For Christmas this year, I tried to make most of the gifts that I gave to other people. To keep from completely overwhelming myself, I sought out simple and useful projects like these close knit washcloths from PurlSoho in order to please a wide range of personalities with a single gift idea. I made two of these for every adult on my list. To make each gift more exciting, I also included a bar of delicious smelling homemade soap that I purchased at my local farmer’s market. That’s cheating, I know. I had hoped that the soap would clarify that these were washcloths (i.e. for washing your body) and not dishcloths, but I still got some questions. In all fairness, these would make nice dishcloths, too! Maybe you can package yours with some Dawn and let me know how that goes.
These washcloths are quick and fun to make and by all accounts, they were well received.
The Pattern and Source
The PurlSoho website is divided into two parts: Create and Shop. The Create side of their website is one of my favorite sources for modern and free knitting patterns.
Note: I am not getting compensated to say any of these things. This is honest, uncompromised Shelby speaking.
Their free patterns are designed to feature the products they sell, but you don’t have to use their yarns unless you want to. For the close knit washcloth pattern, you can use any medium weight cotton yarn. I prefer 100% cotton, but I use what I find. In my current financial situation (my husband is a 29-year-old student), I try to find more inexpensive sources for my supplies. I found all of the yarn for that colorful stack of washcloths at my local thrift store. Each yarn remnant was under $1 and yielded anywhere from 1-3 washcloths. A real steal. Plus it’s always rewarding to use materials that might’ve been thrown away.
To make one washcloth, you’ll need the following materials:
- a pair of size 6 US needles (or thereabouts)
Note: It’s a washcloth. Your gauge doesn’t have to be exact because no one is going to wear it. Pick some needles that work with your yarn.
- about 35g of medium weight cotton yarn
Note: It’s a washcloth. Your gauge doesn’t have to be exact because no one is going to wear it. Pick some cotton-ish yarn that will feel good rubbed all over your body and works with your needles. It’ll work out.
- optional: a few episodes of a simple yet entertaining TV series to catch up on
Note: It is important to determine which of your favorite TV shows accommodate crafting well. You can’t craft while watching shows that demand or deserve too much attention, otherwise you won’t get anything done. Project Runway (in any of its forms) is a favorite of mine. I like that I can be creative while watching the contestants create. And because I don’t love all of the bickering between contestants, knitting provides a happy distraction. Also, I get a built-in knitting break when it’s runway time.
You’ll also need to know how to:
- Cast-on (CO): this one or this one
- Knit (K): English or Continental
- Slip a stitch purlwise (S1WYIB and S1WYIF): Continental versions WYIB here and WYIF here, English version here
- Bind-off (BO): standard knit bind-off here
- Weave in your ends: this one is specifically for cotton yarn
Here is a nice video showing the close stitch knitting pattern that is used for these washcloths.
And that’s it! You don’t even have to (get to?) do a single purl stitch.
If any of the knitting skills listed above are frightening you because you either (a) don’t know how to do them or (b) could not in a million lifetimes remember how to do them, relax. I have embedded a few links for you and you have the internet at your disposal. You can (re)learn how to do it. And, if you’re like me, you can promptly forget it again until the next time you have to use it. I look up tutorials for things I supposedly know how to do all. the. time. It’s fine. No one has to know unless you publish it online.
Did you make any? Let me know!
What are your favorite sources for free knitting patterns?
Do you have any TV show recommendations for me?