The Almost Lost Washcloth Pattern

On my last visit, my Mom in law gave me a most welcome gift: a generous stack of hand-knit washcloths! Not only were they plentiful, they were lofty and thirsty, in a perfect size, round and scalloped. When I asked which pattern she used, she said it was one a former neighbor had given her. She wasn’t sure she even still had it.  I offered to help look for it, maybe a trifle bit too desperately.

“Where did you have it last? When did you last see it?”, I interrogated her.

Almost Lost Washcloth Knitting Pattern - Gorgeous!“Hmmmm….it’s around here somewhere”, she said mildly, and when it wasn’t close at hand she asked, “Do you really need it?”

“YES!”, I exclaimed, going quickly into spoiled brat mode. “I adore these. I want this pattern!”

A few minutes later, she walked up the hall, waving a small sheet of paper triumphantly, “Here it is!”

Yay!!!! I checked Ravelry and found some patterns that were similar, but none the same, and I much prefer this one. Here’s the recipe/pattern, transcribed from the spidery cursive it was written in. I can’t promise it’s perfect, well written or even easy to follow, but the results – well, they speak for themselves.

Almost Lost Washcloth Knitting Pattern - Gorgeous!The Almost Lost Washcloth:
No. 8 Needles (U.S.)
Cast On 14 stitches and knit back
1. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 2 stitches and knit back
2. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 4 stitches and knit back
3. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 6 stitches and knit back
4. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 8 stitches and knit back
Cast off 4 and knit to end – knit back (should be 14 stitches on the needle)
Repeat for 14 points

Leave enough yarn to sew sides together and go around circle and draw circle together. Tie ends in a double knot

 I’ll have another thick stack of these knit up before you know it!

 UPDATE: For the Almost Lost Washcloth fans, you will love the new minis! You can find the tutorial here:



    • says

      HI Julie! I just wanted to let you know that I knitted up a few and posted them on Ravelry with a link back to this blog. Hope you don’t mind! Thanks again for posting this! They are so much fun to knit up. <3


      • Machela says

        Do you need the circular needles? Or is it just personal preference. I’m a beginner and don’t now where they are more helpful and where they’re not.

        • says

          They are a personal preference and not needed for this :)

          (I use them more than “normal” needles because it keeps me from misplacing the second needle when I put it down)

        • Mom says

          I agree with Krista, Machela. Circulars aren’t necessary for this pattern. You can do them on straight needles easily!

  1. Andria Carroll says

    So glad you posted this! My mom makes wash cloths and they are just a boring square. I am going to send this to her to try something new!!!

    • Mom says

      Great idea, Andrea! All of us Moms could use a little help breaking old habits – daughters are wonderful for that. Hope she has fun knitting circles for a change! 😉

  2. says

    Hello: Thanks for the pattern for the wash cloths. If at all possible, I would LOVE to see one by it self. It says you pull yarn to draw sides together. I am assuming the cloth is like a star?? Such a sweet story you wonder how many times it got handed down to the neighbor, like an old quilt pattern. Oh, and do they feel like cotton yarn? Thanks so much, I do want to make them and have them turn out as wonderful as they look.

    • Mom says

      Hi Paula,
      Look up at the photo posted by Krista – it does look like a star! The ones I have are made with kitchen cotton, so they do feel like cotton yarn.

  3. Alicia says

    Thank you so much for sharing this “almost-lost” pattern. I can’t wait to make a stack of these (perhaps after all my Christmas knitting!). The dishcloths my mom made for me years ago are finally starting to come apart. These look adorable in variegated yarn!

    • Mom says

      You are so welcome, Alicia! I was thrilled to get my hands on the pattern, so I figured my fellow knitters would love it too. :-)

  4. Linda says

    hmmmmmm have you ever thought of doing a tutorial on these or a video? would love to see either one. thanks for the pattern!

    • Mom says

      Hi Linda,
      I’m afraid I’m not a talented enough techie to do videos. If the instructions seem confusing, Carol Feller has a free “short rows” class on Craftsy! :-)

  5. Sara says

    What a fun pattern. I knit this up so fast…goodbye square dishcloths!

    Thank you so much for sharing your pattern, I am so glad that it wasn’t lost!

    All the best.

  6. says

    Thanks for posting Julie. I did a similar dishcloth like this a few years ago.. but so far I really like this one better, just like you said! Good thing I succumbed to buying some kitchen cotton a few weeks ago. I’ve always said that doesn’t count as stash, it’s a staple, like flour, or sugar!

    P.S. I heard LaLa mention you on The Knitgirllls podcast the other day…. I squeeeeeeeeeeeed! 😉

  7. jillian says

    Love these! Thanks for sharing. I’m stuck on how you cast off four and end up with 14 still? I’m new to short rows, thanks.

    • says

      Each yarn over adds a stitch, so by the time you have to cast off 4 you have 18 stitches on the needle. After you cast off 4 you’ll have 14 again :)

  8. Becca says

    Thank you so much for this pattern. I plan on making some wash clothes for my mother-in-law, but today I used the pattern to make a lion’s head to sew onto my son’s sweater. It was a life-saver.

  9. Linda Cannon says

    Love the found washcloth, thank you for a fun neat pattern. I pinned it in the dead of night and later the next day found your site. Ran to get a ball of cotton and away I went. Had 3 false starts, brain nonfunction and then I was hooked. So simple, so cute, so practical and a fun thing to give as a simple gift. Can’t wait to post my finished product on Ravelry.
    Thank You again.

  10. Linda says

    Can someone pleaseeeeee recommend a tutorial on this dishcloth or if there are any of you creative people out there could you make one. I have tried it and it is not turning out right. I know it has to be something simple that I am just not understanding. really want to make these.

    • Linda Cannon says

      When I was doing it I found out that after casting on you knit one row. Then start row 1. When you turn on row 1 you knit back to the start or the 1st knit row. Then do row 2 and again turn and knit back. What you are creating with the yarn overs are the points and the turns are leaving a single row going toward the center. After your row 4 and knit back, then you cast off 4 stitches, this is the point and you will then knit toward the center. You then knit a row back to the points. This is where my brain went dead at some point. Then you start with row 1. It would have been easier if row 1 was the row that you knit after cast on. Then you would have 5 rows that you are repeating. This is very addictive knitting. I actually figured out a way to improve the pattern in that I knit the edges together at the end instead of sewing them together. You still have to gather up the center, but if you make sure you knit to the center, you will have a tail there. I plan on doing some for Christmas in Red and green. They will be fun for people to have. I still appreciate the pattern immensely, It will make a great carry along project.

        • Mom says

          Hi Peggy! For ending, just bind off, then seam it together on the side with mattress stitch and a tapestry needle or whatever seaming method you normally use and draw up the middle with a running stitch.

      • Rhonda says

        I wanted to make a few of these for my mother along with scented soaps and a gift card for Mother’s Day. I am having difficulty. Do I use the “Cast off 4 part” only once when casting once or when making points?

        • Mom says

          You use it after each section to make the points, Rhonda. Sounds like a really nice Mother’s Day gift! :-)

      • Rhonda says

        After 10 points this is the shape I have. What am I doing wrong? After casting off 4 stitches, and knitting back, I am knitting the entire row again. Is that correct?

        • Rhonda says

          After 10 points this is the shape I have. What am I doing wrong? After casting off 4 stitches, and knitting back, I am knitting the entire row again. Is that correct?
          I went to a local yarn shop and got help….finally finished it! Thanks for the pattern.

          • Mom says

            So glad to hear you were able to get some help and figure it out, Rhonda! Happy Washcloth Knitting! :-)

  11. Carli M says

    This is such a fun pattern and yes, it does knit up quick! I’m wondering, though, how do you recommend sewing the ends together?

    • Mom says

      I haven’t seen those videos Linda, so I’m not certain what you’re referring to, but the instructions just have you gather up the center and seam the sides. It doesn’t say exactly how. I’d use mattress stitch.

  12. Lady Elizabeth says

    What a beautiful pattern and how nice it is for you to share it with all of us. I can’t wait to try one of these. Thanks again.

  13. Peggy Berry says

    I am so sorry, I totally understand the pattern right up until you say “leave 4 stitches, or leave 6 stitches” then knit. I don’t know what you mean by leave them. Any Help would be appreciated. Thank You

    • Mom says

      Don’t be sorry, Peggy. ♥
      When the pattern indicates you should leave stitches, it just means that you should knit up to the last 4, (or 6 or whatever), stitches, then instead of knitting them, turn your work and knit to the end of the row. I hope that clears it up!

      • Peggy Berry says

        Thank You so much, I will give it another try and another and another, very stubborn person. Blessings Peggy

  14. Mary E Lee says

    I have a pattern very similar to this one. I have made hundreds of them. I have sold some but given away most of them. They are really unique. I’m going to make some off your pattern and compare it to mine. Don’ ever bleach the cotton yarn. It will take all the color out.

    • Mom says

      I can see why you made hundreds, Mary! I just love them. My Mom in law has supplied me with them for a couple of years now and I love having a big thirsty stack of them in the bathroom!

  15. Ila says

    I have been making circular garter stitch washcloths for years – my dear aunt, 93 now, taught me how, and I’ve made so many I’ve memorized the pattern. This one is similar to Aunt Pauline’s, but not the same. I’m gonna make her some and send her the pattern – she’ll be tickled, I’m sure! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • says

      Is it possible to get the pattern for Ila’s circular garter stitch washcloth? Also, I am finished with the Almost Lost Washcloth but do not know how to end it. Do you just bind off the last 14 stitches and then sew the sides? Or did I do something wrong?

      • Mom says

        Hi Deanna, yes, you just bind off then sew the side together and draw the center closed with a running stitch. When Ila spoke about a circular garter stitch washcloth, I believe she’s talking about a type of washcloth – such as ours, The Almost Lost Washcloth is a circular garter stitch washcloth. She was just saying that she’s made washcloths such as these for years.

      • Ila says

        Deanna, I don’t have that pattern written down, although I bet I could write it if I thought about it for awhile! I’ve been knitting it from memory for years. It is similar to this one. I’ll have to knit another one and write it down as I go!

  16. Ila says

    By the way, I always start with a crochet chain provisional cast-on so that I can weave the sides together at the end. I use the same yarn I gather the center stitches with – just make sure you cut it long enough for the weaving! That way the finished cloth is seamless. You can mystify your knitting friends – “How did you do that?!” Heh.

    • mpbusyb says

      Ila – I would love to see a pic of your crochet chain provisional cast-on just so I am sure I know what you mean.

      • Ila says

        Hi. I don’t do pictures, but it’s pretty easy: choose a crochet hook about the same size as your needle, and a contrasting colored smooth yarn, and make a chain about 4 chains more than the number of stitches called for. Then turn it over so you see the bumps on the back of the chain. Starting about 2 chains from the end, pick up your stitches by inserting your needle tip through one of these bumps, wrapping your working yarn around the needle and pulling it through, until you have all the stitches you need on your needle. That’s your “provisional cast on”. When you’ve finished the cloth, you can unzip the crochet chain and place the unfinished loops as they emerge onto another needle and weave both sides together with the garter stitch version of the kitchener stitch. Works great, totally seamless!

  17. Pat Underwood says

    This is a great pattern. I am knitting these dishcloths using a pattern that is very similar. It is knit in two colors. It is done in segments of 20 rows then change color. It is also very nice but I am going to try your pattern next. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Betty says

    I found this pattern without a picture and had not idea what I was knitting but it turned out great. I love making these, they are so easy. I gave them a Christmas gifts.

  19. charlene says

    wow! I tried to make it 3 times , not giving up Iwent back to see the patern again and I forgot to after cast on14 sts and KNIT BACK .. I didn’t knit back so I am going to try it agin.. can’t wait to see it come out..

  20. Betty Rubble says

    These are wonderful! I have no clue how to knit, never understood the second needle! I am a crocheter so will grab a hook and see if I can replicate this pattern in crochet! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Patty says

      Betty – have you had any success in converting this to crochet? I’m clueless about knitting – but love to crochet. Thanks, Patty

  21. Peggy Berry says

    Ok I am still having a wee bit of a problem. I usually don’t have this much trouble reading a pattern, so here goes. I got the knitting back part thank you so much, but what I would like to know is when it says do 14 more points do I start at 1. or do I knit all 14 stitches again then start over with 1. Thank you for your patience and kindness.

    • Mom says

      Hi Peggy, when it says to repeat for 14 points, you’ll start at 1.
      BUT, notice that at the end of each point it has you knit back over those 14 stitches to end your section.

      • Peggy Berry says

        Thank You so much. I sent a picture and Julie wrote back. I guess I totally misunderstood. Anyway I decided in my sometimes pattern impaired mind to write it out so that it reads co 14, 1. knit first row , so instead of 1-4 I have 1-5 that way I don’t forget and include the knit back as part of the pattern. I am knitting like a wizard now. Thank you again for your kindness.

  22. Amanda says

    Hi there,

    Can you tell me exactly how you knit the center hole together? ( fill in the gap )? Do you know where i can go to see maybe a tutorial?

  23. Peggy Berry says

    I want to thank you so much for this pattern. I love it, I not only got to finally finish a beautiful washcloth but, the mattress stitch, I had not only never done one but didn’t know what it was. I found a tutorial on u-tube and on my goodness, so easy, and my washcloths look beautiful. Thank You again. The things I have learned. :)

  24. Nancy says

    Oh, oh, oh, I love this pattern! Thank you so much for giving it new life to all of us! And what an absolute treasure to find these instructions in their handwritten form. I had just found your blog and was excitedly knitting this wonderful washcloth when I got the message that my mother-in-law had just passed away. Every time we went to see her, I would knit or crochet her something, often a dishcloth. Very seldom did she use them, preferring to display them as a doily! So, I just wanted you to know that it brought me great comfort to be knitting this first lovely washcloth while thinking of my wonderful mother-in-law.

  25. Jo says

    I love the look of these ‘almost lost washcloth!’ However I am unfamiliar with the wording of the instructions. 1) one of the pictures seemed to be using a circular needle. 2) what does ‘knit back’ mean? 3) ‘leaving 2 stitches?’
    Please help, I want to try these!

    • Mom says

      Hello Jo, You could use a circular or straight needle to make this. It’s knit flat, going back and forth – not knit in the round. Knit back just means to turn your work around, (leaving the number of stitches it tells you to), and knit the other way. Hope that helps!

  26. Debbie says

    These are beautiful! Two questions: When the pattern says to knit, leaving 2 stitches and knit back…do I just turn the work around and knit back or is it a wrap and turn type of thing? Also, I am only 2 points in, but am not seeing the shape yet. Am I doing something wrong, or does it take knitting a few more points to see the pattern/shape? Thanks for your reply!

    • Mom says

      Hi Debbie, Yes, you’ve got it – just turn around and knit the other way – no wraps and turns. I would suspect you’ll see the shape emerge as you get farther along. Each point you knit is a little pie shaped segment. Hope that makes sense. Happy Knitting! :-)

    • Mom says

      Hi Sherry, I’ve only used the Sugar or Peaches and Cream. I know what you mean about the fading. I wash in cold water and hang them to dry rather than put them in the dryer and that lengthens their life and helps them retain their color and softness. I’ve been meaning to try Knit Picks Dishie. Maybe someone who has can weigh in on how it wears.

      • Krista says

        I use Knit Picks ‘Dishie’ for a long. I haven’t had issues with the colors fading. I also like the way the yard holds up better and seems to improve over time (gets softer).

        • Krista says

          Forgot to mention… it’s the yarn in the picture I posted at the beginning of the comments. :)

        • Mom says

          I really want to try Dishie – I think you’ve pushed me over the edge and I’ll buy a couple balls! :-)

          • Krista says

            You’ll notice right away it seems thin, but you’ll also notice it holds stiches better so you can do dish clothes with patterns in it and it seems to “pop”. I’ve never used peaches n creme, just Dishie and Lion Cotton… Now I only use dishie. The only issue I have is they seem to discontinue the colors I love, lol. Have fun! I hope you love it as much as I do

      • Kat says

        KnitPicks Dishie is wonderful. Fades over a long time but not as fast and Sugar & Cream. It also seems to get softer with use.

  27. Stacy says

    I just discovered your pattern on Ravelry. This was so much fun to make. I love the way it looks – so much more fun than the traditional wash/ dish cloth. I like to make soap or buy nice soaps and make thick body cloths for gifts. One of these will be perfect in a beautiful cream color! In fact, I found your pattern on Friday and by Sunday, I had 4 finished already! This pattern is so much fun! The pattern repeats are easy enough to remember while watching t.v. with the family, but complex enough to produce that beautiful pinwheel. Thanks SO MUCH for sharing this!!!

    • Mom says

      Thanks for checking in to let us know how much you’re loving the pattern, Stacy! And the Barbie skirt thing? This just goes to show – I LOVE seeing what you all do with our patterns. Never underestimate the resourcefulness of knitters! :-)

  28. Stacy says

    One more thought – I discovered over the weekend, if you knit this pattern and at the end, sew the sides together, leaving the “hole” – you can drawstring the hole and make a barbie skirt out it.

  29. Marilyn Wetzel says

    This is a pattern I have knitted for years. In fact I bought my first pattern for 20 cents. I cast on 16 stitches for my dishcloth so I guess that makes it a little larger. I’m knitting one now and the next one I’ll knit using 14 stitches. They are fun and so pretty and different than the usual square one.

    • Mom says

      Sounds very similar indeed Marilyn! I agree – they’re definitely fun and a nice change from a dishcloth square! :-)

  30. Marilyn Wetzel says

    I forgot to add to my comment that after the YO each row I knit 10, 9, 8, and 7. Then bind off the 4 stitches.

  31. Abby says

    Hello! I came across your pattern via Pinterest and really like it. I was wondering what the rights were on it? I wouldn’t sell the pattern, but maybe the cloths themselves. Thanks

  32. Shannen says

    This is the pattern I learned to knit on! I love these dish cloths and lost the pattern a long time ago. I have been looking for it for years. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!

  33. dori says

    thank you so much for sharing. I just made this and love how it turned out. I learned how to do short rows :) I can see many many more of these on my needles.

  34. Natalia says

    I love this pattern I’m finishing up my first one. Quick question, am I knitting a total of 14 points or 15. :) Your pattern says “repeat for 14 points” I wasn’t sure if that was a total of 14 points or 14 more points, which would make it 15.

    Thanks! :)

    • Mom says

      Hi Natalia! I’ve been doing 14 points, but can’t be sure what the original author of the pattern had in mind. Perhaps some other knitters who have made this in the past can weigh in?

    • Lisa says

      I have the same question – I knit 15 points, but now I’m not so sure. I also interpreted that the repeat for 14 was after one was already knitted.

  35. says

    I really like these washcloths! When I knit them according to the directions, the short rows leave small holes in my washcloth. These bug me and seem to be more noticeable after I cinch the middle closed. Do you have any suggestions to make them less noticeable or not present at all? Thank you in advance :)

    • Mom says

      Hi Ellyn, when working short rows, you can wrap and turn the last stitch to close up those holes. If you need help learning that technique, there’s a great free class on Short Rows on Craftsy. Hope that helps!

  36. says

    I just finished my dishcloth, and it was the first time using this pattern… what a fun knit! So quick and easy too!
    I have found it hard to find a dishcloth pattern that I like the look of when using variegated yarn, but this one fits the bill :) I’m craving some Spring-like colours, so I knit my first one using Bernat Handicrafter cotton in the colour Key Lime Pie, and already have my second one cast on and ready to go using the colour Meadow. Thanks so much, for sharing this wonderful pattern. I’m so happy it’s no longer “lost” and will be used by many knitters for generations to come!

  37. Lois Kimberly says

    What a wonderfu experience – with the “reading” of all these lovely ladies re: this pattern !!!! I have a “38 yr. old” grandaughter – the joy of my life – just made a “square” varigated face cloth for her – in “spring colors” – – SO anxious to try these, for her, in different, pretty colors !!!! Thank you for sharing this pattern :-)

    • Mom says

      Hi Lois! How wonderful you knit washcloths for your Granddaughter! I’ll bet she adores them. I certainly love the ones my Mom in law made for me. Since she’s stopped knitting, (arthritis. Grrr!), I’ve had to pick up the job myself because I really hate to be without them. They’re so great! Squishy, absorbant and colorful – they make washing my face a joy! :-) How nice you can treat your beloved Grandgirl to such a nice little luxury! :-)

  38. Kay says

    This dish cloth is just precious. I have several friends that will be getting these for gifts. As I have read through the instructions and all the comments, I did not see the yarn yardage noted to complete this project. Any idea on how much yarn I need?

  39. Beth says

    Thanks for the great pattern, I am new to knitting, but have been trying different dishcloth patterns. This is so pretty, who would want to yes them with dirty dishes? I had two small false starts, but got it on the third try. Two new techniques learned.

  40. Theresa says

    I love this pattern, thank you so much for sharing it! I notice you mentioned above somewhere that you usually get (or nearly get!) two cloths out of a ball of Peaches and Cream yarn, ‘so about 70 yards’. I just looked for this yarn online and found that it is sold in 2oz balls – is this the size you use? Because it says on their website that it has 95yds, so I’m a bit confused!

    • Mom says

      Hi Theresa, Okay. So it must be a little less than 50 yards. I just bought the standard sized balls of variegated Peaches n’ Cream at my local big box craft store. Thanks for helping to clarify. My Mother in law is the expert – she’s the one who made these for me. I’ve only made a few.

  41. Rhonda says

    I have made 10 sections and it looks like the letter “S” not round like a pie. This is my third try. Each section is knitted correctly but connected they are shaped wrong. PLEASE HELP!!!

  42. RITA BHATIA says

    Good Evening,

    This is such a pretty pattern. I am a new knitter and I was going to try it but I do not understand what this means:

    Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 4 stitches and knit back.

    I am using Sugar n Creame yarn and size 8.


    • Mom says

      Hi Rita – it just means to turn your work and knit back the other way when you get to the last 4 stitches. Hope that helps!

  43. Nancy says

    I, too, have been making lots of these beautiful washcloths! Thank you again for posting the pattern! I’m wondering if there is a way to do the seam so the connection is not so obvious. I go back and forth with the seaming, not unlike the Kitchener stitch, but it ends up looking wide and flat. Thanks!

  44. Haley says

    I love this pattern. I’m having no trouble getting them to the end but finishing them up has me a little confused. When I sew them together they aren’t very “neat” looking. Do you have any finished pictures you could share?

    • Mom says

      Hi Patti, I’m not real familiar with loom knitting, but I don’t think this would work on that, since it’s knit in pie shaped segments.

  45. Nancy says

    Thanks for the link! I definitely was doing it wrong, so wonder they were wide seams; good grief!

    I must be a loose knitter; can’t imagine doing them with 8s! I use 6s for Sugar and Cream and 4s for Knit Picks Dishie. The Dishie is so nice to work with and I love that the yarn is so thin.

    Thanks again!

  46. Iselin says

    Really want try knit myself some of these…!! They are adorable! But what do you mean by “yarn over”?

  47. MK says

    Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve tried other versions of this circular pattern, but they usually involved way too much detail and tracking to get them to come out right. Yours is just perfect. Thank your Mom-In-Law for finding this! Many others will enjoy this cloth pattern and the ease in making them. :) MK

  48. Carrie says

    My new favorite shower/house-warming gift – tucked in a couple bars of homemade/handmade soap – what’s not to love.
    Thanks for sharing……..

  49. Iris says

    What am I doing wrong? On row 4 I have only eight stitches left after the yarn over. Nothing to knit before turning back. I tried leaving out the yarn over and just turned–and after casting off, I had 14 stitches. ???

    • Mom says

      Hello Iris, I’m finding it difficult to visualize what you’re describing. Are you knitting back after each step? The “knit back” means to turn your work and knit to the end of the row before going on to the next step.

  50. Mundai says

    Thank you thank you for sharing this pattern! I make the square dishcloths my Grandma taught me, now I can give her some new shapes and colors as a gift! It will mean so much for me to share what she taught me, but without giving her something she already has 100 of.

  51. Patti B says

    I have been looking for a round knit washcloth for a bit. I found this one and I was so excited. I grabbed some cotton and needles and went to town!! I am still new at short rows so it took 3 or 4 trys to get it right. I am now on my second one and love it!!! Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. It seems the old ones are the best.

  52. Natalie Murray says

    Thanks so much for sharing this pattern! I will love making these for gifts for family members.
    Happy Knitting!!

  53. Kathleen Brown says

    I have not made one yet. I plan to. I think I will leave enough open at the center so I can wring it out and put it over the spout of my liquid detergent bottle

  54. says

    Each December at our large family Christmas party my mother, sister-in laws and sisters have a ” sister swap” where we exchange clever inexpensive but thoughtful gifts. This is it for me this year. I will be making 7 of these little gems! Thanks for the pattern.

    • Mom says

      Your sister swap sounds like such a great tradition, Jacqueline! I have to suggest this to my girls! Thanks for sharing!

  55. Virginia Harrison says

    I make these for Christmas presents for the women in my family. Total 8 people. They get at least three and sometimes four. Have made this pattern for the first time this year. They will be really surprised.

    • Mom says

      Great Virginia! My family really likes these too. Last time I was at my Mom’s house I saw she was using her as a doily rather than a washcloth! LOL! Fun.

  56. Shirley Gilmore says

    What a fun project. I have already made about 10 and plan on giving them for gifts. They are fun and very easy to make. Thanks so much for the pattern.

  57. Joanna Ostrowski says

    I have tried this pattern several times, but each time I arrive at row 4, there are not 8 stitches to leave! I can’t understand what I am doing wrong.

      • Joanna Ostrowski says

        Thanks for answering… Yes, I am doing the yarn overs. When I get to the fourth row, I do as it says, and there is supposed to be 8 stitches left, but there are only 7 and the yarn over (which is the last stitche on the 3rd row) is just there. We do knit the yarn over’s, right?

        • Mom says

          Joanna, it’s so difficult to try to figure out without seeing it. Are you knitting back to the end of the row each time after leaving the stitches and before starting the next instruction? For instance: 1. knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 2 stitches and knit back? (yes, you knit the yarn overs)

        • Mom says

          Joanna, it’s so difficult to try to figure out without seeing it. Are you knitting back to the end of the row each time after leaving the stitches and before starting the next instruction? For instance: 1. knit 4, yarn over, knit leaving 2 stitches and knit back?

          • Joanna Ostrowski says

            “Knit back” means to turn the work and start in the other direction, right? If it doesn’t then that will be my error.

            I am determined to make these wonderful things!

          • Mom says

            Joanna, knit back means to turn the work and knit all the way to the end of the row. Bet that will solve the problem! :-) Yay!

  58. Carrie says

    Made a few in slightly smaller version in super soft pastel bamboo – added in my baby soap, stitched up a hooded baby bath towel – and – voila! – the perfect, useful, unique new-baby gift. This pattern is just such fun to knit – and fun to give the finished washcloths – love hearing all the ohhhh’s and awwww’s and seeing the smiles.

  59. Carrie says

    So here’s what I did to help my granddaughter – rethink the pattern:
    Cast on 14 stitches
    Row 1. Knit 14
    Row 2 Knit 4, Yarn’over, Knit 8, Turn, leaving 2 stitches on the needle.
    Row 3. Knit 13
    Row 4. Knit 4, Yarn-over, Knit 7, Turn, leaving 4 on the needle.
    Row 5. Knit 12
    Row 6. Knit 4, Yarn-‘over, Knit 6, Turn, leaving 6 on the needle
    Row 7. Knit 11
    Row 8. Knit 4, Yarn-over, Knit 5, Tutn, leavong 8 on the needle
    Row 9. Knit 10
    Row 10 Cast off 4, Knit remaining 14 stitches
    Row 11 Knit 14

    Repeat Rows 2 – 11. So you hsve a total of 14 points. I cast off on Row 11 of the final point

  60. Polly Shelly says

    I have been knitting a lot of square dishcloths and would like to try something different. Your pattern certainly is different. I wanted to use a cotton yarn from Bernat would it make a big difference.How big is your cloth? Any help would be appreciated. TTFN Polly

    • Mom says

      Hi Polly – the bernat cotton will be perfect. It’s about 8-10 inches across, depending on your gauge. Hope you enjoy knitting it!

  61. Linda says

    I did the first point but now im lost i think i had a brain fart lol or somthing not sure but do i bind off each point and connect them? if not how do i continue making points after i finished the first one Help please…

      • Linda says

        So does that mean i keep the first one on the needles and just keep starting over from row one because i tried that it seem; too work for me i must be doing something wrong ill keep trying this i really like this pattern and i have a lot of cotton yarn because i make dishcloths for my friends all the time.. I hope i get this one done soon would like to surprise my friends this Christmas with a set for each of them

        • Mom says

          Yes Linda, that’s what the pattern is instructing you to do. It seems that most people run into problems by not “knitting back” before starting over. So make sure you’re knitting back to the end of the row (toward the point) before starting over from row 1. Hope that helps!

  62. annette says

    thank you for a great dish cloth and thank you carrie for the written pattern easy to understand. I love making them for family members for Christmas. thank you again it is so much fun and a great on the go project.

  63. Andrea Nelson says

    hi! love your pattern! how great that you rescued it ! my one thought as to why so many people are not familiar with the “knit back” phrase is because I bet your mum-in-law probably “knits backwards” when she got to the end of the row~hence the phrase “knit back”.
    Not many are familiar with that technique. It is a great timesaver I think, no turning of the work or wrapping the yarn to hide any holes. Give it a try people, just google on youtube “Knit backwards” !!

    also soak it in vinegar/water mix to help ‘set your color’ than wash as usual.

    • Carrie says

      I too just knit backwards – but it takes a bit of a mind-shift, especially for novices – trying to get my granddaughters to give it a whirl – but in the meantime, they’re having fun with this pattern – using up yarn bits to make each point different, making stripes, etc – knot on…………

    • Mom says

      Could be, Andrea. I asked my Mom in law, and she said she doesn’t knit backwards, but that “knit back” is understood as turning and knitting to the end of the row in older knitspeak. :-) I feel lucky that so many knitters have clarified the pattern for one another in the comments. I really wanted to present the charm of the original pattern as it was handwritten. So fun to find old patterns! :-)

  64. Jo Osmer says

    No one responded to this earlier post. I am having the same problem – have ripped out three times now. Please HELP!

    Posted May 8, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I have made 10 sections and it looks like the letter “S” not round like a pie. This is my third try. Each section is knitted correctly but connected they are shaped wrong. PLEASE HELP!!!

    • Mom says

      Jo, are you making sure to turn your work and knit to the end of the row everytime the pattern instruction “Knit Back” is given? I see that has caused some confusion for other knitters, so if you aren’t doing that, that is likely the problem. Whenever you start a new section, you should start from the point side. Hope that helps!

    • Carrie says

      Try this from an earlier post:
      So here’s what I did to help my granddaughter – rethink the pattern:
      Cast on 14 stitches
      Row 1. Knit 14
      Row 2 Knit 4, Yarn-over, Knit 8, Turn, leaving 2 stitches on the needle.
      Row 3. Knit 13
      Row 4. Knit 4, Yarn-over, Knit 7, Turn, leaving 4 on the needle.
      Row 5. Knit 12
      Row 6. Knit 4, Yarn-’over, Knit 6, Turn, leaving 6 on the needle
      Row 7. Knit 11
      Row 8. Knit 4, Yarn-over, Knit 5, Tutn, leavong 8 on the needle
      Row 9. Knit 10
      Row 10 Cast off 4, Knit remaining 14 stitches
      Row 11 Knit 14

      Repeat Rows 2 – 11. So you hsve a total of 14 points. I cast off on Row 11 of the final point

      • Kat says

        Just read this….would have been much better instructions from the beginning. I’ve done some very advanced knitting and have never read “knit back” or leave two’ etc.

        • Carli says

          Hi Kat,
          As I’m sure you read in our blog post, this was transcribed from an old handwritten pattern from my 85 year old grandmother. We weren’t about to change up this heirloom pattern. 😉

          “Here’s the recipe/pattern, transcribed from the spidery cursive it was written in. I can’t promise it’s perfect, well written or even easy to follow, but the results – well, they speak for themselves.”


  65. Jo Osmer says

    I had printed and followed Carrie’s post and eureka! It worked – must have missed a knit back or two on earlier tries! Love this pattern! Thanks to you and Carrie!

    • Mom says

      You’re so welcome, Patti! I’ve heard so many knitters claim it as one their older family member knit. So glad to know we saved it before it got away. :-)

  66. Purple Sully says

    Great pattern, easy to follow. THANKS!


  67. Kat says

    What do you mean by “leaving 2” etc. ? Never heard or read this term before.

    Also, “knit back”? Does this mean knit the next row?


    • Purple Sully says

      When I found this pattern I wasn’t sure at first either, but after a try or two I found it very simple (and fun) to make.
      “leave 2” and “knit back” means leave the last two stitches unworked, do not slip them onto the right needle. Turn your work, and knit back to where your previous row started. I hope this helps!

    • Kat says

      Here is the full instructions without shortcut words:

      Cast on 14 stitches
      Row 1. Knit 14
      Row 2 Knit 4, Yarn-over, Knit 8, Turn, leaving 2 stitches on the needle.
      Row 3. Knit 13
      Row 4. Knit 4, Yarn-over, Knit 7, Turn, leaving 4 on the needle.
      Row 5. Knit 12
      Row 6. Knit 4, Yarn-’over, Knit 6, Turn, leaving 6 on the needle
      Row 7. Knit 11
      Row 8. Knit 4, Yarn-over, Knit 5, Turn, leaving 8 on the needle
      Row 9. Knit 10
      Row 10 Cast off 4, Knit remaining 14 stitches
      Row 11 Knit 14

      Hope this helps. Don’t feel bad, I’m an advanced knitter and didn’t understand it either.

  68. says

    What fun! With that shape, it looks like it would come from a super complicated pattern. The truth is like a secret little joke between knitters. :) Thank you (and your mom and her neighbor) for sharing it with us! I have some new pastel variegated yarn that’s dying to become one of these–right now. So much for the midday to-do list!

  69. Colleen says

    Hi there.
    Looking forward to figuring this neat pattern out. Hopefully you can help?
    I’ve noticed that doing the yarnover leaves a noticable hole in the work.
    Is there a reason that you have to yarnover?
    Would doing a basic increase (knit a stitch but dont slip off, and knit through the back of the same stitch) be an ok method instead of doing a yo?
    Would it make the pattern look the same minus the holes?

    I tried doing a wrap technique but thats not working for me.
    Just wanting to make these without those yarnover holes showing.

    Thanks for the help

    • Mom says

      Hi Colleen! Yes, you can certainly just increase without the yarn over if you don’t want the hole. And yes, you do knit another row after binding off 4 and knitting to the end of row. That’s what that term “knit back” means. Hope you enjoy the cloths. They’re one of my very favorite! :-)

  70. Colleen2nd question says

    Second question.
    At the end after you cast off 4sts and knit to end, should you flip over and knit one more row?

    In the mini instructions, it has cast off the stitches, knit to end, flip over and knit one more row

  71. Lauren Hayes says

    Can anyone help me …I am currently knitting this and it is long rectangle piece with star shape on each side …what am I doing wrong ???

    • Mom says

      Hi Lauren, are you turning your work and knitting to the end of the row each time it tells you to “knit back”? That seems to be the usual confusion with this pattern.

  72. Shannon says

    Everytime you knit back a row is there only supposed to be 14 stitches? I am new at knitting and in starting my 7 point but I have more than 25 stitches on my needle… I don’t know what I’m doing wrong ? I am turning back and knitting every row.

    • Mom says

      Hi Shannon! There should be 14 stitches at the end of each point. If you have more stitches than you should, make sure you’ve been leaving the number of stitches on the needle the pattern tells you to when you turn your work and “knit back”. (knit to the end of the row). You might have too many stitches because you accidentally knit those stitches instead of leaving them.

      • Shannon says

        I feel like I’ve been following them the right way. I’ve decided to start over.

        When I do the loop over, I understand this is an increase, at the end of the row when I turn over to knit back, do I knit this “yarn over extra” together with the old stitch to decrease it again?

        • Mom says

          Hi Shannon! No, you don’t decrease it again. When you follow the pattern, you do end up with 18 stitches once you’ve followed the pattern through #4. Then you just follow the pattern to bind off 4 stitches, knit to end of row, then knit back. (turn and knit to end of row). You’ll then be back to the original 14 stitches and can start the next section by repeating the instructions. Hope that helps!

  73. says

    Wanted to say thank you so much for sharing this treasure of a pattern! I just finished my second one, at first had problems but realized I was thinking to hard, it really is a easy pattern. I also love that not only learning the pattern I learned, and did two techniques I haven’t used before from a commentor, I did a provisional cast on, and seam finished with the Kitchener seam. Love them both. Can I ask was circumference yours are, mine, from star tip to star tip is 9 1/4″. Just wondering.

    Also when I first commentor it came up with that I am spam, I am NOT spam,!

    • Mom says

      Hi Cathy! I’m glad the pattern has made you happy and you’ve learned new techniques in the process! The diameter of my cloths are 9″ with Sugar n Cream cotton and a US 8 needle. I’m a tight knitter. I’m sorry our Captcha thought you were spam. It’s a wonderful tool, but it certainly has its’ limitations. Thanks for your kind comment! :-)

  74. Lisa says

    Hi ..I’m a beginner and am loving your pattern. A couple things were confusing but I didn’t give up. Here are a couple tips for those who do not understand the pattern. It’s really quite easy but my first didn’t turn out either..until I figured out why. Here is how I did it in case anyone needs another description.

    Cast 14
    Row 1 K4,YO,knit until there are 2 stitches left and turn,K back to beginning
    Row 2 K4,YO, knit until there are 4 stitches left and turn, K back to beginning
    Row 3 K4, YO, knit until there are 6 stitches left and turn, K back to beginning
    Row 4 K4, YO, knit until there are 8 stitches left and turn, K back to beginning
    Row 5 Knit and cast off first 4, continue with pattern repeating Row 1-4

    Hope that helps those are like me :)

    Now it looks like yours :)


  75. Natasha G. says

    I just love this pattern! It was so fun to knit and the end product is simply beautiful! I saw the pattern for the minis but I was wondering if anyone has adapted this pattern to make a blanket? I’m attempting it but I’m not sure I have enough knitting experience to succeed. Has anyone done this and if so, would you be willing to share?

  76. Kay says

    I love the idea of this pattern. I just don’t get it. Am I supposed to create a point which I don’t have any questions about them cast on 14 again without casting off and create another point?( I tried it this way it creates a weird little connection) once I have 14 points am I to cast off all points and gather? Then what? I have not been able to make one yet. I am so determined yet so lost.

    • Mom says

      Hi Kay, Sorry you’re having trouble with the pattern. You don’t cast on again at the end of each point. You just repeat the directions for the point with the existing stitches on the needle. It should make another point beside the first one. Once you have 14 points total, you cast off all the stitches, seam the circle together, gather up the center and cinch it closed – then secure it with a knot and weave in the ends. Hope that helps! I’ll be posting a photo tutorial next week that may help you visualize it.

      • vicki says

        when you do the pattern 1-4 and then cast off four then you knit a row then another row of knit then start the pattern again or do only do one row of knit

      • Jessy Whited says

        Thank you so much for this tidbit. I have just finished my 14th point and was at a loss as to exactly what to do next. Sometimes, especially with new patterns to me, I can read them VERY literally, whether that is good or bad. :-)

        Thanks again for sharing the pattern.

  77. Joyce Lewis says

    Thanks so much -I am an avid knitter of everythng but can’t wait to make these for gifts !!My grand-daughters are going to love these for makeup removal and washcloths. So good for the environment!!!Thanks so much !!!!!

    • Mom says

      Oh gosh, Joyce. That’s so great! I think it’s a wonderful thing – to make things we can reuse instead of using disposable everything.

  78. Carol M says

    These and the minis are very cute! I’m thinking that the mini’s would make very cute scrubbies, for dishwashing, using the yarn made for that purpose (offered on the Mary Maxim website). I’m going to give it a try.

  79. Melanie says

    Thanks for the pattern. The finished washcloth is very pretty.

    I found it a bit a challenge to close the center neatly with 14 stitches (guessing it’s because of my gauge or yarn choice) so I made a variation that leaves only 7 center stitches:

    Cast On 15 stitches and knit back
    1. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 3 stitches and knit back
    2. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 5 stitches and knit back
    3. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 7 stitches and knit back
    4. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 9 stitches and knit back
    Cast off 4 and knit, leaving 1 stitch, and knit back (should be 15 stitches on the needle) -this completes 1st point
    5. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 3 stitches and knit back
    6. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 5 stitches and knit back
    7. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 7 stitches and knit back
    8. Knit 4, yarn over, knit, leaving 9 stitches and knit back
    Cast off 4 and knit to end, and knit back (should be 15 stitches on the needle) – this completes 2nd point
    Repeat 7 times for 14 total points

    To close I pulled out the first row (the cast on), and weaved in the end row (on the last row, after casting off 4 stitches, instead of knitting to the end I cut a long tail of yarn and sewed a seamless close to the first row of the other end).
    This leaves two ends in the middle. Weave one end through an outside loop of the 7 middle rows until you are back at the start. Pull to close the center, knot with the other end, and then pull each end through a few stitches and trim. The result should be a practically invisible close, and a tidy star of 7 points in the middle of the cloth.

    I hope the above makes sense. :)

    • Mom says

      Looks like an interesting mofification, Melanie! I’ll have to cast on and give it a try. Thanks for sharing it!

  80. marianne says

    Has anyone used the lion brand kitchen cotton yarn for this pattern? If so, how many stars were you able to make?

  81. Darla says

    I found this pattern the other night … knitting my second one … my aunt just pulled out 2 washcloths my grandmother made YEARS ago … same pattern! but 13 points (maybe larger needle and/or different count) … grandma doesn’t knit anymore (I mostly remember she’d crochet) and wouldn’t remember enough to tell me a pattern … thank you! I’m going to make a couple for grandma & each of the cousins …

  82. Stacy says

    This washcloth is so similar to a dishcloth that I used to knit up all the time…until I misplaced the pattern. I have been searching for it for months! Mine was a little bigger, 9″ or so across, and the points were lacy. From the comments I read I should check Raverly for my pattern. I need my pattern to knit a Cat Blanket to put on my bed, I will use 4 to 5 strands of yarn and size #35 or #50 needles, whichever gives me the look I want. I just haven’t found a pattern I like better.
    Although, I am very happy to have found yours, it is smaller, more dense, and seems to be very quick! I also want to try the even smaller size to go with my DIY Organic Facial Cleansers as gifts for my family members.
    So for now I will knit your patterns with my huge stash of cotton yarns….and that will make my DH very happy! Thank you so much for these darling patterns!


  1. […] The Almost Lost Washcloth Pattern – Simply Notable. Lavettes. Lavettes. Patrons-Lavettes Mystère – Le blog du cercle des fermières de Sherbrooke 02. GRANDEUR : 9 ½ x 9 ¼ pouces Laine coton 100 % – 1 balle ( suggestion d'une couleur unie) Aiguilles 4.5 mm Monter 47 mailles NOTE : les mailles de la bordure sont entre parenthèses au cas où vous voulez faire une autre bordure ou d'une autre couleur. […]

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