On our last date night, Drew and I walked around the “downtown” of the town we’re moving to this fall, you know, to get a feel for our neighborhood. We found this little doodads store that had a bunch of, well, doodads, and all sorts of vintage-y, charming things. I’m sure you know the type of store I mean. The kind you can just wander around in forever, wishing your house (and your wallet) was bigger so you can avail yourself of all the wonderful decor goodies and pretend your home was a magazine model. Anyways, I found the inspiration for my fish scrubbie washcloths there. I made up two designs: this is the shell-stitch one, and you can find the striped fella here.
I call them scrubbies, but they can be washcloths or sponges or whatever. I think they’re great for a summer housewarming gift, don’t you? Oh, and they work up pretty quickly. The first one was a doozie to figure out, but the second one took about an hour.
If you’d like to print this pattern, you can purchase an inexpensive, ad-free and comment-free printable PDF on Etsy. The PDF includes the full pattern and step-by-step photos. The file will be available for download immediately after payment. Thank you for helping me continue to provide these fun free patterns!
H (5 mm) hook
3 colors Yarnspirations Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn (extra scrap for eyes)
sc – single crochet
hdc – half double crochet
dc – double crochet
ch – chain stitch
hdc2tog – half double crochet 2 stitches together (decreasing stitch)
sc2tog – single crochet 2 stitches together (decreasing stitch)
You can find help for basic stitches in my crochet tutorials section!
Round 1. ch 10. Slip stitch in first ch.
Round 2. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in each of next 4 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch] 2 times. Join to 1st stitch. (12)
Round 3. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in next stitch, 2 sc in next stitch] 6 times. Join to 1st stitch. (18)
Round 4. Ch 2. Work 1 dc in each stitch around. Join to 1st dc. (18)
Change to color B using the perfect stripes method.
Round 5. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in each of next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch] 6 times. Join to 1st stitch. (24)
Round 6. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in each of next 3 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch] 6 times. Join to 1st stitch. (30)
Round 7. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in each of next 4 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch] 6 times. Join to 1st stitch. (36)
Fasten off using the invisible join.
Change to color C.
Round 8. In the 2nd to last stitch of the previous row, work 1 standing sc. *Skip 1 stitch, then work 3 dc in next stitch. Skip 1 stitch, then work 1 sc in next stitch.* Repeat from * 8 times. Skip 1 stitch, then work 3 dc in next stitch. Join to 1st sc and switch to the alternate stripe color using the perfect stripes method.
Round 9. Ch 2 in same stitch as the color change. Work 2 dc in same stitch. *Skip 1 stitch, work 1 sc in next stitch. (This should be the middle dc from the previous round). Skip 1 stitch, work 3 dc in next stitch. (This should be the sc from the previous round).* Repeat from * 8 times. Skip 1 stitch, 1 sc in next stitch. Skip 1 stitch, work 1 dc into the same stitch that you worked the first 2 dc of this round. Join to 1st dc.
Round 10. Repeat Round 8, except instead of using a standing stitch, switch colors using the perfect stripes method, ch 1, then work 1 sc into the same stitch. This becomes your “standing sc”. Then follow the instructions from Round 8.
Round 11. Repeat Round 9.
Round 12-13. Repeat Round 10 and 11.
Round 14-15. Repeat Round 10 and 11.
Round 16. Repeat Round 10.
Round 17. Change colors as before. Ch 2. Work [1 hdc in same stitch, 1 hdc in next stitch, 1 hdc2tog in next stitch] 9 times. Join to 1st stitch. (27)
Round 18. Ch 1. Work [1 sc in next stitch, 1 sc2tog in next stitch] 9 times. Join to 1st stitch. (18)
Before you move on to the next step, flip the fish inside out and make sure your loose ends of knotted, fastened off and woven in. This is where you can cut the first shell color and weave it in.
Round 19. Flatten the round into 2 sides. Ch 1. Work 1 sc in each stitch across, inserting your hook through 4 loops for each stitch. (8)
Fasten off and weave in ends.
Row 20. With the tail color, work 1 standing sc in 3rd stitch from the edge, work 1 sc in each of next 3 stitches. Ch 1. (4)
Row 21. Turn. Work 2 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in each of next 2 stitches, 2 sc in last stitch. Ch 2. (6)
Row 22. Turn. Work 1 dc in first stitch, 1 sc in each of next 4 stitches, 2 dc in last stitch. Ch 2. (8)
Row 23. Turn. Work 2 dc in first stitch, 1 sc in each of next 5 stitches, 2 dc in last stitch. Ch 2. Fasten the ch 2 at the base of the row.
The final touch is to add eyes to the fish using a bit of scrap yarn in whatever color you want. I used an embroidery needle and sewed the eyes on, going through both layers of the fish.
For scale (pun intended), each of these washcloths/scrubbies are about the size of my palm, maybe 6 or 7 inches long.
You might also like some of my other free patterns:
Wow. This is perfect. 🙂 I am in love with these fishies. 😉 Thank you so much for the pattern.
Those are sooooo C.U.T.E Thank you.
These are absolutely adorable, love them! What a cute idea for summer. I have a ton of leftover cotton, I think it has finally found its purpose!
So cute! Thanks for sharing the pattern!
Well, these are just ridiculously cute. I love them!
What I’m looking for is how to join the shell stitch and go on to the next row if you don’t change colors. you use the same color. I made a shell st with 5 DC and then a sl st to the middle DC of the next shell. I started with the shell and ended with the sl st. then I sl st to the first DC of the first shell. doing it that way, it leaves a line all the way from the back of the dress to the front of the dress where I join.
I don’t want to do the invisible joining because I don’t want to “cut the yarn” maybe I should start out with a Sc instead of a shell? or maybe when I join, I should sl st to the middle of the first shell and work a Sc instead of a sl st? really would like to figure out how to eliminate the joining line
You can try the perfect stripe method I linked to in the post. Not changing colors should be much easier, just continue as the directions specified but using the same length of yarn.
ChiWei, oh my goodness, these are so cute! My son loves to fish, so I may use these are decoration in his room…… Thanks for sharing. Love ya’
These are just absolutely the best scrubbie I have seen! I really love the use of your colors. You have a great talent in making and designs patterns. Thank you for sharing your gift with us all. Absolutely beautiful!
Oh I love these! I really like the non shell stitch fish! Will you eventually be sharing that pattern as well? Would go lovely with my little fisherman hat! 🙂
YOU are amazing! I love the fish scribes! I will be making some for the 4th of July weekend!. Thank you soooooo much for sharing your wonderful patterns!
would really like it I think they would make nice gifts
Chiwei, these fish are so cute! Thanks for the free pattern and wonderful tutorial!
Yes, it’s all written down, I just have to actually type it up one of these days. Stay tuned!
Thank you so much Roxie!
Where can I find printable instructions? What s great ides for a baby shower giftl!
Printable pattern for scrub able fish
They look really fun, well done!
Btw, you could make the scales look even more ‘scale-y’ by working the shell stitches in the back loops only. I just created a small bag using that method and it looks very different!
I love this pattern, Thank You, I can’t wait to start, beautiful pattern! THANKS AGAIN!
Love this fish scrubby! Can I use the Red Heart “scrubby” yarn instead of cotton just for the fish body?
i do not have time to even attempt to make these. Do you sell these?
These are darling and I love the stitch! Do you happen to have this stitch in a cap pattern? I crochet caps for cancer patients and this would be perfect for a cap!
So cute! I love them!
Have you ever done videos on utube? I would love to make these but I struggle if I can’t watch a video.
Love the fish pattern for scrub bites. So cute to put one or two in the children’s Christmas stocking!
Would really be extra cute if you could put your hand inside. Perhaps to tail fins!,,,let me know what you think!
Thank you for sharing. These are beautiful!
I tried your fish pattern. I even modified it a little and added one more row of decrease before I flattenen the fish. This way I can continue right into the tail directions with 1 more stitch. I even made my fish using 2 colors and stripes so they would look something like a clown fish. My co-workes thought they were great and they ordered several for their kids or other family members as gifts. I was able to comeplete one fish in about 1 1/2 hours time.
Oh yay….. That’s awesome! You’re the best! ❤
I haven’t tried these yet, but I wonder if you crochet two of them adjusting the size then stitch the two together from head to fin across the top. Maybe putting a finishing sc edge around the bottom of the fish where the opening is for the head. This would be fun to make into a hat with softer yarn for babies!
Make two of them and stitch or sc together from second to the last stripe up around head and back again. You would have to try your hand in it to see where to start for sure. Good idea!
I love these…I think I will make some and use as a neighbor gift for Christmas with a bottle of dish soap. Thank you for being so creative and sharing!
Just another thought – you could also attach it to a bottle of bath bubbles for kids.
These look amazing!!! I am taking the pattern with me at the beach! They are going to be part of my beach crafts this year, yeah!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!
My skill is probably a level 1 or 2. Haven’t crocheted for years. Where do I start? These would make great gifts. I love them!!!
Your crochet fish scrubbies are just what I’m looking for, a great bridal shower “wishing well” gift
Just saw your cute pattern for crochet fish scrubbies, gonna try it, but also thought about trying to make the belly open, with a closer of a button and loop, and make a “booboo” pouch, for little children with a need for cold compress. Just add a snack size plastic bag with a few ice cubes, and little kids would love a little fishy to make their owie better. Thanks again for the inspiration.
Thank you , for the free pattern, I made it and it is so cute and adorable. It’s too cute to be used for washcloth.
I love it, I will make a few More for gifts . Thank you so much
Thank you so much for such a cute creation. Just finished making one. Your pattern is perfect and very easy to follow. Will be making several of these for the Holiday Season, both for gifts and to offer for sale. Again, Thank you so much.
Booboo pouches is a great idea! Have fun!
I’ve made 3 of these and will make more. I need 7 or so as I plan of putting money in the
mouth for the grands at Christmas. 🙂 I would really like to try the other pattern though.
Do you know if/when you might post it?
Oh, and thank you for the pattern. 🙂
Thank you so much for the pattern – I’m making them look like the fish in my niece’s favorite book! Do you have any idea when you might be posting the pattern for the striped fish? She would love a few done like that as well. Again, thank you so much for sharing your talent with us. Your patterns are so creative and so much fun to work!
Wouldn’t stitching 2 of them together make it entirely too thick? I think they would take
too long to dry and make them much easier to get stinky.
I made a fish with Red Heart Scrubby yarn.
So cute!! Thank you for the pattern.
These are so blasted cute! I’m making them for my 3 little grand daughters and really looking forward to adding your Stripey Fish pattern if/when available. Thank you for being so generous with the pattern.
It would be nice if there was a printable button for those of us who cannot afford to print all 25 pages of this pattern, including comments. This is a wonderful design and you are very generous to share it with us. I don’t mean to sound rude but it is picture heavy and even condensing with the reader program still only saved me 4 pages. And I still got the header and footer of your webpage. Please consider a print friendly button or pdf converter.
Thanks for your feedback Wendy, but I have no plans to change how I offer my free patterns. As you can guess, providing all those photos require a lot of work, and my readers appreciate the extra details. I went to print this particular pattern and was able to choose to print only pages 3-8 to capture the pattern itself, along with a few photos and no comments, header or footer, which amounts to 6 pages total.
Thank you for a wonderful pattern, my friends have just got their own place and I think these will make a lovely housewarming gift!
Have you published the other fish pattern yet. I love the shell fish pattern. I have made twenty of them for Christmas Presents. So Cute
These are so pretty they could make awesome wall art for my grandson.
Hermosos,muy encantadores. Gracias. Saludos desde México
How do I get a BRIEF but complete pattern for the fish scrubbies? I don’t want to print out several pages and the comments in order to get just the pattern! Love you creative ideas however, so please help.
I would like to teach this pattern to the widows in Malawi Africa next summer, but would like to add netting fabric to add the scrub fabric for them to scrub pots and still be durable. any suggestions how to?
Could you please explain what a standing sc is
Thank you for this pattern I teach 2year olds and during the summer we have a ocean theme I am gonna have my room full of these beauties thank you again
I love this pattern but, I am having so much trouble with it. DO you think you could make a video for it?
Very cute! Thank you for sharing.
In the past year I’ve taken up felting, and I used your wonderful pattern to create a 3-D felted fish Christmas ornament. They are amazingly cute, wish I could share a picture with you. Thank you for your inspiration; I love your work!
So cute!!! love it!
O yes , these are “Just My Cup of Tea”! They are just PERFECT for a Christmas gift I need . Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for your kindness.
I think it would be really cute for a kid’s bath time scrubby if you put a bar of soap inside before closing it up.
Thank you sooo much for sharing. Directions are spot on with clear precision. Enjoyed making these for my grandsons easter basket.
Do you know what shade of blue you used in the fish scrubbies? Trying to order but none of the colors seem to look anything like the blue you have used? Thank you if you or anyone else has any suggestions!!!
I don’t understand why I am having so much trouble with this pattern. I am not a beginner with crocheting. 1st row is easy peasy. 2nd row I am not getting right. I wish there was a video on how to crochet these. They are SO ADORABLE! Is anyone else having trouble with this pattern? ChiWei, is there more help somewhere on this pattern?
Hi Denise, I’m so sorry, but I do not have a video on this, as it’s a very old pattern. Can you elaborate on what you’re having issues with? The 2nd round is 4 sc, inc, 4 sc inc, and then joined in the round.