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Free Knit Pattern: Checker-Square Garter Dishcloth

by Kayla K on July 23, 2010


reddishcloth This dishcloth looks deceivingly difficult, but garter stitching and slipped stitches keep it simple.  The stitch pattern is easy to memorize but keeps you interested.

You will need cotton yarn in two contrasting colors.  I used Size 8 needles for a gauge of approximately 4 stitches/inch. The finished size is a generous 10 1/2″ square.


To Begin, cast on 51 stitches with white. Knit 1 row.  Do not tie off.

Row 1: Attach Red.  K 1, *sl 1, K 11* across to last 2 sts; sl 1, K1.

Row 2 and all alternating rows: Use the same color from previous row to knit all knit stitches and slip all slipped stitches with the yarn in front.

Row 3: Using white, K 4, *(sl 1, K 1) 3 times, sl 1, K 5* across to last 11 stitches, *sl 1, K 1* three times, sl 1, K 4.

Row 5: Using red, K 3, *sl 1, K 7, sl 1, K 3* to end.

Row 7: Using white, K 2, *sl 1, K 3, sl 1, K 1* to last stitch, K last stitch.

Row 9: Using red, K 5, *sl 1, K 3, sl 1, K 7* across to the last 10 stitches, sl 1, K 3, sl 1, K 5.

Row 11: Using white, K 2, *sl 1, K 1, sl 1, K 5, (sl 1, K 1) twice* across to the last stitch, K last stitch.

Row 13: With red, K 7, *sl 1, K 11* across to last 8 stitches, sl 1, K 7.

Row 15: As for 11

Row 17: As for 9

Row 19: As for 7

Row 21: As for 5

Row 23: As for 3

Repeat these 24 rows 3 times more.

Repeat Row 1 once more.

Knit 2 rows in white.  Bind off in knit.

reddishclothback Despite the colorwork, this dishcloth keeps a cute rear view.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jo's Country Junction July 23, 2010 at 9:20 am

My birthday is in December….red is my favorite color. You already know that though. Mom

2 Gina July 24, 2010 at 9:34 am

This is awesome! I love knitting dishcloths and this pattern is so gorgeous, I might use it for a table runner and placemats too! Thank you so much for offering it free!

3 Kayla K July 24, 2010 at 11:50 am

I love the thick, sturdy fabric that garter stitch creates. Placemats and a table runner would utilize this well. Great idea!

4 Jody Sloan July 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

Thanks for this pattern! I have started knitting and am looking for different dishcloths for practice and for sprucing up my sorry lot of old ragged cloths that currently reside in the towel drawer in the kitchen. Looking forward to trying this out, and seeing you on Saturday! :)

5 Beth July 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm

What a great pattern! Thanks for sharing it.

6 Robin August 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Thanks for sharing your pattern. I love this cloth

7 Tina September 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm


Thank you for sharing this pattern with us. It is so cute. It’s great for anyone, especially those just learning to knit, who want to try knitting with two different yarn colors.

Happy Knitting,

8 Mary September 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Hi I love your pattern for the checkered square dishcloth,I would like to make it a little bigger for a towel could you tell me how many more stitches I would have to add.Thank you.
Mary B

9 Beth October 19, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Help. There is a part of the pattern that I don’t quite understand how to do. It is “knit all knit stitches and slip all slipped stitches with the yarn in front.” I can not figure out how to do that. Can you offer a little advice. The pattern looks gorgeous so i am really looking forward to getting started. Thanks so much for your help.

10 Kayla K October 21, 2010 at 7:44 am

The mosaic pattern is done with garter stitch. When you are working the wrong side of the dishcloth you should knit all of the stitches that you knit in the previous row. All of the stitches that you slipped in the previous row should be slipped as well, only be sure to hold the yarn in front so that the yarn does not show on the front side of the dishcloth. Hope this helps!

11 Kim December 22, 2010 at 8:16 am

Hi Kayla K,
I really like the dishcloth pattern. Have a friend who’s going to be a grandmother in february and her daughter wants a black and white baby blanket. is this a multiple of 12 +1?
Thanks in advance for your quick reply as I have a lot of quick knitting to do!

12 Kayla K December 24, 2010 at 8:38 am

Yes, it is. I added extra stitches for a garter stitch border.

13 Bonnie July 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

Since this comes from Barbara Walker’s 2nd Treasury of Knitting Patterns, it would be really great if you could give her credit… :o )

14 Kayla K July 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Sounds like a book I would enjoy, thanks for the suggestion!

15 Maureen March 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Love this pattern – I’ve already made 8 different dishcloths, but I can’t figure out how casting on 51 stitches gives you a multiple of 12 + 1, when 12×4 = 48
I’d like to make something wider, but can’t figure out the math. For example, would adding an extra pattern make it cast on 61 (12×5+1), 73 (12×6+1), 85, 97, etc?

16 Ingvill Brandser August 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

SUPERT…! Nice…! Like it…! Perhaps Iwill try to do the same, afraid that it is a bit ”difficult”…. Funny:))

17 Barb Purvis August 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm

What do the asteriks mean on these instructions, sorry I’m kind of new to knitting instructions :D

18 Camolai August 17, 2012 at 11:16 am

Hi Barb! The asterisks indicate that you should repeat the instructions within them. So if we were using Row 1 for example:

“Row 1: Attach Red. K 1, *sl 1, K 11* across to last 2 sts; sl 1, K1.”

This would mean that you attach your red yarn, k1, and then repeat “*sl1, k11*” until you have only two stitches left on your left needle. Then you slip1 and knit1 to finish the row. Hope this helps!

19 Camolai August 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

Additionally, I’m completely new to knitting with colors and attempting any sort of visual pattern, but the knitters at’s forum helped me figure out the slipped stitches. Just thought I’d pass along the information in case someone else had the same issue as me:

Per Jan in CA:
“On the pattern rows, the odd numbered ones, you slip pwise with yarn in back. On even rows (alternate rows) you slip pwise with yarn in front. The reason you do this is because the even rows are technically the back or WS.”

Thanks for providing us this pattern!

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