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Learn how to knit, cast on and bind off a tea towel with a simple tea towel pattern. Also included are links to common knitting terms.
How to knit a tea towel
In general, we are not knitters. So let's get one straight out of the gates. But knitting simple pieces — like this tea towel — is a skill worth learning. So we learned it, and we're glad we did.
The good news is you can learn it too, I promise it's easy. All you need to get started is a pair of knitting needles, a skein of cotton yarn, a simple pattern, and adarning or yarn needle. Plus, we'll hold your hand throughout the process and help you use the same simple resources we learned earlier.
Note:If you are interested in knitting tea towels, you should also stop byHow to make Wool Dryer Balls.
What you will learn
We'll teach you the following basic tea towel knitting know-how, including:
- use needle size
- to use pattern
- basic knitting abbreviations
- how to start with a slip knot
- cast on (also known as bind)
- how to make a knit stitch
- a yarn around
- how to knit two stitches together
- and how to tie off (aka bind off).
When you're done, you'll have a new skill, the satisfaction of knowing you've created something useful, and a snazzy new tea towel.
And then another, and another, and another - because once you learn how to make a tea towel, you won't be able to stop knitting! Trust me.
How cool is that, right?
How to Knit a Tea Towel: Grandma's Tea Towel Pattern
- A ball of your favorite Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn (buy onlineor at your local craft store)
- Needle size 6 or 7 (US) (Here you will find needles)
How to knit the tea towel
Note:You make this tea towel diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner.
- Cast on 4 stitches.
- Row 1:4 stricken.
- Row 2:Knit 2, make a yarn over, knit across the row.
- Repeat row 2 until you have 46 stitches on the needle.
- Row 3:Knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to end of row.
- Repeat row 3 until you have 6 stitches on the needle.
- Bind off, cut the thread (approx. 15 cm) and thread it back into the tea towel with aYarn or darning needle.
If you're just knitting tea towels and want to stick to the basics like we did, here's all you need to know:
- Slip knot = an adjustable loop that many casting methods begin with
- CO = to attach (or tie)
- BO = cast off (or bind off)
- yo = yarn over (wrap yarn around right needle)
- k2tog = knit two stitches together
- EOR = end of line
Usethis resourceto learn all knitting abbreviations.
Video tutorials on knitting
We tried to take these skills from books, but it just didn't work. The best way to learn how to knit is in person or by watching videos.
Start with a slip knot
How to cast
Learn how to make a knit stitch
How to make an envelope
Learn how to knit two together
How to bind off
Use and give away knitted tea towels
You're done, yay! Now you know how to knit a tea towel and have never been so excited to do the dishes.
Don't worry if it's not perfect, just keep practicing by making more. It took us two or three tries each to really get them looking good.
Knitting is a useful skill and a relaxing hobbyMake a few and give them as gifts!
Mattloves to inspire others to save money and live more sustainably. He loves to eat local, live simply and do more things himself. connect with himFacebookAndTwitter.
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DISCLAIMER: Information regarding DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to replace the advice of your healthcare practitioner. If you rely solely on this advice, you do so at your own risk. Read the full disclaimer and disclosure statementHere. Use these homemade DIY natural drain cleaner ideas to get rid of those nasty clogs. It works without chemicals and yes, it works! This DIY gel air freshener is fun to make, give as a gift and will make your house smell like your favorite scents like pine or cinnamon. A stovetop potpourri is basically a simmering pot of spices, dried fruit peels, and/or extracts. Enjoy my favorites, but be creative too!
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Use these homemade DIY natural drain cleaner ideas to get rid of those nasty clogs. It works without chemicals and yes, it works!
This DIY gel air freshener is fun to make, give as a gift and will make your house smell like your favorite scents like pine or cinnamon.
A stovetop potpourri is basically a simmering pot of spices, dried fruit peels, and/or extracts. Enjoy my favorites, but be creative too!
Thanks for the guide!(Video) Knit an Easy Towel with Loop for Hanging Video Tutorial: Kitchen Dish Towel Knitting Pattern
I can crochet - some... looks like now is the time to learn to knit too 🙂
Wondering if you've experimented with making scrubbies before? I keep watching my bags of oranges and onions and wondering if they (and other similar ones) could be saved that way...
Matt Jabs says
We haven't done any scrubbies yet.
Lynette @ Victory homework says
I love that! However, I was wondering how you did the pretty edges around your shawl? Sorry if I missed that. I teach my daughter to knit so this is a great easy and useful pattern.
Thank you in advance for your enlightenment! LOVE your site!
Matt Jabs says
Hi Lynette, this look is what was achieved with the Yo (Yarn Over). Thanks and blessings!
Lynette @ Victory homework says
I just started one and saw this. Thank you very much!!! They are so easy and so cute!
Hey I have tons of these! They're easy as pie, I get two out of each ball and can practically make them in my sleep.
They make great housewarming/host gifts and I love mine.
Sue says(Video) How to Make a Crocheted Dishcloth - Step by Step Tutorial...
Thanks for the easy instructions, I'm almost done with my first one. It was easier than I thought! I just want to add that you make this tea towel diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner. I kept thinking "This little thing doesn't look like a tea towel, what am I doing wrong?". Then I took a close look at your photo and noticed that you are getting taller and taller over time. I'm a beginner so I'm sure everyone but me understood! It was fun anyway. Love your website!
Matt Jabs says
Thanks for the tip for fellow Sue, we've included it in the article for clarification. I'm glad you like the tea towel and get on your way to jump straight into the project. Blessing.
Now I can't wait to learn to knit! You've put together everything I need to get started. I've been crocheting for years and have collected knitting patterns that I want to make. Thank you….I absolutely love your website!
This is a great pattern for a beginner knitter to learn the diagonal pattern. I'm an experienced knitter and made a baby blanket with a similar pattern. They were a hit and I even won a ribbon at a trade show. I had some cotton crochet yarn left over and made washcloths. Love her.
Scouring Pad: If you can find nylon thread, it makes a fabulous scouring pad. Knit or crochet (cast on 10 stitches or chain stitches) two small squares. You can also crochet two identical circles. I join the squares (or circles) together by crocheting around the edges of the square, picking up a stitch from each square. Before closing the square or circle, insert a small sponge to give it fullness. The nylon thread will become slack and color will fade over time, but it wears like iron. When you have closed the square with the sponge in it, use a needle to tie a knot in the middle to keep the sponge from sliding around.
One of my friends who is retired and on a limited income made tea towels for Christmas gifts. Homemade gifts are remembered long after store-bought items are broken or used up, and cost less.
I love all the wonderful DIY ideas. Thanks very much.
I use this pattern. It's a super pattern! I've made many of these and they make great gifts too! I'm happy about the release.
Maria Harrigan says
I have been knitting these tea towels for myself, my family and friends for more than 10 years. Haven't bought a sponge since. I use all sorts of colors for the towels that are used in the kitchen, one a day, then in the hamper. I also shortened the pattern to 40 stitches as I find it easier to work with when washing glasses, mugs etc. I also make bigger ones, 50 stitches, for bathroom cleaning, just knit these with white cotton and can bleach them if I want. I love these towels and love that they take up very little time and materials and yet last forever!(Video) How to knit a dishcloth for beginners - An easy pattern step by step
Yes I do 35 so I can get two of each ball.
Renea Wilson says
Thanks very much!!!!!! I've wanted to learn that since the early 90s.
You must E.S.P. I learned to knit about 6 months ago and bought Sugar and Cream yarn last week to knit my own tea towel with this pattern, but being new to knitting I was confused by some of the steps. This will help so much.
What is the best way to clean dish towels? I crochet and could find patterns for this style but was concerned about bacteria/germs trapped in the yarn. Any idea?
Cheryl Eustice says
Simply wash the tea towels as you would any knitted or crocheted piece. Make more than one so you can switch them up often. This is my favorite tea towel pattern. It's so easy and relaxing to do. They last for many years! They are a snap to knit and I'm a slow knitter. They are the right thickness. Cotton yarn is at a good price. It comes in so many beautiful colors. Downright cheap considering how long they last. Cotton can be composted. Why not make many and sew the squares together into a bath rug? I used this pattern to knit baby blankets found on the lion brand website. What I like This baby blanket pattern doesn't have many holes for baby's fingers to get caught. The cotton yarn holds a lot of water - perfect for washing dishes. If for some reason you get tired of it and want to make new ones - use them for other household cleaning or put them in the cloth bag. Don't you have a tote bag? Use an old pillowcase to store old towels and things you shouldn't use for knitting around the house and garage. This is the perfect pattern for beginners. It would make a nice replacement for a bow on a gift. Even little girls would be happy to have their own special washcloth in their favorite colour. Knitting is so wonderful to learn. Remember, you never run out of mittens and hats. You are trying to find a pair to buy but can't find a pair anywhere. Knitting is a great skill to pass on, as is fishing. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime? I've been crocheting and knitting for 37 years and this is a pattern I keep coming back to. I also had to teach myself because my widowed mother had very little time to teach me to crochet and my knitting grandmother was too busy socializing after raising seven children.
This is the same pattern I use! I learned how to knit and crochet from YouTube videos. I prefer crocheting, but I agree - basic knitting is very worth knowing. As I was setting my dining table last night, it occurred to me that I could (and should) knit some napkins too.
I never thought of that either. Maybe I could make some, I bet if I had enough they could more or less replace paper towels...(Video) Beginner Tunisian Crochet Kitchen Towel Tutorial - Free Tunisian Crochet Dishtowel Pattern