Broken Rib Washcloth Knitting Pattern

Sweet Simplicity With a Great Yarn

Broken rib washcloth

The Spruce / Sarah White

The broken rib is a very easy knitting stitch pattern that only involves two repeating rows—and one of them is a knit row. This simple washcloth or dishcloth pattern is very quick to knit and suitable for beginners or anyone who likes quick projects.

Materials You'll Need

  • One 2.5 ounce skein of 100 percent cotton yarn (Lily Sugar 'n Cream is an excellent choice)
  • Size 7 US knitting needles
  • Scissors
  • Crochet hook or yarn/tapestry needle

Gauge and Size

  • Gauge: 20 stitches and 27 rows per four inches in the pattern. The gauge is not critical, but you do want to be close because a loosely knit cloth is not as user-friendly as one with a tighter weave.
  • Size: The finished size is 12 1/4 inches wide and 11 inches long.


The broken rib is a classic stitch pattern that you will want to keep in your library for uses beyond this washcloth. The two-row repeat can be incorporated into a chunky scarf or mixed with other patterns for a sampler afghan, a quick and comfy pillow, or any other project you want to create. It works with a variety of yarn as well, just use the recommended needles for the yarn's standard gauge.

  1. Cast on 61 stitches.
  2. Row 1: Knit across. This is the right, or front, side.
  3. Row 2: Knit one (purl one, knit one) across.
  4. Continue these two rows for pattern until you are almost out of yarn.
  5. Bind off.
  6. Trim any excess yarn and weave in the ends.

Watch Now: How to Bind Off

Lily Sugar 'n Cream Is the Perfect Dishcloth Yarn

Lily Sugar 'n Cream is a classic 100 percent cotton yarn that is often used for projects like washcloths and dishtowels. It is one of the best choices for a number of reasons.

This yarn is a thin weight and it makes very clean patterns. It works well with a variety of stitches like those that we see in fun dishcloths and it's easy to twist, turn, and weave in knit stitches. Sugar 'n Cream is also soft but it has some scrubbing power when knit on the right size needle (US 7 is about perfect).

At the same time, the yarn is very durable and absorbent. It will stand up to most dishes (not baked-on grease or other scratch pad-worthy messes) or regular use in the bath for quite a long time. Rarely does it create snags or messy pills that need to be removed and it can be used to wash or dry.

This yarn has strength, versatility, and it's available in a great variety of fun colors, but the best part is the price. A single ball will create a normal-sized cloth (like this pattern) and it often costs just a couple of dollars. It is also available in many national craft stores and goes on sale frequently.

You really cannot beat this yarn when it comes to making kitchen and bath cloths.


To care for your finished washcloth, machine or hand wash in cold water. You might want to wash it with like colors the first time, as some colors may run.

  • Machine dry on low or allow to air dry.
  • Reshape if necessary by gently pulling on the work and laying it flat to dry.
  • Do not bleach.