A reader asked me to write more on dishcloths - she is having problems with the cloths she knitted because they're too thick and don't dry out properly. I had the same problem with some of my Lions cotton cloths. They're fine in summer, but in winter they don't dry out well. I also found some of the thick cloths aren't very good for cleaning delicate things like wine glasses or fine vases.
My dishcloths needed to evolve, I needed to make lighter cloths. So using no real pattern I made a few lighter cloths using 4 ply cotton or 2 ply cotton - the traditional crochet cotton. If you only have 8 ply cotton, you could try knitting with larger needles to give you a looser weave and a not so thick cloth. I'm really happy with the new cloths - I use a light one about 50 percent of the time. They're easier to work with, especially now it's colder, and I find it's much easier cleaning glasses with the lighter cloth.
If you're trying to stop buying disposable items at the supermarket, home knitted dish cloths will fill that spot where you used to buy sponges or cotton cloths from the shop. Eventually they get too grotty to use and most people throw them out. The idea behind the cotton dishcloth that you make yourself, is that it's stronger and therefore can be washed with the normal washing many times before it starts showing signs of age. I have cloths here I've used for three years and they're still going strong.
I usually have about 15 - 20 cloths in my wire basket waiting to be used at any one time. I can change them every day if I want to but usually change them every second day. They're highly absorbent and can be used for a variety of household chores like dusting, cleaning, and polishing. I use different cloths in the kitchen, the laundry and the bathroom. All are colour coded so I know where they go back to after they've been washed and hung in the sun to dry.
Knitting dishcloths is a good practical exercise if you are new to knitting. It will teach you your basic stitches and in the end, you have something you can use in the home. Do enough dishcloths and you'll slowly gain the confidence to tackle larger items. Keep in mind, you can practise any new stitches on your dishcloths before you try them on a jumper or scarf.
One of the best gifts to give either man or woman is a bar of home made soap and a knitted wash cloth. So if you haven't yet fallen for the old fashioned charms of the knitted cloth, think of those gifts and grab your needles.
And some new (to me) patterns at Tipnut.
A link to the type of cottons I'm talking about.