Have you begun your countdown to December 25, 2018? Perhaps you’ve already started your Christmas crafting, and perhaps you haven’t — but either way, you still have plenty of time to whip up some Christmastime projects. Especially potholders, which are quick projects that don’t take much commitment.
If you’re in the mood to work on some Christmas crafts, we have plenty of ideas, not to mention free patterns, for you to try.
Pictured here: peppermint-candy inspired potholders that are reminiscent of the minty sweet treats you see in stores during the holiday season. They’re festive, attractive and tasty — just the thing to have in your kitchen while you’re doing your holiday baking, or planning your holiday parties and meals. Those fun little mints are ideal for everything from decorating your Christmas cookies to covering up the scent of eggnog on your breath.
They’re also fantastic inspiration for bunches of different craft projects.
Potholders like these make excellent Christmas gifts, but they’re also nice to keep for yourself — especially if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen during the holiday season.
Happily, these little pretties work up quickly enough that you can make a pair for yourself, plus more pairs to giftwrap and present to the chefs and bakers on your Christmas gift list.
You can crochet these fun potholders in red and white, as pictured, to resemble candy cane stripes. If you change the colors, the look could be completely different, and maybe not even Christmas-y, depending on the colors you choose.
You could take any design on the potholder pattern list and crochet it in Christmas colors, but some of the designs on the list are already “Christmas-y” as is. For example, this striped potholder resembles a candy cane if you crochet it in red and white yarn. (If not, it’s just an ordinary striped potholder, as you can see here.)
I haven’t got around to crocheting this Christmas tree design in wool yarn to use as a potholder yet, but it’s on my to-do list to try. Please feel free to use that idea if you’d like.
If you do, keep in mind that the design as originally written was meant to be used as an afghan square, and was crocheted in acrylic. You don’t want to use acrylic or other synthetics for making potholders, because acrylic yarn can melt and emit toxic vapors when it gets hot (as it most certainly will when coming into contact with hot dishes). Wool is a better choice for using to make potholders, because it is self-extinguishing (which means that, if you accidentally catch it on fire, the wool will not burn — the fire will most likely just go out on its own). Wool can safely be heated and is also biodegradable; acrylic yarn does not readily biodegrade. Cascade 220 yarn is my new go-to favorite yarn for crocheting potholders — I highly recommend it.
I enjoy savoring a cup of organic herbal tea and a sweet treat with my family — perhaps some fruit, a bowl of yogurt or a freshly baked treat. What I don’t love: burning my fingers on a hot teapot or teacup. Between all the cooking and baking we do and our newly instituted afternoon tea time tradition, the potholders I crochet get bunches of use around our place.
We recently moved several times, and we couldn’t take everything (truthfully, we couldn’t take much of anything) with us. Our old potholders were left behind when we made the transition — so I’ve been crocheting new ones. I’m super proud of how they’re turning out. If you’d enjoy crocheting some of your own lovely new potholders for tea time, dinnertime or any time, I think you’ll be excited to get your hands on the patterns I’ve been using. Want to take a peek at a couple of my new favorites?
The Sunny Daisy Crochet Potholder
To create the golden daisy-themed crochet potholder you see pictured here, I used two different octagon motifs from Sandra Eng’s amazing new book called Crochet Kaleidoscope, published by Interweave:
Motif #98 — motif #98 is an 8-pointed star motif with a crochet flower in the center. If you choose a golden-yellow yarn for the center of the flower and a white yarn for the flower petals, the way I did here, the flower resembles a daisy. Of course, you could customize your potholders by choosing any yarn colors that match your tea set, your dinnerware, your bakeware, your kitchen or your dining room décor. I used Cascade 220 wool yarns to crochet this potholder.
As far as crochet flower patterns go, this daisy is a really easy one; it isn’t complicated at all. There are lots of other ways you could use it besides just making potholders. You could incorporate the same design into a crochet daisy blanket, a doily or lots of other sorts of projects.
Motif #97 — motif #97 is an octagon shape with another polygonal shape in the center. This polygon could be interpreted as a sun or a star. I’m choosing to think of it as a sun for this particular design.
After crocheting these two motifs, I whip stitched them together to create a double-thick potholder that’s extra protective (no more burnt fingers!). Then I added a simple shell stitch edging around the outside, placing 2 shells comprised of 5 double crochet stitches on each of the potholder’s 8 sides (these are alternated with slip stitches). In the same round, I also added a hanging loop comprised of 15 chain stitches.
The finishing touch is a round of surface crochet slip stitches worked in white yarn in the spot where the white ground of the potholder touches the golden yellow edging. It’s interesting to me that this looks quite a bit like a round potholder or crochet mandala after adding the edging — although you can tell it’s an octagon shape if you look carefully (especially at the back).
If you do all your stitching carefully, the potholder turns out totally reversible — with a daisy or other flower on the front and a sun or star on the back.
I’m working on trying bunches of other variations on this design using other colors and perhaps (we’ll see) other edgings and other details. I’ll be excited to share information about how they turn out.
Vintage Potholder From Crochet Loom Blooms by Haafner Linssen
Crochet Loom Blooms is one of my new favorite craft books. The patterns in the book are simply beautiful! One of the patterns is called “Vintage Potholder”. I crocheted a modification of this design, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out. Take a look!
Isn’t it gorgeous? I LOVE IT!
The Crochet Loom Blooms book is simply amazing. It’s filled with patterns and instructions for making lovely flowers using a flower loom and then finishing them with crochet work. The technique works well for making potholders, blankets, throws, shawls, wraps, doilies and bunches of other projects. This flower loom technique is a fun and interesting way to mix things up a little and keep your crochet from getting repetitive or boring. If you want to learn a new craft without introducing a huge learning curve, this is definitely the way to go; I found the flower loom technique to be intuitive and easy to understand — especially since the author of the book, Haafner Linssen, has provided such clear and helpful instructions for the technique.
Don’t worry if fancy floral potholders aren’t your thing; there are zillions of other crochet potholder patterns available in a dazzling variety of different design styles. If you want basic potholders, textured potholders, striped potholders, snowflake potholders, Christmas potholders or just about any other type of potholders imaginable, you’ll find excellent pattern suggestions on our page of knit and crochet potholder patterns. Many, but not all, of the patterns we’ve suggested on that page are free patterns.
Find More Flower Loom Crochet Resources
If the flower loom crochet technique interests you, we invite you to check out our page on the topic. You’ll find information about some of the flower looms and pattern books that are currently available.
Speaking to my fellow Americans — It’s almost July, and that means our July 4, 2016 celebration is coming up soon. Are you ready to take a day off to picnic, party, play and parade like the free-spirited, freedom-loving people that you are?
Maybe picnics and parties are your idea of fun — and maybe they aren’t. Maybe you find it just as enjoyable to relax with a lovely needlework project in hand…Sometimes I do. However you’ll choose to spend the day, here’s hoping your Fourth of July 2016 will be a spectacular one.
Pictured here: red, white and blue striped potholders that make glorious summertime crochet projects — not too time-consuming, and not too hot and heavy for afternoon craft sessions on the veranda.
If you knock out a few of these between now and the Fourth, you can bring ’em with you to whatever potlucks / parties / picnics you’ll be attending. Or maybe just place ’em on your picnic table so nobody burns their hands on the hot-off-the-barbecue dishes that will get passed around.
Some of y’all find holidays motivating; it’s always fun to tie your projects into whatever special day is coming up next. But the truth is, potholders like these are lovely to have on hand year-around. They make great accents for every patriotic holiday: Veteran’s Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day…and they work for everyday, non-holiday-days as well.
If any of you are outside the USA, you’re invited to make use of this pattern too. If red, white and blue is not the color scheme you have in mind, you are welcome to substitute any other colorway you please.