All this thinking and pondering over my stitch club activities has made me not see what is under my nose. I have missed some of the basics like making sure all the linen in the kitchen is up to scratch. I have stepped back, tidied all the draws in the kitchen, discarded old tea towels and replace them and had a look at the hand towels. My home is on three levels. From the living level, where the kitchen is, I go up to the bedrooms and bathroom and down to the guest rooms, bathroom and laundry. ( My husbands workshop and office is down here as well but that is not my concern.)
What it does mean is that there are stairs to ascend or descend if you need to wash your hands. Who is going to do that? This results in the tea towels being used to dry hands. There is nowhere to hang a hand towel so I have resorted to the type you buy in markets with the crocheted tops. The draw back with these is that they have to be changed every day. My solution is to make a version that suits me, and, as I need at least 7, are a lot cheaper.
I start with a packet of tea towels from the supermarket. Five for $10, that makes me 10 hand towels.
I cut these in half, overlock the cut edge and run two lines of machine gathering to pull the top in.
I then do a line of double crochet with a cotton thread over the gathering. I use a No 2 steel crochet hook, this goes through the fabric easily, and a soft cotton thread, about a 4ply. I keep these supplies in a see through bag so they are just there if I need them.
I don't count how many double crochet I do across the top. This very much depends on how tight the gathering is. But after the first row I work 2 more across the top. It gets smaller with each pass.
I then switch to treble crochet and evenly decrease in the following rows until the work is the about the width I want the hanger to be. When decreasing I do make sure I end up with an even number of stitches. When I think it is long enough I make a button hole by working to the centre and then back to the edge. I then return to the centre and slip stitch back down to where I began and work the other side. This takes me back to the outer edge and I crochet all the way across again. I then work 2 rows of treble crochet followed by 4 or 5 rows of double crochet descending at the beginning and end of each double crochet row to round the end off.
I find my biggest problem is finding the buttons, which need to be a good size, to finish off. After this lot I am down to just one large button in my stash. I usually source these from the Guild sale table or St. Vinnies but non of these are open at the moment.
I find I can complete 2 towels in an hour or so. I have tried a more sturdy hanger and although this looks nice it takes more materials and time, so this easy version is the one for me.
in these times when hygiene is so important I feel a lot more comfortable with this.