I know, I know, cotton yarn, and a non-garment item! It's not my usual knitting style! But it's actually becoming my favorite kitchen towel. I love the soft cotton and the chunky knitted texture. The garter stitch border keeps the edges from curling, and there is an option to knit on the loop for hanging it up. The details of how I came to knit this dish towel are here.
And now for the pattern:
Yarn: 1 skein Blue Sky Skinny Cotton in "Birch"
Needles: US 5 or 3.75 mm. I used a 24" circular needle I had on hand, but it was a little awkward as the extra plastic part flopped around at times. Probably 12" straight needles would be the best.
Other Stuff: 2 stitch markers, or loops of yarn, a spare knitting needle if you are going to knit the hanging loop.
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Cast-on 61 stitches (I knitted them on)
1st round: K3, place marker, K until 3 stitches remain, place marker.
Now begin stitch pattern:
R2: K3, slip marker, K1, *P2, K1* until you reach the 2nd marker, slip marker, K3.
R3: K3, slip marker, P1, *K2, P1* until you reach the 2nd marker, slip marker, K3.
R4: Same as R2: K3, slip marker, K1, *P2, K1* until you reach the 2nd marker, slip marker, K3.
R5: K all sts, slip markers as you go.
R6: Same as R5: K all sts, slip markers as you go.
Continue working these 5 rounds until work is the desired size (I kept knitting until I was finished with the skein, with only a little bit left over. It made a perfect-sized dishtowel).
Get ready to cast-off after R5. I used a stretchy cast-off: K2tog through the backs of the loops, return stitch from right needle back to left needle and repeat.
Hanging loop cast-off option: Begin on R 5: K3, remove marker, K to 2nd marker, remove marker, K3 and turn work.
Next Round: K3 and turn work.
Continue knitting the same 3 sts and turning the work until you have a loop about 2" long (I counted about 18 rows of garter st on my loop) on one end of the work.
Slip the 3 loop stitches onto the spare needle, and turn the work as if you have just finished R5 and are going to begin casting-off on R6.
Grafting the loop on: K1 from the spare needle (SN), then K1 from the main needle (MN). Pass the 1st loop over the second (cast-off).
Now K1 from SN, and pass that loop over the one on the right needle.
K1 from MN, and cast-off as before.
K1 from SN, and cast-off. That should be all 3 stitches cast-off from SN.
Now continue casting off normally.