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Ruggles Thick ‘n Ribby Oversized Washcloth

Free knitting pattern for a wash cloth

Stitch detail

Note from Sarah: This image shows a detail of the stitch used. This cloth knits up quickly and has the texture of those expensive bath mittens that are sold at specialty shops.

Here’s another (ridiculously simple <g>) version of the Turkish bath washcloth.

This is a thick cloth with two very different surfaces … both attractive,
in my opinion … and will soak up a lot of soap lather. It’s a
softer alternative to the Ruggles Not-Quite Authentic Turkish Bath Scrub Cloth, ergo less exfoliating but gentler.

[Note: If you use 100% cotton yarn, and it’s not pre-shrunk, make a larger version to allow for the post-washing shrinkage…or this could become a trivet <g>. Linen or hemp yarns would also work well, just allow for shrinkage, etc.]


Cotton or cotton-blend yarn in worsted-weight (or sport-weight used double)
Size US 9-11 needles, depending on personal knitting gauge

Finished Size

11-12″ square


2-row repeat with approx. 1″ – 1 1/4″ border of garter stitch


Cast on 44 stitches and knit for 5 or 6 rows, forming border of garter stitch. Then switch to pattern as follows:

Row 1: K4, *[K1, P1] repeat from * to within 4 stitches of end of row, K4.

Row 2: Knit all.

Repeat these 2 rows until the cloth is approx. 1 1/4″ so less than square, then knit 5 or 6 rows and bind off.

Using the same yarn, braid, crochet or I-cord a 2″ length and attach to corner of cloth for hanging loop.

Variation: Scrubby Soap Sack
Follow the instructions but make a rectangle about 5″ wide instead of a square, fold in half width-wise and stitch up the 2 side seams. Weave some yarn through the unstitched end to make a drawstring and add loop as above. Put a bar of soap inside the envelope, tie it closed with slip-bow and use as a loofa.

Another idea (better, I think) is to make a cord long enough to fit over the hand as a wrist loop for the soap sack, making it easier to use in the shower, which kids love!

This pattern is Copyright © Catherine Wingate 1999, all rights reserved. Image Copyright © Sarah Bradberry 1999