Crocheted Scrubbies

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/crocheted-scrubbies-zbcz1311.aspx

crocheted scrubbiesNow that the cool weather is here, I have found myself crocheting up a storm.  It gives me something productive to do in the evenings when I want to put my feet up and relax, and as we all know, the holidays are coming quickly, so I’m trying to get a head start on handmade gifts.

When I get tired of dishcloths and need a break, I switch over to making scrubbies.  If you’ve never tried using them when washing dishes, you’re missing out.  I love them, which is why everyone who gets a dishcloth for Christmas will also get a matching scrubby (or is it spelled ‘scrubbie’?  I don’t know.  It’s not important to the story!). 

The backstory on these is that my dear Aunt Audrey has been making them for years.  When I asked her how to do it, these were her directions:  “Cut some netting into strips and tie them all together.  Then, crochet a circle and increase for a couple rows.  When it’s the right size, start decreasing.  That’s all.” 

That’s all.

For a newbie crocheter, that wasn’t enough! 

Fortunately, I didn’t give up.  It turns out they ARE very easy to make and take almost no time at all, once you’ve cut the netting into strips (this will take some time.)  You want to look for ‘nylon netting’ (frequently used for tutus).  The toile stuff that is used for weddings (and frequently sold next to the netting) is softer and doesn’t have as much scrubbing power.  The major fabric stores have 40 or 50% off coupons on their websites, so print one off and get yourself some yardage (I would recommend 2-4 yards.  I’ve done 5 and it gets tricky to cut.  I would also recommend a dark color, since these will get dirty.)

When I was first researching how to make scrubbies, I went to a bunch of different tutorials online, and most of them said to cut the netting into 2” strips.  But Aunt Audrey was adamant that that would be hard to work with, so I decided to go with 1” strips like she uses.  She was right… sometimes it’s hard enough with the 1” strips, I think the 2” would drive me mad!

So, take your yardage and cut it into 1” strips (the long way).  You don’t have to be precise, as the width won’t make a huge difference in the outcome.  Aunt Audrey uses scissors, which seems to me would take forever.  If you don’t have a rotary cutter and mat, I would highly recommend it!  I fold the yardage over itself and one roll of the cutter yields many strips.  Tie them together, and roll into a ball.

Once you’ve got your ball made, you can start crocheting.  I use a size ‘I’ hook just because that’s the same size I use for my dishcloths and I’m too lazy to go find another.  I’m sure H or J would be fine.  This is how I do it, which is a combination of many other different patterns.  You can play with it to adjust to your liking.

Smaller Size Scrubbie

Row 1:  chain 3, then connect to the first stitch using a slip stich.

Row 2:  In the hole of the circle you just made, work 12 double crochets.  Connect to the first using a slip stitch.

Row 3:  In each stitch, work 2 double crochets and connect to the first using a slip stitch.

Row 4:  In each stitch, work 2 single crochets, connecting to the first using a slip stitch.

Row 5:  (You will now start decreasing to make the ‘back’ of the scrubbie.) Single crochet, single crochet, skip a stitch (and repeat all around).

Row 6:  Work a single crochet into every other stitch and keep working in the round until it’s closed up.  Stuff all the knot ends inside and work it into a pretty circle by pulling and tugging if you have to.

Larger Size Scrubbie

Row 1:  chain 3, then connect to the first stitch using a slip stich.

Row 2:  In the hole of the circle you just made, work 12 double crochets.  Connect to the first using a slip stitch.

Rows 3 and 4:  In each stitch, work 2 half double crochets and connect to the first using a slip stitch.

Row 5:  In each stitch, work a single crochet, connecting to the first using a slip stitch.

Row 5:  (You will now start decreasing to make the ‘back’ of the scrubbie.) Single crochet, single crochet, skip a stitch (and repeat all around).

Row 6:  Work a single crochet into every other stitch and keep working in the round until it’s closed up.  Stuff all the knot ends inside and work it into a pretty circle by pulling and tugging if you have to.

Lanette Lepper is a beekeeper, chicken keeper, gardener, food preserver, and proud Navy spouse who blogs at www.homesteadingonthehomefront.blogspot.com.