DIY Tutorial: Japanese-inspired Washcloth


I firmly believe that anyone can knit, they just need to find the right project to start with. Today have a very simple beginner knitting tutorial to inspire you to give knitting a go. It is a washcloth, so it doesn’t matter whether your stitches are uneven, if you make mistakes, drop a few stitches and accidentally add a few stitches.  It will still work just fine as a washcloth. If you have never tried knitting before, hope this project gives you the courage to give it a go.

This project was inspired by the gorgeous styling of Sibella Court in her beautiful interior styling book Nomad. If you are looking for styling inspiration for your eco-friendly home, using antique and well-loved treasures from your travels, I highly recommend this book. One of her interiors took inspiration from a Japanese bathhouse. It was the stone and wood, her use of a loose weave washcloth in the styling that inspired this project. You can see the inspiration pictured here:

Japanese Washcloth Nomad

Knitted using fine yarn with larger knitting needles, the fabric created has a similar quality to the loose weave fabric used in Sibella’s styling. Rather than white, I choose linen in lovely warm tone brown, matching the feel of the natural wood and stone. I knitted this wash cloth to be functional (it is a fantastic eco-friendly alternative to plastic shower puffs). and to accent the styling of my minimalist bathroom. I love that something so functional can also be a thing of beauty that can accent the feel of my bathroom space. This is exactly why I love to be able to knit and create beautiful objects for my home. And because it is such a slow craft, I am not tempted to overconsume and create too many object for my home.

If you want to give this project a go, here is how:


You will need:

  • A ball of Laceweight 3 ply Linen Yarn in a colour of your choice
  • A pair of 4mm knitting needles (choose bamboo for the most environmentally friendly option)
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle


Cast on 60 stitches. If you have never cast on stitches before, ask a friend to show you how, or watch short clip on how to cast on knitting stitches.

Row 1: Knit all of the stitches across the row. Again, if you are a complete beginner you can find guidance on how to make a knit stitch at this excellent short video by Expert Village. Or if you want to see it in a little more detail, watch Knitting 101: How to knit the knit stitch for beginners.

Row 2 onwards: Knit across the row. Continue to knit every row until you achieve your desired length.I knitted mine to be about 40cm in length, but the ball will allow you to knit longer if desired.

Final row: Once you have reached your desired length cast off your stitches to end off the knitting. For guidance on how to do this, watch Knitting for beginners: how to cast off.

Once you’ve ended off you will notice that you have a loose end of yarn at the start and end of your project. Use a yarn needle to weave these ends through the knitting so that you can’t see them. You can watch how to do this here.

Japanese washcloth (2)

Make yourself a cup of tea, put on your favourite CD to relax to, and settle in for a peaceful few hours of knitting. It is a skill that you won’t regret learning.


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