craft verb \'kraft\ to create with care, skill and intention

Monday, March 21, 2011

Make it Monday and What I Did Last Weekend

Okay, first I should start with what I didn't do last weekend - I didn't finish my closet. I was just too busy having fun! We took the kiddos camping and had a blast! It was awesome to unplug for a couple of days and just enjoy some time together.

Our car was packed full! We borrowed the car-top storage
and it was so full it almost wouldn't shut. Plus we all rode
with stuff on our laps. It takes a lot of stuff for 7 people to
camp for 2 nights!
Before kids, The Hubs and I used to go back-country camping.
I never would have thought we would have a tent this big. I
think this tent has more square footage than our first home.
We saw a little wildlife - mostly birds.
This is what happened when my 8-year-old daughter got
up close and personal with a goose. We had been on site less
than an hour - good times. My girl and the goose both made
a complete recovery.
I wish I had included something in this pic to give a sense of
scale. Have you seen "campfire" marshmallows at the store?
This thing is enormous. A fun novelty treat that the kids got
a big kick out of - but not very practical, really. Next time we'll
stick with regular marshmallows.
We all had a great time and came home stinky and exhausted. I'm still recovering and trying to get caught up. So I didn't finish my closet and I didn't do any spring cleaning chores today, either. And you know what? It's all good.

I do want to go ahead with Make it Monday today because this project is in honor of my friend Barbara. A couple of weeks ago, Barbara and I were sitting together at a BMX race in Texas. Barbara asked me if I know how to make kitchen towels with a crocheted top. I hadn't thought about those towels in years. Growing up, we always had them buttoned onto our refrigerator handle. My Nanny (my maternal grandmother) made the towels all the time and gave them to my mom. I told Barbara that I didn't know how to make them but that I would do a little research and find out. Thinking about the towels sparked a feeling of nostalgia and I thought it would be fun to make a couple.

The next day, I got very sick with a migraine. Barbara and her family offered to stay at the races with my oldest son so he could finish his races and we could go ahead and get on the road to come home. (I am fortunate not to get such severe headaches very often, so I had not thought to pack my prescription migraine meds. I won't make that mistake again!) I knew right away (right away once my headache went away, that is) that I would make Barbara a couple of these towels to thank her for her kindness. I'm going to deliver them to her tomorrow and I hope she enjoys them!

This is how I made Barbara's towels:
Start with a kitchen towel and cut it in half.
Fold the raw edge over about 1/4 ", then fold it over again
and press it.
I marked off 1/4" intervals across the folded edge. It doesn't have
to be 1/4". You can choose any interval you want as long as
you are consistent across the towel.

Use a seam-ripper to make small holes in the towel just below
the folded edge at each 1/4" mark. Using worsted weight yarn
(this is Red Heart Super Saver in "Medium Thyme) and a
size G hook, work a single crochet through each hole across
the towel. Do this with the wrong side of the towel facing you.
From there, I worked 2 more rows of single crochet. Then I worked right-side rows as decrease rows, working 2 single crochets and 1 single crochet decrease all the way across. Sometimes I had to fudge a little to make sure I ended the rows with single crochets and not decreases.

On the wrong-side rows, I just worked a single crochet in each stitch across. I continued this way until I was down to 6 stitches across, again I had to fudge a little to come out with 6 stitches. I worked single crochets in each stitch on right-side and wrong-side rows until the strap portion was 4-4 1/2" long.

To make a buttonhole big enough to accommodate my 1" buttons, I made a single crochet in each of the first 2 stitches, then made 2 chain stitches, skipping the 2 single crochets in the middle of the strap, then made a single crochet in each of the last 2 stitches. I worked 3 more rows of single crochet stitches, then tied off. I like to work 1 row of single crochet around the edge, but that is just my preference.

Sew a button on the front, weave in the loose ends, and you're finished!
Please ignore those fingerprints on my oven door!
If you would like to give this project a shot, but you don't know how to crochet, check out these instructions. The most involved portions of this project don't require crochet and the crochet portions are suitable for beginners. These towels are quick, fun, and easy to make and they are very handy to have around.

Barbara, thank you so much for all of your help. I hope you like your towels!

See you all tomorrow!

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