How to Make a Ballband Dishcloth

By Patricia H. Reed
Choose complementary colors for your ballband discloth.

A ballband dishcloth is a vintage-style kitchen cloth knit from cotton yarn in two yarns. It uses a variety of stitches to create a textured horizontal stripe. The pattern is called "ballband," as it was commonly printed inside the paper band around balls of Peaches and Cream brand yarn, made by the Pisgah Yarn & Dye Co. The pattern was repopularized when it was published in "Mason-Dixon Knitting: A Curious Knitter's Guide" by Kay Gardiner and Ann Meador Shayne in 2006.

Cast on 45 stitches with your main color.

Knit across the first row. Turn your work and purl the second row.

Join your accent color yarn. Knit the next four stitches. Slip the next stitch purlwise. According to The Knitting Fiend, to do this, insert the tip of your right needle through the back loop of the stitch on your left needle and let the stitch slide over to the right needle. Knit the next five stitches. Slip the next stitch purlwise. Repeat this K5, slp, pattern to the end of the row, ending with four knit stitches.

Knit four to begin the next row. Yarn forward, slip one purlwise, yarn back and knit five. "Yarn forward" means to move the working yarn to the front of the needle; "yarn back" means to move it to the back of the needle (its normal position for knitting). Repeat this yf, slp, yb, k5 pattern to the end of the row, ending with four knit stitches.

Purl four to begin the next row. Yarn back, slip one purlwise, yarn forward and purl five. Repeat this sequencee to the end of the row, ending with four purl stitches. Repeat Step 4.

Switch back to your main color yarn. Knit all the way across the row, and purl all the way across the following row.

Rejoin your accent yarn to begin row nine. Knit one and slip one purlwise. Knit five and slip one purlwise. Repeat this k5, slp, pattern the rest of the way across the row, ending with one knit stitch.

Knit one, yarn forward, slip one purlwise and yarn back to start the 10th row. Knit the next five stitches, yarn forward, slip one purlwise, then yarn back. Repeat the k5, yf, slp, yb, sequence to the end of the row, ending with one knit stitch.

Purl one, yarn back, slip one purlwise and yarn forward to start row 11. Purl five, yarn back, slip one purlwise and yarn forward. Repeat this pattern to the end of the row, ending on one purl stitch. Repeat row 10 for row 12.

Repeat the previous 12 rows in sequence five times to complete your ballband dishcloth, ending with Row 2. Weave in all loose ends using a yarn needle.

About the Author

Patricia Hamilton Reed has written professionally since 1987. Reed was editor of the "Grand Ledge Independent" weekly newspaper and a Capitol Hill reporter for the national newsletter "Corporate & Foundation Grants Alert." She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University, is an avid gardener and volunteers at her local botanical garden.