I’m giving this entry a new tag – textiles. I was going to tag it “hobbies” or “crocheting,” but I went with “textiles” because one of these days I’m going to learn how to sew. More specifically, I’d like to learn how to quilt. But that’s a separate story. Today’s story is about potholders. E had been employing his bad habit of using towels as potholders – this is what they do at work and at some point a Nopa towel actually came home with him. I’m kind of reminded of college when bowls and silverware from the dining hall used to find their way into our cupboards. At any rate, towels aren’t actually the best options for holding hot things (which might explain the burns covering E’s hands and forearms), and this, combined with my recent discovery of Urban Knitting Studio down on Fell, made me decide to make some potholders.
I used some rougher, washable wool and somehow I managed to get colors that matched our couch pillows. Then I got a large J sized hook, went home and sat down with my yarn, hook and the Internet. I had been toying with the idea of taking lessons so that I could learn to crochet things a little more interesting than scarves, but it turns out that there are a plethora of videos on the Internet that show you how to do everything from the most basic stitches to sweaters (since discovering these videos I have learned to crochet in the round and do a chainless foundation in addition to the potholders).
The first potholder was very basic – I needed an easy win. So I used the J hook and used both balls of yarn and did a simple single crochet stitch. It ended up being kind of big – 9 inches on each side – and then when I actually tried to use it, it wasn’t thick enough. So I folded the corners down into the center (like you do for origami) and “sewed” the seams together. I put sewed in quotes because I don’t actually have a yarn needle. Instead, I painstakingly used the crochet hook to weave the yarn in and out of the stitches. I decided to take it up a notch for the second potholder and used a seed stitch (alternating single and double crochets) while crocheting in the round (kind of). It wasn’t in the round like you would do for a hat or a coaster – the potholder ends up looking like a rectangle pouch when you’re finished and then you pull the corners out into a square and sew what used to be the opening of the pouch up. This way it’s nice and thick. I ran out of yarn in one color half way through, so I had to use the other color. At first I thought it was going to look weird, but it actually turned out quite nice. For the finishing touches, I crocheted a loop at the corner of each potholder so we could hang them on our kitchen hooks. And they totally work! No more burnt fingers! No more worrying about the towels catching on fire!
The fruits of my labor: