Tuesday, September 23, 2008

knit Gridded Towel pattern

Note:  This pattern was made available as a pdf download through Ravelry in May of 2017.  I have added the link to the pattern pdf below but temporarily retained the casual pattern instructions here.

I've finished the second Gridded Towel, using Pakucho cotton in Vicuna (beige) as the main color with a variegated kitchen cotton (Peaches & Creme, potpourri) as the contrasting color. I'll explain how I did it so you can make your own.

This is a very simple towel pattern that requires at a minimum two colors of yarn. I use primarily kitchen-grade cotton yarn, such as Peaches & Creme, Sugar 'n Cream, or Pakucho cotton. You'll need 2 balls of about 85 yards each for the main color and almost two balls of the contrast color. You can mix different brands of yarn as long as they are the same weight. These yarns all knit to about 20 stitches/4" in stockinette. I use a size 7 needle. I prefer either Bryspun, Balene, or wooden needles--anything that is more flexible than metal will be easier on your hands.

Cast on 87 stitches. This will produce a towel about 16" wide if your gauge is similar. It will shrink with use, especially if you machine wash and tumble dry your towel as I do, and will soon be only 15" wide.


Click here to view and download this pattern in Ravelry.com or use the link below for an immediate download.


download Gridded Towel Pattern

The original pattern instructions:

Using a long-tail cast-on and the main color, knit three rows so that the beginning has two garter ridges. You're going to alternate garter and stockinette, changing colors every two rows so that you have three stockinette panels for the border. Here it is in pattern speak:

A=main color
B=contrast color

Border Pattern:

Rows 1-3: knit all stitches with A

Row 4: knit all stitches with B

Row 5: purl all stitches with B

Rows 6-7: knit all stitches with A

Repeat Rows 4-7 twice more. Begin gridded stitch, maintaining 10 stitches on either side in the border pattern.


Gridded Stitch:

Row 1: *slip 1, knit 2*, repeat to border, ending with slip 1, using B

Row 2: *slip 1, purl 2*, repeat to border, ending with slip 1, using B

Row 3 & 4: knit all stitches with A


Confused? Here it is, the same pattern, less speak, more numbers:


Gridded Stitch:

Row 1: With B, k10, *sl1, k2* 22 times, sl1, k10.

Row 2: p10, *sl1, p2* 22 times, sl1, p10.

Row 3 & 4: With A, k across.

Knit the center section until the towel is about 20 inches long, then work the border pattern again for three stockinette panels, ending with three rows of knit stitches in A and binding off on the wrong side so that it looks like the beginning border. This will give you a towel about 22" long. (Mine took 38 gridded stockinette panels, plus the 3 beginning stockinette panels and the 3 ending ones to reach 22".)

That's all you need to do to have a simple and effective, soft and nubbly kitchen towel for hand-drying, plate-wiping or waving around. (Ever have a smoky kitchen because you burned the toast? Just wave a damp towel around to dispel the smoke quickly.) This towel does the trick, and it looks good as well. It even looks ok on the back side.


For variation, try substituting any slip-stitch pattern in the middle section, as long as you can change colors every two rows. If you want a less colorful towel, use a solid color yarn for the contrast color, or change the contrast colors in a repeating pattern, as I did in the first version.


For the first towel, I changed colors in the stockinette panels as follows:


4 white panels

5 cream panels

6 yellow panels

7 caramel panels

6 white panels

5 cream panels

4 yellow panels

3 caramel panels

4 white panels


Using this sequence of colors will guarantee that you end with three stockinette panels for the border and the ends of your towel will match. It also gives you the 38 gridded panels you need to produce a 22" long towel.

Done! Yay! Wave your towel around to clear the air as you imagine more variations.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First gridded towel

Our Labor Day weekend trip across Independence Pass to Aspen was blessed by perfect weather. We stopped briefly at Twin Lakes, just west of Granite on Hwy 82. This was our first drive across the pass this summer. We thought we'd better fit one in before the pass closes with the first snows of the fall.
Of course, I fit in a trip to The Yarn Gallery, which was having a bit of a sale. I indulged in Blue Sky Alpacas yarn, both alpaca (just a couple of hanks that were on sale) and cotton (more on that in a bit). The lady there treated me to a demonstration of an excellent ball winder by Nancy's Knit Knacks. I had seen it on line, but now that I've seen it in operation, I want one.

My gridded kitchen towel is complete, with a satisfying stripe sequence that begins with the lightest color, progresses with ever wider bands of darkening colors, then reverses the sequence and ends with the lightest color. This project did make the trip to Aspen, when it was finished and the ends were woven in. You see it here resting appropriately on a rack of clean dishes, as well as overturned to show its vunerable underbelly. I'll cut those ends off after I wash and block it. The back looks nice enough, and is much softer than the nubbly front.


With this off my needles, I finally started the yoke for my Sideways Cardigan. I hope to have both it and the shawl finished soon.
Once it is done, I'll cast on another gridded towel, and plan out more. I've gotten a request for kitchen towels and hand towels for Christmas gifts. That's what prompted my visit to The Yarn Gallery. I knew the shop had Blue Sky cotton and thought their soft cotton in gorgeous colors would make more luxurious towels, more appropriate for guests. You'll be seeing them sometime between now and December.

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