With their vintage charm and casual elegance, the Sunday Dinner Dishtowels, designed by Catherine Li-Abrams, are right at home in a bustling kitchen full of chatter, chopping, and children sneaking a taste… There’s such joy in sharing something we made with those we love!

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

Catherine designed these dishtowels using our beloved linen stitch. We can’t get enough of that smooth, woven texture on one side and satisfyingly nubbly feel on the other!

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

Turning everything on its side, Catherine has us knit these towels lengthwise, using the rows to create beautiful, long lines in a variety of striped patterns. The stripes have extra subtlety and beauty with a two-color linen stitch that’s more spaced out than usual, but just as easy to do!

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

The main fabric of the Sunday Dinner Dishtowels is our Santolina, a mix of cotton, rayon from bamboo, and hemp. It’s durable but soft, with a slight luster and a lovely drape. The colorwork sings in our undyed Sweetgrass, which combines cotton and superfine alpaca.

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

Both Santolina and Sweetgrass have a gently heathered look that comes from the mix of fibers in the yarn. They play well together, creating a fabric with a wonderful hand and a gorgeous depth of color. Our Sunday Dinner Dishtowel Bundle includes two skeins of Santolina in your choice of color (we used Pewter Blue!) and one skein of Sweetgrass, all the yarn you need for the whole set of three towels!

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Catherine Li-Abrams. Based in Toronto, Catherine is a photographer and longtime-knitter-turned-knitwear-designer. She seeks (and creates!) beauty in the world around her, especially through her love of yarn and knitting!

Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, #PurlSohoSundayDinnerDishtowels, #PurlSohoSantolina, and #PurlSohoSweetgrass. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Materials

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

Our Sunday Dinner Dishtowels Bundle has enough yarn for all three dishtowels. It includes…

  • Yarn A: 2 skeins of Purl Soho’s Santolina, 70% organically grown cotton, 20% rayon from bamboo, and 10% hemp. Each skein is approximately 328 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 650 yards required.
  • Yarn B: 1 skein of Purl Soho’s Sweetgrass, 65% organic cotton and 35% superfine alpaca, undyed. Each skein is approximately 437 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 60 yards required.

Choose from more than 20 elegant combinations of Santolina and Sweetgrass. We used the Pewter Blue + Rye Flour palette for our samples!

You’ll also need…

GAUGE

28 stitches and 52 rows = 4 inches in linen stitch

SIZE

Finished Dimensions: Approximately 11 inches wide x 17½ inches long

NOTES

TURN + SLIDE

When you work the Two-Color Spaced-Out Linen Stitch Pattern, you either “slide” or “turn” the work at the end of each row.

“Turn work” means to do what you would normally do when knitting rows with circular needles: Transfer the needle from your left hand into your right hand and the needle from your right hand into your left, flipping the work around so the opposite side is facing you.

“Slide work” means to keep the same side of the work facing you and to push all the stitches to the right end of the circular needles. Without turning the work, start the new row as you normally would.

You will know that you’re doing this right if the yarn you need to complete the next row is right there waiting for you!

STITCH MULTIPLE

This pattern works over an odd number of stitches.

SLIP STITCHES

Slip all slipped stitches purlwise.

STITCH PATTERNS

UPDATE August 15, 2022: We accidentally posted this pattern with some slipped stitches worked knitwise, when all should be worked purlwise. We’re so sorry for any trouble this has caused!

ONE-COLOR LINEN STITCH

Row 1: (wrong side): Slip 1 with yarn in front (wyif), *p1, slip 1 with yarn in back (wyib), repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p1, slip 1 wyif.

Row 2 (right side): *K1, slip 1 wyif, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

TWO-COLOR SPACED-OUT LINEN STITCH

Row 1 (wrong side): With Color A, slip 1 wyif, *p1, slip 1 wyib, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p1, slip 1 wyif. Turn work.

Row 2 (right side): Crossing Color B below Color A (A is in front of B), use Color B to *k1, slip 1 wyif, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. Slide work.

Row 3 (right side): With Color A, slip 1 wyib, *k1, slip 1 wyif, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k1, slip 1 wyib, Turn work.

Row 4 (wrong side): Crossing Color A below Color B (B is in front of A), use Color A to *p1, slip 1 wyib, repeat from * to last stitch p1. Turn work.

Row 5 (right side): With Color A, repeat Row 3. Turn work.

Row 6 (wrong side): Crossing Color B below Color A (A is in front of B), use Color B to *p1, slip 1 wyib, repeat from * to last stitch, p1. Slide work.

Row 7 (wrong side): With Color A, slip 1 wyif, *p1, slip 1 wyib, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p1, slip 1 wyif. Turn work.

Row 8 (right side): Crossing Color A below Color B (B is in front of A), use Color A to *k1, slip 1wyif, repeat from * to last stitch, k1. Turn work.

PATTERN

BEGIN

NOTE: You will knit these dish towels lengthwise, casting on for the long edge.

With Yarn A, cast on 123 stitches. We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

WORK MAIN FABRIC

LAYOUT 1

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch (see Stitch Patterns) until piece measures 3 inches from cast-on edge, ending with Row 2.

Joining Yarn B, work Rows 1–8 of Two-Color Spaced-Out Linen Stitch (see Stitch Patterns) 1 time, ending with Row 8. Cut Yarn B.

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch 5 times, ending with Row 2.

Joining Yarn B, work Rows 1–8 of Two-Color Spaced-Out Linen Stitch 4 times, ending with Row 8. Cut Yarn B.

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch 5 times, ending with Row 2.

Joining Yarn B, work Rows 1–8 of Two-Color Spaced-Out Linen Stitch 1 time, ending with Row 8. Cut Yarn B.

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch for 3 inches, ending with Row 2.

With wrong side facing you, bind off purlwise to last 2 stitches, k2, leaving 3 stitches on right needle.

Continue to Make I-Cord Loop section, below.

LAYOUT 2

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch (see Stitch Patterns) 12 times, ending with Row 2.

**Joining Yarn B, work Rows 1–8 of Two-Color Spaced-Out Linen Stitch (see Stitch Patterns) 1 time, ending with Row 8. Cut Yarn B.

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch 2 times, ending with Row 2.

Joining Yarn B, work Rows 1–4 of Two-Color Spaced-Out Linen Stitch (see Notes) 1 time, ending with Row 4. Cut Yarns A and B and slide work (see Notes).

With wrong side facing you and rejoining Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch 11 times, ending with Row 2.

Repeat from ** 2 more times.

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch one more time.

With wrong side facing you, bind off purlwise to last 2 stitches, k2, leaving 3 stitches on right needle.

Continue to Make I-Cord Loop section, below.

LAYOUT 3

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch (see Stitch Patterns) until piece measures 2 inches from cast-on edge, ending with Row 2.

**Joining Yarn B, work Rows 1-8 of Two-Color Spaced-Out Linen Stitch (see Stitch Patterns) 1 time, ending with Row 8. Cut Yarn B.

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch 4 times, ending with Row 2.

Joining Yarn B, work Rows 1-8 of Two-Color Spaced-Out Linen Stitch 2 times, then repeat Rows 1-4 one more time, ending with Row 4. Cut Yarns A and B and slide work (see Notes).

With wrong side facing you and rejoining Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch 10 times, ending with Row 2.

Repeat from ** 1 more time.

With Yarn A, work Rows 1 and 2 of One-Color Linen Stitch 3 more times, ending with Row 2.

With wrong side facing you, bind off purlwise to last 2 stitches, k2, leaving 3 stitches on right needle.

Make I-Cord Loop section, below.

MAKE I-CORD LOOP

With remaining 3 stitches, work an I-Cord for 3 inches, working last row as follows…

Last Row: K1, k2tog, pass first stitch over second stitch and off the right needle. Cut yarn, leaving an 8-inch tail and pull through remaining stitch.

Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle. Make a loop with the I-cord and weave the tail into the fabric of the dishtowel at the base of the I-cord, then weave it through the looped I-cord, and back into the fabric of the dishtowel.

FINISHING

Weave in the ends and wet block, or wash on a cold cycle and gently machine dry.

Sunday Dinner Dishtowels | Purl Soho

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