Knitting Pattern: Linen Stitch Dish Cloth


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I have had some requests for my linen stitch dish cloth pattern, so I thought it would be nice to share it.  It really is just a square of linen stitch, but I certainly can share specifically how I make mine.



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For functional dish cloths, it is generally best to use cotton yarn, but you could use cotton blends like cotton/acrylic, cotton/bamboo or cotton/linen.  If you want the look that I get with my cloths, choose a variegated yarn (a yarn with a combination of mixed colors).  This is the easiest way to achieve a confetti-like, multicolored cloth.  The pattern will distribute the colors throughout the cloth, preventing pooling of color which often has a splotchy appearance.

If you like working with colors, you can alternate three solid colors while following the pattern.  This will be a little more work since you will need to carry your yarns neatly up one side, and keep track of your colors, but it will also give a multicolored, confetti-like appearance to the cloth.

If you wish to get even more creative, you can try a self-striping yarn with this pattern, or knit yourself or a new neighbor a lovely set in a single, solid color, or coordinating solid colors.  The pattern is very versatile.

I use worsted weight cotton for my cloths.  Examples you might choose include:

  • Peaches and Creme cotton yarn
  • Bernat Handicrafter cotton
  • Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton
  • Knit Picks Dishie
  • Sugar ‘n Cream cotton

It’s also worth noting that Knit Picks CotLin is a cotton/linen blend that makes great dish cloths and towels, but it is DK weight (a lighter weight than worsted) so you will need to adjust your needle size.  Knit Picks recommends knitting needle size #5 or #6 for CotLin.


The pattern:  Linen Stitch Dish Cloth

Dimensions:  Approximately 9 by 10 inches

Yarn:  Worsted weight cotton

Needles:  Straight knitting needles, size #7


Cast on 40 stitches.  I use a long tail cast on.

Row 1:  *knit 1, slip 1 stitch with yarn held in front;  repeat from *        (row ends with a slipped stitch)

Row 2:  *purl 1, slip 1 stitch with yarn held in back;  repeat from *        (row ends with a slipped stitch)

For all slipped stitches, always slip purlwise (slip as if to purl).

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for a total of 100 rows.  Ending with row 2, bind off knitwise.  Block lightly.


The linen stitch is knit over any even number of stitches, so you can adjust the pattern for size/dimensions if you prefer a larger or smaller cloth, or you want to make towels. 

If you are a tight knitter, you might consider using size #8 needles to avoid a stiff and curly cloth.  If you knit very loosely, try needle size #6.  Gauge doesn’t matter so much with this pattern, but making your stitches too loose or too tight will affect the quality of your cloth.


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There you have it:  linen stitch dish cloths the Kristenisms way!  I’m happy to answer questions if anything is unclear.

~Happy knitting!




FO: Linen Stitch Dish Cloths

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More kitchen cotton!  No, this has still not gotten old for me.  I love useful, hand-made kitchen stuff…

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Since I have a lot of variegated, cotton yarn laying around, I decided to make kitchen towels and cloths utilizing linen stitch.  I LOVE linen stitch.  Recall that I knit a linen stitch scarf last year (see post by clicking HERE). 

Linen stitch looks neat and flat, and appears more woven than knit.  It has a nice drape and lack of bulk.  What is also does, though, is distribute colors within hand-painted and variegated yarns in the nicest, loveliest way. 



Most of us dislike the ‘pooling’ of color that can occur with these types of yarns.  For an example of some serious pooling of colors from a hand-painted yarn, see my link HERE for my Breath of Fresh Air Scarf knit from a hand-painted yarn from Three Irish Girls

I have mentioned before that I don’t like my fiberwork to look ‘crafty’, and my goal is usually to make something that people are often not entirely sure is hand-made or machine made.  Color pooling, in my opinion, often makes projects look crafty and home-made, and I generally don’t like it.

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Since linen stitch contains lots of slipped stitches, it carries colors from one row below up to your current row every other stitch, and in this way, distributes the colors within unevenly or irregularly dyed yarns throughout your work. 

In the case of these dish cloths, it gives them a fun, multicolored look that reminds me of confetti.  Linen stitch also gives the illusion that the piece is more complex than it actually is.

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People who knit linen stitch know it has one major down-side:  since stitches are being slipped as part of the pattern, your fabric grows fairly slowly compared to many other stitch patterns.  In my opinion, it is totally worth the work! 

In the case of these dish cloths, I love the way they look and feel, and they make great, relaxing, stress-knitting at the end of a day when my mind is too tired to think about a detailed pattern.

~Happy knitting!