Knit in our beautiful, new Serif cotton, our Heel Stitch Hand Towel is right in step with classic sock knitting. Durable but soft, thick and absorbent, it’s easy to see why the heel stitch is for hands, too!

Heel Stitch Hand Towel in Serif | Purl Soho

Known for adding a bit more strength to hard-working sock heels, this simple knit one, slip one stitch pattern creates a cushiony towel that has the relaxed beauty of an heirloom… Simple in the very best way.

Heel Stitch Hand Towel in Serif | Purl Soho

We used our new 100% Peruvian Pima cotton Serif, whose extra-long staple fiber spins into a yarn that is long-lasting, smooth, and silky. Also known for soaking up moisture, it makes hand towels that are particularly good at their job!

Heel Stitch Hand Towel in Serif | Purl Soho

With one thin thread wrapped around a fluffy, soft core, Serif’s lively structure creates a wavy strand that adds depth and texture to hand knits, a little bit nubbly and refreshingly natural.

Heel Stitch Hand Towel in Serif | Purl Soho

Serif’s palette of sixteen colors is both grounded and uplifting, with gorgeous neutrals, like the Heirloom White above, and laid-back beauties, too, like Summer Melon and Yellow Haystack, also up top.

Heel Stitch Hand Towel in Serif | Purl Soho

Whether you’re knitting for yourself or making a gift, try our wonderfully satisfying new Serif and ease into next season’s knitting with these homey housewares! 

Heel Stitch Hand Towel in Serif | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Purl Soho designer, Hiromi Glover, based on our Heel Stitch Hand Towel, originally designed by Jake Canton. Click here to see even more of Hiromi’s work!

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


Heel Stitch Hand Towel in Serif | Purl Soho

To make one Heel Stitch Hand Towel, you will need…

  • 3 skeins of Purl Soho’s Serif, 100% Pima cotton. Each skein is approximately 164 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 492 total yards required. We used the colors Heirloom White, Warm Rock, Gray Birch, Alabaster Cream, Yellow Haystack, Blue Overalls, Yellow Ochre, and Summer Melon.
  • US 5 (3.75 mm), straight or 24-inch circular needles
  • If using straight needles: Two US 3 double pointed needles for I-cord


24 stitches and 38 rows = 4 inches in stitch pattern


Finished Dimensions: Approximately 17 inches wide x 28 inches long



Slip all stitches purlwise.


This pattern works over any odd multiple of stitches.


Cast on 101 stitches using a basic Long Tail Cast-On.

Row 1 (wrong side): Slip 1 (see Notes) with yarn in front (wyif), purl to last stitch, slip 1 wyif. 

Row 2 (right side): *K1, slip 1 with yarn in back (wyib), repeat from * to last stitch, k1. 

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 28 inches from cast-on edge, ending with Row 1. 

Bind-Off Row (right side): K1, *slip 1 wyib, pass first stitch over, k1, pass first stitch over, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, k2, leaving 3 stitches on right needle.


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

Last Row: K1, knit 2 together, pass first stitch over the second stitch and off the needle. Cut yarn, leaving an 8-inch tail and pull through remaining stitch.

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

Weave in the remaining ends and block as desired.

Heel Stitch Hand Towel in Serif | Purl Soho

Looking for more inspiration? Explore all of our free knitting patterns and knitting tutorials, shop for beautiful yarn or buy one of our many knitting kits, and cast on!