/Pattern

Cottage Tea Towel

As probably most of us, I try to be environmentally conscious and recycle as much as possible - and also use products made from recycled things. This includes my crafting, and I am very excited that now more and more yarn brands offer yarns made from recycled fibers!

During a recent (online) yarn shopping, I came across 'The Recycled Yarn' from 'we are knitters', which is made from 95% recycled cotton and decided to give it a go. Because of its sturdiness, it is excellent for all things kitchen-related, such as dish towels and cloths.

Another recent find of mine is the Linen Stitch, which is a knit stitch that results in a woven-like texture. It works great for one, two or even three colors! Combine this with my need for some more dish towels in my kitchen, and tada - the Cottage Tea Towel is born!

tea towel 8

Yarn

  • DK weight yarn in two colors
  • Yardage: 170yds each
  • I used 'The Recycled Yarn' by we are knitters in Natural and Sky Blue

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Materials

tea towel 7

Gauge

24 sts in 4" (10cm) using linen stitch

Row gauge is not critical.

Measurements

22'' x 15'' (56cm x 38cm)

Notes

  • I highly recommend using a (non-mercerized) cotton yarn for this as cotton is sturdy, absorbent, and can also be machine-washed
  • Gauge is not very critical, as it’s not a big deal if the towel is bit smaller or larger. However, I still recommend making a swatch to see if you are happy with the drape as the linen stitch tends to be tighter than other knit stitches. If it’s too loose, go down a needle size, if it’s too dense or stiff, go up a needle size
  • If you want to modify the width of the towel, make sure to always cast on an odd number
  • To alter the length, keep knitting until you reach the desired length
  • I used a standard bind-off, and as the linen stitch results in a fairly tight fabric the bind off does not need to be very loose
  • Make sure to knit the first stitch of every right-side row quite loosely, otherwise that side has a tendency to bunch up

tea towel 1

About the Linen Stitch

The Linen Stitch is created with a combination of knitted and slipped stitches with the yarn held in front (of the right side) to create the impression of a woven fabric.

The right side will have stitches that are kind of interlocked, with little "bars" crossing them. The wrong side is very different but also quite pretty and looks a bit like a seed stitch. It has a bit more surface area because of the loose strings, and it's perfect for soaking up liquids.

It results in a flat fabric, and so it would also be great for coasters!

If you want to modify this pattern or create something else with the Linen Stitch, here are a couple of things to remember:

  • Always cast on an odd number of stitches
  • It is created by using a 2-row repeat:
    • If knitting flat:
      • *K1, slwyif 1* until 1 stitch before end of row, K1, turn
      • slwyib 1, *P1, slwyib 1* until end of row, turn
    • If knitting in the round
      • *K1, slwyif 1* until 1 stitch before end of round, K1
      • slwyif 1, *K1, slwyif 1* until end of round
  • You can use as few or many colors as you wish

Linen Stitch: Wrong side (left), right side (right)
Linen Stitch: Wrong side (left), right side (right)

How to 'Slip 1 with yarn in front / back' (slwyif / slwyib)

To slip a stitch with yarn in front, hold your working yarn (blue in the picture) in front of your work, then slip the stitch purlwise.

Slip 1 with yarn in front (slwyif)
Slip 1 with yarn in front (slwyif)

To slip a stitch with yarn in back, hold your working yarn behind your work, then slip the stitch purlwise.

Slip 1 with yarn in back (slwyib)
Slip 1 with yarn in back (slwyib)

Pattern

Using color A: CO 91 stitches

Row 1: Using color A: *K1, slwyif 1* until 1 stitch before end of row, K1, turn

Row 2: Using color A: slwyib 1, *P1, slwyib 1* until end of row, turn

Row 3: Using color B: *K1, slwyif 1* until 1 stitch before end of row, K1, turn

Row 4: Using color B: slwyib 1, *P1, slwyib 1* until end of row, turn

Repeat rows 1-4 until the tea towel measures 22'', or you reached your desired length.

Repeat rows 1-2 once more.

Bind off using color A.

Weave in all the ends, and block.

Abbreviations

CO - Cast on

K - Knit

P - Purl

sl - Slip a stitch, unless indicated otherwise always slip purlwise

slwyif - Slip a stitch with the yarn in front

slwyib - Slip a stitch with the yarn in back

sts - stitches

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