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New Log Cabin Washcloths

Knitting doesn't offer too many shortcuts. Maybe that's exactly why we love knitting so much, but every now and then, even diehard knitters need a little instant gratification. Enter the washcloth!

I love to give (and use!) hand knit washcloths. They are an unexpected luxury that's not on anyone's list but would be if they only knew the pleasure. And I love the satisfaction of a small square that's open to a whole world of possibilites. And finally, I love how very fast they are to knit!

These New Log Cabin Washcloths are the second set I've made using the same design principle. The first set tinkered with juxtapositions of bright color, while this set has its eye on texture. Blue Sky's organic Skinny Cotton plays the straight guy to Habu's uber-playful Natural Cover Cotton. The result is a little bit mid-century modern and a little bit now; a little bit city and a little bit country; a little bit methodical and a little bit wonky!

For a great summer travel project, choose one of our Yarn for Log Cabin Washcloth kits in Red, Navy, Shell or Khaki. Your first washcloth will be done before you return your seat back to its full, upright position!  -Whitney

Materials

Get all the yarn you'll need to make three washcloths with our Yarn for Log Cabin Washcloths kit. Each one includes...

Choose from four colorways...

Red

  • 1 skein of Skinny Cotton in Organic Birch
  • 1 skein of Skinny Cotton in Coral
  • 1 skein of Natural Cover Cotton in Red

Navy

  • 1 skein of Skinny Cotton in Organic Birch
  • 1 skein of Skinny Cotton in Cobalt
  • 1 skein of Natural Cover Cotton in Blue

Shell

  • 1 skein of Skinny Cotton in Organic Birch
  • 1 skein of Skinny Cotton in Gardenia
  • 1 skein of Natural Cover Cotton in Pink

Khaki

  • 1 skein of Skinny Cotton in Organic Birch
  • 1 skein of Skinny Cotton in Basil
  • 1 skein of Natural Cover Cotton in Khaki

You'll also need...

Gauge

6 stitches = 1 inch in garter stitch, using the Skinny Cotton

5 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in garter stitch, using the Natural Cover Cotton

Size

Finished Dimensions: 8 inches x 8 inches

Note

Here is how the colors are labeled in this pattern...

Color A = Skinny Cotton, Organic Birch

Color B = Natural Cover Cotton (the color Red is pictured here)

Color C = Skinny Cotton, contrast color (the color Coral is pictured here)

Pattern

Washcloth #1

Center Square

With Color A, cast on 18 stitches.

Knit 32 rows (or 16 ridges). (A garter stitch "ridge" is a horizontal rib that is formed by knitting two rows.)

Bind off and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the last stitch. The side that was facing you when you bound off is now considered the "right side".

Middle Square

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and with Color B, pick up 16 stitches along the top edge.

Knit 13 rows (or 6 1/2 ridges).

Bind off, but instead of cutting the yarn, leave the last stitch on the needle.

*With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 23 stitches along the top edge. (24 stitches total)

Knit 13 rows.

Bind off, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

Repeat from * one more time.

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 31 stitches along the top edge. (32 stitches total)

Knit 13 rows.

Bind off and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the last stitch.

Outer Square

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and with Color C, pick up 34 stitches along the top edge.

Knit 9 rows (or 4 1/2 ridges).

Bind off, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

**With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 37 stitches along the top edge. (38 stitches total)

Knit 9 rows.

Bind off, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

Repeat from ** one more time.

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 41 stitches along the top edge. (42 stitches total)

Knit 9 rows.

Bind off and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the last stitch.

Weave in the ends and you're done!

Washcloth #2

Center Square

With Color B, cast on 16 stitches.

Knit 30 rows (or 15 ridges).

Bind off and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the last stitch. The side that was facing you when you bound off is now considered the "right side".

Middle Square

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and with Color C, pick up 18 stitches along the top edge.

Knit 15 rows (or 7 1/2 ridges)                           .

Bind off, but instead of cutting the yarn, leave the last stitch on the needle.

*With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 25 stitches along the top edge. (26 stitches total)

Knit 15 rows.

Bind off, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

Repeat from * one more time.

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 33 stitches along the top edge. (34 stitches total)

Knit 15 rows.

Bind off and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the last stitch.

Outer Square

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and with Color A, pick up 34 stitches along the top edge.

Knit 9 rows (or 4 1/2 ridges).

Bind off, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

**With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 37 stitches along the top edge. (38 stitches total)

Knit 9 rows.

Bind off, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

Repeat from ** one more time.

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 41 stitches along the top edge. (42 stitches total)

Knit 9 rows.

Bind off and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the last stitch.

Weave in the ends and tada!

Washcloth #3

Center Square

With Color C, cast on 18 stitches.

Knit 32 rows (or 16 ridges).

Bind off and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the last stitch. The side that was facing you when you bound off is now considered the "right side".

Middle Square

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and with Color A, pick up 18 stitches along the top edge.

Knit 15 rows (or 7 1/2 ridges).

Bind off, but instead of cutting the yarn, leave the last stitch on the needle.

*With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 25 stitches along the top edge. (26 stitches total)

Knit 15 rows.

Bind off, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

Repeat from * one more time.

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 33 stitches along the top edge. (34 stitches total)

Knit 15 rows.

Bind off and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the last stitch.

Outer Square

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and with Color B, pick up 31 stitches along the top edge.

Knit 7 rows (or 3 1/2 ridges).

Bind off, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

**With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 34 stitches along the top edge. (35 stitches total)

Knit 7 rows.

Bind off, leaving the last stitch on the needle.

Repeat from ** one more time.

With the right side facing you, turn the piece clockwise 90 degrees and pick up 38 stitches along the top edge. (39 stitches total)

Knit 7 rows.

Bind off and cut the yarn, pulling the tail through the last stitch.

Weave in the ends and you have a set!

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16 Responses to New Log Cabin Washcloths


  1. Mirella says:

    Wow…!!!

  2. It just amazes me every time how you guys make things so simple but they look so amazing. The color choices and the photography just work out so well.

  3. lisalynn says:

    Hello,
    Love the look.. I think tho, I will change colors on each pick up edge.. keeping the same color hues together on one side.
    FUN ..

  4. Erin says:

    Fun style for a potholder!

  5. Isabel says:

    Just wondering if these wash clothes are intended for the shower/bath, or for use in the kitchen? Or perhaps could be for either? How often would you need to wash them to ensure they stay germ-free?

  6. purl bee says:

    Hi Isabel,

    I love these for the bath, but you could use them wherever and however you want, as pot holders, trivets or hand towels. And handwash them as often as you'd wash the store-bought equivalent.

    Thanks for asking!
    Whitney

  7. ksiop07 says:

    I love it!
    I will do some for my kid's bath!
    In France we don't do the washing up with this kind of towel…
    Thanks for so nice patterns each time!

  8. Lynet Witty says:

    oh those remind me of the good ol' days at my grandma's house! love them!

  9. TStich says:

    This is one of the coolest techniques — you can just keep adding on for a blanket or make two squares, join them, make an I-cord handle and you have a purse or tote depending on the size of the squares.

  10. MRM says:

    Two questions – 1 – are you doing any kind of selvedge stitch on the edges or simply garter stitch knitting?
    2 – When picking up stitches on the CO and BO end of the center square (and subsequent BO edges of the middle colour), are you picking up 'all' of each of the CO and/or BO stitches, or simply 'half' of the stitch (I apologize if that is unclear – I am unsure how to ask the question)? Mine is looking a bit 'unique' on the reverse side.
    Also, it would be really helpful to see the reverse side of at least one of the finished cloths and one which is in progress.
    Thank you SO much!!

  11. Susan says:

    Hi -
    Per your comment above…are these not safe for the washing machine??

  12. purl bee says:

    Hi MRM,

    I just knit straight garter stitch, but feel free to slip stitch a selvage edge if that will make picking up easier for you! And I picked up both strands of the cast on and bind off stitches (i.e. "all" of them!).

    Thanks for your questions. Please let us know if you have more and good luck!

    Whitney

  13. purl bee says:

    Hi Susan,

    You can either hand wash your finished washcloths or machine wash them on a delicate and/or cold cycle and then air dry them.

    Thanks for asking!

    Whitney

  14. DC says:

    I love these. Could I join a bunch together to make a big blanket?

  15. purl bee says:

    Hi DC-

    Yes you could! Or you could make a blanket as one big log cabin piece like we did here: http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2010/5/23/anzula-squishy-log-cabin-baby-blanket.html

    Thanks for getting in touch!

    Molly

  16. Deborah says:

    Your site is fabulous. I love that it's collaborative and so creative. Thank you!

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