Hand knit washcloths are one of the true luxuries of life. They are wonderful in either the kitchen or the shower. And they are nearly indestructible. I’m still using cloths I made 10 years ago.
Washcloths are a great way to experiment with new stitches. Instead of making swatches I make washcloths or soap savers. I find out pretty quickly if I want to do a whole garment in the stitch. As you can imagine, I have quite a few washcloths, so much so that I have begun to make button-top hand towels instead.
Lily Sugar’n Cream has started to make a self-striping yarn. I liked the idea of the self-striping but wasn’t too fond of the way the color changes showed up. The changes didn’t blend in as well as I wanted. Not to be defeated by a bit of yarn, I developed the pattern below that incorporates an eyelet row to camouflage the color change.
I formed the eyelet row on the purl side because it is easier to purl 2 together (P2T) than it is to knit 2 together (K2T), especially with yarn that does not have much stretch like cotton.
The top portion of the pattern can be added to the top of any washcloth pattern. The only modification needed would be if the washcloth pattern was made on an even number of stitches. In that case, increase one stitch in the middle of row 1.
Math alert: To determine the number of purl 2 together (P2T) you will need on rows 2, 4, and 6, divide the number of stitches in half, then divide that number in half. If the result is even, purl the middle stitch of the row. If the result is odd, subtract one set of decrease stitches, these 2 stitches will be added to the number of plain purl stitches made in the center of the row. Repeat until there are 7 stitches remaining.
Row 2: (37 stitches)
37 ÷ 2 = 18 remainder 1 (even)
18 ÷ 2 = 9
9 P2T, P1, 9 P2T
Row 4: (19 stitches)
19 ÷ 2 = 9 remainder 1(odd)
9 ÷ 2 = 4 remainder 1
4 remainder (2 + 1 = 3)
4 P2T, P3, 4 P2T
Mileage may vary on the length of the button loop, make it the length needed. Making the actual YO, K2T buttonhole on the knit side of the fabric. I have taken to making my loops with two button holes 7 rows apart.
A printer-friendly PDF of this pattern is available for immediate download at my Etsy store: Creations by Kalei.
Button-Top Self-Striping Hand Towel
Size 7 knitting needles
1 3/ 4” button
1 ball self-striping cotton yarn
Finished size 9×11 including top(unblocked)
Gauge: Not too important, the bottom section should be square or a bit over.