My Life in Knots

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Crochet Towel Topper

The crochet towel topper I think I have seen my whole life. People use to give these to my mom as gifts and we always had one hanging in the kitchen, sometimes multiples hanging around.
When I had kids I started making these for several reasons.
1. I could hang them and they didn't end up on the floor each use
2. Little kids couldn't pull them off like a towel just draped over something
3. no one would bother unbuttoning it to wipe down a mess with, they are far to lazy to handle that unbuttoning
4. I had an idiot, now ex, who would use nice towels to say wipe up drippings from slicing meat then leave it on the towel and not tell anyone raw meat was wiped with this. He too was too lazy to go through the unbuttoning step so these were always pretty safe to usee to wipe damp hands on after dishes or washing.
But, I have found many people who have crocheted, even longer then I, have no idea how to make these. Many people do though so this is specifically for those people wanting to know about the wonders of the crochet towel topper.

Step 1: Start with a basic hand towel, any will do. You can do terry cloth, the butcher cloth ones, doesn't matter.

Step 2: Fold the towel exactly in half length wise and cut. I don't measure, this is crocheting not rocket science here, just fold in half, shove scissors in the fold and cut away.

Step 3: Now you have 2 towels and many choices to make.
Here you can do many different things, you can skip to step 5 if you chose to not treat the raw edge of the towel. I have done this, it looks fine but does tend to frey on the outside corners.
You can use frey check, a product found in sewing supply stores, to stop the ends from fraying then skip to step 5 and continue.
Or this is what I do

Step4: I pull out the sewing machine (or you can hem by hand) and I fold over the raw edge twice and sew a straight line to prevent freying.

this gives my towel a nice look to it and will also make a channel I can hide knots in in step 5

Step 5: Now I take a length of yarn about 1.5 times the width of my towel. I tie a knot on one end and shove it in the channel I created on the back starting in the top right hand corner. You can work with this and find the best way that works for you. I then make large stitches down the length of the towel. There is no exact science here to how many.
If you are using a particular pattern stitch then make sure you have enough stitches to support that pattern. Treat these stitches like you would chains. When you reach the end just do some loops on the back in the channel and end off like you would if hemming a piece of sewing.

I ended up with 37, pretty evenly spaced stitches across and planned to just use a DC through out so I wasn't concered with the amount of stitches. I find between 30-40 works good for me.

Step 6: Take your yarn and attach to top right hand corner of your towel by making a slip not and placing on hook, then insert in 1st stitch and make a sc. Continue sc across into the stitches until you have the same number of sc's as you had stitches. I had 37 sc here. You can also see in this picture the itty bitty ball of yarn I was using...yeppers this is a stash pattern, you can use up those little bits, I find 1-2 oz is all I need for this basic topper.

Step 7: Now I decided on a dc throughout. Why? Well dc is faster then sc and when I finish and attach my button the space between 2 dc's will actually act like a button hole without having to make a button hole. You'll just shove your button inbetween 2 stitches, so I usually try to make the narrowest part of my topper an even amount of stitches like 4 across, then I can slip the button between the 2 centered dc's and it seems balanced to reality only the analy retentive will really notice you're one space away if you end up with say 5 dc's across on the narrowest part.

Here is the completed topper. I chained 2, turned and dc in each stitch across. I had about an ounce of yarn so couldn't make a large topper on this towel so on the next few rows I decreased by 2-3 stitches on each end as I worked up. This narrowed my piece pretty rapidly. I ended up with 6 rows to get to 5 dc across. I decreased once more and had 4 dc across. I then worked 4 rows in dc upto make a length I liked. You can make yours longer or shorter, just play with it, this isn't hard.
You can then start on one corner and sc around the edge to finish off the piece if you like. I was making this quick and didn't bother, with rapid decreases the towel will fold in on itself like in the last picture above and you really don't end up seeing the edges, oh and I only had 6 inches of yarn left so couldn't do a sc around the edge.
Now add a button and hang, that simple!


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Progress Bar

So I felt some what compelled to explain my progress bars to the right, and, well I can use them to tourment someone further (in fun ofcourse).
I have a friend who is adopting her 4th baby, with one bio child and this she will have 5 children. She once told me how no one every thought of a baby shower if someone adopts a child, so I made a promise the next time she adopted a baby I would give her a shower via USPS since we live on opposite sides of the country.
Well I recently purchased a few new books and fell in love with some of the patterns, as well, I had so many WIM's for baby to toddler items but a lack of baby's and toddlers to make them for. So, and she knows, I am making all of her kids slippers, but, I am also making each a special cozy something respectivly named thingy 1 thru thingy 4 and baby thingy. I can not disclose pictures, patterns or names until she''s recieved the packadge. One of the fun things about being a parent is you are excited and suprised when your babies get gifts so I refuse to tell her what the thingies are, but, enjoy telling her when I'm working on them hehehehe