2 Ways to Knit Diagonal Dishcloths (Holes or No-Holes)

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There are two things I think all knitters love: Quick Projects and Garter Stitch 🙂

And maybe those are really the same thing! Because almost any project that uses garter stitch (where you knit every row – no purling!) usually turns out to be a project that moves along very quickly.

Quick Garter Stitch Diagonal Knit Dishcloth Pattern

A classic quick knitting pattern that uses garter stitch is the diagonal knit dishcloth. They’re a perfect example of something practical you can complete after just a few hours of knitting, they’re easy enough for beginners, and yet they’re still a fun and relaxing project for old die hard knitters (like me!)

Garter Stitch Diagonal Knit Dishcloth Pattern with a couple of new updates! Includes a No Holes version and updated corners.

Several years ago I wrote about my dishcloth pattern as being one of my favorites but since that time I’ve kept tweaking and trying some different things and now I have a NEW favorite (a No Holes version!) and updated corners and have put them all together in one printable pattern.

But first a quick note – – no more #10 needles for my dishcloths. I made them that way many times, but have now decided I like them knit a little tighter. Any dishcloth I knit now I do on #7 needles.

OK, on to the updates!

The Diagonal Knit Dishcloth but with No Holes! A fun new twist on a classic knitting pattern.

The No-Holes Diagonal Knit Dishcloth

This is my new favorite knit dishcloth pattern, and it’s easy to do! The classic pattern for diagonal knit dishcloths uses a yarn over that creates holes along the edge. This is also how you keep increasing as you knit diagonally. But with a little tweak you can still increase and not have the holes. How?

By using a reverse yarn-over. Instead of wrapping the yarn from the back to the front as you would normally do, you wrap the yarn from the front to the back. This might feel a little strange at first but as you knit along you’ll easily get used to it. This reverse yarn over let’s you keep increasing as you knit, but without creating a hole. I found this to be a nice change that created a sturdy dishcloth.

The second tweak you’ll find in my No Holes Dishcloth pattern is on the corners. I’ve slightly changed how I increase at the very beginning, and also how I bind off at the end. But the more interesting thing is the use of a short row in the middle to make sharper corners. This seemed to give the corners just a bit more definition and it’s a change I now incorporate into all my knit dishcloths.

I did my best to make a quick little video showing both the reverse yarn over, and the short rows for the corners.

Updated Traditional Diagonal Knit Dishcloth With Holes

Even though I’m loving my No Holes version of the knit dishcloths, I still like to make the traditional “Holes” version from time to time too. The updates to this pattern are that I’ve switched to using #7 needles, and I’ve also incorporated my changes to the corners. BUT, I found that I only liked to use the short row method on one side of the Holes dishcloth. So the short row is incorporated in this pattern too, but in a slightly different way.

The Diagonal Knit Dishcloth - Free Knitting Pattern includes the classic version with holes on the edge, and an update No Holes version too!

All 3 Options In One Printable Pattern!

Can’t decide which version to make? I’ve put all three of my garter stitch dishcloths together in one printable pattern!

Click here – – > Garter Stitch Diagonal Dishcloth Patterns – Printable pdf

This printable pattern includes these options:

Option #1 – The tried and true original (no reverse yarn overs or short rows to confuse beginners). This is the classic version with holes along the edge.

Option #2 – The classic “holes along the edges dishcloth”, but with updated instructions for more defined corners.

Option #3 – The No Holes diagonal dishcloth. A fun twist on the pattern that uses a reverse yarn-over and the updated corner instructions.

And of course you are free to mix and match! For instance you can use the simple corners from Option 1, but work the body of the dishcloth with the Option 3 No Holes method.

Garter Stitch Diagonal Knit Dishcloth Pattern with a couple of new updates! Includes a No Holes version and updated corners.

Finally, knit dishcloths should be made with 100% cotton yarn. The Sugar ‘n Cream brand is always a good choice and comes in lots of nice color options.

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68 Comments

  1. I’m knitting a diagonal patterned baby Afghan . My question is how can I keep it from being a diamond shape instead of a square ?

    Love your dishcloth updated.

    Thanks for any help you can give me .

    Virginia

    1. I think a diamond shape would mean a slower progression of the increases (or decreases). To have a square shape, you need to keep increasing evenly on every row as you are making the square shape bigger, and decreasing evenly on every row as you are making the square shape smaller.

  2. Is there a multiple of stitches for these washcloths? I don’t want to make it quite as big. Instead of using a different needle size, I’m using a 10, can I decrease the number of stitiches? Instead of 47 could I go to 37 and still have the pattern work out?

    1. These cloths can be made in any size, you just change how many stitches are on the needle before you switch to working the decreasing rows. (For instance I have used this pattern to make a small blanket by knitting until there are 100 stitches on the needle). So if you want to make it smaller, then yes, I would try doing the increase rows until you have 37 stitches on the needle as you suggested, and then begin doing the decreasing rows.

  3. Thank you for these patterns. I have been making these washcloths for years and have made hundreds. It will be fun to try a new version. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Hi Beverly,
    Do I just do one row of the “K3, Turn, K3, Turn, Knit to end, Turn, K3, Turn, K3” before I begin the decrease rows?
    Thank you!

    1. Yes, there is just that one row (that has the short rows for the corners), and then the next row begins the decrease rows.

  5. I have used the original pattern with holes for over 50 years given to me by my mother-in-law. The beginning corner and ending corner always bothered me. Looking forward to seeing your solution. I recently completed fifty dishcloths for Mother’s day this year to hand out to mothers attending our small country church that Sunday.

  6. Love the dish cloths w/o the holes so much better. I wanted to start these to work on between my other projects, but I didn’t like the rows with holes. I was a new knitter several years ago, but had breast cancer and complications afterwards. So, I have yearned to begin again and now have. I need anything that will teach me things as a beginner. Knitting reminds me so much of my Grandmother who raised me. She periodically told me that with every few rows of knitting she prayed for her grown children and Grandchildren. She was such a spiritual woman until she passed away at 89. I learned many amazing things from her, but most of all I learned more about her relationship with God. Through many horrific times, personal tragedies, and losses of children and Grandchildren, I was able to witness how her relationship with God strengthened her faith. What she didn’t know that while her faith increased during these times…… my ow faith strengthened as well.

    I will continue to watch for your videos. Thank for sharing your gift.

    Kay

    1. I love the idea of praying for loved ones as you move along through the rows of knitting. You were blessed with a wonderful grandmother. ❤️

  7. Thank you for this pattern. I have used the traditional pattern for years but appreciate your version for the no holes and better corners, thank you!

  8. Can you tell me what you mean by K2 Turn K2 Turn in your updated corners pattern. How is it done? Another instructional video would be great

  9. Hi Beverly, I am going to make the no holes dishcloth with scrubby yarn. I didn’t want it quite that large how would I decrease the size. Seasons greetings, Polly

    1. Because you knit these dishcloths on the diagonal, it will look like a triangle as you knit along. So if you want to make a 6″ square cloth, you would keep increasing until the edges of your “triangle” measure 6″ (from the pointy cast on corner, to your needle.) Then you would start decreasing. I hope that makes sense!

      1. Because you knit these dishcloths on the diagonal, it will look like a triangle as you knit along. So if you want to make a 6″ square cloth, you would keep increasing until the edges of your “triangle” measure 6″ (from the pointy cast on corner, to your needle.) Then you would start decreasing.

        However long the edges are when you start decreasing, is how big your square will be.

  10. I love these dish cloths. My first and only one so far is the one with the holes. It didn’t come out square! At 50 stitches across I started the decrease rows. But the end I was decreasing on looks longer than the first side. Was it tension? The holes all look even all the way around so I don’t think I made a mistake on any rows. I’d like to figure put what went wrong before trying any more dish cloths.

    1. I do note on my pattern it has you knitting only to 47 stitches across and then starting the decrease rows. So if you went to 50 that might account for why the cloths are not square.

  11. Thank you for making this pattern available. I had lost it years ago and am very happy to have it back.
    God Bless, Linda

  12. Thanks for a clear and concise pattern choice which was easy to find without rerouting to an ad or membership!

  13. I have used the original diagonal dishcloth pattern for years to make baby blankets. Of course the coroners are very rounded. I uses soft fuzzy yarn and about 145 stitches at midline.
    Do you think the corners can be squared up, with short rows inserted at the corners? How many stitches would you suggest?

    1. Yes, I think the corners could be squared up a little bit using short rows at the corner. It sounds like you are using the classic “yarn over” version that creates the holes. If that’s the case, the short row turns have to be the same number as the amount of stitches before the yarn over, which is usually two stitches.

  14. I can’t thank you enough for the no holes pattern!!! The garter stitch is my favorite to knit and also to use in the kitchen and in the bathroom. I’ve made the “holes” version numerous times, but failed to give them as gifts because they never looked even, always curled up and the holes were bigger in some places than others. I guess I’m pretty much a perfectionist about the gifts I make! Now I can do the most relaxing stitch ever and have lovely little gifts to give and use for my family!! Thank you so much!!

  15. I would like to make this pattern in a rectangle for a kitchen towel. How can I adjust for this shape? Thank you for sharing your pattern for the diagonal knit dishcloth with and without holes.

    1. I don’t think there’s a good way to use this pattern for rectangular shapes, although you could possibly knit two of the square dishcloths and then seam them together into a rectangle.

      1. You can make a rectangle. I’m working on one with the pattern right now. You just need to make the piece as long as you want the shorter sides of the rectangle to be. Then you start reducing stitches on one end of the work only. Keep increasing on the other end. This makes the stitch count stay the same for the middle of the rectangle. Then when the long side is the length you want for your rectangle start reducing on both ends of the work. And then you get a rectangle dish cloth!

  16. You are my hero! I have not knitted for at least twenty years (currently in my seventies) and was never a pro, but enjoy making simple useful things that don’t require specific sizing. These washcloths are great – the video for omitting holes was so helpful! – and I just found the hand towel topper so I’m excited to try that, too. I get tired of picking up that towel that I thought would hang nicely on the handle of the oven door! A couple easy and affordable gift ideas,too.

    1. No, it is just a one page pattern that includes instructions for the different options all on that one page.

  17. I am not a knitter but my Danish mother was !! She passed away two years ago and I am going to learn to make these like she did for all of us girls 🙂 My grandparents were both from Denmark but unfortunately I never got to travel there. He was a Kelsen and she was a Carlsen !!

  18. In the classic diagonal cloth with updated corners, the directions state to do short rows at the beginning only for the last row before decreasing. In the updated cloth with no holes, short rows at the beginning and the end of the last row before decreasing. Is this a typo or does it work better that way. Thank you.

    1. Yes, for the one pattern with updated corners, I only do the short row on one side. I thought the finished dishcloth looked better for that style when I did it that way, so it’s not a typo. Of course if you are an experienced knitter and you want to try the short row at the other end too, you can give it a try that way too.

  19. Fantastic! Always really liked the pattern but not the looseness of the knit. Going to use the updated patterns with my 76 year old sister who wants to learn to knit!! Going for it! Thanks so much!

  20. I just finished my 14th dish cloth (not 13th superstitious). I used all three variations. Like the no holes edge best. Now have house gifts of needed. Great patterns and time conservers.

      1. Thank you so much for your reply 🙂
        I will be making those for my father <3 He needs some homemade cosyness in his kitchen – or "hygge" as we say in Danish 🙂

  21. I am new to knitting. Am doing the classic diagonal knit dishcloth with updated corners with holes. I have reached the 46 stitches on the needle, but do not understand the Next Row: K2, Turn. Can you explain exactly how to do that?

    1. There is a video in the blog post, and at about minute 2, I show how to do the short row turns for the corners. So I think if you watch that, it will help you!

    1. The abbreviation “inc” is for an increase that is made by knitting into both the front and the back of the stitch, therefore adding one more stitch to your needle each time you make that type of increase.

  22. Thank goodness I found your website I was taught this pattern in the early 50’s for church bazzars AMEN TO YOU IM ON A ROLL STILL AT 80 FOR OTHER CHURCH FUNCTIONS AGAIN THA KS

  23. there was a version years ago that I love. you cast on 3 stitches. inc by knitting into front and back of first and last st. knit the next row. repeat. after a while your increasing in the 5th st until you have the width you want. dec by knitting 2 together. this makes a hole. i made several blankets like this. does anyone recall this pattern? I cant find any more for some reason

  24. Dear Bev, Thank you for the diagonal pattern – I am knitting one up now – I think however there may be a slight error in the pattern for cloth with hoeles with updated corners. I think the turn and wrap section at the end of the line has been omitted…….. option #2. I’m good enough a knitter to work it out but a beginner would doggedly follow the pattern and wonder why one corner was not like the other……. Kindest regards

    1. It does look that way because I am only doing a short row on one side. However, I found that when I did the short row on both sides, I didn’t like the final look. One of the corners always looked lumpier than the other. So the pattern is written correctly for how I thought it looked the best when finished.

  25. Thanks so much….I’ve been making these for years….was never a fan of the holes….perfect! The one question I have…..when I knit continental, it still gets the holes…any thoughts on that? I’ve tried the YO in front and behind the needles, but still seem to get a hole…..so I’ve switched to “throwing” the yarn for this pattern–any thoughts on why continental wouldn’t work the same? Thanks!

    1. Well you have me puzzled on this yarn over question too! I watched some YouTube videos about yarn-overs and continental knitting, and the best I can come up with is that because the yarn is coming from the left hand, it must change things somehow. I’ve never done knitting continental style (although it looks like a faster way to knit) so unfortunately I don’t have a good answer for you on this one.

      1. Thanks so much for the reply and research….I’m on my 3rd dish cloth…..love these—-and love having little projects…thanks again!

  26. My Mother made 30 of these dishcloths for me over 25 years ago. They are all that I use in the kitchen. I love them. After all these years they are finally starting to wear out. I have been looking for the pattern and this is it! I don’t know anything about knitting, so wish me luck.
    Mimi Howard

    1. Yes, these diagonal knit dishcloths are oldies but goodies. They are pretty simple to make so even if you are an inexperienced knitter I think you should be able to do it.

  27. Thank you, thank you! I’ve been looking for a no-holes diagonal pattern. I have made the diagonal dishcloths before and love how quickly they come together so I thought it’d be a great way to make a baby blanket. The problem is the holes, of course. I wouldn’t want little toes to get stuck in the holes so a no-holes version would be perfect! Do you have any tips on needle size/type of yarn/amount of yarn to make baby blankets using your pattern?

    Thanks so much!
    Heather D

    1. Yes, this pattern could definitely be adapted to a baby afghan! If you use regular worsted yarn (4 weight) I would suggest size 9 needles and probably about three 4 oz skeins of yarn. You would want to knit it about 40″ square. Good luck!

  28. Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for easy patterns to knit while i wait with my daighter for her doctors appointment!

    1. These dishcloths are a great “while you wait” type of knitting project Sheila. They are small and easy to take with you. I hope you enjoy the pattern!