This is my Basket Rib Hand Towel. I used one skein of Knit Picks Cotlin in Nightfall and US Size 5 needles (3.75 mm) for a 9" x 14" hand towel. That's bigger than a fingertip towel and smaller than the hand towels you're probably used to, but it is a nice size. Cotlin is a cotton and linen blend yarn in a DK weight, and I just love it. I toss mine in the washing machine with the other towels and then hang or lay flat to dry, so I haven't noticed any shrinkage. Even knitters on a pretty tight budget can afford a few skeins of cotlin and everybody should have hand knit towels. I'm currently working on a whole stack, in different colors.
Here's the pattern:
Cast on 50 stitches
Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: K2, Purl to last 2 stitches, K2
Row 3: (K2, P2) across to last 2 stitches, K2
Row 4: K4, (P2, K2) across to last 2 stitches, K2
Repeat rows 1-4 25 times more, for a total of 26 pattern repeats (104 rows).
Row 105: Knit
Bind off in Knit.
Tips: For an 11" x 17" hand towel, cast on 58 stitches and work 30 pattern repeats. You'll need about 1.25 skeins. You can also increase the width by casting on more stitches, the pattern works for any multiple of 4+2. (That's 6, 10...18, 22...62, 66 and so one.) I also think this would be nice done in worsted weight cotton and a size 7 needle. If you give that a try, let me know because I haven't tried it yet!
A couple more photos:
And here it is in worsted weight cotton, with a size US 6 (4mm) needle:
This is Lily's Sugar and Cream in Blueberry Twist. Allow yourself 3 ounces or 150 yards of cotton yarn.
Now available as a PDF download on Ravelry!