For many people, knitting starts off as a hobby, and gradually evolves into a practical solution for many household needs. From knitting gloves and hats, to shower scrubbies and washcloths, it can be fun and satisfying to knit things you will use around your home on a daily basis.
When it comes to dishcloths, if you’re concerned about frugal and eco-friendly living, then unfortunately many dishcloths contain microfiber which pollutes and damages seas and oceans. Moreover, most of us will be more prone to look after and reuse items we have made ourselves over things we simply buy from the store.
In addition, knitting dishcloths is a great way to practice various patterns. While blankets and cardigans are often long term and time-consuming projects, a knitted dishcloth will help you feel happy and accomplished sooner.
Some patterns can even be finished in one short sitting. You can knit different colors and patterns for different areas of the house and help keep your home hygienic and organized.
There are many different considerations when choosing the right yarn for dishcloths. You want something that is easy to knit, that will hold together when wet. Colors and textures are also vitally important. I’ve put together some different points you should consider when making your decision, followed by some important FAQs and a review of some popular yarns for knitting dishcloths.
Shopping for Yarn for Knitting Dishcloths: Factors to Consider
When choosing yarn for knitting dishcloths, you will want to choose one that will give you a durable piece at the end. Dishcloths are used for cleaning or washing dishes and will come into contact with water and other surfaces. Yarn that falls apart easily will not be ideal for this.
2. Holds moisture
For cleaning, you want a dishcloth that will hold some moisture without falling apart. For this reason, wool is out of the equation. This is because when it is exposed to too much water, as a dishcloth will be, wool will essentially be destroyed. Your pattern will also fall apart. Cotton is, in fact, the best yarn to consider for this purpose.
3. Gentle on your hands
Dishcloths come into regular contact with your hands due to the nature of what they are designed to do. Whether cleaning the bathroom sink, wiping down kitchen countertops or other household surfaces, this is all work you do with your hands.
For this reason, you will want to select yarn blends which are the gentlest on your hands. Cotton and soy blends usually come together to create a yarn that is soft.
Deciding on what pattern to go for when knitting your dishcloths will, to some extent, influence the yarn that you go for. When it comes to dishcloths, for example, there is a popular dishcloth pattern known as Nana’s Favorite Dishcloth which is a waffle-like stitch design.
The stitches are thick and sturdy, making it ideal for washing the dishes or wiping down utensils. For the truly authentic look with this type of dishcloth, soft pastel shades will be best.
Another possible pattern is the EveryDay Dishcloth. This one is knitted in garter stitch and is most effective in simple white or off white yarn. Thus, it is clear that the pattern of the dishcloth will affect which yarn type and color you go for.
Colors are largely subjective and will wholly depend on what you personally prefer. Some of us like bolder colors while others prefer soft pastels. Some practical elements may also impact your color choice.
Some brighter yarn colors may run, and if you don’t want to deal with this then lighter colors or even white may be best.
If you’re knitting for gifts, then it’s also handy to take the preferences of the people you are knitting for into consideration. Softer colors generally won’t clash with people’s color schemes or decor.
You may be knitting dishcloths because you don’t want to keep spending money on buying new ones. If that is the case, then it may be counterproductive to splash out on expensive yarn which you then also invest time into knitting.
It is always a good idea to set yourself a budget and then search for suitable yarn within this. If budget isn’t really an important factor for you, and knitting is a hobby you’re happy to spend on, then the world is your oyster when it comes to beautiful yarns to make charming dishcloths for you as well as loved ones.
1. Why should I knit my own dishcloths
Unfortunately, many dishcloths can contain microfiber or plastic which are both harmful for the environment. Knitting your own dishcloths from yarn that you choose means you get to decide how you recycle and dispose of it.
Dishcloths knitted at home with quality yarn are also more durable. Some will last you years and so it can keep hundreds of disposable dishcloths out of landfills over the course of a lifetime.
Aside from the environmental benefits, knitting dishcloths is a great way to practice your kitting skills. It doesn’t matter too much if you get a few stitches wrong on a dishcloth, and with each new dishcloth you knit, you can see your own improvement. This can be great practice before jumping into a larger and more complicated project.
2. What is yarn made from
Yarn can be made from many different sources. This includes plant fibers, animal fibers, and even vegetable fibers. Plant fibers include cotton and linen.
Cotton is actually highly recommended for knitting dishcloths. Some examples of animal fibers that yarn can be made from are wool, silk, cashmere and mohair. Synthetic fibers include acrylic and polyester, as well as nylon. Some sources can be blended to bring together the best properties from each type.
Different types of yarn will be better for different knitting patterns. Cotton may be too heavy for a whole jumper, however, is it ideal for something that needs to be strong and sturdy like a dishcloth.
3. Which yarn materials are best for dishcloths
For a dishcloth, you want a yarn that is durable when exposed to a lot of water, and also something that can withstand friction since you will be scrubbing with it. In this light, you should stay far away from wool which will pretty much completely fall apart when soaked in water.
Cotton, on the other hand, will you tight-knit dishcloths that are durable and lasting. If 100% is out of budget, or not something available, then your second option is to go for blends.
Cotton and soy blends, in particular, make soft and strong yarns which is exactly what you want for a dishcloth. Strong for scrubbing, and yet soft on the hands. Just ensure that the blend has more cotton than the other material to ensure strong and soft factors.
4. What size knitting needles should I use for knitting dishcloths
This wholly depends on the yarn itself. You should look for the recommendation for your particular yarn since using too small or large needles can make your project difficult. Generally speaking though, yarn that is recommended for dishcloths are usually medium-weight yarns and medium-sized needles of size 7 or 8 are optimal for this.
5. Can knitted dishcloths clean well
When it comes to knitting, most people think of light pink booties for babies or plush winter scarves for grandparents. Very few will think of a dishcloth, and actually cleaning with something they have knitted.
The fact is, the texture of a knitted piece of fabric is actually quite perfect for cleaning. It creates enough friction to invoke a shine out of your kitchen utensils without damaging them as aluminum scrubbers can do. The durability of a well-knitted dishcloth will also allow you to get an impressive amount of cleaning done with it.
6. Which colors are best for dishcloth yarn
This is completely subjective, and you can decide this based on your personal preference, as well as the colors you want to see around your home and kitchen. You may feel that white is not the best color for dishcloth yarn, however, in reality, it can be easiest to keep clean.
With a bit of bleach, your white dishcloths can quickly become pristine. You also don’t have to worry about color fading or running as can happen from some of the more bolder or brighter yarns.
Having said this, colors also have their benefits. Some of the best yarns for knitting dishcloths come in beautifully vibrant shades to bring color and character to your home.
There are also soft pastels to choose from. With colors, you can color coordinate depending on where you want to use them. You can keep purple ones for the baby’s highchair, for example, so you don’t end up using those to wipe down your toilet seat.
Depending on which pattern you decide to knit, some color combinations will result in beautiful dishcloths which you will be proud to gift to family and friends.
The Best Yarn For Knitting Dishcloths
This 100% cotton yarn is ideal for use in the kitchen. The durable yarn has been tried and tested, and consumers are impressed with the cute little dishcloths this beautiful yarn makes. It is naturally soft on your hands, making it appealing to use over and over again.
Its absorbent quality gives it an ability to hold moisture without falling apart. This is exactly what you want for a dishcloth which will come into contact with water for cleaning. It is also machine washable, which is ideal since you can throw them into the washer with your towels and similar items. A quick dry in the tumble dryer will leave you with fresh and ready to use dishcloths the next day.
When it comes to colors, this yarn is available in a wide variety of shades, including neutrals, bright colors, and pastels. Whether you prefer block colors or funky patterns, this yarn will have a color to suit your mood and the theme of your kitchen and home.
It is also a large cone of yarn which will allow you to make dishcloths in abundance before running out. For those concerned about their carbon footprints, this is made from homegrown US cotton and so you don’t have to worry about it traveling across the globe to reach you. It could, however, be considered a little pricey compared to other options.
- 100% cotton ideal for dishcloths
- Soft on hands
- Machine washable
- Variety of colours
- Locally grown
- A little pricey
This yarn is perfect for the more scrubby type of dishcloth. It comes in 10 different colors, which allows you to make color coordinated dishcloths for different parts of your house.
Whether it is yellow for the bathroom or blue for the kitchen, you can use these bright block colors to add character to different rooms. It is also machine washable which is convenient for quick washing. Simply throw them in with similar colored items and they will be ready to use when they come out.
You can use size 7 needles comfortably on this yarn and it can also be used on a knitting loom. You can comfortably and quickly knit up as many dishcloths as required. The beautiful color range makes it an ideal gift to add to a Christmas or birthday hamper.
Unfortunately, however, it is not cotton. The acrylic material gives it the scrubby form and texture, but it may not be as gentle on the hands as cotton alternatives. On the up side, it will dry quickly, clearing up the problem of wet and smelly dishcloths.
- Attractive color options
- Makes great dishcloths for scrubbing
- Not as gentle on hands as cotton
This attractive yarn will make some of your prettiest and most versatile dishcloths. The result will be so beautiful that you will want to hang your dishcloths for decor to add character to your kitchen. This Mary Maxim yarn can also be teamed up with Lily Sugar ‘n Cream for unique 100% cotton dishcloths and scrubbies.
The dishcloths can double up as wrapping for small trinket gifts on special occasions, cutting out the need for wrapping paper. Why not wrap gifts in something useful that people will not have to throw away after one use.
It is a versatile yarn that is suitable for various patterns. At the end of the day, you can chuck them in the wash with the rest of your towels, and they will be ready for use once again.
The cotton material is soft, however, some knitters do complain that it can be a little difficult to work it. It is recommended to use knitting needles a size larger than the ones the pattern may call for. The price could also be considered a little steep for knitting dishcloths.
- Pairs well with other popular dishcloth yarn
- 100% cotton soft on hands
- Can be difficult to work with
- May require larger needles than recommended
4. Lily Sugar n’ Cream Solid Variety Assortment 6 Pack Bundle 100 Percent Cotton Medium 4 Worsted (Multicolor)
If you like a bit of color then these yarns from Lily Sugar n’ Cream will be right up your street. The price is a little steep but does include 6 yarns. It is a popular choice for knitting dishcloths due to its durability.
Made from 100% cotton, it is strong and yet soft on the hands. Like other similar yarn that is used for knitting dishcloths, this one requires a size 7 needle. Lily Sugar n’ Cream is a popular choice for knitting enthusiasts because their yarn is high quality and easy to work with.
The variety of colors is an excellent choice if you want to use different colored dishcloths for different purposes. You can also mix up the colors for some striking patterns that will delight at gifts for family and friends. Whether you are making a shower scrubbie for your body or a durable cleaning tool for your kitchen, this yarn from a trusted brand will not disappoint.
Unfortunately, the bold colors may run, and it is advised to wash them separately. They should never be bleached as this will damage the color. Also, if the colors are the only reason you buy these, then some consumers were disappointed not to receive the variety promised.
- Bold, vibrant and attractive colors
- 100% cotton
- Durable in water
- Easy to work with
- Trusted and popular brand
- A little pricey to make dishcloths
- The colors may run
This yarn is popular for knitting dishcloths and washcloths. It isn’t overly bulky or heavy which makes it easy to work with. The dishcloths are strong and yet soft meaning they won’t scratch skin or surfaces, but with a bit of soap will get great foam going for easy cleaning.
It is recommended to use size 8 needles with this yarn, which means a little bigger than some of the others reviewed here. Red Heart Scrubby yarn comes in a bunch of attractive colors too.
You can make amazing dishcloths for using yourself or charming friends and family with your skill. It can also be washed easily in the washer with other similar items. Polyester also dries more quickly and so you don’t have the problem of wet and smelly dishcloths.
Unfortunately, some knitters may find the polyester a little difficult to work with. It is also a little pricey if you want to knit up a few dozen dishcloths for giving as gifts. It is also not made from natural cotton which means it may not be as soft to use.
- Popular brand and color
- Dries quickly
- Machine washable
Another one yet from Lily Sugar ‘n Cream, proving the reliability and popularity of the brand. This one comes in a mix of gorgeous pastels, making a dishcloth that you will be happy to clean with.
Lily Sugar ‘n Cream yarn is a natural, soft, absorbent cotton yarn which is ideal for dishcloths and washcloths. The cotton element makes it soft on the hands. It is also machine washable which is convenient for keeping your dishcloths fresh and ready to use.
Similar to other yarn for dishcloths, this one requires a size 7 needle. The 14 oz size of the cone itself is economical and means you will get a good amount of dishcloths from this one cone. If you are someone who likes to keep knitting then this will be a useful one-off purchase to make.
The yarn is also durable, and your dishcloths will last years rather than mere months. The soft cotton will also feel fabulous on your hands and will you to keep cleaning! If you don’t like this particular color blend then there are ample alternatives to choose from. Beware though that some buyers complained of colors not appearing as in the picture. It may be better to expect a little variance from the get-go.
- 100% cotton
- Soft on hands
- Durable quality
- Attractive colours
- Machine washable
- Some buyers disappointed with the colors
Knitting dishcloths is a great way to practice your knitting skills, as well as developing a knack for different patterns. A few stitches off the mark will be unnoticeable while you perfect your knitting and move onto bigger projects.
A single pattern can easily be completed in one sitting, giving you a sense of satisfaction as you watch your favorite show or listen to your latest audiobook. Dishcloths are also a handy and practical gift for colleagues at the office or even your neighbor.
There are many things to think about when selecting the best yarn for knitting dishcloths. From simple things like colors to more complicated considerations like yarn size and material.
There are pros and cons to each choice, and sometimes it just boils down to personal preference. Whatever you choose, it is important to enjoy knitting your dishcloths and reaping the reward with beautiful colors and patterns around your home.