If at first you don’t succeed…

Knitting Dishcloths

It’s that time of year again. That time where I find myself pouring over knitting patterns and wishing my knitting wasn’t so atrocious. That time when I bemoan the fact my dream handknit mustard yellow cardigan with vintage glass buttons still hasn’t come to fruition. That time where I tell myself I really must practice. So I drag out the yarn and the needles and… well, I try. Last year I managed one lumpy scarf. Unfortunately I made it far too wide, so it’s too short and bulky to actually wear, so this year I decided to start with an even smaller goal. Dish cloths. I figure it doesn’t get much easier than dishcloths and I’d really like to replace our supermarket cloths with a handmade, washable alternative, so this seems like the perfect place to start (again). Though I haven’t had much success in the past, I’m determined not to give up on knitting. Surely I can manage dishcloths!

We have quite a lot of Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton left over from the crochet projects Reubs created for Handmade Christmas, so that’s what I’m using. As I haven’t done any knitting at all in about a year and my skills are rusty at best, I’m starting off by knitting a plain garter stitch square, just to get back into the rythm, then I’ll get started on some actual patterns. I like the look of this one and this one and this one!

My mum is visiting my brother in Queensland at the moment so for the next week we’ll be splitting our time between our house and hers, but you can bet wherever I’ll be there’ll be a mishapen little knitted dishcloth on needles nearby…

Have you made anything nice lately? Anyone got a great dishcloth pattern you could share?

Katie x

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About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.


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31 Responses to “If at first you don’t succeed…”

  1. Kathy June 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    All of those patterns look really lovely and I’m sure once you are in the swing of it cuddled up on the couch with a blanket yourself you’ll have half a dozen dish cloths done in no time. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia


  2. moose & bird June 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Yay for persistence! I’ve never been able to master the art of knitting or crochet. I think it’s best if I stick to the sewing machine. Have a happy weekend. Melinda x

  3. Cassie June 1, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    Good on you πŸ™‚ you can do it!!! I’m a average knitter, I know all the basics. But I want to learn and have wanted to learn crochet forever. A few times I’ve you tubed it, managed the chain stitch row but always messed up from there πŸ™ I’m 30 and none of my friends know crochet or knitting and think I’m a Nanna for liking it! However I took my 6 year old daughter to a party today and got chatting to a mum I’ve not chatted to much yet and she said she was a ‘nanna type who enjoys gardening, knitting & crochet’ then gave a slight embarrassed smile. I was sooooo excited! Ha ha! I told her how amazing it would be if she could help me learn crochet, she’s more than happy to help!!! Yay!! Can’t wait !!

    • Katie
      Katie June 2, 2013 at 11:03 am #

      I’m not fantastic with crochet, but a whiz when it comes to granny squares! Honestly, I’m really terrible at following patterns and tend to get bored of long term projects so I doubt I’ll ever be a master of either crochet or knitting… But I try! And YAY for your new friend! She sounds lovely. Happy crocheting! x

  4. Meg June 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

    Hi Katie . . . I like that you have set a do-able and practical first project for this knitting season . . . I recently made a quilt for a friend’s new baby . . . and I too had to ‘try, try again’ . . . the first one I made was a disaster! But the second quilt was very lovely . . . I am not a knit/crochet gal, and I am not patient enough to make a properly pieced quilt, but the shaggy quilt I made for baby Charlie was quite good (autumn tones using left over fabric given to me by my Mum – who is an excellent quilt maker!) . . . hope you’re enjoying some rain like we are in our neck of the woods . . .

    • Katie
      Katie June 2, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      Quilting is also on my my “things I must learn to do” list! Like you I don’t have the patience for meticulous piecing, but I’d like to have a go at making a rag quilt. That’s actually one my hopes for my vintage sheet collection… And yes, I’m happy to report we have had rain! We needed it so badly! x

  5. Cassandra June 1, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    I think starting with dishcloths is an fabulous idea, and I’m sure you’ll get there, you’re so clever! I love knitting, but I tend to go for patterns that are knitted in one piece, because I’m really hopeless at seaming knitwear, and now my Mum isn’t around to do it for me, I prefer patterns that don’t need it. Tea Leaves by Madelinetosh is my go-to cardigan pattern. Really easier than you’d think. Wish we lived closer, I’d come and do it with you!

    • Katie
      Katie June 2, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Yes, I really like the idea of patterns that are knitted in one piece – I think I’d struggle with seaming too. I wish you did live closer! x

  6. Yelle June 2, 2013 at 12:07 am #

    I only knit when it’s winter over here – the time I need to keep my hands warm! But my favorite lately has been the herringbone stitch! It’s so lovely and contemporary.

  7. domestickate June 2, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    I love knitting dishcloths. They’re great for beginners and they’re also great for knitting on warm days because you don’t have to have something bulky sitting on your lap! I like the pattern for the blue one featured here: http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/free-knitting-patterns-for-beginners6.htm I also knitted the second one you linked to, the waffle knit. It came out really nice.

    I wonder about the scarf you mentioned–I knitted one last year that was too wide and short until I blocked it and stretched it out. Did you block yours?

    • Katie
      Katie June 2, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Oh, thanks for sharing that pattern Kate! It looks lovely. And no, I didn’t block my scarf. I thought it was a lost cause and just couldn’t be bothered wasting any more time on it, but now you’ve got me thinking I should give it a go! Thank you! x

  8. robbie June 2, 2013 at 3:48 am #

    i love the ballband dishcloth from Mason-Dixon knitting! it’s really sturdy!

    • Katie
      Katie June 2, 2013 at 11:14 am #

      Oh, thanks for the tip Robbie! I will definitely look that one up! x

  9. Mickey@EuroAmerican Home June 2, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    I have a couple of knitted dishcloths from a friend, but they look so cute that I can’t bear to soil them in oil and food.

    I tried to knit a scarf once (the easy way, just like yours) but it came out too narrow and I never wore it.

    Good luck with this project.

  10. The Life of Clare June 2, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    I learnt how to knit when I was 17, I found it too hard, so I gave up. Being the stubborn girl that I am, I gave it another go. I’m no amazing knitter but I have knitted a scarf and hope to one day spin the wool and knit a jumper. I look forward to starting with these dish cloths though.

  11. Claire June 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    I found a lovely lady at the Girgarre market who has a knitting stall. I give her my pattern and the wool and she knits it for me! I’m currently waiting on a faded orange rib knit capelet. It’ll be divine, and I dont have to fumble about with my substandard knitting.

    • Katie
      Katie June 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      I know the lady you are talking about! She is lovely. And what a great idea!! x

  12. Sarah @ Chantille Fleur June 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Dishcloths were what I practiced knitting on. Knitting is so fun – it just requires a bit of patience! I’ve been knitting for 4 years now, and only last week I decided to finally tackle my fear of knitting in-the-round. So I’m sure you’ll go great with your knitting! Your stitches look really neat and I love the colour you’re using!

    Sarah x

  13. Margaret June 3, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Good luck with your practicing, like most things, yarn craft is all about practice and experience……love the dishcloth patterns, they are great for first projects.
    I just clicked back to see your scarf and the tension looks a bit tight, which stops the fabric from feeling soft and squishy, which is what you need for a scarf to drape and wrap properly, just pull it undone and start again with bigger needles and less stitches, it is such a pretty mix of colours, worth the effort to be able to wear it.
    Sox are small but not really quick, the yarn is usually 4 ply so it takes a while….BUT there is nothing quite so warm and cosy as your own hand knitted socks, I have 4 pair so far and a bag of sock yarn (buy it up when it goes on sale) my thinking is, the more pairs I have the longer it will take for them to wear out or need mending, so have 3 more on the needles at the moment.
    There are sock patterns that are knitted on straight needles, so I would try that first, till you get your head around what you are supposed to be doing, you only really need to concentrate around the whole heel shaping, the rest is easy.
    See if you can get a sock knitting book from the library , it may even have 8 ply socks, which would be quicker and a good way to start,they are a tad chunky, so you may not be able to wear them with all your shoes, but they are fine with some boots or just around the house.
    Have fun….thats what it’s all about.

    • Katie
      Katie June 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      Yes, tight tension is something I have always struggled with! But I seem to be doing better with it this time. The yarn in that scarf is lovely so I will have to do something with it eventually. I have thought about socks. I might move onto socks when I’m feeling confident with dishcloths! πŸ™‚

  14. Jenny June 3, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Katie! Strive for progress, not perfection! I see you knit well. Why don’t you get yourself a pair of bamboo size 4 ’round’ knitting needles no longer than 40cm, a knitting marker and knit yourself a snood! YOU CAN DO IT! A snood would make you very happy! All you have to do is measure around your neck to where you would like a cowl scarf to sit and cast on that many stitches (- 40cm for stretch). Put your stitch marker at the end of your cast on and just keep on knitting on the round until you reach the length you like, finishing at your stitch marker! You will end up with knit on one side and purl on the other. You can knit a rainbow to wear. That would make you extra happy! YOU CANT DO IT!

    • Katie
      Katie June 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      That is a very good idea Jenny! Thank you! x

  15. Suzan June 3, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Katie the more you persevere the better your knitting will be. One magic day you find that you can walk away for months and the skill will still be there.

    Right now I am forcing myself to finish a ripple blanket. I have not enjoyed making at all. I have less than 2 rows to go. So this week should see the darn thing finished.

  16. Alli June 4, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    I totally empathize with you, knitting is my Everest. I started knitting a scarf five years ago and just finished it on Sunday. I’m hoping that someday my practice will make perfect.

    Good luck to you.

  17. Karen June 4, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Hi Kate πŸ™‚ I have knitted all three of the dishcloths you have earmarked and from personal experience the basket weave pattern (the photo of the red and cream dishcloth) stands up the best. I personally wouldn’t waste your time or wool knitting the dishcloth on the bias, as I found they stretch and dont hold their shape at all πŸ™

    • Katie
      Katie June 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

      Thanks for the tip Karen! I will give that one a miss. πŸ™‚

  18. Gina June 4, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Hi Katie!

    If you go on Ravelry, you’ll find patterns for knitted and crocheted dish cloths.
    That’s where I found all my patterns. Many are free. Dish cloths are GREAT
    to practice on plus I find them very relaxing to make. Enjoy!

    Syracuse, New York

    • Katie
      Katie June 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

      Yes, I should look on Ravelry! Good idea! x

  19. Faith June 5, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    This is so funny: I am EXACTLY where you are. I’m an avid crocheter but have been jealous of all the knitting patterns I’ve found everywhere and had dreams WAY too big for my beginner needles. In a huff of frustration I just decided to start knitting a dishcloth– great (and frustrated) minds think alike eh? I’ll send you good knitting vibes and hope it gives me some knitting karma. Good luck!

  20. eliza June 6, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    dishcloths are a great place to start! i’ve got my fingers crossed that you’ll become obsessed, as i think you’d make the most darling knits!

  21. Knitting Log June 9, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    Nice article! Great post about If at first you don’t succeed…! You efforts putting this blog together was worth the while. I like this one Katie.

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