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Tips on Working with Scrubby

Red Heart Scrubby yarn is a textured worsted weight yarn named for the fact that it is well-suited to making knit and crochet dishcloths. Although you can craft dishcloths with other yarn types (most popularly cotton yarn), Scrubby is made to actually "scrub" those pots and pans more quickly. It also works as a washcloth with a spa-like exfoliating feel. Scrubby is a polyester yarn so it works a little bit differently than cotton (including drying more quickly). If you have never used it before, you might have some questions about it, so here are our tips for working with Scrubby.

Hook / Needle Size

red heart scrubby limeJPG

Scrubby yarn is a worsted weight yarn so the recommended knitting needle size is a 5mm / 8 US size and the recommended crochet hook size is a 5.5 mm (I-9) size. This will work well for most projects. However, if you find it difficult to work with Scrubby at first, you might want to try increasing the size of your needles or hooks. Scrubby is a textured speciality yarn, which means that it can be a little bit difficult to see the stitches. This is particularly an issue in crochet. If you crochet too tightly, you may find it difficult to see where the next stitch goes; increasing your hook size would allow for larger stitches that are easier to see.

red heart scrubby citrusJPG

Gauge / Tension

The recommended knitting gauge for working with Scrubby is: 16 S x 21 R = 4" x 4”(10 cm x 10 cm)

The recommended crochet gauge for working with Scrubby is: 13 SC x 15 R = 4” x 4” (10 cm x 10 cm)

red heart scrubby with hooksJPG

Note that if you change your needle/ hook size as recommended above, then you may also alter your gauge. This can change the final size of your finished item. When first working with Scrubby, it is best to try projects where size doesn't matter so much. You should still check your gauge to get a sense of how closely you are working with what is recommended, but it gives you the opportunity to play with different needle / hook sizes without ruining what you're creating. Luckily Scrubby is best for washcloths and dishcloths and small variations in size don't matter to most people when working with those projects.

Use Stitch Markers

Another great way to simplify your work with Scrubby is to make use of stitch markers. This is especially useful when you crochet in the round with Scrubby. The texture of the yarn can make it hard to see the beginning and end of the rounds so just mark it as you go; that way you don't have to eyeball it. You can also use stitch markers to count off sets of stitches in long rows; put one every ten stitches on your foundation row to keep you on track with your counting!

Tips for Choosing Scrubby Colors

<red heart scrubby yarnJPG

Scrubby comes in more than one dozen colors, so you have a lot of options available to you. One thing to keep in mind is that the stitches on this speciality yarn might already be difficult to see and that difficulty is compounded if you choose to work dark colors like black, marble, or even royal blue. The lighter the colors you work with, the easier it will be to see the stitch definition, and the simpler it will be for you to work with Scrubby. When you're first starting to work with this yarn, select light colors such as almond, lime and citrus, which are the colors you see featured here. Citrus is one of the Scrubby print colors; prints (even in light shades like this) may be slightly more difficult for seeing stitch definition than solid colors, so try the solids first.

>red heart scrubby detailJPG

It is also important to note that the weight/yardage is different between solid colors and prints in Scrubby. Solid colors come in skeins of 3.5 oz (100g), which equates to 92 yd (85m). Prints are a little bit less, with 3 oz (85 g) and a total of 78 yd (71 m). This is important if you want to combine solids and prints in the same project, especially if you wanted to work with it double-stranded! Just keep this in mind when picking out your yarn for your project.

Tips for Combining Scrubby with Other Yarns

pink dishcloth attach scrubby 2

Scrubby can be combined with other yarn to create unique items. For example, it has been combined with Creme de la Creme yarn for a two-sided dishcloth free crochet pattern. Here are some tips for combining Scrubby with other yarns:

  • You can hold two strands of yarn together for a project: Scrubby and another yarn. Working with a smooth yarn will give you the feel that you are crafting regularly but the beauty of the Scrubby texture.
  • If you are working with two strands of yarn held together, try using the recommended hook / needle size for this yarn (rather than increasing to a larger tool size). This will give you a nice dense project that's still easy to craft. (If you typically use a larger size for Scrubby, as recommended above, then use that size; for example if you crochet Scrubby with a size J hook then use that J hook for a double-stranded project.) Of course, if you find this too tight; go up a size or two.
  • Consider cotton for the second yarn if you are making washcloths or dishcloths. You want to make sure you use a water-friendly yarn!
  • You can also use a second yarn for the details. For example, the eyes of animal-inspired Scrubby cloths are often made using a yarn other than Scrubby. Other yarn, such as Red Heart Super Saver, may also be used for the hanging chains or other details.

Caring for your Scrubby Projects

Scrubby yarn is made to be used in water so it is no surprise that you're going to be able to wash it easily. When your Scrubby dishcloths get dirty, you can toss them in the washing machine. Wash them on warm in a gentle cycle. Scrubby can also go in the dryer; tumble dry on low. Because it is a polyester yarn, you should not bleach or iron the items that you make using Scrubby yarn.

What about if you've just used your Scrubby cloth and aren't ready to wash it? Rinse it out thoroughly; Scrubby doesn't hang on to food particles in the kitchen any more than other cloths but it still needs to be rinsed out. This yarn holds less water than regular cotton cloths, which is great for convenient cleaning but make sure that you wring it out at the end of use!

Additional Scrubby Tips

LW5020 YARN letters

Here are some final extra tips for knitting and crocheting with Scrubby yarn:

  • Work by touch. If you're having difficulty seeing the stitches with Scrubby, feel them out with your fingers rather than relying on your eyes to see those stitches. Feel for the main strand of the yarn to work more easily with this yarn.
  • Work in good natural light. This will also make it easier to see your stitches.
  • Slow down. You will have fewer dropped stitches in knitting (and other mistakes) if you take it slowly when first getting used to working with this textured yarn. You especially want to move slowly if you have to rip out stitches; the textured bits can stick a little if you move too fast.
  • Try working into spaces instead of stitches. If you are having a lot of trouble getting the hang of Scrubby, then try a crochet pattern that allows you to work into spaces instead of stitches; the granny square is a classic example. The larger space makes it easy to see where your hook goes.
  • Accept the mistakes! This yarn doesn't show mistakes nearly as much as smoother yarns so if you miss a stitch somewhere and don't want to rip back, try to cheat it by adding a stitch.
  • Use Scrubby items on all your pots and pans. This yarn does not scratch the material and it will not scrape off non-stick surfaces, so feel free to use it for everything in your kitchen!
  • Put away your hooks and needles. Scrubby is a perfect yarn for no-tools yarn craft projects such as our Y-A-R-N Wrapped Letters pattern (shown above).
Learn more about How to Crochet with Scrubby Yarn from Marly Bird's video.

Practice with these Free Scrubby Patterns

LW5260 patriotic crochet scrubby free pattern

We offer free Scrubby patterns in both knit and crochet. In fact the above pattern for the Patriotic Star Scrubby is available in both knit and crochet versions! Both versions were designed by Rebecca J. Venton. If you love patriotic patterns, there are matching donkey and elephant crochet Scrubby patterns designed by Michele Wilcox.

Free Scrubby Knitting Patterns

LW5235 puppy scrubby knit pattern

Puppy Scrubby free knitting pattern designed by Michele Wilcox

LW4789 simple knit dishcloth

Simple Knit Dishcloth free pattern designed by Lorna Miser

LW5229 froggy scrubby knit pattern

Froggy Scrubby free knit pattern designed by Michele Wilcox

LW4507 wise owl scrubby free knitting pattern

Wise Owl Scrubby free knitting pattern designed by Michele Wilcox

LW5114 corner to corner scrubby knitting pattern

Corner-to-Corner Scrubby free knitting pattern designed by Michele Wilcox

Free Scrubby Crochet Patterns

LW5293 cupcake scrubby free crochet pattern

Cupcake Scrubby free crochet pattern designed by Marly Bird

LW5169 bunny scrubby mitts crochet pattern

Mom & Me Bunny Scrubby Mitts free crochet patterns designed by Michele Wilcox

LW5230 scalloped edge scrubby free crochet pattern

Scalloped Edge Scrubby free crochet pattern designed by Rebecca J. Venton

LW5170 bath poufs free crochet pattern

Scrubby Bath Poufs free crochet pattern designed by Michele Wilcox

LW5115 soap pocket scrubby crochet pattern

Soap Pocket Scrubby free crochet pattern designed by Michele Wilcox

You can find more Scrubby free patterns here, where you will also find a gallery of work that other people have done in Scrubby yarn! You can also search our free patterns for Scrubby patterns by going to "view by pattern brand" (in the left sidebar) and scrolling down for Scrubby to find all of the free patterns that use this yarn!

by Kathryn Vercillo

Tips on Working with Scrubby