Skip to content

Dear Ann,
In the midst of submitting a pattern for the 2009 Dishcloth Calendar, I remembered last year’s design, which I am now free to share with my fellow dishrag-knittin’ freaks. It’s classified as a “Grade 2 (Impractical)” in the Dishrag Classification Manual. Meaning it’s pretty, but not utilitarian. I beg to differ! At heart, it’s a simple– albeit florally-reminiscent– counter mop. It puts on its dishrag pants one leg at a time. It will scrub its little heart out if you give it the chance. And if you leave it lying in the sink too long, it just might germinate.
Sunflower Dishcloth
(Copyright Kay Gardiner 2007)
Yarn: Peaches & Creme worsted weight by Elmore-Pisgah Inc., solid colors 1 ½ oz (71.5g) balls, each approximately 122 yds (112m), cotton], 1 ball each in the following colors :
A cream
B chocolate brown
C apple green
D yellow
Note on yarn quantities: Although the pattern calls for four balls of yarn, it requires a total yarn weight of less than 2 ounces, so you can use an assortment of leftovers. Sunflowers come in lots of colors!
Size 7 (4.5mm) needles
Woven stitch pattern:
Rows 1 and 3 (WS): Purl.
Row 2: K1, *slip 1 with yarn in front, k1; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Row 4: K1, *k1, slip 1 with yarn in front; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
With A, cast on 28 stitches. Work Row 1 of the woven stitch pattern in A, then work rows 2 and 3 in B, then work rows 4 and 1 in C. Continue working 2-row stripes of A, B and C (changing color on Rows 2 and 4) in woven stitch pattern until piece measures approximately 6 inches from cast-on edge. Bind off loosely.
Using C and starting at any point on one of the 4 sides of the center of the flower, work 2 rounds of single crochet around all 4 sides of the center of the flower. (This edging will keep the center from stretching out of shape, and form a clean chain of stitches from which to pick up stitches for the petals.)
[Tip: To make the petals come out evenly spaced and without any gaps, try to pick up 27 stitches on each side as you work the edging. If you have a couple too many or two few, you can fudge this by increasing or decreasing in the first row of a petal, but it’s easiest if you have 27 stitches on each side to begin with.]
For those not learned in the ways of crochet, use knitting needles to work the edging in cro-Kay, as follows: pick up 2 stitches, *bind off one stitch, pick up one stitch; repeat from * until you have gone around the edge twice.
Turn the center of the flower over so that the WS is facing. Starting at the upper right edge of the center and using D, pick up 9 stitches. [Tip: You can start anywhere on the edge. If you place the first petal so that it goes around a corner, you will get a rounder, more realistic looking flower. If you work 3 petals evenly on each edge, your sunflower will be more stylized and square in shape.]
Row 1 (RS): K1, *p1, k1; *repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2 (Ws): Repeat row 1.
Rows 1 and 2 establish the seed stitch pattern of the petals. On the next row and every RS row, decrease one stitch at the beginning and end of the row, maintaining the seed stitch pattern, until 3 stitches remain. On the next row (WS), slip 1 stitch, purl 2 together, and pass the slipped stitch over. You have just completed one petal. Cut the yarn, turn the piece over so that the WS is facing, and repeat the instructions 11 more times, for a total of 12 petals on all four sides of the piece.
Sew in ends. (Yes, there are a lot of ends. What is your point?)
So there you have it: Sunflower. It’s the tiniest bit fiddly, but fun and good. Also very seasonal. Go buy a bunch of local sunflowers with those Incredible Hulk stems, to keep you company while you knit. I would love to see these in non-traditional sunflower colors. My problem is that I like my dishrags to fit squarely in the Dishrag Drawer. I know this is uptight in the extreme, but I can’t help it. I may have to knit them exclusively as gifts. I also think they would make a great sewn-on motif for a baby blanket/play mat.
If somebody out there knows how to add this pattern to Ravelry, have at it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • AMAZING. This Kansas girl intends to start one IMMEDIATELY.

  • This is adorable! I’m going to make a few. Do you think it will turn my sons’ off from washing dishes?

  • So cuuuute! No one will be allowed to so much as touch the one I plan to make for myself. It will reside in a place of honor near the sink and will be “fer lookin’ at, not usin’ so back off!” Thank you so much for the pattern.

  • I love the dish cloth! My sister decorated her kitchen with sunflowers and a few of these will make a great gift for her b’day in November. Thanks for the pattern.

  • I love the dish cloth! My sister decorated her kitchen with sunflowers and a few of these will make a great gift for her b’day in November. Thanks for the pattern.

  • This might push me over the brink into knitting washcloths. And re yesterday’s post, the linen squares and the pillow that inspired them remind me irresistably of an “illiterate E” eye chart. Anyone else get that? NOT knocking it– I like that big E look!

  • Love the dish cloth! But, I must admit, I’m *really* loving the dish!!
    Have a bunch of leftover cotton yarn from a mitered square quilt, so a few nontraditional colored sunflowers are in my future. Thanks for the pattern!

  • Cute, cute, cute! I’m still not a dishcloth user, but I make them as washcloths and give them away with soap. This one is a must-do. Thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve added the pattern to Ravelry 🙂

  • That is so amazingly cute!

  • ok so i am a dowk…is that a Martha Stewart enamel dutch oven that thar sunflower dis cloth is sitting in?

  • ok so i am a dork…is that a Martha Stewart enamel dutch oven that thar sunflower dis cloth is sitting in?

  • Thank you! I have only been thinking about that dishcloth DAILY, ever since the first time you shared it, and now I can make it! YAY!!! (I am SO happy.)

  • I’m loving it. I’ve been knitting dishcloths obsessively all summer and now this. What a pleasant change it’ll make from the purely utilitarian ones. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you for this! I just arrived home (Minneapolis) from Omaha 30 minutes ago. The whole drive I was lovin the sunflowers and Black Eyed Susans.

  • So bright and cheery, and just what my kitchen needs! Thanks for sharing.

  • My granddaughter started a sunflower seed for me as a kindergarten project this spring. It is now blooming gloriously in my garden. Now I can return a sunflower to her. And I found an old skein of Red Heart 100% Cotton Knit & Crochet Yarn, color brown, in my stash. How lucky am I? Thanks for the pattern. Your pictures are wonderful.

    • Time to bring back the sunflower dish cloth. I am going to be knitting a few!

  • I loved this pattern in the calendar last year. So cute. I’m all about the cutesy stuff, hell I’ve just crocheted four chicken shaped potholders in a row out of dishcloth cotton and they’re likely not my last! At least I’m making something in my stash decrease. 🙂

  • Ooh this is adorable. I remember when you first posted about it and I’ve been looking forward to getting the pattern! What about one to wash dishes with and one to hang decoratively above the sink? Is that going too far??

  • It’s really cute! But I’m curious- what does the back look like. I’m wondering if the houndstooth pattern would make a nice scarf. ;^)

  • I’m making a scarf/stole in a “mistake” version of the houndstooth to get through some old stash yarn, the pattern looks great for a dishcloth and would probably make a great towel too.

  • Love it! There aren’t enough frou-frou dishclothes in the world.

  • Kay, Its darlin! I love sunflower season.

  • OOOOOh, I loooooove sunflowers! How cute is that?! Thanks for the pattern, and I am eagerly awaiting the new book….

  • Ooooh, this is too cute. I’m thinking teacher gifts, office exchange…and maybe one or two for myself!

  • can someone tell me the flow meant by “two row stripes”? Does that mean color A row 1&2, then color B row 3&4, then color C row 1&2 then repeat? I did that but the hounds tooth doesn’t look right.

  • Thanks for updating the directions. I get it now.
    Maybe I’ll do a dishcloth-lympics!
    Thanks again

  • Kay, another beyond-belief production. Looking over the adjectives in comments, I could only add “incredible” which still does not seem splashy enough.
    Definitely cheered me up to see this. Thanks, naomi

  • Look at you on the front page of!

  • smiles abound. thank you!

  • Kay, if you knit the petals as a sawtooth edging (ref EZ’s Pi Are Square shawl), you get the same effect without having to sew in all those ends.
    I know, I’m a Lazy Knitter (TM)
    Just what I need down here in winter, although the daffodils are now starting to pop up everywhere!

  • Thank you for sharing this adorable pattern!

  • This would be the perfect dishcloth for January in MN. thanks!

Come Shop With Us

My Cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping