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Dear everybody,

I’m wildly excited for our upcoming dishcloth knitalong. I’m going to try to keep a lid on it and stick to the information you will need to join the fun, but no guarantees: the dishcloth and dishcloth-adjacent ideas keep coming, so I might digress.

Who Is this Knitalong For?

—If you like a quick summer project that won’t get you over-insulated

—If you like practical knitting that helps get the chores done

—If you’re between big projects and looking for a quick hit of Something Completely Different

—If you used to subscribe to the Dishcloth Calendar in the early oughts, when that was a (glorious) thing

—If you like trying new stitch patterns in a small format

—If you momentarily or permanently lack gumption for knitting Things That Are Not Square

—If you have a dwindling stash of handknit gifts suitable to accompany a bar of fancy soap

—If humble handmade dishcloths remind you of a beloved balabusta or battle axe from your childhood

—If you identify strongly with Cinderella

—If you’re looking for fun times with fun knitters

. . . then the Kitchen Sink-along is for you!

What Will We Knit?

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

Any pattern is eligible. We have a few 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.

Grandma’s Favorite (top right, white). This one needs no pattern, but if you want a pattern, you’ll find it in Skill Set: Beginning Knitting, simply because it’s the best way we know to teach a new knitter how increases and decreases change the shape of knitting. This is my favorite washcloth for babies, a great way to welcome a newborn.

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. I’ve knit a quizillion of them. My favorite ballband recipe these days is the mini one I 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.

The latest and greatest. This one did not start out as a dishcloth pattern, but it’s a dishcloth now! While traveling, I was knitting on Nancy Marchant’s Honeycomb Scarf from MDK Field Guide No. 21: Brioche. As the broken rib brioche stitch pattern emerged, it struck me that its reversibility, suave density, tidy edges, and ultra-flatness made a perfect fabric for dishcloths, hand towels, place mats—even rugs. It’s so good, and good fun to knit. For the dishcloth pictured above in green and white, I cast on 33 stitches, and from there I followed the Honeycomb Scarf pattern exactly.  This one is in Rowan Handknit Cotton, my go-to dishcloth yarn. But I’m also seeing it in Euroflax Mini-skeins, for that ultra-classy, heirloom washcloth people love to get as a gift. You know, the one where they say, “But it’s too pretty to use!” And you say, “Oh shucks,” but secretly you agree: it’s too pretty.

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.)

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 July 15, 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 will be #MDKDishclothKAL, so be sure you use that tag. Once you’ve covered the official one, feel free to hashtag your heart out. I particularly like #morningdishies (thanks, Katharine, for that one) and #kitchensinkalong.

Frequently Asked Questions

No kidding, we’ve already been asked these questions, and I’m sure there will be more as July 15 approaches.

Can we start knitting now? Yes! Pregame this thing!  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.

Does it have to be dishcloths? Nope! 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, and heaven help us but somebody surely will knit a cozy for their toaster oven. We’re interpreting dishcloth as a broad, conceptual category. No sweaters, though, unless you plan to lie down and mop the floors with your body—and we’d want independent documentation of that.

Is crochet okay? Given the storied history of crochet in the home, and specifically in the kitchen, we say yes. Crochet away! This is a chance to learn crochet, to practice crochet, and to celebrate crochet, one of the best ways to play with yarn. For one thing, it would be hard to make a toilet paper cozy in the shape of a ballgown, with a Barbie in it, without crochet-based engineering. We’re not going to stand in the way of that.

Prizes? The prize offerings are still in formation, but we can say this: they will be different from other KAL prizes. We’re talking heavily thematic, domestic arts-oriented prizes here. We don’t rule out spin mops, fancy rubber gloves, and other humble necessities of life. Think: O-Cedar. Casabella. Barkeeper’s Friend. Maybe some OXO if we’re feeling upscale. The main goal is to make ourselves laugh.

And knit a ton of dishcloths.

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.

People, get ready. A dishcloth knitalong is coming. Prepare ye the cotton, the linen, and the cotton-linen blend yarns, fire up the percolator, and let’s get going!

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


  • Like everyone I have a TON of projects in my queue……but I don’t think I can resist this! And Kay, your writing makes me chuckle so my mattress is shaking – “toilet paper cozy in the shape of a ball gown with a Barbie in it”. Thank you for starting my day on such a joyful, hilarious note.

    • You can’t forget the hanging dish towel from one of your books with the double thick hanging tab! (Sorry I can’t check which one because we are vacationing in the mountains of Tennessee). We have one of those hanging on our stove handle all of the time.

  • Maybe in the future …. a Field Guide which is solely a collection of dish cloths. Just saying. I’d be in!!

    • Yes!!

    • Me too!

  • Confused about the KnitStars sale – all the links lead to the KnitStars home page, but I don’t see where to register for the Season 3 sale…what am I missing?

    • Also the links on the KnitStars page for “Notify Me” and “Menu” don’t seem to work. Maybe I need to use a different browser? I’m using Safari.

  • We are nearing the end of a total kitchen remodel and I plan to dedicate my new kitchen with a batch of brand-new dish cloths. This is perfect timing!!

  • Cannot contain my excitement! I have some roadtrips coming up (the kind where I don’t have to drive) and dishcloths will be the perfect thing.

  • This is perfect in so many ways! I am just coming out of a sling from rotator cuff surgery so there has been no knitting in my life for the past 7 weeks! By July 15 I will have knocked out 2 1/2 weeks of PT and will be more than ready to start knitting again. A small dishcloth project is just the thing to get my knitting muscles back in shape! This will be fun!

  • I am not a usually a KAL person, but this sounds like a load of fun. My favorite pattern, along with some different cotton blends are set to go!

  • I recently purchased Log Cabin and yarns to coordinate with my kitchen and my parents’ kitchen, so I’m ready to go!!!

  • Oh, I DO love a fun Swiffer cover! I think that’s how i first got to know y’all….I bought the book with the Swiffer cover in it and made about 5 of them. They STILL make me laugh when I use them!

    • A swiffer cover really exists? I thought it was in the category of the Barbie toilet roll cover with a Barbie in it. Have to google this, so funny!

      • You don’t remember doll toilet roll covers? Oh my yes, in the ’50’s they were crocheted to match the doll covered pillow for your bed. For me it was a real turnoff to crochet, but they were quite popular. Maybe it’s a good thing they have passed out of our collective memory.

      • The Swiffer covers are awesome! They’re great for dusting, they make your Swiffer look ‘fancy’ when you aren’t using it, and you can wash and reuse them a million times. Plus, they make me giggle. 🙂 (I think the pattern was in Ann and Kay’s second knitting book…)

  • Thanks for reminding me of the dishcloth calendar. I think we had to apply to join! I may use this to learn the honeycomb pattern.

  • Yay dishcloths!! I’m in. And for my fellow crocheters, I’d like to suggest my favorite dishcloth EVER, 29 Stitches by Heather Prusia. I’ve probably made a hundred of them, and no doubt there are a few more upcoming!

  • Which yarn is used to knit Grandma’s Favorite washcloth? I’m in and so excited! My first MDK KAL.

    • Rowan Handknit Cotton!

  • I’m already well on the way with this one. I need to take photos! I’ve knit a few to take to a housewarming party this weekend. Next in the queue is a batch for our nephew to take to college. His dorm suite has a kitchen. I’ll knit those in the school colors.

  • Yesterday’s new color way for garter stitch throw/shawl reminds me of Kay and Ann’s matching linen dresses and Jen G’s sweater.

  • So excited about this KAL because knitting a washcloth is likely to cure whatever ails you!

    • This is exciting! I’ve been experimenting with ‘dishcloths’ for several weeks in a rainbow of colours, handtowels, pot holders, ‘trivets, kitty coffee/tea cozies, soap dish pretties….endless possibilities! I’m nervous about sharing though since my skill set is ‘beginner’ and I don’t follow pattern but more of a what happens if I do this? approach. Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

    • Well said! Definitely in for this reason. “Heart”

  • This is perfect!! I’m flying 2,000 miles to babysit my grandogs for 3 weeks in July. I needed a project but the thoughts of hauling my 1/2 completed temperature blanket (this thing is going to be huge!) and the needed yarn was overwhelming. I’m so happy! Thanks MDK!

  • Now I’m imagining someone knitting their crawling kid a body suit sweater with extra bobbles to clean the floor….

  • I’m in! They are such satisfying little projects.

  • Even though I have deadline knitting to get done, I think I’ll knit a couple ballband dishcloths with you — my mom loves them and I haven’t knit her any knew ones in a while!

  • KnitPicks has lots of free dishcloth patterns:

    • Wow! Do they ever! Thank you.

    • Thank you Lynda! I’ve already downloaded 3 patterns. While I’m there, I’ve been thinking of trying CotLin.

  • I haven’t knit the Bodhi Leaf yet and have some Handknit Cotton available. You say it might be a bit larger…what needle size would you suggest? Stick with the US5 or go larger?

    • US5 is just right for a Bodhi Leaf with some body and that still drapes, but that does depend on your tension. A quick garter stitch swatch can help you decide.

      • Thanks

      • Using Rowan Handknit Cotton I still use an
        Addi US size 6 (4mm). It is a little larger but has a lovely hand (weight/feel) and texture. Yes, do the swatch to see what works best for you.

  • Yay, I’m in! It’s so hot in Texas, 100 degree days since May, this sounds great!! Thank you for the enthusiasm, I need it!

  • I love dishcloths…they spell “HOME” in the most endearing way with a hint of nostalgia about all things good and simple and tranquil. I love the ones I did some in Euroflax from these wonderful patterns:

    They are my “guest hand towels” 🙂

  • Kay – everything you write makes me smile and brings joy! Thank you!!

  • I’m always working a Chinese Waves Dishcloth by Margaret Radcliffe as waiting room knitting so I think I’m ready for my first ever KAL! And I’m loving the look of the brioche triangles – might have to purchase FG #21 now.

  • I have been sooo looking forward to this! I’m waiting for some yarn to arrive so I’m between projects. I have 2 balls of Peaches n Cream Stripey in stash, and I’m ready to go;) I’ve knit quite a few “KG Dew Traveling Salesman size” and it’s my fave!!

  • Can I use this opportunity to promote the crocheted coat hanger cover? Not a kitchen item per se, but handy in the laundry room. You don’t clean with it, but it is square—or more accurately, rectangular—and nothing if not homey, so it should qualify.

  • I’ve never joined a KAL but I will have a houseful of littles here for vacation and this sounds like the perfect knitting project! I’ll have to get out my Guides and yarn!

  • I think the one and only dishcloth I’ve ever knit was the Bodhi Leaf one, which I have to admit I use purely as decor— it rests underneath a tiny clay vase made by my grandmother my bathroom countertop. Maybe this knitalong will inspire me to make a few more to actually use as face cloths!

    • Same! I’ve knit 3 of them – one for each shelf of a standing lamp I have!

    • This is the one that appeals to me too. I’ve liked it since that Field Guide came out! I’ve never made a dishcloth, but this might be the time!

  • My oldest will move to her first apartment in August. This knitalong comes at the perfect time, as I had already started knitting her some dish cloths. I can’t wait to try out some of these patterns. AND – I just learned to crochet, so I’m giving that a whirl too! She said she didn’t mind about color, so I’m just dragging out all the dishcloth cotton I have from my early knitting days and whacking them out as the ideas come to me. The first one is a very bumpy crochet, the second, a plain garter held double for good scrubby thickness. The third is in progress, a log cabin. I’ve pulled out my MDK book of old to try a mitered square next!! Don’t forget the mitered square!!

  • I liked the suggestion to use the Honeycomb Brioche stitch for a Dishcloth. I find learning Brioche to be more challenging to me than any other new technique so far, but, I am persistent if nothing else.

    That said, I want to suggest the any of the patterns listed in the Sequences Field Guide would work, too.

    Happy knitting.

  • Well I guess I’ll join in, since my son and daughter-in-law are in the process of buying their first (last?) home, and they’ll need some fancy wash cloths and hand-knit towels, I’m sure. I have the patterns, and have now placed my order for some of your pretty yarn.

  • Please inform me about this Kitchen Knit Along

  • Ok, this may sound like a dumb question. I’m using Rowan Creative Linen. Is it a pain to wash and lay them out to dry? I love knitting the dishcloths but babe yet to use one. I don’t want to ruin it

  • Can I post a photo on MDK instagram if I don’t have an Instagram account? How do I post a photo on MDK Lounge?

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