Why have an ordinary beach towel when you can have an extraordinary crochet edge beach towel so easily? Hook up the prettiest towel on the sand!
Ever since I was a kid ordinary is not my bag and I’ve always wanted my things to stand out from the crowd of everybody else’s things. This has, from time to time, meant that my stuff gets jacked because everybody likes cool things, but it also means I get to flex my creative muscles to actually MAKE my things different.
Sometimes all it takes is a swipe of glue and a sprinkle of glitter and sometimes it means busting out the chop saw and getting down and dirty in the sawdust. This summer I’m finding a lot of pleasure in crochet. Typically it’s something that is more of a “cold weather craft” for me, but this year I just can’t get enough of it even with the sweltering heat outside. And so with my current seasonally off obsession with hooking and my desire to DIY up plain to fabulous, I’m adding crochet onto things you might not think to add crochet to.
It seems every single year we manage to lose most of our beach towels from the previous year and I have no clue how it happens. Like, none. I’ll spend $100 a summer on a handful of pretty beach towels that then go and hang out with my socks in the land of lost laundry, I suppose. But this year, I just wasn’t having that super expensive business.
Spying a really pretty pattern at Walmart I found myself looking at a beach towel that cost less than $6. Sha-zam! Normally purchasing gigantic oversized beach towels, this one felt a little bit short when it was laid on the ground, and so I decided to DIY up the darn thing, adding a gorgeously simple crochet edge and almost 6 inches of length at the same time.
Now that’s a pretty stretch of crochet right there, isn’t it? And really, truly so simple.
Simple like me, I guess. 6 pictures in, ONLY SIX PICTURES IN, the tide came up and caught my towel because I laid it out too far. Meh. It would be one thing if it hadn’t already happened minutes before with my crochet seashell collecting bags I shared a little while ago, but when it comes to the tide, I apparently just. don’t. learn. :)
Here comes the tide… Dun, dun. Dun, dun :)
And the neighbors we borrowed/guilted out of a bottle of sunscreen (check out that seashell bag post for the deets, ugh) just watched as I yelled at Rob the tide is coming, THE TIDE IS COMING! Ah, well. I got a few good pics before it became a muddy mess, though, and it was hot enough out that day that we air dried on the walk back to the car :)
Official score for this year alone… Tide: 2, me: goose egg. :)
Want to make your own crochet edge beach towel that will stand out from the crowd?
For this project you will need:
- Beach Towel (mine is 28 x 60″)
- Cotton yarn
- Crochet hook (I used an ergonomic hook from this set)
- Sock darning needle
- PDF Crochet Chart
My beach towel is a pretty tropical print that I scored at Walmart for less than 6 bucks. Since I used cotton yarn from my craft stash I was technically able to update my towel from pretty to pretty amazing for no extra cost. Cool, right? And look at that up there… it adds some really neat interest to it while also adding 5 more inches of length, which is great if you’re tall or stretch out like crazy!
With a beach towel that is 100% cotton, I’d suggest using 100% cotton yarn.
My stash is full of colors from Sugar n’ Cream and Peaches and Cream to match with the colors in my design I used: coral, hot pink, aquamarine, lavender, black and a cobalt blue, though I am unsure of which brand matches to what color, or the official names. Some of my yarn has long since lost its paper sleeve :0 This design is comprised of 13 rows using 6 colors.
The design is simple, made from single and double crochets with the occasional chain or shell stitch and is a great project for the beginning hooker.
To start, grab a sharp yarn needle and blanket stitch along the edge you wish to crochet with black yarn. Need help? Learn how to sew the blanket stitch with step by step tutorial here.
But wait… Use a ruler and a marker to mark a dot 1/4″ apart as a guide for good, even stitches. It’s not cheating. It’s just plain smart :) If you use a water-soluble fabric marker, you don’t even have to see the proof you used marks after its first wash!
Above it is a quick peek at the full chart. My towel with marks at every 1/4″ worked up to 109 stitches across. As long as you have an uneven number of stitches, this design should work for you. If you have an even number of stitches, sneak another single crochet into your first row of stitches somewhere in the middle to get an uneven number. I promise you won’t notice that solitary extra stitch when everything’s done! :)
Oh, and say hi to Maybe… she’s once again along for this crafty journey :) Ready to get after it? Let’s go.
To attach the crochet onto the towel we’re going to work through yarn from the blanket stitch like you see above. Oh, and totally ignore my second set of Sharpie marks on the towel. I goofed and marked my stitches wrong the first time, and since it’s Sharpie (which is better for pics), but it’s there forever! :)
Above is the chart for the first 3 rows of crochet. I worked my towel in the same direction each time so that each row would be on the pretty “right side”. You can switch it up as you please, but to read the chart please go from left to right for every row, working up from the bottom of each chart. Ready to knock these 3 rows out?
Row 1: Working under those blanket stitches single crochet down from end to end of your towel with black yarn. Tie off the end leaving a tail of a good 8 inches.
Row 2: In the second stitch from the end, add your pink yarn and single crochet once. Chain once, skip the next stitch and single crochet in the one just after. Continue this to next to last stitch in the row, ending on a single crochet. Tie off your yarn leaving a long tail.
Row 3: In the first stitch from the first (black) row, attach your dark blue yarn. Chain 5 times. Skip the first pink stitch from the previous row and double crochet in the stitch just after. Chain once, skipping the next stitch and double crochet in the stitch just after. Continue until you reach the end. Tie off your yarn leaving a tail.
As you work it is advisable to weave in your ends every few rows completed. Cotton yarn will fray out like the dickens and if you leave all of the weaving in until the end it can be difficult with wild yarn like that. If you absolutely do not want to weave as you go, you can also apply tape to the ends of the yarn to hold it steady until you are ready to weave the ends in BUT in my experience, it always turns into a tangled mess :)
Now let’s hook up rows 4 and 5!
Continue working down the project changing your colors and stitches for each row for a nice design.
Row 4: Changing to lavender yarn, single crochet once in the first 2 stitches of the previous row. Chain once, skipping the next stitch and single crochet in the stitch after repeat until you reach the last 2 stitches. End this row with 2 single crochet stitches, one each, in the last 2 stitches of the row.
Row 5: Change yarn to coral. Single crochet down the length.
On some rows, there will be a different number of stitches on the sides than within that row. For example, row 7 starts and ends with 2 single crochet stitches and then begins a pattern of one single crochet, one chain skipping a stitch. This is done to accommodate the design with an imperfect number of stitches. Modify as necessary if your stitch count is different.
Row 6: Change color to aquamarine. Double crochet in each stitch down the length.
Row 7: Change color to black. single crochet once in the first 2 stitches of the previous row. Chain once, skipping the next stitch and single crochet in the stitch after repeat until you reach the last 2 stitches. End this row with 2 single crochet stitches, one each, in the last 2 stitches of the row.
Row 8: Attach pink yarn to the first stitch in the previous row and chain 3 times (acts as first double crochet). Double crochet twice in the gap between stitches from the previous row. Skip the next stitch and double crochet twice in the next gap. Continue to the end, finishing with one double crochet in the last stitch of the row.
Creating 2 double or single crochets in the same stitch makes a pretty “V” shape and is easy to accomplish without any special skills or knowledge and we’re utilizing that in rows 8 & 9 of this design. Even if you’re a beginner, it’s a great and simple way to add some variety to your own hooked designs. If you like the look of this, you might also want to check out my tutorial for the Vee Double Crochet Stitch. Now let’s hop on rows 9, 10 and 11.
Row 9: Change color to dark blue. In the first stitch from the previous row single crochet once. Skip the next stitch and single crochet twice together in the next stitch (this is the 3rd stitch in the row). Continue to the end, making just one single crochet in the final stitch at the end.
Row 10: Change color to lavender. Chain 3 times in the first stitch (acts as first double crochet) and double crochet down the length to the end.
Row 11: With coral yarn, Chain 4 in the first stitch, which acts as first double crochet plus a gap. Skip the next (second) stitch and double crochet in the stitch after (third). Chain once, skipping the next stitch and double crochet in the next. Continue to the end.
We’re in the home stretch, now! If you’ve never created a shell border, it’s super easy to do. Five double crochet stitches all occur in the SAME stitch from the previous row to form a pretty shell shape. In order to accommodate all of these stitches together without the fabric becoming ruffled or wavy, we’ve got to compensate by skipping stitches in between. We don’t chain on either side of the shell, which is difficult to make out in my chart (sorry!) but heads up, that’s a gap with no stitch on either side :)
Row 12: Change color to aquamarine and single crochet in each stitch down the length.
Row 13: Attach black yarn and single crochet once in the first 3 stitches. Skip the next stitch and double crochet 5 times in the stitch just after to create a shell. Skip the next stitch and single crochet once apiece in the 2 stitches after the skip. Continue to the end, finishing with 3 single crochet stitches, one piece in the last 3 stitches from the previous row, after the skipped stitch of the last shell.
Would you look at that? It’s pretty gorgeous isn’t it for a rag-tag bunch of simple stitches tacked to the end of a cheapie beach towel, isn’t it?
Once all of your ends are woven in, this project is finished. Since the yarn is 100% cotton, just like the towel it should wash up well. Running mine on a cold cycle and drying on high heat in the dryer has worked really well for mine. The color in the cotton yarn has faded out a bit, like it sometimes does, but it hasn’t shrunk up and is still nice and even with the edges of the towel. This can change depending on how you wash yours, the materials used, and the fates in general :), but I’m fairly confident that yours should wash up well when run on cool water cycle, too!
Hook it up and take it out to the sea because this crochet edge beach towel is not just functional but beautiful and demands to be seen!