swing the laptop around so Mark could see that top photo. Thought of you as I wiped up the chortled tea from the table with a…ballband dishcloth.

  • Still in the long haul of blanket knitting. 4 babies by July – some will get Zimmerman surprise sweaters, others M-D sweaters and then blankets for the extra special. Dishcloth, short term projects sound good to me. #productionline.

  • I do love my soft absorbent cotton dishrags – pretty colors and great for drying, wiping et al. But for actually WASHING dishes etc I prefer synthetic (!) yarns, the rougher and nastier the better.

    The polyester or acrylic is almost as tough at scrubbing as those green scratchy things they sell at the supermarket, especially if the stitch pattern has a lot of purl bumps. Also, the soap and the goop rinse out easily and they dry about 10 times as fast.

    Thanks to family members who are phobic about wool I have a lifetime of many-colored scraps. Thanks for reminding me that’s what I could be toting around instead of a bulky sleeve!

  • At first when I saw the initial picture, I thought you were knitting while the dentist was actually working on your teeth. I thought, “This woman is amazing!”

    Getting ready to cast on some dishcloths for mother’s day gifts (my mom requested some). Immediately thought of the ball and band pattern (which I love). Really like the green and brown of the one you show in the photos.

    • Of course, you’re amazing without knitting your way through a filling. What I should have said is, “…even MORE amazing…” 😉

  • I imagine it’s refreshing to the dentist and hygienist to have a patient in the chair with needles and yarn versus an iPhone plastered to her face. (“Please rinse and spit, after we wait for you to answer that text!”)

    My family tells me the ballband is their most favorite dishcloth for its scrunchy-ness. xo Tammy

  • Brilliant. And makes so much sense. Lately, my favorite possession is a woven cotton/linen dishtowel I purchased in Rhinebeck last fall. It is beautiful and never damp.

  • Periodically, I get the urge, and find a reason, to knit up some of these dishcloths. I get lost in the fun of matching colors. Synchronistically, I am in the middle of making a crochet potholder/knit dishcloth set to surprise a friend who has a new kitchen. I use Sugar n Cream cotton yarn (Michael’s had a sale last week, 4/$5.00!). The funny thing is that no one for whom I have made a dishcloth has ever used them. They SAVE them, considering them too pretty to use! Oy.

    Now, I have a whole new yarn to try. Must call my dentist.

    Thanks Kay. 😉


    • I made some dish cloths for my mom – who is a saver – but I gave them to her ON CONDITION THAT she actually use them. I have seen the wear and tear with my own eyes – so I know that she met the condition! Hurray!

      • That’s so nice, Bev! I think my mom would have liked them, too.

        I now do remember making 6 or 7 for a friend’s birthday because she told me she purchased a hand knit dishcloth while on vacation. I figured she would actually use them. She spent 16 minutes on the phone giving me a critique as to how better to make them next time (apparently they were not thin enough to wash her mother’s good glasses). Ugh and oy! Needless to say, there has been no “next time”.

  • Oh my. I was at the dentist two weeks ago and my first thought when I started reading this post was, “So much wasted knitting time!!!” Live and learn. And learn and learn! I have a hank of linen yarn tentatively slated for a dishtowel experiment, and now there’s even more reason to try it. Thanks, Kay and ms. e!
    A few years ago I used a simple YO/K2T pattern to make stretchy little fishnet cotton washcloths with garter borders…they dry fast, plus have the scrub factor I was looking for in an egg-washing cloth. File this one under “Special Purpose – May Never Need”

  • Ball band dishcloths. Nothing like them. One of the great quick presents of the knitting world.

  • Tosh Merino Light, because COLORS!
    Dream In Color Smooshy with Cashmere.
    Madelinetosh DK Twist
    Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted

  • “Although: Goals” YOU CRACK ME UP! So did @galezucker’s “stirrups” comment on Instagram. My go-to travel knitting is always an MDK mitered square. Can’t have too many of those. Someone always needs a blanket.

    • Judy, I , too loved the subtle humor of “Although: Goals”, and I thank you, too, for the great travel knitting idea of the mitered squares.

  • LOVE Zooey. I made one of the M-D hand towels from your first book out Zooey, last summer. Matching washcloth is 1/2 done, somewhere around here…

  • Garter dishcloth with pointy corners never fails to amuse me, especially on the decreasing portion. I have made them as “washcloths” using cotton-wool blends and they make great last-minute presents. Heavy cotton dishcloths don’t really work in Forida–they never dry completely and get slimey.

    I need to find a dedicated travel project. I usually grab whatever I’m working on and often regret it. I am currently making multiples of Beans the Cat.

  • It will be many years before I can switch away from Peaches and Crème, because of the ridiculous amount I bought when they were bought out by Spinrite ::sobs::

    Although I do have some Euroflax I bought under the influence of your first book that I have also never used.

    (The influence of you two on my stashing habits is not to be underestimated).

  • This is brilliant! I made a boatload of ballband dishcloths several years ago but as the little darlings began to smell weird, I let attrition take its course. My current microfiber cloths may dry quickly but they have no soul, so I love the Zooey solution.

  • One of my most favorite patterns is the Ballband dish cloth…use this for gifts all the time! Peaches and Creme is the best, but I completely agree it does not dry fast enough. Will have to give the other blends a try!

  • The Euroflax is also wonderful for face cloths — excellent exfoliation. Depending on the size you want, one hank will get you four or more.

  • Knit Pick CotLin is way cheaper than Euroflax. 70%cotton/30%linen.

    • Thanks for the tip! I just ordered some fun colors so I can knit up more ball band dish cloths.

    • I’ve been using this also and it really holds up well. Makes a thicker cloth even in plain garter stitch and it’s not too rough for face cloths. Great colors !!!

  • An easy fix for the smelly cotton dishcloth – wet the cloth and put it in the microwave (flat) for 1-2 minutes. Take it out after it has cooled. Smell gone.

  • Oh MAN! I forgot how much fun it was to knit up those things:)!

  • When a friend committed suicide this fall, I spent a week knitting nothing but ballband dishcloths, every day and long into the night. Aside from the eventual hand discomfort of knitting with so much cotton, they soothed my nerves and provided calm when emotion threatened to overcome me.

    • Knitting helped me, too, when my mom passed away late one Christmas Eve.

  • Love making the ball-band dishcloths in the Peaches N Creme. Such a quick, fun, satisfying project. I began to notice that they lost their colors pretty quickly, though and became sort of muddy and dirty looking. The last couple I made got a soak in vinegar water to try to set the colors. We’ll see if that helps. I’ m going to try a cotton-linen blend. Thanks as always for sharing.

  • Will the sharp eye of Kay never cease to amaze: “I put my phone up to my face to inspect… thinner, crunchier yarn. I inquired…” And thus the doors open to another iteration of dishcloth production. Which clearly bring much comfort in times of duress, whether at the Dear Dentist or in mourning a friend. Thanks MDK once again!

  • A ballband dishcloth project bag is a permanent resident in the driver’s door pocket of my car. Great for waiting rooms and mid-city raised drawbridge pauses. I’ve got some CotLin in the stash… hmm. Don’t they tout bamboo yarn as anti-bacterial for socks? I’ve got some wool and bamboo I might take out for a try.

  • I’ve made/used/worn out many ball-band dishcloths over the years, since being introduced to this pattern, here’s my “anti-funk” solution to the odor issue. I add about 1/8 cup (a couple of glugs) of original Pine Lysol to my laundry tub as it is filling – this eliminates the odor and my dishcloths live to scrub another day. Apparently only the original “Pine” uses pine oil which is the effective ingredient. There is no pine scent left over after drying.

    Has anyone used leftover wool yarn to make dryer balls?

    • Nadine, I used some of an ill-considered of sandpaperesque bulky icelandic wool as the wrapped core, with Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool as the knitted jacket according to this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/dryer-balls. I added an extra set of increases/decreases to make the ball larger – I find them to be much more effective if large and dense. I put mine in a mesh bag and run them through a few wash loads with towels to felt them up when they are new, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I really like them!

  • I’m always on the hunt for the best dishcloth. For worsted weight, KnitPicks Dishie is the best cotton yarn I’ve found–sturdy, color lasts longer, has a nicer hand while working with it. Lighter weight yarn is even better, and simple cloths crocheted in Sz. 10 cotton thread are my favorites, drapey and quick-drying, although linen is nice, too. I have not made the Ballband in finer yarn — might have to do that soon!

  • So funny!! Last week my dental hygienist recommended that I bring my knitting:-) I have sensitive teeth and tend to cringe and grimace a lot and she thought that my knitting might keep me calmer. My first through was “dishcloth!!”

  • Second try will hopefully do the trick

  • No! Misspelled email address

  • I use Sugar and Cream for all of my dishcloths. I’ve got a large stack (Ballband, Grandma’s favorite, etc.) and get a new one each time I do dishes. The previous dishcloth (usually dry and stiff) gets tossed in the laundry pile. I’ve never had a problem with them getting yucky or smelly.

    I love Knit Picks Dishie and Cotlin and have used both for blankets but not dishcloths.

  • I have a go to travelling bag with teddy bear bits. I’m going to have to add the dishcloth cotton (or linen!) to the mix. Brilliant idea. The ballband pattern is a favourite!

  • I fell in love with the Ballband when I read your book. Knitted dishcloths are so NOT a thing in Australia. Whenever I give one away the reaction is “you knitted it yourself – and I’m supposed to use it for cleaning? Madness!”

  • I don’t make dish cloths but I do make lots of face cloths and teeny-tiny toner applicator pads (great for saving the planet from an overrun of used cotton balls, but have to be laundered inside a lingerie bag to avoid gumming up the works of the washing machine).

    I use hempathy in seed stitch on a sz. 4 needle. Great for exfoliation and dry fast, thus avoiding the horrendous experience of placing a sour cloth over your face at oh dark thirty.

  • Love the letter. Made me laugh. Thank you.