This is a digital download (a PDF), not a physical object.

There are folks out there who make their money by teaching you to hate your body then selling you something to fix or hide what they say is wrong with you. And oh, oh they’re good at their jobs. They’re so good at it that you probably don’t even notice how often they subtly suggest that you you’re too fat or have too much cellulite or too many stretch marks, or that you’re too old or have too many wrinkles or too many gray hairs, or that your pores are too big or your eyebrows too sparse or your teeth too crooked.

But once you start to notice, you’ll see those messages everywhere. Which is infuriating! But it’s also the first step to making yourself less susceptible to that garbage. Because once you notice, you can ask why you’re being made to feel bad, who benefits from those bad feelings. And once you start to do that, a lot of those bad feelings just go away. And then? Well then you can start to experiment with what it’s like to have nice feelings about your body. To be kind to it. To treat it gently.

That process will look different for everyone, but for me, a big part of being kind to my body is taking delightfully extravagant showers. The kind where you tidy up the bathroom and light your favorite candle and put on some good music and deep condition your hair and use the yummy smelling soap and the very fancy washcloth and whatever else makes the process feel good.

And I swear it helps. It helps so much. Because it’s hard to hate something you treat kindly and gently. And it’s so much nicer to live in a body you’ve come to care for rather than one you’ve been taught to hate.

General information

This 26-page pattern gives you lots of options and variations to play with. There are two different leaf shapes (a round one and mirror image versions of a slanted one), each of which you can work in either one or two colors, plus an option for a different texture for each, and an option to make an awesome little loop at the stem to hang them up.

Skills & scope

The washcloths are worked in brioche stitch, which can feel a little daunting when you first see it! But brioche is really just fancy ribbing. If you can knit, purl, slip, and yarn over, you can work brioche. The pattern doesn’t teach you brioche (so you’ll want to have a handle on the basics before you start), but you can totally learn everything you need for it in an afternoon. I found these two tutorials very helpful when I was first learning.

If you want a little extra hand holding for the brioche, Little Skein, whose lovely yarns I used for these, has some awesome bonus material (and kits, and other little indulgences) you might want to check out!

The pattern uses charts, so you will need to know how to follow a knitting chart.

Yarn, gauge & sizing

These start at the stem and grow up and out from there, so you can make them however wide and however tall you’d like. My big ones are about 9 inches wide and 10 inches tall, my small ones are about 6 inches wide and 8 inches tall, and my teeny tiny one is about 2 inches wide and 3 inches tall.

I made mine with either fingering or fingering and worsted yarn, but you can make them in any weight of yarn. I like a yarn with linen, cotton, or silk for these, and you can absolutely use scrap yarn for them.

You don’t need to match any particular gauge, as long as you like your fabric, you’re getting the right gauge.

The amount of yarn you need will change depending on how big you make them (bigger pieces take more yarn). But my big ones took about 80 yards of yarn (40 of each color), my small ones took about 60 yards (30 of each color), and my tiny one took only 20 yards of one color.

Tools & supplies

You’ll need needles that let you work in the round (circulars or DPNs) in whatever size lets you get a fabric you like with your chosen yarn plus the general knitting tools you need for most projects (scissors to cut your yarn, a darning needle to weave in ends, the occasional stitch marker or bit of scrap yarn to hold stitches).

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