Friday, February 26, 2016


My friend Lynn from California asked me to teach her to crochet. We were retiring from the same middle school.  I think she wanted to be able to do some things she never had time to do when she was a counselor. I taught her the basic stitches and then how to crochet a "hanger" for towels to use for drying your hands. That was 10 years ago. The last time I heard from Lynn she wrote that she was still making the towels.

I thought I would show you how easy they are to make. I hope you will be comfortable enough with the process that you will learn to experiment on your own. You can't make them wrong. While the start is always the same, the rest is rarely the same when I make them.

You start by cutting a kitchen towel in half. I usually buy the towels that have a design that fits half of the towel, but you don't have to restrict yourself to this kind of towel. If you do though, you will be able to make 2 hanging towels from the one towel. You probably will not want to use a towel in which the design/picture would be upside down. I have used solid towels that turned out really pretty. I usually use a variegated yarn then for sure.

After you cut the towel in half, I stitch about 1/4 of an inch from the raw edge. (You don't have to do this if you don't have a sewing machine. You will just have to make sure when you "punch" the hole in the towel to "cast on" the stitches, you are a good distance from the raw edge. I have also seen people fold the towel under slightly on the raw edge and cast over this folded edge.)

I usually use a knitting needle to punch the hole. I have used the crochet needle, but this is hard to do if you are using a good quality towel. I see directions that tell you to cast on a number of stitches. I don't worry with this. I just keep about the same distance between each hole. 

Once you punch the hole below the 1/4 inch stitch you sewed with a machine, insert the crochet needle in the hole from the front and catch the yarn in the back. Bring it through the hole pulling the loop up even with the top.

Then I wrap the yarn around the needle and pull it through to make a stitch. This is a single crochet (sc) stitch.

Finished across the top of the towel. Count the number of sc stitches that you cast on.

Usually for the first row, I double crochet across the towel. Remember to chain three before you turn the work to crochet across. This chain 3 (ch 3) counts as the first double crochet (dc) for the next row (always). That means that you don't work in the first stitch of the row. You will skip over and insert the needle in the second stitch to "make" the first dc on this row. By making a dc in the last stitch, you will have the same number of dc stitches on this row as when you cast on.

Important to remember - You can use any pattern you want to work down from the number of stitches you cast on to between 8 and 11 stitches for the "handle" part. You will reduce the number down by skipping stitches on the previous row as you work across with dc stitches. You can take as many rows as you like to accomplish this. That is where the fun is (for me). I love to experiment with different looks. Sometimes I will have "skipping rows" after each other and sometimes I will put a "solid row" between them. A solid row just means that you dc in every stitch and the number of stitches will remain the same. Sometimes I will dc a # of stitches (2 or 3) and then skip the next stitch and then repeat. It often depends on the total # of stitches I have worked down to (might want to do a little math to see what combination will work with the number of stitches you will be working with). If you get to the end of the row and you still have one more stitch you need to do but you have finished the "pattern" you were using on that row, just do another dc in the last stitch. You want to make sure you end each row in the last stitch (that ch 3). Once the towel is hanging, you won't notice it.

Here is one pattern you could use.

In my example, I ended up casting on 81 stitches.

Row 1  - Cast on 81 stitches, ch3 turn

Row 2  - dc across same 81 stitches, ch 3 turn

Row 3  - *3 dc skip 1* repeat across , dc the last 4 stitches, ch 3 turn (61 dc)

Row 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 - Repeat Row 3, until you are down to 8 - 11 stitches (11 dc )

Row 11  - dc, sk 1, 2 d, sk 2, 2 dc, sk 1, 2 dc (8 dc), ch 3, turn

Row 12 - dc across, ch 3, turn (8 dc) 

Continue this until you have the long enough to go double back over to hang. (Usually about 11 times.)

To make the button hole. dc a few stitches (3 in my example), chain 2, dc the last 3 stitches (8 stitches)

Last row  - dc across. Cut yarn leaving a couple of inches to weave through the finished work and then cut off excess.

Finished towel....

Hanging on the door of my oven....

It is the one on the right. The one on the left I obviously used a different pattern.

This is the one on the left. For the fourth row, I repeated the pattern of a *sk 1 dc*, across. Then went back to the *sk1 3 or 4 dc* and then came back with the *sk 1 dc* pattern. Like I said you can make any pattern you want.

This is another towel I made. This time when I started a "reducing row" I did the *sk 1 dc* across. The next row I dc across to have the same number of stitches I had had in the previous row.

In this one I  *DC, sk 1* across for 2 rows and then DC across.

I didn't mention it, but you probably know from the pictures. After you are finished just sew a button on the "hanger" on about the second row once you start it.

When the towel has worn out, just remove the button and use it on another towel. I like to do seasonal towels to have hanging in my kitchen. 

I hope you will give this a try. Let me know how it turns out. You may have discovered a new hobby to pass the time. You can easily complete one in an evening while watching television. You can keep it for yourself or give them to your friends as Lynn does.


  1. I am going to try this,thanks!

    1. Good luck Phyllis. Just go with it. It is a very "forgiving" project as it hangs in your kitchen. Thanks for commenting.