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15+ Free & Fabulous Ways to Use Leftover Yarn for Dishcloths

Got lots of leftover cotton yarn? Use it for dishcloth and washcloth knitting patterns

Dishcloth Knitting Patterns for leftover yarn

Believe it or not, during my lifetime as a knitter, I have received some of the most enthusiastic “thank-you”s from people to whom I have given dishcloths or washcloths as gifts.

Maybe it’s because dishcloths and washcloths are the types of items that everyone needs, but not everyone necessarily enjoys buying for themselves. For that reason, I love finding new dishcloth / washcloth knitting patterns. 

Dishcloths and washcloths are also handy patterns that give you lots of freedom to try out new stitch patterns and knitting techniques. And when you’re finished, you can give it for weddings, graduations, and/or birthdays.

Washcloths and dishcloths are terrific charity knitting projects, too. Women’s shelters, in particular, often appreciate receiving donated, handmade washcloths. For women who have escaped a violent situation, a handmade washcloth can be a luxury item that also reminds them someone cares.

Whether you’re using leftover yarn, stashbusting, or knitting fast gifts, dishcloths and washcloths are versatile all-purpose projects.

Want more free knitting patterns for charity? Click here for your copy of “4 Quick Charity Knitting Wins” and start making a difference today!

Free Dishcloth & Washcloth Knitting Patterns

Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth: This may well be the oldest pattern in existence for knitted dishcloths! Knit on the diagonal, it truly could not be a simpler pattern. This is a fantastic pattern for beginning knitters, and the ultimate quick-and-easy pattern for more experienced knitters.

Ballband Dishcloths
Ballband Dishcloth
Photo: Remeika on Ravelry

The Almost Lost Washcloth Pattern: Be sure you read the story behind the title — it’s cute and funny. Then settle in and enjoy knitting this delightful starburst-type washcloth pattern!

Ballband Dishcloth: I’ve always loved this simple yet adorable pattern that features a bricklike design.

knitted dishcloth
Spa Day Facecloth
Photo: Anne Mancine

Spa Day Facecloth: The textured pattern of this squishy, absorbent washcloth makes it truly wonderful for pampering purposes.

knitted washcloth pattern
Double Bump Dishcloth
Photo: Missy Angus

Double Bump Dishcloth: The texture of this pattern makes it a terrific cleaning agent, and the beauty of the design also makes it a great practice for knitting a scarf with the same stitch pattern.

Bird Cherry: This is almost too beautiful to be a washcloth or dishcloth!

Chinese Waves Dishcloth: Sure, you could make a simple garter stitch washcloth, but for extra scrubbing power, it’s tough to beat this outstanding stitch pattern.

Hungry for more dishcloth and washcloth patterns? You’ll find more here!

Reversible Pips Dishcloth: Another cloth with terrific scrubbing power, this one is notable because its 2-row design makes it easy to memorize and whip up.

Three Dishcloths: As the title says, 3 patterns reside here in one link. Make them together and you have a nice set of dishcloths ready to give as a gift!

free knitted dishcloth pattern
Lion Brand Dish Cloth Pattern
Photo: Lion Brand

Lion Brand Dish Cloth Pattern: This pattern is utter simplicity, yet it creates a lovely texture that offers a scrubbing wallop.

DW Darrell Waltrip Cloth: The “DW” stands for “Double Woven” (and the “Darrell Waltrip” pays tribute to the designer’s favorite auto racer). This cloth pattern stands out because of the way it shows off the beauty of variegated yarn. If you want a pattern that really works well with variegated yarn, you’ll want to try this one.

Tawashis: Technically the Tawashi isn’t a cloth at all, but a scrubby. However, I couldn’t help but include it here because it’s just so cute. These would make truly fantastic wedding gifts!

knitted washcloth pattern
Leaf Lace Washcloth
Photo: Jan Eaton

Leaf Lace Washcloth: The name says it all. This washcloth features a leafy lace pattern. It’s beautiful and practical!

Starfish Cloth: I’ve made this pattern several times, and it’s so much fun! It is also truly perfect for leftover yarn, as you can make each part of the “starfish” a different color.

Margaret Tulip 9″ Dishcloth Afghan Block Square
Photo: Margaret MacInnis

Margaret Tulip 9″ Dishcloth Afghan Block Square: If you’d like more of a challenge in your dishcloth knitting, try this lovely little design. (And yes, you can make this or any of the other square patterns as afghan blocks!)

Bonus: 52 Weeks of Free Dishcloth Knitting Patterns

As a special bonus, check out Knit Picks’ enormous collection of free dishcloth patterns. They constantly add new patterns, so be sure to check back regularly! (As of this writing, there are over 270 patterns currently available.)

Thanks to these free dishcloth knitting patterns and washcloth knitting patterns, you’ll always have a use for leftover cotton yarn!

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