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Dear everybody,

The great day has arrived at last. Starting today, and for two whole weeks, we’re knitting dishcloths—together.

Isn’t that exciting?

It’s summer time, and the knitting is easy, by necessity. It’s the time of year when you’re running here and there, or maybe you’re trying to keep up with the weeding, or you’re relaxing with an ice-cold cream soda and a harbor view. This knitalong is for you! Dishcloths are small, fast, and fun. And because they’re typically knit with cotton or linen yarns, they’ll help you keep cool.

Here’s a quick review of the magic these next two weeks will hold for us.

What, Exactly, Are We Making?

Dishcloths and other handy, homely items for scullery or spa.

Any pattern is eligible. We have ideas for you, and we welcome your suggestions. The fun of this will be in the exchange of dishcloth wonders and marvels, so get ready to share!

If you’ve never knit a dishcloth before, or are looking for ideas, here are a few for starters.

The mighty mighty Ballband (the ones on the left).  It’s called the Ballband Dishcloth because we first found it in real small print on the inside of the label of a ball of dishcloth cotton. We loved it so much that we sent the pattern and two balls of cotton out to editors with our very first book proposal, so they’d know who they were dealing with. We’ve knit so many of these over the years, and they never get old. Our favorite ballband recipe these days is the mini version we learned from Nashville’s own Kelley Dew: cast on 33 stitches, and work 9 rows of “bricks.” It’s quick to knit, quick to dry, and cute as heck.

Log Cabin Cloths. This series of 6 cloths for kitchen or bath is designed to teach all the essential skills of log cabin knitting. Find them in MDK Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin. (The Ninepatch with Miters is particularly good for using up tiny leftovers.) Kay just started a set of these, in Creative Linen.

The latest and greatest: the Honeycomb. This one did not start out as a dishcloth pattern, but it’s a dishcloth now! For the dishcloth pictured above in green and white, cast on 33 stitches, and follow the Honeycomb Scarf pattern in MDK Field Guide No. 21: Brioche.  It’s Kay’s new dishcloth obsession, and also a great stitch pattern for hand towels. Reversible! Flat! Real nice!

Linoleum Dishcloth.

Per Orla.  The pattern is right here in this post. We can hardly believe that 72 people have made this oversized dishcloth in the shape of a pear, but look at all these pears on Ravelry.

Bodhi Leaf Washcloth. Speaking of linen! These lovely leafies are so fun to crank out. You can size them up a bit by making them in Handknit Cotton or Creative Linen, hardy and long-wearing alternatives to the hardy and long-wearing Euroflax Mini Skeins.

There are so many other good choices. Share your favorites!


The official start date is today, and we will go for two weeks, through July 29.


To join the fun, just start knitting dishcloths. No sign-up is necessary. All yarns are welcome, and we have some great ones in the MDK Shop, which has always been a dishcloth-friendly place.

To be eligible for prize drawings, post a photo (as many as you like), either in the MDK Lounge, or on Instagram, where the official hashtag is #MDKDishclothKAL.

Prize Patrol

We’re excited for the prizes! They will be different from other KAL prizes. We’re talking heavily thematic, domestic arts-oriented prizes here. Starting on Monday, we’ll announce prize awards in the MDK Lounge and on Instagram, as close to daily as we can, so stay tuned!

Prize awards will be more or less random, but things that always catch our eye are: quantity, quality, novelty, rarity, absurdity, and most importantly: joie de vivre. It’s hard to define, but we know dishcloth joy when we see it.

Frequently Asked (Really!) Questions

Is it OK if I already made a dishcloth? Yes! We encouraged pre-gaming, so we will not require a birth certificate for your dishcloth. As long as you post your photos by July 29, you’ll be in the running for prizes. The more people knitting, the merrier, so get the word out by sharing your dishcloths with the world. Don’t sleep on a finished dishcloth. It could be a prize winner!

Does it have to be dishcloths? No! As long as you stick to the handy home knits and homely hand knits, you’re good. We’ve specifically okayed: hand towels, soap holder thingies, scrubbies, potholders, and swiffer covers. We’re interpreting dishcloth as a broad, conceptual category. Use your judgment, and follow your heart.

Is crochet okay? Yes! This is a chance to learn crochet, practice crochet, and celebrate crochet. It’s one of the best ways to play with yarn, even if we’re borderline terrible at it ourselves.

Let’s get going! You could be knitting a dishcloth right this minute!

There’s a drawer for that. Here’s how to save this article in your MDK account with one click.


  • Is there going to be an MDK Lounge Topic for this KAL? I hope I hope!

  • This is absolutely a bandwagon I’d join, but I’m madly knitting the most insane lace weight shawl I’ve ever attempted, and I need it done for Aug 6! I’m not even halfway! All other projects have been put aside. Wish me luck and happy dishcloths

  • The Wunderlust FG #11 has patterns that can be used as dishcloths, too (see pages 26 and 30 for photos). The Bodhi Leaf is in FG #7.

  • I cannot begin to tell you how many dishcloths I have knit in the past two years. Such a stress reliever – I knit up a pile (most of which are the ballband pattern) and when people visit or I need a quick gift I go to the stash and pull a few out. I’ve recently gifted several dishcloths and have only about 4 or 5 left so this KAL has come at the perfect time!!

  • Knitting number 4 in Handknit Cotton now, but I might need to expand my collection with some Creative Linen.

    • I recently became a dishcloth fanatic when 1 week before my bestie’s b-day I knit up 5 to give her. That was June 20th or so. I’m on dishcloth 16 & 17 at present, one of which is a mosaic pattern of the NYC skyline. I’m serious!!

  • I’ve never been able to figure out Instagram and the help section hasn’t helped. Is there alternative to follow along/post?

  • I am all in!!!

  • Yes, I’ll make some! I just now sewed a doubled square of crochet for the first, and decided to kill two fiber birds with one set of needles: I’m learning brioche while making dishcloths, and I’m only using leftover yarn. And I’m coming to visit your store week after next! I’ll be in Nashville visiting my son and I’m going to stop by and see your store! See you soon!

  • My all-time favorite thing to knit… the Mighty Ballband. But I’m gonna have to try that 33st Honeycomb style too!

  • I don’t understand these dishcloths. Do people actually use them to scrub dishes instead of a sponge? That’s not a thing my mother ever did. They’re too small for towels at the size shown.

    • My mom and grandma used dishcloths to wash dishes in the sink, and we also used them to clean the table and counter tops. I no longer use them to wash dishes but I still use them to wipe counters and tables, the stovetop, etc. It takes me a very long time to use up a roll of paper towels, thanks to dishcloths. They have to be laundered frequently which is why I need a drawer full of them. They get washed with the dish towels, which are thinner and bigger of course.

      • Kay, I’m with you on paper towels. I have lots of regular terry dishtowels. I try to avoid paper towels at all costs.

      • Kay, I’m the same way with paper towels. I have lots of regular rag towels and just throw them in the laundry. But they’re not hand knits!

      • So what do you use now to wash dishes?

        • For the dishes themselves I use the dishwasher or these amazing sponges: O-Cedar Heavy Duty Scrunge Scrub Sponge (Pack of 12)

  • I’m knitting Grandma’s Favorite washcloth in Rowan Handknit. I purchased the Skillset app so I’d have the pattern. Instructions state to knit until 20 stitches, but that’s way too small for a washcloth. What is the recommended number of stitches? Thank you.

  • Like Chelsea I am knee-deep in a secret project and have an upcoming deadline, but you have finally, finally sucked me into your dishcloth vortex. (Is that the correct new-age terminology?) And the ballband dishcloth will be my next doctor’s office (or similar waiting time) project. Will assemble my kit (purse-size!) as I go. head is already filling with color combos.

    • Chloe, you’ll love it here in the vortex! You’ll see, you’ll have a FO to show off and/or share in no time

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