To crochet a standard 16-by-32-inch hand towel in a medium-weight (gauge 4-5) yarn, gather a 5.5-millimeter crochet hook (U.S. size I/9), about 384 yards of 100 percent acrylic yarn, a yarn needle and a pair of scissors. To make an absorbent towel, use the single crochet stitch throughout.
To crochet the hand towel, prepare your crochet hook by tying a slip knot. Insert the hook end through the loop, and draw up any slack in the yarn. Start the towel by chaining enough stitches to make a foundation chain about 16 inches long. You may have to adjust the number of stitches up or down depending on how the yarn behaves.
Once you’ve made a foundation chain, begin stitching in single crochet by inserting the hook in the second stitch from the hook. Insert the hook under the back loop of the chain, yarn over, and draw a loop of yarn through the stitch so that you have two loops on the hook. Yarn over again, and pull this loop of yarn through both loops on the hook. Repeat to the last chain of the foundation row to complete the first row.
Turn the piece, and chain one. Skip the first single crochet, and single crochet in the back loop of the next. Repeat stitching and turning until the hand towel is 32 inches long. To bind off, cut the yarn about 6 inches from the hook, and draw the loose end through the last loop. Pull the yarn tight, and then work the loose end into the piece with a yarn needle.