Chevron stripes hand towel (with corrected instructions)

Chevron stripes hand towel - finishedI had intended to show you my finished Carolyn Pajamas today, but it rained during the only free time I had to take outdoor photos!  So instead I’ll share this small knitting project that I completed a few weeks ago.

Project Stats:

Pattern: Chevron Stripes Hand Towel (Ravelry pattern link) from Mason Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne (book published in 2006).  My Ravelry notes are here.

Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic, 100% mercerized cotton, DK weight, in dark pink and light pink.  Purchased approximately one million years ago.

Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm), 24-inch circulars

Modifications: None, although I re-interpreted the (awful) instructions.  See below.

Level of crafty satisfaction: This is a small knitted hand towel, no big deal!

Chevron stripes hand towel - corner detail

All right folks, I am about to go on a rant.  You’ve been warned.

The stitch pattern above is what I believe to be the correct interpretation of the pattern instructions, which are so horribly written that a simple stitch repeat turns into a confusing nightmare.  I think there is supposed to be one garter stitch stripe and one stockingette stitch stripe, as pictured here.  I’ve seen many versions on Ravelry (including the official pattern photos!) with all stockingette stitch stripes, but if you look at the photo in the book (see below), I think there are supposed to be garter stitch stripes as well.  I find it to be downright unacceptable that such a simple pattern is written up so badly in this hardcover book, for which I paid $29.95 USD, that even seasoned knitters can’t seem to agree on which version is correct.  There are supposedly errata on the MDK website, but I couldn’t find a link that still works, and according to Ravelry, the errata are still wrong anyway.  WTF Ann and Kay?!?!???

End rant.

Chevron stripes hand towel - full towelWithout further ado, I’m providing my interpretation of the instructions below.  These instructions should correct four issues: (1) they result in alternating garter and stockingette stripes; (2) they result in the correct number of finished stripes; (3) they result in 5-stitch garter stitch borders along each vertical side of the towel; and (4) they are (hopefully) clearer and easier to follow.  Can you believe all of this was either unclear or wrong in the original pattern?

Revised Instructions for Chevron Stripes Hand Towel by Mason Dixon Knitting


  1. In this example, color A is dark pink, and color B is light pink.
  2. Anything in bold is different from the original instructions.
  • With A, cast on 87 sts.
  • Rows 1-5: With A, work 5 rows garter stitch (knit every row).
  • Row 6 (RS): With B, k5 (this forms the edging on the side), *k2tog, k2, kfb in next 2 sts, k3, SSK (the original calls for SKP, but I find SSK easier), repeat from * to last 5 sts, k5 (edging on other side).
  • Row 7 (WS): k5, purl to last 5 sts, k5.
  • Rows 8-11: Repeat rows 6 and 7 two more times.  (This forms a 6-row stockingette stitch stripe.)
  • Row 12: With A, repeat row 6.  (This is the first row of the 6-row garter stitch stripe.  It is knit in stockingette stitch to avoid purl bumps showing on right side of fabric.)
  • Rows 13-17: With A, work 5 rows garter stitch (knit every row).  (This completes the 6-row garter stitch stripe.)
  • Alternating A and B as set, repeat rows 6-17 eleven more times.  You should now have 13 garter stripes in A (dark pink) and 12 stockingette stripes in B (light pink).
  • With B, repeat rows 6-11.  This forms one more stockingette stripe in B (light pink).
  • With A, repeat rows 12-16.  This forms the final garter stripe in A (dark pink) at the top of the towel.
  • With A, bind off.
  • The finished towel should have 14 garter stripes in A (dark pink) and 13 stockingette stripes in B (light pink), for a grand total of 27 stripes.

If you try these instructions and notice any errors, please let me know by leaving a comment below, and I will update this post.
Chevron stripes hand towel - pattern in bookHere are the original pattern photos and instructions, for what they’re worth.  There are garter stripes in the blue and green striped towel, right??
Chevron stripes hand towel - back detail

Instruction issues aside, this was a fun little project to work on during my recent vacation.  Sometimes all I want to do is sit on the couch and knit.  I find it really relaxing and get into this zen-like state where I’m just repeating the stitches over and over again, all the while tuning out the rest of the world.  Knitting is a great stress-reliever, and I’ve gotten through some rough times in life by maniacally knitting.

I probably won’t get a chance to photograph and post my Carolyn PJs before Thanksgiving, so until then, I wish you all safe travels and a very happy holiday!  I’ll be heading out to California.  🙂  For those of you not in the US or who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful regular week!

4 thoughts on “Chevron stripes hand towel (with corrected instructions)

  1. I actually like your version better than the official photos on Ravelry! From what I’m seeing on the projects page, the garter stitch rows prevent the towel from pulling together so it stays in shape much better.

    I totally agree that it’s frustrating when paid patterns are written so poorly or contain multiple mistakes. There are free patterns that are absolutely flawless and it baffles me that a publisher goes ahead and releases something that can’t be worked with. It’s what makes me so hesitant to invest money into patterns, which is a shame cause there are so many lovely people out there who deserve every penny for their work!


    • Thanks Sanne! Yes, this would be a curly mess without the garter stripes, which further convinces me that they were meant to be there in the original pattern.

      As for mistakes in patterns, thankfully the vast majority of my experiences have been good. I get the feeling though that sometimes publishers are more concerned with the huge photos that sell the book rather than the actual content, which drives me crazy! (Sadly, this applies to some blogs as well.)


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