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Dear Kay,

Oh, good grief, I’m off. It’s dishcloths dishcloths so many dishcloths, thanks to a little Bento Bag full of Rowan Handknit Cotton oddments that accumulated at Atlas and somehow found their way home with me.

I know, I know: our dishcloth knitalong doesn’t start until Friday, but what am I supposed to do? Not make dishcloths when the opportunity presents itself?

I’m on number ten. I’m doing the Ballband Dishcloth, easy peasy, 33 stitches cast on, two colors of Rowan Handknit Cotton, and nine rows of bricks later, I’m done.

The pattern is free and through a freak of the internet now lives on a website called Canadian Living, right here.

There’s not much else to say except: if you’ve never made a Ballband Dishcloth, and you’re wondering if it’s a fun thing to do, my answer is a loud and emphatic, caps-lock YES IT IS RIDICULOUS HOW FUN IT IS.

LOVE (whoops),


PS If you’re wondering about Kay’s latest scheme to get us all to knit dishcloths, read all about the upcoming Kitchen Sink-along right here. Starts this Friday. Prizes are in the offing. Gift knitting has never been this easy, just sayin.

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  • Ha! I’m ahead too – unwittingly.
    I’ve been working my way through the MDK Log Cabin booklet and really enjoyed it so, I think that means I have 6 cloths already. I’d send you a photo if I knew how.
    Thank you for the new pattern.

    • They are soooo much fun! I recently bought this, mainly fir the dishcloths!

  • Oh good I’ve got that book by you guys so I don’t have to copy/bookmark/otherwise print-for-posterity the pattern. (Of course I have lots of ballbands but never when I want them). When I first came across that brick pattern I thought it was way beyond my scope as a knitter. Something to gaze upon from afar. Little did I know.

    • Well, I’ve never stopped making them!

  • Love those ball-band dishcloths! I make mine just a tad bigger (cast on, if I remember right, 41 and knit 12 brick rows). After my mind-bending Brioche Experience I’m enjoying my mindless temperature blanket and looking forward to Dishcloth Fun – where the hardest part is picking two colors out of all the remnants! Thanks for this, Ann, I’m off to round up my cotton bits and bobs. 🙂

  • You inspired me several posts back. On vacation at The Winnipeg Folk Festival made 3 Bodhi leaf wash cloths and 1 basket weave. Will do bricks next! My first dish cloths ever! Thanks for inspiring!

  • Yep, six new dishcloths and a new Euroflax face towel for my bathroom. My face really deserves the beauty of linen after a good scrub at night and I will not change my mind. I took the awesome idea of using the split rib brioche and, dang, that made a gorgeous dishcloth that will bring joy until it falls apart.

  • I just finished #8. Ballband, some Sequence knitting, miscellaneous little patterns from here and there, all out of some mystery organic cotton from the deep stash. Lovely stuff but what was I thinking when I bought all these neutrals??? I have no idea!

  • I use the pattern in the MDK Curious Knitter’s Guide–cast on 45 and knit for 11 bricks. It’s a little bigger. I use them myself as well as give them away and I love them. Super knitting for tv watching or talking on the phone. I’m working on Christmas presents right now.

  • It seems everybody has jumped the gun, including myself! I follow #MDKdishclothKAL and have seen lots of posts. Onward!!

  • I know its fun to knit but how is it to USE?

    • They are AWESOME for washing dishes, wiping down counters, sopping up spills, as washcloths, hanging on the high chair for wiping toddler faces and hands, protecting the tabletop from heat or scratches from pots or vases, as a Barbie or small toy blanket, to wrap a fancy bar of soap as a gift (knit a bit smaller and with a linen or hemp blend for a facecloth), knit longer for a great dish drying or hand towel… When my 4yo granddaughter was a baby she had to have 1 or 2 in her crib to rub against her cheek to soothe herself to sleep.

    • The best to use! It is all I have in my drawer. I knit 9 in the initial pandemic lockdown.

    • Best dishcloth ever. You will never go back. I have also started. This time I am using the linoleum pattern, but will also knit some ballbands. They look great in the traditional Christmas colors and with a bottle of dish soap make a great Christmas or hostess gift.

      • I just made my first linoleum pattern one. A bit fussier to knit – had to read the pattern a lot – but worth it! Very sturdy and I’m sure will be a hit with gift-ees.

      • What is the linoleum pattern?

  • I just sent a pile of dishcloths to my nephew, who is off to college next month. His dorm suite has a kitchen. I have paused making dishcloths at the moment because I’m finally knitting a Shakerag top!

  • Oh how fun!!! I’ve got my yarn and needles ready, just trying to finish up my Spectra so I can just play with dishcloths. I’ve made dozens of Grandma’s variety over the years, but never a Ballband and I’m looking forward to it with way too much excitement :*)

  • Somehow I’ve become a dishcloth test knitter for several designers. As a result I have lotsa cloths stacked up so it looks like I can post a daily dishcloth throughout the two week KAL. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of new-to-me patterns from everyone. I never thought I would knit socks or dishcloths – yeah, right.



    • Kermit! LMAO 😀

  • I’ve been making gift sets of the ballband with three sizes: CO 45 with 13 bricks, CO 39 with 11 bricks, and CO 33 with 9 bricks. Add a Bohdi washcloth and a knit scrbby, in coordinating colors, and it makes a great gift.

    • Pardon my ignorance. What’s the difference between a dish cloth and a washcloth?

      • Semantics. Same cloth- if you wash your body it’s a washcloth, dishes it’s a dishcloth, anything else it’s “hey somebody throw me a wipey thing quick!!!”.

  • Drop date for my Handknit Cotton order is Friday, just in time to join “officially.”

  • Gun jumped in Kennewick as well. In over 50 years of knitting, never dishcloths. Now I’m 5 into the log cabin set. They are like potato chips. One after the other. Beautiful, useful, humble. I might have to buy more cotton.

  • OMG, I laughed so hard. I’m in the process of making dish cloths, place mats and other miscellaneous kitchen items for a wedding gift. But as I was reading this it reminded me of the laundry room in the house we lived in for 20 years. When we moved there were so many socks, underwear, dish cloths and wash rags back there it was amazing. Thanks for the laughs and memories.

  • Definitely jumping the gun as the painter works on my new kitchen – when will it be done? Two weeks? Three dishcloths so far, playing with color and design. Two ballbands and one brioche with some interesting variations. So satisfying to have a project that I can finish in a day or two. Unlike the kitchen project which has been under way since April.

  • Projects for the county fair are at the point where they need lots of fiddly attention. Knitting dishcloths with odds and ends of cotton and linen adds the right balance of simple tv knitting. I’ve got five so far.

  • My first one will be the broken rib brioche scarf pattern from the latest Field Guide. Make it small first!

  • In the last couple weeks, I’ve knit 6 Ballbands (3 original CO45 and 3 33’s)… but I also made an Appleseed coaster and a crocheted linen stitch dishcloth and a cute crocheted Froggy coaster (from a free pattern that Twinkie Chan posted on her IG) and 4 modified Baby Geniuses. I cast on 2 at 30 sts and 2 at 40 sts (instead of the called for 50) and bound off when they were square(ish). How did I forget how fast and freakin fun they are?!? And while digging around in the cotton stash looking for oddments to finish off the 4th Baby Genius (a 40 stitch ROYGBIV with 5 garter ridges of each color) and wondering why my cotton supply seemed a bit low I found a bag with 22 Bodhi Leaf washcloths (in sizes from 5 to 18”, in cotton, hemp, linen, cot-Lin, hemp-cot… let’s call it scientific exploration) that needed the ends sewn in and 6 Minnie and Mickey washcloths that needed assembly (ears and bows sewn to heads), and a few ballbands, another Appleseed… Oops. I think dishcloths are like Lays- you can’t make just one. (Full disclosure- I can’t knit just 1 hat or just 1 pair of mittens either. Minimum of 3 each.)

  • I needed vacation knitting so I brought a handful of kitchen cotton. I’m half way through #1. I didn’t even realize the knit-a-long hadn’t started since I’m usually one to six months behind.

    • Ann, Is your avatar a knit scallion? Amazing!

  • Dear Ann and Kay and MDK Community, The last few months have been incredibly difficult. I learned that my Dad was very ill – he was living alone in Florida– I’m an only child. With a moment’s notice and a prayer I moved him to Buffalo, NY for treatment at Roswell Park— he recently had a 10 hour surgery and yesterday a second surgery….I am heart broken and struggling to do what is best for him and honor him…. THANK GOODNESS for this FUN Dishcloth KAL…..I started “pregaming” on July 1 during his surgery — so grateful for the “Dishcloth Fun”—- Knit on Friends!!! XO XO XO Courtney

  • I’ve been knitting these things for a long time now, whenever I’m in-between projects or waiting for something/someone, or just want to play with new colors in a small and quick project. I have a bin full. They are eventually tied into bundles of 3 with twine, then combined with a lovely handmade soap for hostess gifts. Last week, I need a gift quickly (remembered at 2 am, with departure at 5 am – !) and managed to get it done…all because of my bin. The ballband version is my fave, but I often combine it with simple seed-stitch ones or other versions just to vary the gift. Gotta try the linoleum, log cabin and brioche ones now…thanks (I think)!

  • Are these dishcloths actually used for dish washing or are they just samples to learn a new pattern?

  • If it is a competition, I won:
    I knitted 25 of the ballband dishcloths in cotton to use as dishcloths.
    Aaand then 62 in wool for a blanket (I included the link to my blogpost about them).

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