Friday, July 21, 2006

Garterlac Dishcloth

(Edited March 16, 2009, to indicate that an alternate way of knitting this with NO cast-on edige is available here.)

(Edited August 25, 2006, to indicate that a PDF version of this pattern is available here)

(Edited March 25, 2007, to indicate that the tutorial that was previously on line seems to be no more. It was not my tutorial, and I can't re-create it. I can say that where people run into trouble with this pattern seems to be when it comes to picking up stitches for the next section. The simplest way I can say this is to look where your yarn is right now. It's coming from the right hand needle. Immediately coming off the needle to the left is an edge from the previous "row". Start knitting up stitches (draw through a loop using the working yarn) right where the edge meets your right hand needle and work towards the left until you come to the next batch of live stitches, or the end of the edge. The stitches you just picked up form the basis for the next portion of the pattern, and you join them to live stitches by either K2tog or SKP, depending where you are in the pattern.)

(Edited July 13, 2011 to indicate that a pictorial tutorial can now be found here.)

(Edited April 18, 2008 to indicate that Laura has a devised a very cool and very stretchy cast-on that works wonderfully for entrelac - give it a try!)

(Edited May 12, 2010, to add a link for another way to begin this cloth that starts with a cast-on of just one stitch -- perfect!)

There have been a few requests for a pattern for these dishcloths, so here goes.

They're just entrelac, done all in garter stitch. Because there is no right or wrong side, and because you just use the same "colour" throughout, and because its just a *dishcloth*, you don't have to worry about blips showing through -- in essence, entrelac simplified.

Garterlac Dishcloth

Materials required: 1 ball dishcloth cotton & appropriate needles


K -- Knit

K2tog -- Knit two stitches together

K-FB -- Knit into the front of the next stitch and, before removing it from the needle, knit into the back of the same stitch

SKP -- Slip one stitch knit-wise, knit 1 stitch, pass slipped stitch over

Turn -- Put the stuff in your right hand into your left hand and the stuff that used to be in your left hand into your right hand

Pick up -- Insert right hand needle from front to back into side of previous layer between two garter bumps, wrap the yarn around the needle and pull a stitch through


Very loosely, cast on 24 stitches.

Bottom Triangle:

K 1, turn, K 1, turn.
K 2, turn, K 2, turn.
K 3, turn, K 3, turn.
K 4, turn, K 4, turn.
K 5, turn, K 5, turn.
K 6, turn, K 6, turn.
K 7, turn, K 7, turn.
K 8, do not turn.

Repeat the directions for the Bottom Triangle twice more – three triangles in total. They look a little twisted right now. Don’t worry; they’ll sort themselves out as you go along. Turn and make an Increasing Side Triangle.

Increasing Side Triangle:

K 1, turn, K-FB, turn.
K 1, SKP, turn, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 2, SKP, turn, K 1, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 3, SKP, turn, K 2, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 4, SKP, turn, K 3, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 5, SKP, turn, K 4, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 6, SKP, turn, K 5, K-FB, K 1, turn.
K 7, SKP, do not turn.

Now make a Square.


Pick up 8 stitches along the side of the previous row, turn.
* K 8, turn, K 7, SKP, turn. *
Repeat between the *s another seven times, but do not turn at the end of the eighth repeat.

Make another Square, and then a Decreasing Side Triangle.

Decreasing Side Triangle:

Pick up 8 stitches along the side of the previous row, turn, K 8, turn.
K 6, K2tog, turn, K 7, turn.
K 5, K2tog, turn, K 6, turn.
K 4, K2tog, turn, K 5, turn.
K 3, K2tog, turn, K 4, turn.
K 2, K2tog, turn, K 3, turn.
K 1, K2tog, turn, K 2, turn.
K2tog, turn.

You are left with one stitch on the left hand needle. Transfer it to the right-hand needle. Pick up a further 7 stitches down the side of the previous row so you have 8 stitches in total, turn, and continue with the directions for Square.

Make two more Squares.

Continue adding layers in a similar manner.

The next layer will be Increasing Triangle, two Squares, then Decreasing Triangle.

The next layer will be three Squares.

The next series will be Increasing Triangle, two Squares, then Decreasing Triangle.

Now it is time to make triangles along the top. Transfer the remaining stitch to your right hand needle and proceed with Top Triangle.

Top Triangle:

Pick up 7 stitches along the side of the previous row, turn.
K 6, K2tog, turn, K 6, SKP, turn
K 5, K2tog, turn, K 5, SKP, turn
K 4, K2tog, turn, K 4, SKP, turn
K 3, K2tog, turn, K 3, SKP, turn
K 2, K2tog, turn, K 2, SKP, turn
K 1, K2tog, turn, K 1, SKP, turn
K2tog, turn, SKP.
K 1 and pass the second stitch on the right-hand needle over the first. You are left with one stitch on the right-hand needle.

Make 2 more Top Triangles, fasten off last stitch and weave in ends.

87 people had something to say:

Michelle said...

Thanks for the pattern. I have always wanted to do entrelac with the garter stitch, but was unsure how it would turn out.

Now I know. Yours look great!

sheep#100 said...

Thanks, dude!

Unknown said...

Many thanks! It's all so clear to me now!

Laura said...

Oooh, these look fun. Now I know what to do with all the dishcloth cotton I have lying about! :)

CelticCastOn said...

ohhhh thank you!
I loove those dishcloths and have been thinking of them for the past two weeks!

Terby said...

Those are very cool. I've been meaning to try out entrelac, and I have cotton - sounds like a great match.

Sharah said...

I am gonna dig out my cotton yarn just to try this awesome pattern! What a great why to get comfy with Entrelac! Thanks for the pattern, I am thrilled to start it!

Charles said...

HI Dave HOW~~~ i was thinking knitting some Dishcloth for my mom!!!
It loooks really great!!!
Thank You the pattern!!
Visit my blog also...BYE

Unknown said...

LOVE these dishcloths (and the bags too!) Thanks for the pattern.

April said...

those aren't dishclothes, they're little works of art. they're beautiful! thanks so much for what will now be my introductory lesson to entrelac.

lexa said...

Thanks so much for posting the pattern! I've got three or so full balls of Handicrafter left to do dishcloths. (My other ones are terribly faded.) I'm getting bored of doing the same couple of patterns over and over again. This will be a great change!

Nicole said...

Just stumbled onto your blog by chance, and I have to just tell you that I think your dishcloths are absolutely terrific.

My best friend and I are on a dishcloth kick, and I'm officially adding this to the list of things we must make!


Olga said...

I agree with April...those are almost too beautiful to use! thanks for posting the recipe...and thanks for the good wishes on my blog!

Wollkistchen said...

Thanks for this great pattern. I've never done this before, but now I'll try.

Kristin from Germany

Anonymous said...

Wow, great pattern! I love the texture and the colors. I'll definitely give these a try for some entrelac experience.

Anonymous said...

Hey, these are very cool. Thanks for them.

Wendy Merganser said...

Thanks for the pattern! I can't wait to try it out.

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful! Thanks so much. I can't wait to try wone. I mean one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the pattern. I just finished one and I had never done entrelac, wonderful way to try it out.

Anonymous said...

Well done Dave! I love it--I'm definitely going to be making one. Printing the instructions now!

Nana Sadie said...

Dave! That's so cool...thank you! Now come join us at Cloths for Crisis? (button on the sidebar of my blog...)

Anonymous said...

Dave, please tell us what brand and colors of dishcloth cotton you used. I haven't seen those colors before.


Jason said...

Thanks for the pattern, Dave! Time to try some cotton knitting. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the entrelac patterns. I once started a shawl but due to extreme frustration, I threw it down. I am so thankful that you have a pattern for a smaller item. Thanks so much!!

The Chatty knitter said...

These are the coolest looking dishcloths!!! I love them! I have been looking for something interesting to do with variagated yarn. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern with us.

Winnie said...

Ooooooooo!!!! Love it! Thanks for the pattern.

Susan said...

Beautiful! Another way to use up some of that Mason Dixon inspired Sugar and Cream stash!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and well written. Thank you.

Cindy said...

Wow, This is great.
I love Entralac but it's usually such an undertaking. This is a great practice piece.

Monika said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've tried it many times and although I can knit almost anything, entrelac is not a skill I've mastered so far. I like these dishcloth and will go and make one right now!

addictedknitter said...

Thanks for these. I have always wanted to try entrelac, and this makes it really easy. I am printing this pattern off as I type this, and shall go look for the right cotton to give it a try.

Warrior Mom said...

I found your blog through another site today. I love these dishcloths. I have finished about half of one already and I love the way it looks. I can't believe how easy it is! This is going to be a great way to use up some of my stash. I have a few housewarming gifts that I need to make too.

Thanks for posting the pattern!

Anonymous said...

Love it! i'll be trying this out before I break out the sild garden for a scarf. I like that its reversible since its garter.

Renee said...

Dave, I just love this dishcloth. The instructions are truly a joy to follow.

Charity said...

Thanks so very much for this pattern! Like so many others, I've wanted to try entrelac, but never gotten there. Now I'm feeling motivated :0)

Violiknit said...

Thank you so much for this fun entrelac dishcloth! I can't wait to make another one!

Carrie K said...

Ah ha! This is where that cool pattern came from! Soon to be my second dishcloth. Why finish a cabled jacket when you can make dishcloths?

kelli ann & lorie said...

lovely! glad i stumbled across your blog-- cheers, dave!

ICJ said...

It is really a beautiful dishcloth and it seems to be just scrubbly as needed. Thank you for sharing the pattern! :)

I have never tried entrelace so I am going to give this a try. :)

Isabelle aka Tricotine

Anonymous said...

i swore i commented already.. anyway.. here's another if so, this pattern rocks.. i can knit it while half asleep on the subway in the morning. :)

you're the best. :)

Chrissy said...

These look great! I'm going to give one a try this week. Thanks for the pattern!

Vik said...

Amazing pattern!
And so easy too, these are great!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! variegated yarns look so much better in a modular sort of pattern, and I've been meaning to try entrelac one of these days. It looks like now is the time. Thanks!

sarah / knot another hat said...

Thank you for this cute, cute, cute pattern. I thought you might want to see it adapted into a bathrug!

Chrissy said...

I finished my first one yesterday. I really enjoyed knitting it! Thanks so much for this wonderful pattern!

platitudinal said...

My friend sent me a link to this site, she was telling me of a dishcloth pattern so pretty that she kept on going and made it into a scarf. I totally agree with her. Thank you for sharing the pattern.

Amy Boogie said...

Great idea and thank you for the pattern. this is a dishcloth that would keep me interested in it til the end.

AR said...

I love this pattern!! Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Splindarella said...

This is way, WAY cool! I've been looking at the entrelac chapter of my Debbie Bliss book and wanting to test it out -- this is the perfect project to do so. :)

Wildflower said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wildflower said...

I just made this dishcloth yesterday. I like this pattern alot. If you want to see a picture of it go to my blog. my blog address is

Linda said...

Wow, thanks for sharing this pattern - it's one of those patterns that you know you just HAVE to do as soon as you see the picture :-)

Yvonne said...

Thank you for the pictorial help...I just couldn't figure out where to pick up for the decreasing side triangle! Now I get it!! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this pattern. The dishcloth was a lot of fun to make and I loved learning something new! - Beth

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this pattern! I finished my Garterlac Dishcloth over the weekend and love it. What a great exercise in picking up stitches!

LG said...

Hi Dave! Nice to meet you! I tell you that I´m hypnotized by your pattern! ;) I´m knitting the garterlac dishcloth in a row, non-stop, one after the other. Believe me, I´m busy with the fifth right now! You can check it at my blog, if you wish:

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful pattern!

Vik from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Kiki said...

Hi Dave!

Thank you so much for sharing your pattern, I have already made two of them and will no doubt be making more!


Becky said...

This is such a fantastic pattern. Thanks for finally creating a dishcloth that isn't boring! Now I can use up all the cotton I have acquired!

Amber said...

Thank you so much for posting a comment to my site! I feel totally honored! This is my very favorite dishcloth pattern, and my husband loves it too. He keeps asking me to make more. I'm thinking about making a ton of them and seaming them together for a blanket. That would be awesome!

Mary said...

Thanks for this pattern! A perfect way to learn entrelac! And the pictures rock! :-)

Anonymous said...

Presently working on Entrelac scarf, but do not understand the bind off..maybe someone could help? Ending with Right Corner, of K1,M1 SSK Turn
Bind Off as follows;
Do right corner as usual until 4 stitches are on the Left Needle. Then S1,M1, and bind off one, and continue binding off across the row until the last stitch of the triangle....PU 5 st along the downhill edge as usual you now have 6 sts on the Right needle.
(the following is next, feel as if something is doesn't come out right)
S1,P4,turn S1,bind off
K3, SSk turn
S1,P3 turn, S1,bind off
K2, SSK turn
S1, P2,turn, S1,bind off
K1,SSK turn.
S1,P1, turn S1 bind off
SSk bind off
repeat until the last stitch of the last rectangle . knit the last stitch and bind off.

There is very little help on this Entrelac knitting, found your site...need another opinion, having trouble with the binding off...OF ALL THINGS!!! Not sure I understand the begining of the instructions. Begining does not make sense. Thanks

Dave said...

Nancy: You didn't leave an email addy, so I can't reply to you personally. I'm not familiar with the particular pattern you're doing, but generally speaking, it looks like you're binding off as your coming *from* the edge that you're working from, and decreasing at the edge that you're going *to*. I'd suggest just putting down the pattern and trying to visualize it instead.

Procrastinating perfectionist said...

Great pattern! Thanks for sharing it!

Joe Klinkhoff said...

This is awesome and my favorite new dishcloth. I just finished one for my niece who like colorfull fun things. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this pattern. I have been trying in vain to do the generic stockinette pattern I have found on the internet. This one is SO much easier for me to understand and it works up beautifully. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Here it is almost a year later and you're still getting comments! April pointed this pattern out to me and I want to say thanks for the introductory lesson! The directions are well written and I was able to make this lovely little dishcloth no problem. I'm posting it if you want to take a looky-loo.

Sheila said...

Hello... introduced to your blog via Crimson Purl. I am new to knitting and my practice projects are dishcloths. I would love to try my hand at gourmet dishcloths...*giggling* and your Garterlac Dishcloths are beautiful... Thanks for the pattern.

Anonymous said...

Dave, the link to the tutorial -s working - there appears to be an extra http in your link and a missing : - if you can edit it, that should point people in the right direction :)

Nichole D. said...

I love this! What a great and practical way to get a good feel for entrelac. Thanks for making an awesome pattern!

Anonymous said...

Great for variegated cotton!! Thanks so much Dave.

Sarah said...

I love this pattern!! After a couple of false starts I found the picture tutorial and got the hang of it.

I did however get tired of all the turning, and found these instructions for knitting backwards.

Rose said...

Thank you for sharing this pattern. I've made a few of these dishcloths now. They're so much fun to make! It's like doing a puzzle.

All the best to you and yours,

Bad Tricoteuse said...

Thanks so much for posting this pattern! I made a few of these as Xmas presents, and everyone wants more of them.

What a great stash buster! Addictive knitting, too.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this pattern -- it was a lot of fun, and went together very smoothly!

Anonymous said...

Dave, Thanks for a fun pattern!

Linda A.
Lubbock, TX

LadyOutlaw said...

I wanted to say Thank You, for taking the time to write clear instructions, post links to a pic tutorial, and then show off some you have made in a range of colors that shows the exciting choices of results.
I am a fairly new knitter, under 20 mos, but already strong in many areas. The one show I caught on tv showing this pattern/technique made it seem like a frustrating and insane way to spend an afternoon.
I marked it as something I really just did not need to survive.
Thanks to your efforts here on your blog, my afternoon will be spent learning how to accomplish something near the beautiful work seen here.
Gentle Winds,

Anonymous said...

Very nice pattern. Easy to follow. Results are lovely.

OPKnitter said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Intro to entrelac, made easy. Plus it's so nice to find clearly written directions & a result looks great on the 1st try.

Lee said...

Fantastic pattern!
I too did an entire 'frog pond' before it clicked, but once it clicked, boy did it click! I've knitted 2 cloths since Monday night. It's actually - relaxing!!! I'm using P&C variegated cotton yarns and either #7 or #8 straights. Next one will be done with P&C double-weight worsted cotton on long #9 or #10 straights. Thanks so much for a wonderful cloth pattern!!!

konagirl said...

Mahalo for such a comprehensive description for entrelac. Really appreciate it! Aloha from Honolulu Hawai'i!!!

Anonymous said...

I really wanted to do this pattern. but when i get to making the squares after the first increasing side triangle I get lost :( I made one square and now I need to pick up 8 stitches for the 2nd one but I'm not sure where to pick up. The working yarn is at the end of the row, the closest edge is the outside edge of the washcloth. I'm confused because it doesn't say to knit back or anything and then pick up stitches. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

Dave said...


Did you look at the photo tutorial?

Ishara said...

I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, The directions are well written and I was able to make this lovely little dishcloth no problem. This is my very favorite dishcloth pattern, and my husband loves it too. This is going to be a great way to use up some of my stash. I have a few housewarming gifts that I need to make too. I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing with us.

jason matlo

peachy said...

Thank you so much for this pattern. Your instructions are so concise and easy to understand. Am about halfway finished with one and just started a couple hours ago! Gonna look great :)

Anonymous said...

I love the picture. I'm a pretty novice knitter. I didn't know anything about this stitch, and I'm so excited to try it.

Jaderenee said...

Hi Dave, I really love your patterns- thank you so much. A very well done job of writing (blogging), too.

Rebecca cicero said...

Thank you so much for posting this! This is a great no fear pattern for learning entrelac. I am currently knitting one as part of a set of dishcloths as a wedding gift to a dear friend.