Frugal Family

Knitting your own retro style dishcloths

This week I shall mostly be knitting dishcloths… like an old lady!

I like knitting and self taught myself over a year ago with a cocktail of YouTube videos and one of those Buy-Weekly-Get-A-Free-Ring-binder-part-1-99p subscriptions. You know the ones I mean.

My local haberdashery sells knitting cotton for around £1.50 for a ball and I figured I may as well take a break from (unfinished) toys and random items of clothing and whip out a few dishcloths. I found I could knit 2 simple dishcloths from one ball of cotton. I was coming to the end of a pack of disposable kitchen sponges which I have slowly been working my way through for 3 months, and decided I didn’t fancy buying them again. ‘Why?!’ may you ask. Well we have been slowly cutting out disposable items from our home for a while now. First we got rid of the Pampers and switched to cloth nappies, then I disowned Tampax and make the change to go cloth for my period, then we went slightly more hard-core and stopped buying toilet paper.

My nan used to always knit her own dishcloths and swore blind that they were better than shop bough cloths and sponges. Buying sponges during the monthly shop became a second nature, I never thought much of it really. We buy the big yellow ones with a scouring pad on the back but I couldn’t tell you how much they cost because it’s been so long since I bought some. Because the sponges are so big, I would cut them in half to make them last longer. Cheapskate.

Have a go!

Knitting dishcloths may not save me as much money as using cloth nappies or toilet paper but they look pretty, take no time to knit and are the ultimate beginners knitting project. If you learn to make some now, you could knit a few for family and friends as a fun home-made Christmas present.

A simple square knitted in garter stitch, is so easy to learn. YouTube can teach you the very basics, so don’t worry if you’ve never attempted to knit anything before. A simple dish cloth is the very best thing you can make as your first proper project. After all, it is just a simple square. I cast on 32 stitches and work in a plain garter stitch until my work is a square, then cast off. Simple that’s it, and as I said before YouTube can teach you these techniques easy peasy. You can always learn a few more stitches as you gain confidence to mix things up a bit.

Not vintage but I also knit vintage style dishcloths.
Not legit vintage but I do knit vintage style dishcloths.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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