I like practical projects. That’s one of the reasons I love knitting with cotton. After I bought a massive amount of discounted cotton yarn a few months ago, I figured I ought to put some of it to good use. Since I love baking cookies and casseroles, I decided that I should try knitting some potholders. The thing about potholders, though, is that they need to be thick. Really thick. Poorly made potholders can cause serious burns! So, instead of risking injury by creating an impromptu pattern, I did a little bit of potholder research.
I tried a few nice patterns, but I wanted a very specific look. I’m not sure why, but I wanted bumpy potholders.
And that is how my Marvelously Bumpy Potholders were born!
As always, please forgive my photography. I do my best, but my skills are still lacking.
Angle changed to highlight bumpy texture.
I’ve made most of my potholders with variegated yarns (two strands held double the whole way), but you could just as easily use solid colors. I made one set with a strand of yellow/white variegated yarn and a strand of solid yellow. I think it turned out nicely!
These potholders make great gifts. I’ve given out several sets, and all the recipients liked them. Besides, Christmas is only fourteen short weeks away. I suggest my fellow crafters get to work!
Without further ado, here’s my Marvelously Bumpy Potholders pattern.
- 2 balls Peaches ‘n Creme 100% cotton yarn* in any color (yarn will be held double throughout)
- Size 8 (5mm) needle, or size needed for gauge. Please take time to check your gauge.
- Size I/9 (5.5mm) crochet hook. If you don’t size 8 knitting needles, just use a hook that’s one size larger than your needles.
- Darning needle
28 rows and 16 stitches = 4 inches (10.16 centimeters)
Note: In case you didn’t notice, gauge is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for this project! You need a tightly knit fabric to make the potholder sturdy enough to protect yourself from burns. People say “take time to save time” regarding gauge, but in this case, you need to take time to save skin.
Holding two strands of yarn double, cast on 24 stitches.
Rows 1-2: Knit.
Rows 3-4: Knit 2. *Knit 2, Purl 2, repeat from * 5 times. Knit last two stitches.
Rows 5-6: Knit 2. *Purl 2, Knit 2, repeat from * 5 times. Knit last two stitches.
Repeat rows 3-6 9 more times. (If you have large hands and want a longer potholder, feel free to add extra rows. Just make sure that you write down how many rows you added so that you can make the second potholder the same size. To make the potholders wider, simply cast on four extra stitches and add one [knit 2, purl 2] repeat to rows 3-4, and one [purl 2, knit 2] repeat to rows 5-6.)
Knit one more row.
Most of that is pretty easy, but binding off is a little different in this project. It’s not difficult, though. Please read through the next two paragraphs before binding off!
I suggest that you use the crochet bind off. (This link goes to a how-to video. Watch it if you’re confused.) Personally, it’s my favorite because it looks so nice and neat. It also manages to be looser than the generic “leapfrog” bind off while still leaving a sturdy edge. To bind off the potholders, I normally use a size I/9 crochet hook (5.5mm). It’s a good idea to use a crochet hook that’s one size larger than your knitting needles to prevent puckering. Confession: I typically go up TWO sizes on other projects because my crochet gauge is so tight. But, since the potholders need to be super sturdy, I tend to stick with a 5.5mm hook for their bind off row.
Alright. Now bind off as you please, leaving one stitch left on your crochet hook or knitting needle. (If you didn’t use the crochet bind off, just slide that last unfinished stitch onto your crochet hook.) To make the final little loop, crochet a short foundation chain. My chains always turn out really tight, so I usually make a chain of 12 on these potholders.
Now look at the photo below. Insert your crochet hook, front to back, into the space where I stuck the darning needle in the photo. It’ll go under what looks like two “legs” of a stitch. Be careful not to twist your chain. Meaning: keep the “V” side of the chains facing the outside of the loop.
Pull up one loop and make a slip stitch. Cut yarn and pull the tail through. Make it snug, but not too tight. Imagine the slip stitch hugging the potholder without strangling it.
Now weave in your yarn tails. Ta-da! You’re done! Uh, except for blocking. The potholders will be functional right off the bat, but they will probably be kind of misshapen and awkward looking until you block them. So don’t be lazy. Block them! I’m the laziest of the lazy, but I still block all of my potholders before gifting them.
PROOF! I blocked mine on a towel, but it’s probably better to block them on a self-healing mat. They’ve got fancy grids and rulers on them, which makes it easier to block the potholders into a uniform size.
So there it is! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Note: Make as many Marvelously Bumpy Potholders as you want, but please don’t share this pattern without linking back to me.