First things first. I don’t want to offend anyone, but DO NOT go to the Dollar Store or similar place to buy their chintzy hand towels. Go to a store that sells nicer towels and buy what’s on sale to fit your budget. Look for those sales all year long if needed.
Next, DO NOT cut those towels in half like all the patterns tell you to. To me, the ‘half towel’ looks and feels cheap. Use a hand towel, dish towel, or even a finger tip towel (perfect for the guest bathroom) – but use the whole thing. Isn’t the recipient worth a single towel? If not, don’t bother to make them one.
Open the towel on the table with the side you designate as ‘front’ facing the table. Then fold the towel into half, pulling both long edges to the center so you have what resembles a cylinder with the selvedges facing you.
Measure your yarn to approximately 3 times the width of your fold and cut a length of yarn. Be generous. Using a larger eyed (but not tapestry needle as it’s too blunt), thread the needle. No need for a knot. Pierce from below near one inside edge of the fold. Pull the yarn upward, leaving a 4 inch tail. Move your needle around the outer edge of that fold and pierce the same hole. Pull the yarn thru.
Continue across the fold with a blanket stitch evenly spaced across the fold. At the far end of the fold, repeat the over and thru with your yarn and needle again to secure the back end. Leave a 4 inch tail and cut off.
You’re now ready to crochet your towel topper. I use a G hook with worsted weight acrylic yarn. Working across the top of your towel, single crochet across the top. I usually put one sc into the tiny beginning loop of the blanket stitch and two sc’s in the remaining loops, with a single sc in the last tiny loop. Then, I chain 2 and work a row of half double crochets (hdc) across the row of sc. I favor hdc’s because, for me, they go quickly and create a nice firm edge of decreases.
Most of my towel toppers are designed like this. A number of rows of hdc’s across the top – maybe 6 to 8 rows – then begin decreasing to the width I want the button loop to be – from 1-2 inches across. I continue to work hdc decreases like this:
At the beginning of each row:
ch 2, yarn over, insert hook into second st from ch, pull yarn thru and insert hook into the next stitch, yarn over, work off two loops, yarn over, work thru three loops on hook.
At the end of each row:
hdc across to within 3 stitches of the end. repeat the decrease described above with the last stitch being the loops of the decrease from the previous row (or the top of the turning chain – either works fine so long as you’re consistent).
With this decrease method, I find I do not need to crochet a row of sc or crab stitch around the edge of the towel topper for stability. This decrease method with hdc’s is very sturdy.
I then either make a button hole or, more typically, just work a row of dc’s where I want the button to fit thru. The height of a double crochet is perfect for a variety of button sizes and works well for this application. If you use this method, be sure you have an EVEN number of stitches so your button will be centered in the finished project.
This one is not in the Victorian colors, but shows the use of buttons to their best advantage, I believe:
Do it once or twice. It’s easy. I am a slow crocheter and I can make one of these towel toppers in about an hour. Finish off by tying on the perfect button (see my last blog) and weaving in all the ends. A tiny dab of super glue works nicely to secure the knot from tying on a button, applied either before or after the ends have been woven in.