Since I’ve had someone ask me about how I make one of these towels I thought that I would post a tutorial on making one. This has got to be one of the easier crafts to make but it does require that you know how to crochet. They can be made with fabric but I like the crocheted ones better.
I’ve decided the easiest way to write this up is to post pictures of each step along the way. Depending on how fast you crochet, a towel will take about 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours to create.
The first step is to take a kitchen towel and divide it in half. Then either serge or zig-zag along the cut edges to re-enforce the edge.
The type of yarn I use is cotton 4-ply yarn. You could use normal acrylic yarn but I think the cotton washes up well.
I take the yarn, make a loop around a metal crochet hook (I use the largest of these small hooks) and then crochet into the corner of my towel with a single crochet stitch. I use a smaller metal crochet hook because the head of the hook is tiny enough to go through the towel easily. I just use this hook for my first foundation row of the towel. I then switch over to a regular size 4 or 4.5 hook for the rest of the rows.
Notice the serged edge of the towel. I insert my hook just before this serging so the stitch has no chance of working loose as it might if I hadn’t re-enforced the edge.
Showing the back of the starting point of the foundation row – catching the loose tail of yarn with the single crochet stitches. You could weave the loose starting tail of yarn in after you’re done the towel but it saves effort to just tuck it in behind and crochet over it as you go.
Space the single crochets about 3/8 inch apart. The idea is to have them close enough so the towel doesn’t really show through but far enough apart that they are not crammed in there.
Finished foundation row of single crochet with the stitches nicely spaced so the towel lays flat.
The first row is a row of single crochet into each previous stitch of the foundation row. Now having said that you can crochet any type of stitch you want but this is how I do it so…
The next row is a solid row of double crochet.
Now the next row you’ll want to start reducing the stitches so start the row off with two double crochets then skip a stitch, double crochet, skip a stitch, double crochet, etc…until you reach the last two (or three) stitches at the end of the row, double crochet the last two stitches.
The reason for starting and ending the row with two double crochet stitches is that it helps to re-enforce the ends. I have had towels that through time have had the cotton break at the ends of the rows so placing two stitches side by side helps to prevent this from occuring. Don’t worry if the stitch count doesn’t work out right at the end of the row. Sometimes you have to do three stitches it just depends on how many stitches you started out with.
Keep repeating these three rows – single crochet, double crochet, double crochet with skipped stitches – until you get down to six or seven stitches. Don’t ask me why but I find my towels always end up at six or seven stitches before I go into the tab. I prefer to have six stitches for working the tab so I just skip a stitch on the next row if I happen to end up at seven.
This is a matter of personal preference on my part having the six stitches. It will depend on the thickness of the yarn you use to crochet your towel with. I have a friend who uses the delicate cotton thread – the kind you use with the metal hooks so of course the stitch counts will all be off if you use this kind of yarn but you get the basic idea of making one of these towels anyhow.
For the crocheted tab I just repeat a double crochet row over and over. You can use whatever stitch you like to get the job done. As far as length is concerned I just eyeball it. You want the tab long enough to wrap around your oven handle (or refridgerator) but not so long that it’s too low to reach when drying your hands.
To create the button hole just skip a few stitches. The number of stitches you skip will depend on the size of the button you want to use. Just pick up the skipped stitches on the next row to close off the hole.
For example, I try to give a somewhat rounded edge to the end of my tab so when I make the buttonhole I start the row with a single crochet, then a half-double crochet, chain two (the hole), do a half-double crochet, then end with a single crochet.
For the next row I’ll work a single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet, double crochet, half-double crochet, and a single crochet to end off the row.
For the final row I repeat the previous row. It doesn’t look the greatest but it’s a bit better than a flat ending. I then cut the yarn leaving a long enough tail so I can hide it by weaving it through the crocheted stitches.
I generally sew the button at the base of the tab. If the towel is for yourself you can take it to the oven and postion the button however best fits the handle.
That’s basically it. I don’t angst over anything, it’s a very basic peice of work that you can adjust however you like. I consider my towels the bare-bones versions. If you’re really into crochet I’m sure you could come up with all sorts of patterns to work into the crocheted base. I like to give these towels away at Christmas to people who aren’t expecting a little gift – mostly the seniors at my church, it brightens their day to have them know someone cares about them.
It’s my turn to pass-it-forward so I’ve decided to have a draw for one of these towels. If you’d like to be entered into the draw then please leave a comment and I’ll put your name into the draw. I’ll pull the winner’s name next week sometime.