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Linoleum Dishcloth


Linoleum Dishcloth
(Copyright Kay Gardiner 2008)
The styles and artifacts of the 1920s and 30s never cease to fascinate. From futuristic Art Deco furniture to the pastel prints of the era’s housedresses, there is always something interesting to look at. This dishcloth was inspired by the geometric patterns of linoleum floors, which were popular through the 50s and beyond. I searched through stitch dictionaries for a pattern reminiscent of linoleum tiles, and found this interlocking diamond motif in several sources.
A bonus: this is a slip-stitch pattern, so it results in a scrubby cloth with an attractive woven appearance on the wrong side. It’s quite simple to follow the row-by-row instructions, but once you get going, it’s a pleasant challenge to work this pattern from memory, following the diamonds as they expand and contract.
Yarn: Peaches & Creme worsted weight, 100% cotton, 2½ oz (71.5g), 122 yds (112m), 1 ball each in solid colors A, B and C.
Size 7 (4.5mm) needles (or size 6 if you knit loosely like I do)
Using A, cast on 43 stitches. Knit one row.
Row 1 (RS): Using B, k1, *slip 1, k9; repeat from * untill 2 stitches remain, slip 1, k1.
Row 2 (WS) and all WS rows: Repeat the previous row, but place the yarn in front when slipping stitches.
Row 3: Using A, k3, *(slip 1, k1) 3 times, slip 1, k3; repeat from * to end of row.
Row 5: Using B, k2, *slip 1, k7, slip 1, k1; repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, k1.
Row 7: Using A, k4, *(slip 1, k1) twice, slip 1, k5; repeat from * until 9 stitches remain, (slip 1, k1) twice, slip 1, k4.
Row 9: Using B, (k1, slip 1) twice, *k5, (slip 1, k1) twice, slip 1; repeat from * until 4 stitches remain, (slip 1, k1) twice.
Row 11: Using A, k5, slip 1, k1, slip 1, *k7, slip 1, k1, slip 1; repeat from * until 5 stitches remain, k5.
Row 13: Using B, k2, slip 1, k1, slip 1, k3, *(slip 1, k1) 3 times, slip 1, k3; repeat from * until 5 stitches remain, slip 1, k1, slip 1, k2.
Row 15: Using A, K6, *slip 1, k9; repeat from * until 7 stitches remain, slip 1, k6.
Row 17: Repeat row 13.
Row 19: Repeat row 11.
Row 21: Repeat row 9.
Row 23: Repeat row 7.
Row 25: Repeat row 5.
Row 27: Repeat row 3.
The dishcloth consists of 3 repeats of this 28-row pattern. For the second repeat, substitute C for B. For the third repeat, change from C back to B. Using A, knit 2 rows and bind off on the RS.
Texture variation: On WS rows, except for the first and last knit stitches of each row, work all the knits as purls. This results in a smooth stockinette on the RS, and WS rows are faster to work because it is not necessary to switch the yarn from back to front each time a stitch is slipped. Because I like to maintain some scrubby texture on the RS, I alternate WS rows between purl and knit rows. But my favorite is still the original, all-knit version.
Color variation: Substitute variegated shades for the solids, and watch what happens. The diamonds emerge in a shimmery way. Warning: if two variegated shades share a color, it’s easy to lose track of the pattern. Recommended for licensed and experienced practitioners of this pattern (i.e., people who have already knit one).
Wishing you durable dishcloth fun.



  1. These are awesome! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Addicted to your ball band dishcloth. Now I have a new design. So addicted to ball band been knitting in fave SEC team colors.

  3. I have knitted your pattern in a number of color combinations and it always looks great. I especially like black & white. I would like to make one a little smaller. Some patterns have a certain number of stitches that repeat plus any border stitches. Would making it using 33 stitches work out? Thanks. By the way I will be knitting one for my math teacher, since knitting is math!

  4. I love this motif! I started knitting it last night, and I got quite flummoxed by Row 9. I finally figured out that it should say, “Using B, (k1, slip 1) twice, *k5, (slip 1, k1) twice, slip 1; repeat from * until 9 stitches remain, k5, (slip 1, k1) twice.” The instructions for changing colors are also unclear. I’m not an experienced pattern drafter, but it seems to me that what’s really happening is that after the first 28 rows, you go back to Row 1 and repeat the whole sequence. Also, the illustration shows the A color changing, and the B color staying the same. To copy the illustration, substitute color C for color A on Row 27. And if the color change is to the “B” color, the pattern should specify that for the second and third sections, the new color is added on Row 1, which is a B row. Now that my version of the pattern has been corrected in light of these experiences, I’ll be making lots of these. Thank you.

  5. I love the bowl in your photo. My mom had dishes in that pattern. She got them from the Jewel Coffee man who delivered tea and coffee to the house a way long time ago. I like the dish cloth, too.

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