Easy-Going Pot Holders

by Valérie Colette Miller 

www.knitbug.com 

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        Every holiday season I try to come up with a quick knitted gift that would suit a variety of people. While scarves and shawls were handed out in previous years, this holiday season I’ve settled on a practical gift that is used all year round. The main feature of these pot holders is that they are completely customizable. You chose the cotton fabric, the stitch pattern, even the yarn should other sturdy cottons be available near you. This is a great opportunity to try swatches of stitch patterns you've been meaning to explore! You don’t get gauge? No problem, just knit your piece longer or shorter accordingly, provided you finish with a square. I’ve included three different stitch pattern designs I used, using two very different yarn weights to show just how versatile these pot holders can be. The honeycomb and basketweave stitch patterns are from the Vogue Knitting Ultimate knitting book. If you have more than 1/2 meter or yard of coordinating fabric leftover, consider making a matching apron. I'm making one in the funky polkadot fabric for my little sister and it makes for a nice one-of-a-kind set!

Materials:

1/4 meter/yard of cotton fabric. Both quilting and aupholstery work quite well. Pre-wash and press before using.

1/4 yard batting. I prefer Warm and Natural brand batting as it never seperates or bunches up when washed, and is made of natural cotton fibres.

Any machine-washable cotton yarn will do. For the bulky lavender/floral set, I used 2 balls of Cotton Thick and Quick by Lion Brand (discontinued now and has been replaced with Lion Cotton) . All others were made with *or* 2 skeins of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.

Size 10.5 (6.5mm)  needles if using Cotton Thick and Quick, size 6 (4mm) needles if  using Bernat Handicrafter Cotton.

1 spool of thread that matches the *yarn* color

Scissors that slice easily through fabric

Sewing machine or hand-sewing needle

Sizes

    Approx. 5.5" square for the stockinette and honeycomb potholders, 7.5" for the basketweave potholders. Sizes will vary, just ensure you have knit a square.

Gauge

    Plain stockinette in Cotton Thick and Quick: 10.5 stitches/4"/10cm

    Honeycomb stitch in Bernat Handicrafter Cotton:  24 stitches/4"/10cm

    Basketweave stitch in Bernat Handicrafter Cotton: 20 stitches/4"/10cm

Stitch instructions

Honeycomb cable:

4-st left cable: Sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold to front of work, k2, k2 from cable needle.

4-st right cable: Sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold to back of work, k2, k2 from cable needle.

Pattern

Plain Lavender Stockinette pot holder in Cotton Thick and Quick:

Cast on 18 stitches. Knit in stockinette for approx. 28 rows or until length of knit piece equals width. Cast off.

Honeycomb stitch holder in Bernat Handicrafter Cotton:

Cast on 48 stiches. (Or for a different size potholder, any number of stitches you choose as long as they are in multiples of 8 stitches.)

Rows 1, 3, 7, and 9 (RS): knit.

Row 2 and all WS rows: purl

Row 5: *4-st left cable, 4-st right cable; repeat from * to end.

Row 11: *4-st right cable, 4-st left cable; repeat from * to end.

Row 12: Purl. 

Repeat for 48 rows or until length of knit piece equals width. Cast off.  

Basketweave potholder in Bernat Handicrafter Cotton: 

Cast on 45 stitches (Or for a different size potholder, any number of stitches you choose as long as they are in multiples of 8 stitches + 5.) 

Row 1 (RS): Knit.

Row 2: K5, *p3, k5; repeat from * to end.

Row 3: P5, *k3, p5; repeat from * to end.

Row 4: Repeat row 2.

Row 5: Knit.

Row 6: K1, *p3, k5; repeat from *, end last rep k1.

Row 7: P1, *k3, p5; rep from *, end las rep p1.

Row 8: Repeat row 6. 

Repeat rows 1-8   8 times or until length of knit piece equals width. Cast off.  

Finishing  

1. Block your knitted squares.

2. Use your knitted square as a template for the fabric and batting. Cut a square of fabric approx. ½ inch larger than your knitted square to account for seam allowance (the sides of the squares that you will fold under before sewing.

3. Cut a quare of batting that is approx 1/4 inch smaller than your knitted square.

4. Centre the quare of batting on the WS of the knitted square.

5. Place you fabric square over batting. Carefully fold under the sides so as to leave a small knitted border around your fabric square (See photo). Your yarn ends can be used as hanging loops and so leave out a loop of yarn in the corner before tucking in the rest.  Pin or baste the square into place.

6. Machine or hand sew the border permanently.

 This pattern cannot be sold or used for profit.