It all started with a memory.
I have the small, upholstered chest that my Grandma used to hold her yarn and craft tools in; a somewhat small thing that can tuck unobtrusively into a corner. So unobtrusive, that I had never noticed this piece of furniture in my Grandma’s house. Its small size belays its holding ability, which upon inspection is rather substantial.
It was during this inspection of the contents that the memory was jogged. That of the Christmas treat boxes my Grandma used to send every December when I was a child. I don’t know if every box was the same, and I do not know if my memory accurately remembers the contents.
Here is what I remember:
- Shell-on pistachios, the dyed red ones that stained your fingers, for my dad.
- Peanut brittle (that I thought she made, but she said it was from a candy store when I asked for the recipe!).
- A handful of assorted homemade candies (little chocolate cups with raisins or nuts inside).
- Cellophane wrapped chocolates. Definitely from a store- but I don’t know which.
- I also hazily remember oranges and grapefruits.
- AND (usually) a crochet topped kitchen towel and dish cloth.
The last line item is the crux of the memory.
I remember being fascinated by the towels. The somewhat scratchy topper with the button closure to wrap around the oven door handle. My brain vaguely remembers them as being “fancy” and for “guests”. Definitely NOT for small children with questionably clean hands (even after washing). And I remember a dish cloth included, but only that they were there and they took up space in the drawer. They did not hold my attention beyond that.
Which brings me to the present.
The (vintage) yarn on the kitchen towel was my Grandma’s. It was one of the yarns in the chest. I assume purchased with this purpose in mind: to top a Christmas towel. There is no other logical use for this yarn, other than, perhaps, a tiny elf-sized sweater. I was able to construct 7 towel toppers from the lone skein, and still have enough, perhaps, for another one. I sent towels and washcloth sets to my Dad and his 4 siblings (the 6th went to my MIL, and the 7th is mine). By a Christmas Miracle, all were received before Christmas- THANK YOU USPS!!! This being our first Christmas without my Grandma, the packages were received with emotion. Honest, I had no intention on making anyone cry.
When I spoke with my Mom on Christmas day, she said that I still couldn’t use her “Fancy” towels. HAHA, joke’s on you, Mom! I made MY OWN FANCY TOWEL!!! And I let my kids dry their hands on it too!!
Technical Crafting Notes:
I used terry cloth towels purchased at TJ Maxx for gifts and a flour sack tea towel from Target for mine. All were pre-washed before crafting.
To start, I used a tapestry needle threaded with a yard/meter of yarn (still attached to the ball) and blanket stitched through all layers of folded towel (I did not cut mine). I then went back to the ball end and with an H/5mm hook, worked HDC (American) across for 2 rows, then decreased 1 stitch at each end of all rows until 4 stitches remained. I worked 2 rows of SC (American). Chained 5, attached chain with a slip stitch to the opposite side of the row. Then I worked 14-18 SC around the chain, fastened off the yarn and wove in both ends.
The dish cloths were (mostly) C2C with a G/4mm hook. If I recall, I did 14 C2C increases and then decreased. I used Sugar and Cream Cotton yarn, this made 7 washcloths from 3 balls. My 7th was a bit over sized and was cobbled together from 3 small remainder balls (I used virtually all the yarn).