Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friends , Family, and the Crocheted Tea Towel

Crocheted tea towels have long been a passion of mine.
I can remember being fascinated by them as a child. I remember My Mother, Grandmother and an Aunt or 3 sitting around whipping them up! Seams to me it got started as a way to refurbish a kitchen towel that was bad on one end .. but if it was to be a gift it was definitely made from a new piece of cloth/dish/kitchen towel.
Now, I don't know who invented the idea, nore how long this practice has been around, but I would sure like to Thank whom ever came up with this and passed it along . They are handy and fascinatingly beautiful and handy .. oh i said that already hu??
But would you believe that until last week when i was still stuck in bed but getting better, i had never made one? Yup! That's right. I had not even attempted one, those who know me and know I have, with out patterns, crocheted blankest and knitted hats and scarves and embroidered all sorts of bits would probably find that a bit shocking. But it's true.
One year for Christmas I had planed to learn . I got the towels and the yarn and spent time collecting up nice antique/vintage buttons and then i chickened out.. My Best friend , whom for the purpose of this post I shall name Mrs.J-Bean, bailed my butt out that year and made up probably 46 of the coveted tea towel . Gods Bless her, please! I sowed the buttons on and wrapped them and tried to let every one know i had not done them . that she , my best friend Mrs J-Bean had saved me!
But last week I got bold . I refused to let a silly little dish towel, a couple of crochet hooks and some yarn intimidate me no further ! I was determined to break through that mystical wall surrounding the secrets of the crochet tea towel .. little did i know , it had a journey on many levels in store for me.
I purchased 1 kitchen towel from walmart for a dollar , used some beautiful yarn I had hear that went with it well. Next I got out my Gramas "Little pointy" hook and and another which my most comfortable sized hook for my hand , my pinking shears, my box of buttons and a needle and thread.
Standing over the towel , I took a deep breath and cut it as exactly in half as I could . ( it was probably a good thing I couldn't get hold of Mrs.J-Bean at that moment, because I probably still would not be able to say I had made one.. Well I made my first, and when I finaly got hold of Mrs. J-Bean , the poor woman got bombarded with the hyper "look what i did !what did i do wrong? OMGoodness this was a Blast!", hyperness that comes with achievement. ( When I ask the Gods to please Bless Mrs J-Bean , I mean it. She really is a great and patient friend.)

Here is how that first one turned out ...

It was given to My friend Mrs J-Bean , who graciously accepted it when I saw her the other night, complete with the task of sowing on the button I hadn't gotten sown on before I seen her.. ( Man with a scatter brained friend like me ... ;p ) I kept the matching one ( which still doesn't have it's button on it yet) so we had "coffee buddy towels" .

Well, it's didn't stop there. Now i wonder if my "fear" of crocheting the tea towel was more a matter of um... reluctance to face the reality... for I am now forever hooked on crocheting tea towels now. I no long must scout them out at fairs and festivals! HA! I can do them myself now... HA HA! ... But that doesn't mean I would not love a set if given to me either! Like I said ,I have a passion for them.
So last night , at the beginning of the 1st snow storm of February ,

I convinced my Sweet Hubby to take me to the local dollar store in town ..... I can honestly remember the DIME store with the lunch counters ( though not much was a dime any more- it was $0.50 and up).... any way .. Bless his heart he took me and didn't complain once about having to get out in this mess!

It was so much fun! Honestly! I love the snow. I use to go for long walks in the snow as it was falling.

But a ride in the snow is just as beautiful in many ways.

I must confess though, that no matter how beautiful the scenery was, My mind was on one thing.... I wanted a tea towel with a roster on it.. one that would complement the new apron I am working on .. and the new country kitchen I am planning . I could only hope that would find one to day.

And as you can see, I Did!! WOOWHO!

Isn't he handsome..

ok maybe not the best rooster tea towel out there,

But he was all they had

and he is mine now! (insert Witches Cackle here) I also got a few other tea towels, lets put it this way, they were $1.00 each and I spent $10.00 and change ( taxes ya know)

When I got him home I looked him over really good with my glasses on. then I went diggin in the yarn box... I found a plastic carry tote that belonged to my Grama Grace that had some yarn in it . The beginnings of the blanket in the bag, reminded me of watching her crochet and knit for hours. The look of concentration she would always get and the way she would shake her foot to the rhythm of the stitches she would make.. I discovered a treasure in with the yarn , the crochet hook she was using.. it fit nicely in my hand so I chose to use it too.

As you can see the colors of Grama's ( now vintage) yarn really set the colors of the rooster off well .

Using her yarn and her crochet hook helped me bring up memories of her and my Mom trying to teach me to hold the hook and count and add rows and subtract rows and,

I felt her and her love for me . Sounds strange to you maybe .. but I did.

I like when I can blend something old with something new to make something useful again.

Each time I use these hand towels , I hope they will inspire me to share my love with those around me even when my patients might seam a little taxed with the task at hand , like My Grama and Mom and all my friends and family share thier love with me.

Bright Blessings
Ma Fey


  1. What an awesome post. I've never seen tea towels made like this, but I am intrigued. I really dig the idea of connecting with your grandmother and mother through doing crafts like this that they used to do. I get the feeling you're talking about. I think it's something that we probably don't get enough of in this crazy world we live in today!

  2. hi....i love those tea towels. great job!!! and, you won my octoberfarm's giveaway!!!! send your address to my email and i will ship it right out!

  3. Those towels are so pretty! Love them!
    I can't believe how much snow everyone (except NY) received! :p

  4. Lyon , I didn't mean to forget to respond to your wonderful comments , I just got so excited about winning the giveaway from Jaz over at Octobers Farm I wanted to post about it right away and call my daughter to tell her I won something. Sorry. You are so right- the kind of love we were surrounded with growing up is something that needs to become more present in the world and our lives. The crochet tea towels are what I remember as a child, but I have seen them with cloth tops and I have one here I bought a while back that the top of the towel was pleated, folded over to make the loop and closed with a snap. But these crocheted darlings are my favorite style. When I get better at it I am considering having a giveaway on a set with some extra goodies.. but I need to get better at it first, I would hat to giveaway something that wasn't made well..LOL . Hope you are having a wonderful weekend and that you have a wonderful week!

    Jaz ( and Teddy) Thank you ! what a wonderful message to read while waiting for the morning coffe to finish brewing , YOU MADE MY DAY!
    I will email you here very soon with the info ..

    Big basket of blessings to both of you, Lyon and Jaz..
    Ma Fey

  5. Hi Erin! Yea i am surprised NY hasn't gotten more snow this year, but then the way you all get hammered over there it's probably a welcome break ! thank you for the lovely comment on the tea towels! Stay safe !
    a bushel of Blessings to you too!
    Ma Fey