The Willow Tea Towel Knitting Pattern

Hey friend! I’m so glad you clicked on this pattern. It is one of my favorite designs.

I designed this tea towel to match The Willow Dishcloth, a design from last Spring that has been the most popular dishcloth I have designed so far. It is a simple pattern that combines knit and purl stitches to create a beautiful and unique texture. I think this towel would make a lovely gift or addition to your own kitchen. It’s modern, but timeless, and I hope you enjoy knitting it as much as I enjoyed designing. I have added some helpful tips in the “notes” section but please leave a comment or reach out via email if you have any questions along the way!

To purchase an ad-free PDF, click here for Ravelry and here for Etsy.

Happy knitting!

Materials
  • Worsted weight (4) cotton yarn – approx. 200 yards
  • US 8 / 5.0mm knitting needles, straight or circular
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tool
Abbreviations
  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • sl – slip
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • wyif – with yarn in front
  • wyib – with yarn in back
  • ** – repeat what is in between
Notes
  • This pattern is worked in three sections instead of row by row. Each section will have a new row 1.
  • ALL slip stitches are PURL wise unless otherwise stated.
  • This tea towel is worked flat.
  • The odd rows are the right side, and even rows are the wrong side.
  • Pay careful attention to the beginning and end of each row so you have a lovely, i-cord edge.
  • If you want to knit a bigger towel, make sure you cast on an even number of stitches. It doesn’t matter how many as long as it is a multiple of 2.
Yarn

I designed this towel with Dishie from Knitpicks because it is super soft to knit with. I used the color Linen for this towel. Some of my other favorite cotton yarns are Lily Sugar’n Cream, Bernat Handicrafter DeLux, Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton (slightly thinner), and Peaches and Cream from Walmart. I prefer to use 100% cotton because it holds up well and usually doesn’t pill.

Copyright

Thank you so much for choosing to make this pattern. Just a reminder that it is the property of Kneedles & Life by Kalley Reedy and may not be altered or published as your own in any form. You are welcome to sell the finished product for a fair price, but please give credit to me, the designer, in your description. Please make sure to use your own pictures as well.

If you share a picture on Instagram, I would love to see it! Please tag me @kneedlesandlife and use the hashtag #willowteatowel.

Pattern

If you are interested in an ad-free PDF of this pattern, click to purchase on Etsy or Ravelry!

This towel has a front and back. I recommend placing a stitch marker clip on the front to help you remember if you’re working the right or wrong side.

SECTION I – Hurdle Stitch

Long tail cast on 64 sts. This will make about a 14″ x 19″ towel. If you’d like a bigger towel, cast on more sts in multiples of 2 and make your seed stitch section a little taller.

Row 1: k across the row until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyib.

Row 2: p2, k across the rest of the row until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyif.

Row 3: k2, *k1, p1* until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyib.

Row 4: p2, *k1, p1* until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyif.

Repeat rows 1-4 seven more times for a total of 8 hurdle sections, or until it reaches approx. 5″ tall. Then repeat rows 1-2 ONE time. Now continue to section II.

SECTION II – Seed Stitch

Row 1: k2, *k1, p1* until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyib.

Row 2: p2, *p1, k1* until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyif.

Repeat rows 1-2 of Section II until your towel measures 14″ tall from the cast on edge. Make sure you finish after a row 1. Then work the transition row on the next page.

TRANSITION ROW:

You should have finished after a row 1, so you will now be working on the wrong side.

p2, k across the rest of the row until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyif. Continue to section III.

SECTION III – Hurdle Stitch

At the beginning of this section, it will become more obvious that the front and back look a little different. If you feel like you did something wrong and your towel looks different than mine, you may be looking at the back instead of the front.

Row 1: k2, *k1, p1* until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyib.

Row 2: p2, *k1, p1* until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyif.

Row 3: k across the row until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyib.

Row 4: p2, k across the rest of the row until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyif.

Repeat rows 1-4 seven more times (8 hurdle sections. Then continue to the bind off.

Bind off: k each st while working a standard bind off. Fasten off and weave in all ends.

To create a little loop at the top for hanging, I crocheted a chain of about 20 and then tied it onto the corner!


I hope you enjoy your new towel! Please remember to tag me on IG @kneedlesandlife so I can see the colors you make. Thank you again for choosing my pattern. It means the world to me!

XO, Kalley

Leave a Reply to Sarah Beth Dippel Cancel reply

16 Comments

  1. 5.10.21
    Connie said:

    How does one keep these from souring or becoming smelly?

    • 5.11.21
      Kalley said:

      You can machine wash them. 🙂 Between washes, make sure to hang somewhere on the sink that it can dry.

  2. 6.5.21
    Sara said:

    Hi! I just started this with the hurdle stitch section, and I am confused by how to proceed and I can’t seem to find anything on the internet that is helpful in regards to working (icord?) edges with 2 slipped stitches.

    Row 1: k2, *k1, p1* until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyib.
    Row 2: p2, *k1, p1* until you have 2 sts left, sl both sts wyif.

    So, with Row 2, do you slip the 1st 2 stitches, since your working yarn is two stitches behind having just slipped these last 2 stitches with the previous row, or do you just grab the yarn even though it’s two stitches behind and p2 by just grabbing it that way?

    • 6.5.21
      Kalley said:

      Yep you just grab the yarn!

      • 6.6.21
        Sara said:

        Ok thank you!

  3. 7.11.21
    Dana said:

    Admiring your Willow dishcloth, but have a question……..
    At the end of a row “slip both with yarn in back”
    Do you mean one st. At a time? Or slip both sts. Together
    With yarn in back?
    Thank you for a beautiful pattern

    • 7.11.21
      Kalley said:

      Thank you, Dana! Since you are slipping the stitches purl wise, you can slip them one at a time or together and it won’t make any difference. And yes keep the working yarn in the back. 🙂

  4. 3.30.22
    Grant said:

    Hi! I can’t wait to do this pattern! I’m definitely going to stop by the store tonight and get some yarn for it! I found that if you’re like me and are practically obsessed with having a uniform edge around a project like this, the double chain cast on and bind off match the I cord edge very well! Thank you again for this wonderful pattern! 😊

  5. 4.1.22
    Grant said:

    Thank you for another wonderful pattern! I ended up accidentally getting a dk weight yarn, but I used size 6 needles rather than size 8, and it’s going very well! I found that if you’re like me and and obsessed with your border matching on projects like this, the double chain cast on and bind off matches it very well! Thank you again! 😊

    • 4.2.22
      Kalley said:

      Thank you for making my pattern. 🙂

  6. 4.10.22
    Phyllis Riggio said:

    I am knitting the lovely Willow Tea Towel. In Section II it states *k1, pl. Do you knit 1 then purl the rest of the row until the last 2 stitches. Or should Row 1 have been written *k1, p1*?

    • 4.16.22
      Kalley said:

      Hi! You will *k1, p1* until there’s 2 stitches left. Sorry for the typo – I will correct it!

  7. 6.21.22
    Sarah Beth Dippel said:

    Hi, Kalley.
    I love this pattern! It’s a beautiful combo of stitches. And it’s FREE. Wow! So generous.
    I just finished it in the Dishie Linen which I love but one skein (180yds) made a rather square tea towel. I weighed the skein after Section 1 to ensure I stopped my seed stitch in time to have a full section 3. My Section 2 was just a bit smaller than Sections 1 & 3. It looks like yours was at least twice as long as mine. I’m assuming you used two skeins of Dishie for your towel? Just wanting to clarify since I think I’ll make a few more. Thank you again for the beautiful pattern!
    -Sarah

    • 6.21.22
      Kalley said:

      Hi Sarah! Thanks for your sweet comment. Yes! I used a little bit of a second skein – approx. 200 yards total for the towel. That was smart to weigh it to use one skein!

  8. 11.28.22
    Victoria said:

    Hi Kalley!
    I didn’t see a gauge listed in the pattern. Can you provide one?
    Also, I have some Red Heart yarn that someone gave me… do you think it would make a good tea towel? It’s not 100% cotton, and I’m thinking it may not be absorptive enough. Your thoughts?

    Victoria

    • 12.3.22
      Kalley said:

      The width should be 14″ so after a couple rows, measure your work to see if it’s the right size. I personally wouldn’t use anything that’s not 100% cotton but it’s up to you!