Irish Moss Stitch Dishcloth Knitting Pattern

Irish Moss Dishcloth Knitting Pattern

The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

Project Overview
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Dishcloths make a great first knitting project because they're small and easy to learn. This free pattern uses only knit and purl stitches, but the two come together to make a textured design that's fun and interesting to make. 

Handknit dishcloths are long-lasting and washable, making them an eco-friendly way to clean up. And if you love using knit cloths in your kitchen, so will your friends and family members. Make a stack of them as a housewarming gift or include them with a shower or wedding gift. Knit them up in colors to match the recipient's kitchen or keep them neutral. You can even craft a bunch of them to keep on hand for last-minute presents. 

To create the borders at the top and bottom, you knit every stitch of every row, making garter stitch. Work the rest of the dishcloth in moss stitch, the US version, which is sometimes called Irish moss stitch. Like its cousin seed stitch (which is called moss stitch in the UK!), you alternate between knit and purl stitches. The result is a beautifully nubby fabric that also helps scrub dishes or countertops.

Grab a skein of your favorite cotton yarn and get ready to knit a new dishcloth or two!

Size/Finished Measurements

Width: 8 inches

Length: 8 inches


18 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches in moss stitch

Adjust needle size up or down to get gauge.


  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • rep = repeat
  • RS = right side; the public side of the work
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • WS = wrong side; the inside of the work

Moss Stitch [multiple of 2 sts]

Row 1 (RS): *k1, p1; rep from * to end.

Row 2 (WS): *k1, p1; rep from * to end.

Row 3: *p1, k1; rep from * to end.

Row 4: *p1, k1; rep from * to end.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • US 7 (4.5 mm) knitting needles
  • Yarn or tapestry needle
  • Scissors


  • 50 yard worsted weight cotton yarn


  1. Cast on

    Using the knit cast-on or your own favorite method, cast on 35 stitches.

  2. Bottom Border

    Rows 1-7: Knit.

  3. Begin Moss Stitch

    Row 8 (RS): *k1, p1; rep from * to end.

    Row 9 (WS): *k1, p1; rep from * to end.

    Row 10: *p1, k1; rep from * to end.

    Row 11: *p1, k1; rep from * to end.

    Rows 12-43: rep rows 8-11.

    Knitting the Irish Moss Dishcloth
    Mollie Johanson
  4. Top Border

    Rows 44-50: Knit.

  5. Finishing

    Bind off and weave in the ends.


    If you used the knit cast-on, consider using a slightly stretchy bind off method to make the tension of the final edge match.

More Ideas

Want to add some color to your dishcloth? Work the garter stitch sections in a bright contrasting color and leave the moss stitch section in natural or white.

Add coasters, trivets, and even dish towels to the dishcloths for a matching set perfect for gift giving. Just cast on fewer stitches and work fewer rows for a coaster, and more stitches and rows for a trivet. For towels, work more rows in moss stitch to make a rectangle. Remember to use an even number of stitches to stay in moss stitch!

Attach a 1-inch binder ring to one corner to make a hanging loop for your dishcloth. For a more organic look, braid a few strands of yarn together, thread through the corner, and knot.

Finished Irish Moss Knit Dishcloth

The Spruce Crafts / Mollie Johanson

Watch Now: How to Moss Stitch