Beginner’s Dishcloth #2

20 Feb

Basic Lace Diamond Dishcloth

Cathy Richards, 2016

Dishcloth Beginners 2 All

This small dishcloth combines basic garter stitch with the concept of increases (with yarnovers) and decreases. It’s a nice fast knit, especially because casting on is so fast, with lots of practice knitting 2 together — exciting for new knitters to see something grow so quickly while learning a couple new stitches.

Materials: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn, short 4.5 mm needles, darning needle. (one 5.5 cm needle for casting off is optional)

Cast on 4 stitches. Knit the first row.

Dishcloth Beginners 2 Cast Off

Cast on corner is shown here

  • Knit Increase Rows (see below) until you have 15 stitches on the needle.
  • Work a Basic Lace Increase Row (16 stitches).
  • Knit Increase Rows until you have 23 stitches
  • Work a Basic Lace Increase Row (24 stitches).
  • Knit Increase Rows until you have 31 stitches
  • Work a Basic Lace Increase Row (32 stitches).
  • Knit 4 Increase Rows (36 stitches).
  • K1, K2Tog, YO, Knit to end (36 stitches).
  • Knit 2 decrease rows. (34 stitches)
  • Work a Basic Lace Decrease (33 stitches)

    Dishcloth Beginners 2 Corner Row

    Halfway corner

  • Knit Decrease Rows until there are 26 stitches
  • Work a Basic Lace Decrease row. (25 stitches)
  • Knit Decrease Rows until there are 18 stitches
  • Work a Basic Lace Decrease row. (17 stitches)
  • Knit Decrease Rows until there are 7 stitches left
  • K1, K2Tog, S1K1PSSO, K1. (5 stitches)
  • Cast off loosely beginning as follows: K1, K2Tog, slip right hand stitch over last. Cast off remaining stitches one at a time. I like to use a bigger right hand needle to keep my cast off stitches from scrunching my work.
  • Weave in ends with darning needle.


Row Descriptions:

  • Increase Row:
    • K2, Yarn Over, Knit to end
  • Basic Lace Increase Row (starting with odd # of stitches):
    • K2, YO, *K2Tog, YO* to last 3 stitches, K3
  • Decrease Row:
    • K1, K2Tog, YO, K2Tog, Knit to end
  • Basic Lace Decrease Row (starting with even # of stitches):
    • K1, K2Tog, *YO, K2Tog* to last stitch, K1

Stitch Descriptions:

  • Yarn Over: Bring yard forward as if to purl, then take it over the top of your right hand needle so that it is once again in the back & ready to knit the next stitch. Be careful to knit (or purl) this stitch when you work the next row.
    • Yarn overs create a visual hole in your work and so are used when knitting lace. In non-lace patterns you usually “make one” (M1) to increase a stitch without creating this hole — but don’t worry about that for this pattern!
    • To keep the same number of stitches, yarn overs are usually combined with decreases.
  • K2Tog = Knit 2 together: Pretend the next 2 stitches on your left hand needle are just 1 strand of yarn, and knit them as one.
    • K2Tog creates a right leaning decrease.
  • S1K1PSSO = Slip 1, K1, Pass Slipped Stitch Over: First, slip one stitch by keeping your working yarn at the back & then pretend to purl the next stitch — don’t actually use your working yarn. Now K1. Then, with your left needle, pick up the stitch you just slipped (1 in from the just-knitted stitch), and “pass slipped stitch over” the just-knitted stitch. Only the just-knitted stitch remains on your right hand needle, the slipped stitch is no longer on either needle.
    • S1K1PSSO creates a left leaning decrease.
    • Some people prefer K2TogTBL (Knit 2 Together through back loop). This slant isn’t as pronounced.
  • *xxx*: repeat the instructions between the stars over and over until the indicated number of stitches remain on your left hand needle.



Dishcloths for Beginners – 1st Pattern

17 Feb

I was asked to help out some brand new knitters, so I designed these smaller-than-average dishcloths to teach them the basics. Nothing mind blowingly awesome about them, just some basic stitches and somewhat decent instructions (I hope! Let me know!) for new knitters.

As you begin, use some youtube videos to help guide how you hold your needles, keep tension on your yarn. It’s just a dishcloth so don’t worry about mistakes. Focus on your technique and building good habits & muscle memory from the beginning. Get a feel for what your stitches look like on the side you’re working and the opposite side.

Dishcloth – Beginners #1

“Learning your basics!”

Cathy Richards, 2016


  • ~2/3 skein Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn (about 40 metres)
  • Size 4.5 mm needles
  • Darning needle
  • 3 stitch markers
  • Pencil and paper to keep track of your rows.

Knitting What You See (or Not!):

  • Knitted stitches show a purl bump on the side you’re not working.
  • Purled stitches show a purl bump on the side you’re working.
  • Stocking Stitch: For Stocking Stitch & Reverse Stocking Stitch  you”knit what you see”, which means if you don’t see a purl bump, you should knit it, if you DO see a purl bump you should purl it.
  • But remember for this dishcloth, the first and last 4 stitches of each row are garter stitch so they are always knitted whether or not there’s a purl bump.


  • Cast on 30 stitches as follows:
    • With your yarn, create a slip knot and put it onto your left hand needle. Knit this stitch but leave it on your left hand needle.
    • You have 2 stitches on your left hand needle, and none on the right hand needle.
    • Knit into that stitch, and leave the new stitch on your left hand needle (3 stitches). Continue until you have 30 stitches.
  • Knit first 4 rows to create border


  • Row 5: Knit 3, place marker, K12, pm, Purl 12, pm, K3
    • Some knitters like to use a safety pin or piece of scrap yarn to mark the RIGHT side of their knitting. Odd numbered rows are the right side.
  • Row 6-21: K3, slip marker, K12, sm, P12, sm, K3


  • Row 22: wrong side K3, sm, P12, sm, (P1, K1)x6, sm, K3
  • Row 23: right side K3, sm, (K1,P1)x6, sm, K12, sm, K3
  • Row 24: K3, sm, P6, K1, P5, sm, (P1, K1)x6, sm, K3
  • Row 25: K3, sm, (K1,P1)x6, sm, K4, P3, K5, sm, K3
  • Row 26: K3, sm, P4, K5, P3, sm, (P1, K1)x6, sm, K3
  • Row 27: K3, sm, (K1,P1)x6, sm, K3, P5, K4, sm, K3
  • Row 28: K3, sm, P3, K7, P2, sm, (P1,K1)x6, sm, K3
  • Row 29: K3, sm, (K1,P1)x6, sm, K2, P7, K3, sm, K3
  • Row 30: K3, P2, K9, P1, (P1,K1)x6, sm, K3
  • Row 31: K3, (K1,P1)x6, sm, P11, K1, sm, K3
  • Row 32: K3, P1, K11, sm, (P1,K1)x6, sm, K3
  • Row 33: K3, (K1,P1)x6, sm, P11, K1, sm, K3
  • Row 34: K3, sm, P1, K5, P1, K5, sm, (P1,K1)x6, sm, K3
  • Row 35: K3, sm, (K1,P1)x6, sm, P5, K1, P5, K1, sm, K3
  • Row 36: K3, sm, P2, K3, P3, K3, P1, sm, (P1,K1)x6, sm, K3
  • Row 37: K3, sm, (K1,P1)x6, sm, K12, sm, K3
  • Row 38: K3, remove marker, P12, rm, (P1,K1)x6, rm, K3
  • Row 39-42: Knit the next 4 rows

Cast off loosely on right side. Some people like to use a bigger right hand needle to make sure they cast off loosely (5.5 mm works well for this pattern) . Do as follows:

  • K1 loosely (or with bigger needles)
  • K1 loosely, then use left needle to lift the farthest stitch on the right needle over the stitch you just knit.
  • Repeat Step 2 until you have just one stitch left on your right hand needle.
  • Cut your yarn so you have about 4-6 inches left.
  • Using a darning needle, weave about half of this into your garter stitch border, perhaps knotting it once or twice, and trim off the rest.



This dishcloth has a garter border. Garter stitch helps to stop the edges of your knitting from curling.


The centre is divided into 4 sections:  D & C on top, B & A on the bottom

Section A = STOCKING STITCH = SMOOTH = KNIT all right side rows (odd numbered rows), PURL all wrong side rows (even numbered rows). 

Section B = REVERSE STOCKING STITCH =BUMPY =  PURL all right side rows, KNIT all wrong side rows.

Section C = SEED STITCH = Alternating knit & purl stitches. After first row of this continue alternating purls & knits — keep track of this by making sure you are knitting every purl bump, and purling every smooth stitch (this is opposite from stocking stitch).


Section D = HEART SHAPE created by interrupting stocking itch with reverse stocking stitch so that your shape is created with purl bumps & surrounded by smooth stocking stitch (and vice versa on the back side). Mostly you will be knitting what you see (stocking o reverse stocking stitch), but near the shape edges you won’t be, so be sure to count!


Cathy’s Go Balls

16 Feb

I keep getting asked for this recipe, so have decided to post it. A date and nut based energy snack for those on the go, the only added sugars come from the chocolate chips. I made these for when I used to get lightheaded if I didn’t snack regularly (menopause saved me from that! yay!), and now I use them for hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, and potlucks. One caution: carry a toothpick, those chia seeds find every little dental crevice 🙂

Cathy’s Go-Balls

3 cups pitted dates
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups almonds
1 cup brazil or nuts
1 cup any other nut of your choice (hazelnuts and unsalted pistachios work great)
1 jar almond butter
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups hemp seeds (about 1 bag)
½ cup chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened grated dried coconut

Optional Add-Ins:
¼ cup poppy seeds or sesame seeds
½ cup candied ginger very finely chopped
Caffeine junkies: 3 or 4 Starbucks Via instant coffee(s), moistened to a thin paste

Food Processor (7 cup capacity)
Parchment paper
Freezer bags

All measurements are approximate.

In food processor, chop dates until very finely chopped, basically pureed. Remove and place in large mixing bowl (eg. Kitchenaid Mixer mixing bowl).

In food processor, chop chocolate chips and all nuts until very finely ground. Remove and add to mixing bowl with the dates.

Add all other ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix together very well (with your hands or with a blender with a strong motor– if using a blender, start at very slow speed, your mixing bowl will be full and it could get messy). The mixture should look somewhat loose but hold together when pressed in the shape of a ball.

Form into balls (size of a big cherry, smaller than a golf ball) by pressing mixture together tightly with your hands. At this point if you want to get fancy you can coat the balls in extra coconut or cocoa powder. It should make about 90 balls. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze overnight, then place frozen balls into a zippered freezer bag, suck out the air, and store frozen. I’ve kept mine at room temp in a ziploc bag for 2-4 weeks, but taste does start to deterioate.

These make a great dessert to take to a potluck or Superbowl party.
If intended for backpacking/camping, you can cut 4 inch squares of parchment paper and wrap individual balls, twisting the paper tightly to hold it closed. Even so, they may fall apart a bit in your pack, so keep the wrapped balls in a ziploc bag.

Nutrition Facts Per Ball (if recipe makes 90 balls):

114 calories, 8 g fat, 4 g pro, 8 g carb (3 g fibre, 4 g sugar), 1 mg sodium, 87 mg potassium (calculated by

Reversible Bramble Scarf

23 Feb

I wanted a reversible scarf that would match the puffiness of my Shroom Hat (favourite hat pattern!).

I used Estella Gladstone Chunky yarn, which has a variable thickness anywhere from about 24 to 16 stitches per 4 inch test knit.  So it isn’t really chunky…so I held it double for a more even thickness. It makes a very warm scarf! The purple/grey mix is fantastic. It goes with anything grey or purple, but also has flecks of brown and black, so it’s super versatile.

You could use a varigated yarn if you like, as I did — it hides all mistakes, but it also hides the bramble bumps a bit more than I wish it had. Next time I would likely use 1 strand of varigated yarn and one strand of solid colour to show the bumps more.

I knit with 2 strands together throughout, and used 8 mm needles. This created a pretty firm fabric with a bit of drape that I think will increase as the scarf settles into itself.

1. CO 20 with norwegian longtail method. This makes a wide scarf. (If using thinner yarn and smaller needles, cast on multiples of 8 plus 4, eg. 28, 36.)
2. Knit three rows, slipping the first stitch of each row purlwise (Slip 1 pw, knit to end).
3. Knit about 4-6 inches of the following:
Slip 1 pw, (K2Tog, YO)x9, K1.
This creates the tail end of your scarf.
4. Knit 4 rows slipping the first stitch of each row (Slip pw, knit to end).
5. Now start the reversible bramble stitch. This requires your attention. After a few repeats you will start to know what to knit by looking at it. Each pattern repeat takes 4 rows. Note that KPK means you are going to knit into the nex

Reversible Bramble Stitch Scarf

Reversible Bramble Stitch Scarf

t stitch, then purl into it, then knit into it and then pull it off the left needle, so you’ve made 3 stitches out of 1:

Row 1: Slip 1 pw, (P1, KPK, P3, P3Tog)x2, P1, KPK, K1

Row 2: Slip 1 pw, P3, KPK, (P1, P3Tog, P3, KPK)x2, K1

Row 3: Slip 1 pw, (P3, P3Tog, P1, KPK)x2, P3, P3Tog, K1

Row 4: Slip 1 pw, P1, P3Tog, (P3, KPK, P1, P3Tog)x2, K1

Repeat til 6 inches short of desired length (at least 60 inches, recommend 66 inches).

6. Knit 4 rows slipping the first stitch of each row
7. Knit 6 inches of Slip 1, (K2Tog, YO)*, K1
8. Knit 2 rows slipping the first stitch of each row
9. Cast off very loosely. Total length about 72 inches.

Tips for reversible bramble stitch “knitting what you see”:

-if you see that you purled 3 together in the previous row, P1

-if you see a single purl stitch, KPK into it

-if you see that you had created 3 stitches out of 1 on the previous row (ie. you see 3 stitches of K,P,K), then P3

-if you see 3 purl stitches in a row (P,P,P, not K,P,K!), then P3Tog

Enjoy, this is a fun stitch to knit, no pattern to follow once memorized, but never boring. And it knits up so quickly with 2 strands held together or with chunky/bulky yarn.

Running Cowl

26 Jan

I knit this for my sister for 2 Christmasses ago. She runs almost every day on the waterfront in Toronto ON and wanted something to keep her neck warm. I also think it is pretty enough to use in place of a scarf with your coat.

Knit with the yarn you like, and the needles it calls for. Then place buttons so that the wrap works for you. If you’re using less than DK weight yarn (22 st per 4 inches) you will want to add an extra repeat or so of the pattern, and knit extra rows. Play with your knitting – no one will see that you didn’t “follow a pattern”. This in fact isn’t a pattern, it’s just what I knit while playing 🙂

Cowl Running Cowl

Cathy’s Cable Toque

12 Nov

Cathy’s Cable Toque.

Cathy’s Cable Toque

12 Nov

I used Berroco’s Campus yarn in “Honor Roll”. It’s a little scratchy for my sensitive hands, but should work great as a toque. Very casual yarn — great for weekends.

Materials: DPNs or circular needles in 6.0 mm and 7.0 mm

Yarn: Bulky — adapt # stitches or needle size as you see fit.

Norwegian loose Cast On 64 stitches with 6.0 mm. Join and work in the round in 2 x 2 rib for about an inch. Switch to 7.0 mm needles for the cable pattern:
Row 1-2: K6,P3,K4,P3, repeat 3 more times
Row 3: K6,P3,C4F,P3, repeat
Row 4: C6F,P3,K4,P3, repeat.
Continue with C4F on rows 7,11,15,etc (every 4 rows) and C6F on rows 10,16,22 etc (every 6 rows).
Decrease after desired length, making sure you just worked a K4 row (not C4F):
Dec Row 1: K6 (or C6F), P3,K2Tog,SSK,P3
Dec Row 2: K6 (or C6F),P2Tog,P1,K2,P2Tog,P1
Dec Row 3: K6 (or C6F),P2,K2Tog,P2
Dec Row 4: K6, P2Tog,K1,P2Tog
Dec Row 5: K2Tog,K2,SSK,P3
Dec Row 6: K4,P2Tog,P1
Dec Row 7: K2Tog,SSK,P2
Dec Row 8: K2Tog, 8 stitches left, tie off, leaving a 5 inch tail at top outside of toque.
Make a small loose pompom wrapping yarn around a slim 2 inch piece of cardboard, and using the 5 inch tail to tie the pompom together before cutting loops, tying it about 1/2-1 inch from the hat so it’s a little floppy.

Let me know if these instructions (written from memory…) have any errors and I’ll fix them.