We all need them as we all have surfaces to clean, dishes to scrub or you could you them to clean your body too (only don't do both with the same cloth!).
Even if you like me only a basic knitter, a knitted dishcloth or wash cloth is not difficult to make, knits up pretty fast and makes a great gift. Tie a few up some ribbon, add some natural or homemade cleaning materials such as vinegar, lemons or bicarbonate of soda and you have a useful gift for an eco loving friend. My old blog post on natural cleaning has a few suggestions and links on natural cleaning.
Alternatively wrap your knitted wash cloth with some handmade soap purchased from a local maker or made yourself. There are lots of great tutorials online for making soap too or you could go on a course. The lovely Sarah Harper from Rowan Tree Studios teaches one at her home in Devon. She also makes and sells gorgeous soaps too.
When making your dishcloth avoid wool and choose a cotton yarn. Dishcloth cotton is, as it states on the label, especially designed for dish cloths. Any cotton yarn of a meduim weight would do though. You could even make your cloths in lovely organic cotton in other colours to the basic cream or white that dishcloth cotton usually comes in. For a posh cloth in a beautiful shade this organic eco baby cotton looks lovely! Washability and durability is important to consider though. Kate Carpenter has written an excellent article on choosing the best yarn for dish and face cloths.
The first cloth i made was using Deb's Waffle dishcloth tutorial on Homespun Living.
If you are a beginner knitter though this is the most simple method;
- cast on 36 stitches (on size 6 uk needles)
- knit a garter stitch. (knit each row in plain).
- Knit till the cloth is your desired length.
- cast off.
- tie in the ends and you're done. (link for techniques here or try youtube videos or good knitting books)
Dishcloths are great for practicing knitting stitches. I rather like Moss stitch, so i found out instructions on how to do the basic stitch and then knitted my dishcloth up rather like a sample.
Don't forget if you are handy with a crochet hook you can crochet them too!
Do share any good tutorials you have found, other dishcloth gift giving ideas/variations or send us a picture of your homemade cloths.