My Dad turned 60 in March this year. As a birthday present Hubby and I bought him a ticket to come and visit us here in England for 10 days in September. We started to plan the holiday in February, applied for his Visa in July and in last week he collected the visa and currency. All that’s left to do is for him to get on the aeroplane on the 7th September! (To put my excitement about this visit into context, this is the first time one of my parents will see the country I’ve been living in for 8 years, and the house I’ve been living in for 6 years. His visit is a BIG DEAL to me!)
As a welcome gift, I made my dad these crochet applique hand towels:
To understand the farm scene, you have to know that my Dad has been working as a Scientific Technician at the Department of Agriculture farm in Elsenburg, South Africa since 1974. Yes, 1974! His main field of expertise are milk cows. Two years ago he did his Masters Degree on the subject. It’s such a big part of my Dad, that I just had to do something cow and farm inspired for him.
I went for hand towels, as it’s something that he uses daily on the farm. His “office” (I’m using the term loosely as it’s actually a room with desk and chair in a farm outbuilding) also has a basin which he uses to wash his hands after a few hours in the dairy or the stables, so hand towels were the obvious choice.
The crochet appliques are a mixture of two oneandtwocompany patterns: the cow and shed from Cow Pig and Farm, and the tree from The Tree The Houses and The Cloud (I blogged about these cute crochet applique patterns here way back in February). It was so much fun making these, even more so since I knew it was for my Dad and he wasn’t expecting it. The patterns are easy to understand and work up really quickly.
It was essential that I use the cow for both towels, but to make each one special, I did one as a Jersey cow (the brownish) and one as a Friesian (the black and white). The yarn is Rowan Handknit Cotton and Stylecraft Cotton Classiqe with a 5 mm crochet hook.
I sewed the applique onto the towels with invisible thread. I got the idea of using invisible thread from Sarah London’s Crochet Love book (she calls it monofilament thread). It worked really well. You can’t see the stitches at all! I didn’t sew the ears of the cows onto the towel – I think it’s cute that they stand out and can be played with as you dry your hands…. not that my Dad would want to play with cow ears, but I like to give him the option.
Hubby came up with the idea of blanket stitching along the bottom in green yarn so that it would look like grass. I think it looks great and really “pulls everything together” – that’s a direct quote from Hubby. Such a clever husband!!
I really like how the towels turned out. I just hope my Dad feels the same.
(P.S. If you read this post and you know my Dad please don’t spoil the surprise.)
Daniella ott said:
What a beautiful thought, I enjoy reading your blog very much and love your hand work al lot. It is so wonderfull to see that there are still people that aprisiate hand work. I grew up with a grandmother that always had knitting niddles in her hands. My aunts ( my fathers sister) knit and crochet to. I myself went back to crochet just recent ally . (I am 50 years old)when I started looking for different crochet designs I bumped into your blog. My name is Daniella , and the funny thing is that my parents are from south afrika to. They moved to Israel many years ago, so I was born here in the holy land… Keep up your beautiful work and enjoy the small things in the every daylife- it seems to me that this is your moto. Best wishes, Daniella
Thank you very much for your beautiful words Daniella.
What a fantastic surprise,but even more fantastic is that you beloved dad is coming to see his baby girl at her own home 😀 My heart is leaping for you 🙂
Looking forward to hearing all about it 😀
Thanks Mo 🙂
This is such a wonderful read, and somewhat emotional – I ‘m sure I had a tear in my eye! I hope your dad likes them, and doesn’t read your post of his own accord!
Hey, I love the towels.. they look so groovy! Your dad is lucky to have such a beautiful, and talented young lady for a daughter.. have fun together. xx
I love these towels. I am very excited for you and hope that it works out for you. My husband wouldn’t know what a blanket stitch was so you are indeed very blessed. As always great work from you. I love seeing what you come up with as it can be so varied. Thanks.
Thank you for the kind words 🙂
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