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Chinese Wave Knit Washcloth Pattern

A Chinese Wave Knit Washcloth Pattern with Crocheted Picot Edge…perfect for gifting or for your own ‘home spa.’ The Chinese Wave Stitch creates a nice texture and a beautiful knit washcloth. 

I really enjoyed the quick knit of my last washcloth.  After knitting up a couple of them, I was ready for another hand-knit washcloth pattern. I like the Chinese Wave Stitch Pattern for the loft it creates.  It has a thickness to it that you just don’t get with many knit stitches.

In addition to the texture, it is a very pretty pattern.  It’s called the Chinese Wave Stitch, but I see diamonds in the pattern more than waves, but that’s just me.

My daughter wants to use these in her bathroom, so I added a crochet picot edge, which really upped the charm of the knit washcloth. I can also see knitting up a bunch of these and using them as gifts, with some soap or bubble bath. They really have a ‘spa’ look and feel to them.

This Chinese Wave Knit Washcloth Pattern is really relatively easy, but you do need to pay attention to what row you need to start.  The slipped stitch makes the stitch twist, so if you have to rip out a row, it makes it more difficult to get the twist right and you’ll notice a slight difference in that row.

After detailing the Chinese Wave Knit Washcloth Pattern, I explain how I stayed on track.

Materials Needed for the Chinese Wave Knit Washcloth Pattern

Will make 2 12.75″ x 12.75″ knit & crochet washcloths:

Some of these are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission off of the sale of these products, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

Knit and Crochet Terms used:

K  Knit

Sl1 Slip next stitch from left-hand needle to right without working.  I slip knitwise.

SC Single Crochet

Ch  Chain Stitch

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Knit Washcloth Pattern Instructions (12.75″ x 12.75″), using the Chinese Wave Stitch Pattern with Crochet Picot Edging:

If you want to resize your washcloth, I have explained that process on this post: How to Resize a Blanket, Washcloth or Towel.

Cast on 49 stitches (or an odd number stitches)

1st row K

2nd row K1,*Sl1 K1* repeat from *to* for rest of row

3rd row K

4th row K2 *Sl1 K1*  repeat until arrive at the last 3 stitches, then Sl1, K2

5th row K

Repeat rows 2-5 for the remainder of the pattern until your work measures 11.25 inches, ending with a Knit row.

How I stayed on track with the Chinese Wave Stitch:

This isn’t rocket science but had I thought about it at the beginning, I wouldn’t have one washcloth that has a bit of a wonky row right in the middle.  You’ll be starting your sl stitch row after you’ve knit a row.  Pay attention to the last 3 stitches of the knit row.  If your slip stitch is 2 stitches from the end, you’ll start with the K2 row.  If your slip stitch is 3 stitches from the end, you’ll start with the K1 row.  Obviously, a row counter would help too, but I’ve just never been able to remember to change my row, so I’m back in the same position. 

Bind off, but don’t cut yarn.

Add the Crocheted Picot Edge to Your Chinese Wave Knit Washcloth:

Using a crochet hook, SC into each Stitch.  It’s pretty easy to see where to pick up on your cast on and cast off row, but a little harder on the sides.  This picture shows, that on the backside of your piece, you can see the ‘valleys’ in the pattern on the sides of the washcloth.
Chinese Wave Stitch: Close up of Where to pick up for crochet edge

Put your crochet hook in these valleys on the sides.  I try to catch the yarn tails from my cast on so that they’re wrapped in the SCs.  It makes it nice not to have loose tails.

Chinese Wave Stitch Pattern: close up of First Step in turning corner for crochet edge

When you come to one of your corners, you’ll want to SC in the last stitch before you turn.  Then work 2 chains on top of that stitch and then SC back in the same stitch.

Chinese Wave Stitch Knitting Pattern: 2nd step in turning corner fro crochet edge of washcloth
Chinese Wave Stitch: Third step in turning corner for crochet edge of knit washcloth

When you get back to where you started, you’ll start your picot.

1st step in picot stitch

Work an SC into the first stitch, then before you put crochet hook back into the fabric, work 2 chain stitches (like you did on the corner)

2nd step in picot stitch

Then put your hook back in the 2 stitches made by the single crochet

3rd step in picot stitch

You will now have 3 stitches on your hook.  Grab the yarn and pull it through the 3 stitches, leaving only one stitch on your hook.  There’s your first picot.

So the picot pattern is like this:

Picot in 1 stitch

SC in next stitch

Repeat this pattern until the end of your work and work your tail into the pattern.

These Chinese Wave Knit washcloths hold up really well. I have had several for years, with regular washing. I do like to stick with white cotton so that they can have a dash of bleach if needed.

A knit totebag.
Knit washcloth and a bar of green soap in a gold wire basket.

These knit up quickly and are perfect for your home or for gifting.  If you choose to gift some of these like I’ll be doing, add these washcloths to a couple of other items for a perfect gift.

Pairing your washcloth with any of these ‘pink’ products would make such a fun and girly gift.

Or for a more subdued, spa-like gift:

Some common questions about knitting dishcloths:

What kind of yarn is best for dishcloths?

Stick to cotton or cotton blends for your dishcloths. If you go the blend route, make sure it is primarily cotton (70/30 or 80/20) as the cotton is what makes the yarn absorbent.

Mercerized or Unmercerized Cotton?

For the most absorbent dishcloth, you want an unmercerized cotton as the mercerization process reduces the absorbency of the fibers. Unmercerized cotton is nubbier and has a more ‘natural’ look to it.

However, mercerized cotton dishcloths will have a nicer sheen, come in a wider range of rich colors, will most likely last longer and won’t get as ‘soaking wet’ as a result of the mercerization process. So, it’s a ‘personal choice’…not sure that there is a right or wrong.

How Big Should a Dishcloth Be?

It seems the standard dishcloth, washcloth or facecloth size is about 10 inches by 10 inches (25 cm by 25 cm). That being said, make the size you want!

Dishcloth Yarn Recommendations:

Some of these links may be affiliate links and I may earn a small commission off of the sale of these products to help defray the costs of operating this site, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.


Happy Knitting my friends! If you have a favorite hand-knit washcloth pattern, I’d love to see it.  

Pin this Chinese Waves Dishcloth Knitting Pattern for your future reference.
Chinese Wave Washcloth in gold container


Chinese Wave Knit Washcloth Pattern, suggested materials and instructions for a hand knit washcloth with crocheted picot edging. Perfect for your own home or gift giving.

Looking for more knit and crochet patterns? Pop over here for all my knit & crochet patterns in one place.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Daniel. I’m going to be making quite a few for my daughter and her roommate as they head to college this fall.

      1. Hi Hilary! So glad you found my blog and my patterns. Access to a printable version of my patterns is available to all my subscribers; a password is sent upon subscribing. Let me know if you have a problem accessing it and I will gladly help.

        Have a great evening.

        Hugs, Lynn

  1. : Beautiful it looks like you are slipping knit wise. I make this pattern a lot but I slip purl wise. This will give you the waves. But I love yours, especially the crochet edge. I will try that. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Thanks! Hope you enjoy the pattern. If you’re on the east coast like I am, this will be a good weekend to stay inside and knit!

        1. Yes, I am on east coast. Planned to travel to Vermont to see foliage.. Had to cancel and stay indoors !
          Thanks again for your pattern and photos .

    1. Hi Susan, I know I slip knitwise so I’m pretty sure the yarn is in the back. I think if you slop purlwise it’s a little looser. Enjoy!

  2. This is a gorgeous wash cloth! And I love how talented and multi-faceted you are!!! I knit, but I don’t crochet, I may have to attempt this with your direction! Pinning! Thanks for the details, it really is a lovely pattern!

    1. That washcloth was one of the first things I put a crochet edge on. Just taught myself last year…there is certainly a difference, but I feel if you can do one you can do the other. Give it a try!

  3. Hi Lynn I haven’t crochet in very long time , can I please more details on edge pattern . Do I picot chain 1 then sc in next stitch? Might need help with corners all. I love love love your patterns taught myself to knit this past summer! Thank you

    1. Hi Shae, I just discovered this comment from last month. I am very hopeful that you were successful with the crochet edging. Do stop back by and let me know how it turned out!

      Hugs, Lynn

  4. Hi Lynn I haven’t crochet in very long time , can I please more details on edge pattern . Do I picot schain 1 then sc in next stitch? Might need help with corners all. I love love love your patterns taught myself to knit this past summer! Thank you

    1. Hi Shae, yes you do a picot chain in 1, then a sc in 1, then picot in 1, then sc in 1 and so one. Does this help? If not, write back and I’ll b glad to help.

  5. Thank you Lynn , after finishing 1 picot do I chain 1 before sc in next stitch or just sc? Any suggestions for corners? Thank you so much!

  6. Hi Lynn, I’m practicing on swatch before I actually implement on my piece. I’m having trouble with corners , how did you stitch corners when adding the sc edge, and with the picot? I’m really having fun with this! Thank you so much for the guidance !

    1. Hi Shae, O.K. here’s the rub. I have given all my picot edged washcloths to my daughter so I don’t have one at home to see exactly what I did on the corners. I’ve been having her send me photos of the corners, but I’m still having a hard time seeing exactly what’s going on. But…I ‘think’ , underscore ‘think’ that I just worked whatever came next when I came to a corner. However, I would find a way to work an extra sc or 2 in as well on that corner. If it’s a picot then I’d add another sc into the same stitch you worked the picot. Think I probably tried to get a picot at each corner since that looks nicer.
      Does that make sense?

  7. Hi Lynn, I have finished this and ready to put the border on yay! Just measured it it came out 11x 9 not sure why this happened? Also when it says ac in each stitch is that each stitch or each chain ! Thank you, it’s so pretty!

    1. Good Morning Shae…yay! Could you add another 2″ to make it a square? Completely up to you. Are you asking about starting your edging? If so, you are doing a sc into each space between the knit stitches. Look at the third photo in the post, see that hole made between the two knit stitches? That’s where you’ll put your crochet hook in to attach the yarn for the edge. Does that make sense? If not, let me know.
      Hugs, Lynn

  8. Good morning Lynn. I’m on the cat off row,I started in the holes and didn’t look right to me so I ripped it out and went thru chain stitches? I think I’m a tight knitter , I cast on 49 and used size 6 needles, came out 11.25 length and 9 for width. Thank you

  9. I put the sc in the chain of the cast off row as you would if putting them in chain row in Crocet under the 2 feet of the chain , does that make sense?

    1. I think that makes sense and I think that’s probably right. The image in my post is for the side, which is more challenging, i think, than the cast of row. sounds like you’re on the right path.

      Keep me posted, Lynn

  10. Hi Lynn, turned out great. Also completed the cable lattice as well. I’m not sure why mine come out ruffly looking? Also I never get 11×11. My mom and sister loved them they were gifts for them.

  11. Hi Lynn – I want to try this pattern but I don’t know what you all are talking about when you say you slip knit wise or purl wise. Can you explain a bit more? thanks Kim

    1. Hi Kim, to slip knit wise means to insert your needle in the next stitch as if you were going to knit it, but don’t knit it, just slip it on to your right hand needle. To slip purl wise means to insert your needle into the next stitch as if you were going to purl it, but slip it off onto your left hand needle.
      Does this make sense?
      If not, let me know.

      1. Thank you Lynn. Yes it does make sense but it makes me wonder – which way is best? I assume that each stitch looks different from the other. Is it just a matter of taste? Thanks, Kim

  12. Hi Lynn. I am practicing this pattern before I start with my cotton. I’m a good knitter, not great and I usually keep the pattern in my head and count things like you do. For the life of me I cannot tell which is the slip stitch once I have knitted a row over it. I’m trying to keep from keep track of rows like you do. Can you give me an idea of how to tell which is slipped? Asking a lot I know. Thanks.

    1. Camille…the best thing I can recommend is to use a row counter and whether the slip row is an odd or even row. I can tell you that I ripped out many rows before I became disciplined enough to do that. I don’t typically use row counters, but they are vital for this pattern.

  13. I have never used cotton before, is one brand new tter than another. I really like the pattern and I will try it! Thanks

    1. Hi Joy, the cotton I use is really rather inexpensive. As it is just for washcloths, I hate to spend too much money on the yarn. I just like to stick with 100% cotton.Thanks for swinging by. Hugs, Lynn

  14. Your wash cloth is beautiful. I can’t seem to get mine to look like that. I’m adding the edging but it looks more like a ruffle. I am using a size I hook. I would appreciate any suggestions.

    1. Hi Shelly, I’m guessing that you didn’t pick up enough stitches when you started your crochet round. Sometimes it’s hard to see them all. Since you’ve done the hard stuff (that Chinese Wave is the hardest part!), I’d take off the crochet edge and start again. Here’s a link to a youtube video that may be helpful. It’s a bit harder to see with the Chinese Wave, but just make sure that on the sides you pick up as many rows as you have and on the top and bottom what your cast on was, give or take just a few.


      Come back and let me know if you got it.

      Hugs, Lynn

  15. Hi thank you for the pattern…..I followed the pattern but mine didn’t come beautiful like yours ? I don’t know what I did wrong.

  16. I have crocheted for years but have never been able to knit. My best achievement was a wonky edged scarf lol but decided to have a go at this and to my amazement it turned out great! I’m now doing some for my daughter but in a range of colours in the pink and lilac colour range. I’m so pleased. Thanks so much for introducing me to another craft!

    1. Oh Alison, you made my day!! And if you mastered that chinese wave stitch, I’d say you are doing pretty good. I think it’s one of the ones that require the most attention.

      Do pop in and check out the baby blanket pattern I just published today! I just adore it and it’s another that will require both knit and crochet…and there are videos!

      Have a fantastic weekend and thanks for popping in.

      Hugs, Lynn

  17. I’m an experienced knitter and triple checked your pattern. I didn’t get diamonds, which is what I wanted. I got loopy scallops which just looks like sloppy knitting to me.

    1. Hi Jan…I do slip my stitches knitwise, which would make the stitches tighter and may result in the ‘diamond’ look that I am getting. Other than that, I can’t guess why you aren’t getting the ‘diamond’. I looked at several other Chinese Wave Patterns just to make sure I didn’t make a mistake in the pattern, but I can’t see that I did. Here is another explanation of the Chinese Wave stitch: http://www.knittingstitchpatterns.com/2014/11/chinese-waves.html

      Let me know if these suggestions make a difference for your washcloth.


  18. Hi Lynn,
    I’ve admired the Chinese wave pattern from a safe distance for ages, but how you’ve written the pattern is inspiring me! Before I get carried away with my naivete, please could I ask…there isn’t a pass slip stitch over, is there? It is just a slip 1, knit 1, slip 1 and so on…?

    1. Good Morning Gitanjali!

      Oh, I’m so glad you are going to dive into the Chinese Wave! It is such a lovely pattern.

      There is not a PSSO in the pattern, just slipping and knitting!

      Come back and let me know how it works for you!

      Hugs and Happy Knitting.


  19. Absolutely gorgeous! Can’t wait to make a few as stocking stuffers 🙂 Thank you for sharing your beautiful pattern.

    1. Good Morning my friend!

      They will make lovely stocking stuffers, especially when paired with a heavenly-scented bar of soap!

      Have a great day!

  20. Stumbled on this pretty pattern. Mine looks nothing like yours. It does, however, look like the one in the link you placed in a comment. I slipped knitwise and I do not get diamonds which I wanted. I see others had same problem. Perplexing.

  21. Hello,

    Thank you for your patterns. You have a pattern for the hand knit washcloth. Can you tell me please how many stitches to cast on to make a dishcloth. I am often stumped by this.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Nancy, You will cast on 49 stitches for the dishcloth.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

      Happy Knitting!

      Hugs, Lynn

  22. Greetings Nancy!

    As I was scrolling through all the comments from almost 10 years ago, I was afraid this was an old blog not attended to anymore, until I saw the last comment was only about 2 months ago… and you responded! Hot Dog!

    I’ve never left a comment on someone’s blog before and I tend to babble on too much so ill try and make this quick. I just wanted to tell you how much I loved that picot edge. I’ve made a set of washcloths in this pattern before and was quite pleased with them, but that border/edge is great. Only downside is I’m gonna have to pick up my dreaded crochet hook that I just can’t seem to ever get right. (The 2 times I’ve picked it up. haha) But your pictures and step by step instructions make me feel like this is very doable. So thank you! Your blog is put together very well, is classy, and you make and show beautiful pieces. I appreciate the time and detail you’ve put in to it so, again, thank you! Hope you have a great 4th of July tmr. Be good. Peace.

    1. Aw, thanks so much Vivian! This little blog is my pet project and I love everything about it, especially the readers! 🥰 And comments like yours truly make my day. So thanks for taking the time to write in.

      And I love that picot stitch, too. Once you do one little picot, you’ll have it nailed and it will be well worth the effort to dust off that crochet hook.

      If you get a chance, I’d love to see your finished project.

      Have wonderful weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  23. some may find this hilarious. I have tried this pattern three times, and thought ” I’m ‘expletive’ if I know, I just can’t get mine to look like the picture. I liked the look of i so much I decided to try go number 4. I thought I might have been messing it up by putting a knit border on it. So number 4 has no knit border. As it turns out that was not the problem. as I stretched out the slip stitch row I realized I had it right the whole time, I was just looking at it from the wrong side. hmmmmm.

    1. Oh Christine,

      I’m so sorry for your frustration. That is a pattern that requires concentration until you get the hang of it, but I can only imagine your face when you realize dyou were looking at the wrong side! 🤯

      I hope you are having better luck now! That is going to be one precious washcloth!

      Hugs, Lynn

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