Retro Rib Hand Towel: Free Pattern

Retro Rib Hand Towel

What better way to brighten up your kitchen or bathroom than with a colorful hand-knit towel?  Use your imagination to create color combinations that speak to you and get started on this fast and fun knit!

PDF pattern now available: Retro Rib Hand Towel

  • Peaches & Creme 100% cotton yarn, 1 ball for main color and 1/4 ball for contrast color
  • US Size 7 needles
  • 1 button
  • Tapestry needle

Finished Measurements
7 inches wide and 12 ½ inches tall unstretched.  Garter stitch strap measures 2 inches wide and 5 ¼ inches long unstretched

CO—Cast on
MC—Main color
CC—Contrast color
Sl 1—slip 1 stitch as if to knit
WS—wrong side or back of work
RS—right side or front of work
K2tog—knit 2 stitches together
BO—Bind off

Slip the first stitch of every row in pattern to create a neat edge.  Do not slip first stitch when changing colors or decreasing.
Color changes happen on the right side rows until you get to the garter stitch strap where they occur on the wrong side of the fabric.  When changing colors it is helpful to carry the old color up the side of your work every 2 rows during the striped sections.  Less ends to weave in!

CO 60 sts in MC.

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1 * K3, P2 * to last 4 sts, K4
Row 2 (WS): Sl 1 * P3, K2 * to last 4 stitches, P4

Repeat these two rows until piece measures 1 ½ inches from CO edge.
On the next RS row, add CC and work in set pattern for 4 rows.

RS: add MC and work 4 rows in pattern
RS: add CC and work 4 rows in pattern
RS: add MC and continue in rib pattern, slipping the first stitch of every row, until piece measures 11 inches from CO edge.
RS: add CC and work 4 rows in pattern
RS: add MC and work 4 rows in pattern

The following decrease rows are worked in garter stitch:
Row 1 (RS): k2tog across all stitches (30 sts remain)
Row 2 (WS): knit
Row 3: same as row 1 (15 sts remain)
Row 4: same as row 2
Row 5: k2tog twice, k7, k2tog twice (11 sts remain)
Row 6: knit
Row 7: k2tog, k7, k2tog (9 sts remain)

Knit in garter stitch (knit every row) for 5 rows.  You will now change colors on the back of your work.
WS: add CC and knit 4 rows
WS: add MC and knit 4 rows
WS: add CC and knit 4 rows
WS: add MC and knit 5 rows

RS: k3, BO 3. K3
WS: k3, CO 3, k3
Knit 5 rows in garter stitch
WS: add CC and knit 3 rows
BO in CC

Attach button to the center of first MC garter stitch section. Weave in ends.

© Sonia Ruyts 2008

I hope you enjoy this pattern!  As always, please let me know if you find anything to be unclear.

12 thoughts on “Retro Rib Hand Towel: Free Pattern

  1. Oh thanks! I have been looking for something different that’s fast for quick Christmas knits. I reckon I can knock a couple of these over before the big day!

  2. I’ll start casting on as soon as I finish e-mailing. Daughter wants some towels for her new apt. I’ll be able to finish a few before christmas. thanks

  3. What a wonderfully quick, easy, and useful gift! Thanks for sharing your pattern. I’m going right now to pick out colors!

  4. what a lovely colour i’ll start knitting few of those very soon coz i luv knitting. Thanks for sharing such a nice pattern.

  5. very cute, want to make some but need the
    pattern. do you think you could email me this pattern as I’ve looked all over for a
    pattern and could not find any, thank you so much.

  6. I just love this towel–perfect for my 1929 kitchen! But I just finished it, and when I hold it by the strap (or hang it) it curls drastically into a tight tube. Any ideas on how I can fix this? Did I decrease too tightly? Should I make the strap wider, and/or decrease more gradually (knit between decrease rows)? Are the slipped edge stitches contributing to the curl? (I have done ribbed scarves with regular knitted–not slipped–edges, and they don’t curl.) How can I make it hang like yours does in the photo? Thank you!

  7. I love this towel! It was a fast and easy to knit! Thanks so much. I’m going to knit my next one MC white and CC red.

  8. very cute! I may have to make some of these as Christmas Gifts 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. can’t wait to make these! our kitchen cabinets are U shaped so I know these will fit around them perfectly – thanks!

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