Knitting dishcloths and facecloths from cotton is quick, satisfying, and fun. My favorite pattern is very simply, but knit on the bias. I cast on 3, then increase 1 at the start of each row until I'm half done, then I decrease 1 at the start of each row until I'm down to 3 again, and bind off. I might simply knit garter stitch (every row knit), or I might get more exciting with a seed-stitch border and stockinette in the middle.
When I started spinning cotton I decided I'd use it for two things -- knitting facecloths and weaving. Well, so far, I'm about 1/3 into my woven totebag ... and still spinning! But there are some fun cottons that won't "fit" the look of this tote, so I'm thinking it's time to knit a facecloth.
As if she read my mind, C asked me, how can I design my own knit dishcloth? Well, it's fairly straightforward. Decide how big you want it to be (8" by 8" is my typical size), determine your yarn's knitting gauge to figure out how many stitches to cast on, and get ready. For a design on the surface, it's pretty standard to knit a garter or seed stitch border (your choice) about 4-5 stitches and rows wide, then to make the large face of the cloth all knit stitches on the right side (stockinette stitch). Your design will be in purl stitches. This is knit flat, from the bottom row to the top row -- so, not the bias-type knitting I usually use.
Now, knitting stitches are typically "wide" -- 5 stitches usually is the same size as 7 rows. Thus, there is knitter's graph paper. Print out a sheet, decide how wide the picture will be in stitches, and draw your design on the paper. Then color all the squares your design covers a different color -- all of those stitches will be purls on the right side and knits on the wrong side. Follow your graph from bottom to top, knitting a few rows plain before and after, and adding edge stitches and rows to make it all square. Wa-la, your very own knit dishcloth.
Now, if all that is too much effort -- here's a long list of knit dishcloth patterns you can peruse.
Thanks for asking, C, I hope this helps!