I had snippets (1 yard or longer) of small balls of yarn tucked away in the bottom of my needlework tote, so I dug these out the other day and began to crochet potholders and hot dish mats from them. My mother-in-law and hubbin's grandmother showed me how to make these many moons ago.
The potholder is crocheted in the round beginning with a size K hook, baby weight yarn and about 30 chains. All crochet starts with a basic chain.
1. To make potholder = One must start by holding hook in one hand and yarn in another. Make a slip knot on your crochet hook. To crochet chain, grab yarn with end of hook (winding placement = hook under yarn, then swing hook up around back of the yarn, so yarn is in front of hook = that makes a yarn over), pull yarn down with hook and through slip knot loop to make a chain. Repeat until you have 30 chains altogether. Keep chain straight, don't fasten chain into a circle for the next step.
2. First row = To single crochet (sc), slip the hook into the second chain behind the loop on your crochet hook, yarn over (yo), pull yarn down with hook and through loop so that you have two loops on your crochet hook, yarn over again and pull through both loops. You should have one loop on hook at this point. Single crochet 28 more times along the chain, turn, and single crochet along the bottom of the chain, then turn again and single crochet into the first row of single crochets. Keep crocheting around until the potholder fabric measures about 4 (four) inches from the beginning chain.
3. At this point, fold circle inward (it will naturally want to fold at end points of beginning chain anyway). Single crochet to the middle of last row, about a 90 degree angle from ends of beginning chain, then make 8 chains, attach to make a hanging loop and fasten off (yo, pull long loop through, leaving a long tail of yarn to whip stitch seam closed with a yarn needle, cut, pull tight and after sewing seam closed, weave ends of yarn in). A single-layered fabric, crocheted in the round will become a thick square potholder. ;-)
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To make the hot dish mat, I had to crochet 2 (two) granny squares of 4 rows each with a size K crochet hook.
1. To make a granny square = Make a foundation chain of 5 chains as described in previous pattern.
2. To make the foundation circle of the granny square, dip hook back to the first chain you made at the bottom near the tail knot, slip hook through, grab yarn, pull it through both first chain and loop on hook to make a slip stitch (ss). Chain 3. This will represent the beginning of the double crochet cluster of the first row.
3. First row = hold chain circle with your thumb and third finger in the opposite hand from the hand that holds the crochet hook. Make 2 double crochet (dc) stitches into the center of the foundation chain. (To make a double crochet (dc), wind yarn over hook and without dropping the second loop on the hook, push hook through center of circle, yarn over (yo) and pull through to make 3 loops on hook. Yarn over again and pull yarn through the first two loops on hook. Yarn over again and pull yarn through last two loops on hook . You should have one loop left on hook.) Repeat to make 2nd double crochet.
4. Chain 3. This will make the corner of the first row.
5. Make 3 double crochets into center of circle, then chain 3. Repeat 2 more times. You should have four chain 3 corners and 3 clusters of 3 double crochets). When you have made the last three chains, slip hook into the top chain of the first cluster and make a slip stitch (ss). To make second row another color, chain one, making a large loop, cut center of loop with scissors and pull tail tight. Weave tail of thread into back of first row with a yarn needle. If you wish to make the second row the same color, crochet slip stitches across the top of the first cluster of double crochets to the corner chain
6 Second row = directions are the same for both colors, except 2nd color of yarn gets attached to one of the 3 chain corners. Chain 3 to again represent the beginning of the two double crochet clusters that make up the corner of the second row. Make 2 (two) double crochet stitches in same chain 3 corner, chain 3, and make another 3 dc cluster in corner .
7. Chain 1 and skip over cluster of 3 double crochets below in first row. Make next corner by crocheting 3 double crochets (dc), chain 3, 3 dc. Repeat until row is completed. End as before for third color row or slip stitch (ss) across to next corner.
8. Third row = Make corner and row as before, increasing by 1 cluster of dc crocheted in each chain 1 space between corners.
9. Repeat step 8 to make row 4. Fasten off. Complete 2 granny squares of 4 rows. Weave in tails of yarn in back.
10. Place each square back to back, then twist slightly so that the front square's corners are placed in middle between the back granny square's corners. (Tip: fasten granny squares together with large safety pins at points where single crochet will catch the back to front – first chain space before and after corners). Attach yarn to front granny square, chain one, then make a single crochet catching the back granny square with the yarn in chain space before the corner of front granny square. Single crochet on the right double crochets to corner chains, then make 8 double crochets in corner, then make 3 single crochets along left cluster. Single crochet in chain after corner, catching back granny square in stitch, then single crochet up right side of the back granny square, make 8 double crochets in corner, then single crochet down left side of back granny square, then single crochet both front and back together again, repeat, crocheting all around squares, alternating corners until the hot dish mat is one piece. Slip stitch end together, then cut and weave tail of yarn in with yarn needle.