Scrubby art is where creativity and function come together. Although I usually crochet or knit projects that can be worn, lately I have been playing with the textured polyester yarn produced by Red Heart to create scrub pads for cleaning dishes and nonstick cookware. The textured pieces are mildly abrasive so that they can scrub off food particles without damaging the surface. Red Heart also claims that knitted pieces can be used as face cloths for exfoliating your skin.
At a recent gathering of family and friends I spread these jewel-like circles out on the table and directed the guests to select one of their choice. Each person chose his or her favorite, but few had a clue as to how he or she would use these colorful pads. When I told them about how useful they could be, most wanted more than one. While textured pads are readily available at the supermarket and other retail establishments, these pads were much more fun. For those who need to separate cleaning pads for different purposes, color coding comes in handy.
This textured yarn comes in many solid colors, coordinated varied combinations, and even sparkled yarn. In my first batch, I worked with mango, lime, and citrus. By using 3 skeins, I was able to come up with several different combinations. Since then I have worked with red, blue, white, and a patriotic combo. There are so many colors to try and so many designs to create. The swirly patterns and the concentric circles are easy to execute.
Since Scrubby Yarn is a worsted weight, #4, Red Heart recommends using an I (5.5 mm) hook so that you can see the stitches more easily. However, I prefer the H (5.0 mm) hook to produce a denser pad. Still, if I were to make a cloth for cleaning my hands, feet, or face I would use the I (5.5 mm) for a lighter cloth. Whichever hook you prefer, crochet more loosely than you would usually so that you can see where to place the hook when you crochet your stitches.
To crochet a circular pad, follow the procedure to make the crown of a child’s hat. End off when you reach a diameter of 3.5 to 4 inches. Weave in or tie off and cut the ends. The texture will hide the ends from sight. Starting with three rows from the circle, you could also make a heart or a 5 petal flower.
While you will always rinse out the pads after each use, you will ultimately need a more thorough cleaning. Red Heart recommends washing the pads in the washing machine and drying on low. I have also stuck a scrubby on one of the projections on the upper shelf of my dishwasher and was satisfied with the result. My only concern would be that the temperature did not get too hot.
By combining the colors in a set of three coordinating scrubbies and perhaps one cotton yarn, you can end up with an attractive set. I crocheted a small cotton pouch out of a varigated yarn that could be used to hold soaps or small bottles of lotion or cream Together, they made an appealing spa set. Tie a piece of twine or a double strand of yarn and you have a house gift when you go to dinner when you go to dinner. Yesterday I found a set of attractive mesh bags at the Dollar Store. Add a gift tag and you are ready to go. I would imagine that you could also use them as a party favor that matched your color scheme. These versatile materials enable the crafter to come up with many products for the kitchen and bath.
Keep on experimenting. Please share your results. Is there a scrubby in your crocheting or knitting future?