When I was a kid, we never used sponges, always a "dishrag". My mom still refuses to use sponges. Ours were store bought, but my grandmother's were old towels usually. As an adult, I swore by sponges for washing dishes, but my kids do the dishes now, and they would rather use the ones I make. Unlike most households, we do not have a dishwasher. But we also only use hand knit wash clothes now, too. The kids each have their own, as does the hubby. Most of the kids friends have hand made wash clothes from me too, they love them.
ETA- I grew up in pretty rural Ohio and West Virginia, my grandparents were "country folk".
The only difference between an experienced knitter and new knitter is that the experienced knitter makes bigger mistakes faster. Be bold; there are no terrible consequences in knitting.
Blocks in Blocks Afgan for Taz
Pet snuggles for charity
BonBons fingerless mitts for Sarah
Dorm socks for Skye-finished
Dallas Cowboys Man Hat for John-finished
and as always, dish cloths.