Thursday, July 31, 2014

More Potholders and Coasters

Lately, I've been crocheting up a storm of potholders and coasters....  I haven't worked this much with 100% cotton yarn since my doily crocheting days!  Acrylic yarn is still more comfortable for me to crochet with and far more economical for amigurumis, but cotton is the only way to go when you need heat protection and absorbency.

The first three potholders were crocheted for my mother- and father-in-law, who told me that they were in dire need of new ways to protect their hands from hot pots & pans.  My mother-in-law grew up on the Jersey Shore on Long Beach Island, and she still owns her childhood home, so we went with a seafood theme for the two potholders that will reside in that house's kitchen.  This lobster potholder pattern came out of a vintage (1951) crochet pattern book that is out of print, but the pattern was posted on Free Vintage Crochet.

The lobster is appliquéd onto a plain square potholder (I used a natural color for the front and red for the back), and it is crocheted in just two pieces!  What an ingenious design.  I love the texture on the tail (using slip stitches in front loop only and then going back behind with double crochet stitches in the back loops) and how the feelers are layered over the claws.  So cool!

This crab potholder is also from a vintage pattern available for free, and while the appliqué pattern is not as ingeniously designed as the lobster (all the crab's legs and claws were crocheted and then sewed onto the potholder separately), it still turned out very nice.

The only problem with this crab potholder is that my mother-in-law has declared it too pretty to use!  I guess I'll have to make her a couple of boring-looking yet functional ones to stash in a drawer. Ha!

My parents-in-law also received this version of the scalloped potholder for their house here in Texas.  I loved the blue one that I crocheted for myself so much (it's gorgeous and works really, really well) that I memorized the pattern and started churning them out.  They take about 2 hours each, and the pattern is simply lovely.

Isn't that Lily Sugar 'n' Cream Twists yarn cool?  The yarn is 4 ply, and each of the 4 strands is a different color (red, yellow, blue, and green).  I thought it looked great with this pattern.  I paired it with a sold red for the back.

Niki said she would like a potholder, too, so I stash-busted and paired this pretty Lily Sugar 'n' Cream yellow and green.

I still had more of the Lily Sugar 'n' Cream Twists yarn left, and I was itching to use it, so I decided to make one for my mom, too.

I didn't have enough yellow to make the entire back that color (even though that would have looked really pretty!!), so I put it in the center of the backside and finished off with red.  It looks kind of like a poinsettia to me!

When I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics to get some other yarn, I had cotton on the brain, so I took a quick look at the Lily Sugar 'n' Cream section.  Yes, I should be stash-busting rather than buying more, but look at this cool Ombre yarn!!  Love the color combination.

This is a classic potholder pattern worked in single crochet stitches on the diagonal, and I love how it worked with the ombre yarn.

I had a hard time gauging how big it would turn out, and I made several versions before I was able to make one the perfect size.  Potholders don't work so well if they're too big or too small, and I was being very Goldilocks about the size.  I kept this beauty for myself!

In my quest to make the perfect coasters, I finally found a pretty pattern that was quick, easy, and works great to soak up condensation!  I can whip one of these coasters out in about 20 minutes, I think.  The color combinations were created through my stash-busting efforts.

Sonia loves these eye-catching coasters and uses them in her imaginative play a lot.  But, I steal them back to stick under my drinks.

One more cotton yarn project: I was commissioned to crochet another hair accessory holder for a very cool girl named Nadia, so I used some more of my cotton stash to create this:

The plastic hanger is a lot more sturdy than the one I made for Sonia with a thin wire hanger!  Apparently, Nadia loves it and was very happy to start clipping her hair accessories onto it as soon as it came in the mail.  Happy organizing, Nadia!!  She's a girl after my own heart.

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