Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marvelous Mittens


Hello everyone and Hola! to my new Spanish-speaking followers.

If you have checked in lately, you may have noticed that I have not blogged for a month. That's because I have been busy with a new project. After coaxing on the part of some of my ravelry friends, I started an etsy shop. For those of you who do not know what an esty shop is, here is an online definition.

Etsy is a social commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. These items cover a wide range including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, edibles, bath & beauty products, quilts, nick-knacks and toys.

As a test, I started a shop featuring one product line: mittens. Here is an example of my mittens.

The mittens are made from repurposed wool sweaters that I rescue from thrift shops. I bring the sweaters home to wash and dry them. This is what is known as the felting process. As the wool sweaters shrink up, the fibers mesh together and become more dense and often more lush. This felted wool is perfect for beautiful, soft, warm mittens. Of course some of the sweaters I buy are already felted (unintentionally) and that is why they were donated. This week, for instance, I purchased a beautiful striped Abercrombie & Fitch sweater that someone presumably loved but, probably assuming it was acrylic, the sweater was washed and it shrunk up. The sweater, though no longer useful for wearing, will now become about five pairs of Marvelous Mittens.

Once the sweaters are felted, the next step is to cut the ribbing from the sleeves and main body. Next the sleeves, backs and fronts are cut away at the seams. The four pieces are now flattened and serve as wool fabric from which three pattern pieces are cut. Once cut, the pieces are sewn together. The ribbing that was cut from the sweater is used for the cuffs and a set of matching buttons are hand sewn on to complete the mittens.
Sometimes it takes a parts of two or three different sweaters to complete a single pair of mittens. Here on the left is the photo of the same pair of mittens but in this view one of the palm-side mittens is shown. You can see that two colors of solid blue were cut from other sweaters to complete the pair mittens. I have used green colors on the palm side with this same striped knit pattern which illustrates that the same sweater can yield different color combinations for an interesting variety of choices.

I started making mittens from sweaters in 2009 with the intent of selling them at a few holiday fairs. I sent a pair to my Aunt Margaret in another state to match a hat I had knitted for her birthday several months before. Aunt Margaret liked her pair so much she ordered ten pairs from me. After she received her order, she took the box of mittens with her to the dog park where she let her little dog, Mac, play with other dogs while she visited with her many lady friends whose dogs were also there to romp and play. Soon I was filling orders from her friends and sending mittens across the miles as gifts to their family in other states or for their own personal use.

This season I had about several pairs mittens left from last year as well as some I had sewn in the early months of the year to be ready for the next winter. In all, I think I had about 50-75 pairs on hand. I sent one pair to a ravelry friend as part of a "From Trash to Treasure" personal exchange. That friend coaxed me share a photo of my mittens with the other women in the same group. I did and that's when some of the women suggested I start an online shop through etsy and one even gave me some pointers about getting started.

Here are a few more pairs of mittens for you to see a little variety. Up to this week I have been making mittens in three sizes: small, medium and large. The small size fits grade school children, the medium fits ladies and teens, the large fits men and older teen boys. In the past few days I added two more sizes: preschool (3-5 year olds) and toddler (18 month-3 year olds).



Starting up a shop was confusing and overwhelming at first. There were so many decisions to make. One of the most difficult was coming up with a name. Every shop name I tried seemed to have already been taken. Finally my husband said, "Marvelous Mittens!" And so it was. After that I had to write a bio, make up a shop banner, choose all kinds of perimeters like shipping information, and so on. Taking photos of the items and writing up descriptions took some time. Finally, I was up with my banner which gave me a "store front" and a few pairs of mittens. To my surprise, a few orders started coming in and I began shipping mittens to various states in the U.S. and to Canada, too.

Addendum: Happy Ending!
I am happy to report that, unbeknownst to me, a friend purchased this pair of mittens from me though my online shop. My long distance friend's name is Sherry. When I was readying the order I thought, "I know who this is! It's my ravelry friend, Sherry!" Sure enough, it was. I was so thrilled because I love these mittens and I was glad to know this pair went to a very special person. After Sherry received her mittens she posted this comment to the blog:

"I bought these mittens from Delights’s Etsy store. Each individual color jumps out at me! I love the blues along with the pinks and greens! On my hands they are like a soft fuzzy blanket! My fingers are nice and warm! I love them so much! They are so cool! I love these things!

Here's a picture of them on my hands!"


Thanks, Sherry!

To visit me at my new etsy shop. CLICK HERE

Stop by for a visit!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fast and Fun Holiday Wreath Pins


Wondering what little something you can share with co-workers during the holidays? These little wreath pins might be just the answer!


The purpose of this blog page is to share the instructions for the larger of the two sizes of wreath pins or brooches (pictured above) so you can make as many as you desire this holiday season. The finished measurement of the larger pin is 2 and 3/4 inches across.

This is a holiday accessory that has been around for decades; I did not originate it but I developed my own particular version and am sharing it here with you. You are welcome to use this pattern with these guidelines: Be sure to attribute this source when posting or presenting pins/brooches made from this pattern and refrain from publishing or selling the pattern or representing it as your own. Otherwise, no other restrictions apply. Enjoy making these for selling, sharing, giving or for your own personal use.

A few interesting points about these wreath pins:
they are fast and easy to make (about 10 minutes start to finish)
they make perfect little holiday gifts for family, friends, acquaintances and co-workers
each can be made uniquely to match the personality or color preferences of recipients
you can create multiples for yourself to match your outfits for work, church or holiday parties

Supplies:
Other than the worsted weight yarn, the above photo shows all of the supplies you will need to make these pins. I want to say a few words about some of these items because I have specific recommendations about a few of them.

1. Unique Stitch glue or Liquid Stitch glue: I think either of these brands are the best glues to use for this project. Unique Stitch and Liquid Stitch glue are especially designed for fabric and are washable—not that you would wash your wreath pin—but these glues are flexible and waterproof. I use either of these glues to adhere the pin/clasps to the back of the wreaths and to decorate the fronts. Two advantages: a.) the glue dries fairly fast and b.) the glue dries clear. With one squeezable tube you can complete dozens of wreath pins. For me, this type of glue is a MUST in my arsenal of craft supplies. You can purchase one or the other of these brands in the notion section of fabric stores but, just in case, you want more information about it, I am including the following info: Unique Stitch glue is manufactured by the W.H. Collins company in SC. The company's website is: www.collinsnotions.com. Liquid Stitch glue is manufactured in Spartanburg, SC by the Dritz company: www.dritz.com. I purchased Liquid Stitch at Wal-mart.

2. Plastic Loop: The loop size used for this wreath is 1 and 1/2 inches. This size, or something close to it, is another notion that you can find in fabric stores and often in craft stores, too. I also buy a smaller size and make wreaths that are about an inch smaller, when finished.

3. G Hook: For this larger wreath pin, I use a G hook. For the smaller one, I use an F hook.

4. Yarn: You can use any worsted weight yarn. My personal preference is to use heavier cottons to make the wreaths, such as Lily's Sugar 'n Cream, Pisgah's Peaches 'n Creme, or Lion Brand Lion Cotton. For this example, I used Lily's Sugar 'n Cream, Dark Pine.

5. Clips/clothespins: To firmly adhere the pin onto the back of the wreath, I like to use clips (seen left, above in the photo). If you do not use a clip of some kind, you can put a tiny amount of weight on the glued clasp until it dries. A clothespin can work for this. Be aware that you want the clasp to remain upright and not tilted.

6. Decor items: I bought garlands of decor that come in two small sizes: tiny and tinier and cut them from the stringing for wreath decor. Beads will work, too. Sometimes I use puffy paints for little holly berries and glitter puffy paint for little Christmas decor or accents.

7. Clasps/pins: When I first started making these brooches, I used little brass safety pins. Since then I graduated to purchased brass clasp pins that come in little plastic baggies from the craft store. The pins are about one inch long.

8. Ribbon: I have very thin ribbon on spools that I use to embellish the wreath pins. I also have some tiny pre-made velvety bows that I attach to the fronts of the wreaths. Thin metallic "ribbon" that I saved from packages received works nicely, too. Use whatever you have on hand or can adapt that will work.

Okay, lets' get started!

The how-to is so simple, you will only need the following photos with brief instructions to make holiday wreath pins to your heart's content.




Finish by decorating the fronts of your wreaths, as desired. Here's a close-up of one with tiny packages on the front. (I didn't "wrap" the packages. They are commercial items.)

Here are a few more wreath pin photos for possible inspiration.



One more thing:
Here's another oldie, but goodie: two little ice skates with paper clip blades. Free-formed; no pattern. But, because they were not as fast and easy to make, I set them aside. Maybe someone can create or share a good pattern. I'd be happy to publish it here.

Someone has kindly left the following web address in the comments.

http://nannysnook.netfirms.com/ornaments.htm

It features several little Christmas ornaments and instructions, including more interesting skates than the ones I posted. There are some good ideas at this site. Thanks to "anonymous" for sharing.




Monday, September 13, 2010

From Trash to Treasures


One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Creative women I know see the beauty, usefulness and possibility in all kinds of items that the ordinary person would throw away or recycle. One of my ravelry friends, spookycuddles (a.k.a. Brenda) is one of these women. She gets excited about turning trash into treasure and even belongs to a group called From Trash to Treasures within the ravelry community.

Her enthusiasm for this kind of creative challenge is infectious and, although I don't belong to her group, she inspired me to make some trash to treasure items for her.* [See end of blog page.] Below is a photo that Brenda took for me (because I accidentally erased my photo) of the items I sent to her to keep, gift, swap or share as she pleased.

This blog page will detail the items made for Brenda with the hope that others may be inspired to turn more trash into treasures that can be enjoyed by others.

Here's how it all started:
Brenda had been sharing her excitement about her upcoming swap with her Trash to Treasure group. She had said she was doing detective work on her secret swap pal. After that, all of her messages will filled with ideas of what she planned to make for the swap. In the spirit of the swap news, I had told Brenda that I had been saving some plastic, cylindrical containers that I hated to throw out because, after all, I am a Trash/Treasure person at heart. About these cylinders and other "too good to throw out" items, I thought, "Maybe I can find some use for these."

Somewhere in the midst of our exchanges, I decided to make some Trash to Treasure items
for Brenda. I started with these plastic cylinders (see photo of Kroger peach tea powered drink) that had been accumulating because I was sure I would find SOME use for them. I go through two or three of these per month. Once the label is removed, a strong, white cylinder remains—too good to throw out. Hmmmmm, what could I make for Brenda with some of these? Some of my ideas for the cylinders: a large peppermint stick, a large firecracker, a bank of some kind and a faux candle. I settled on making a candle and sending two additional painted, but unfinished ones to send to Brenda for her to create as she wished.

As long as I planned to send these items to Brenda, I figured I would fill the cylinders with other little Trash/Treasure items. From there, the whole thing took off and I began making and collecting all kinds of things for her, just because I wanted to and because she is such a fun person and friend.

My next project was a plarn project bag. Here it is.


Looks pretty good and you would not know what it is made of unless you are a creative person and you know what plarn** is. Plarn, is the combination of the words "plastic" and "yarn." This bag is crocheted using plastic grocery bags. I cut 48 plastic bags (one at a time) into spiral strips to use as the yarn-type medium for making this waterproof bag. The three kinds of bags I used were Kroger bags (brown with dark blue printed words and logo), Fiesta bags (gold with red print) and Wal-mart (white with blue print).

General instructions for how to make the plarn bag appear near the end of this blog page.

**Another of my ravelry friends, Braydenbugsmom (a.k.a Christina), mentioned this word to me in a conversation. I said, "You mean there's a word for this?! Who knew?" Yes, indeed there is. Thanks Christina for expanding my creating vocabulary.

Candle: Here is the finished faux candle. To make the candle: I started by soaking and removing the label. Then I painted on three coats of craft acrylic paint followed by a final coat of clear acrylic spray. I painted white "drips" of candle "wax" with craft acrylic paint and then added a little dimensionality with some puffy paint, also white. Using some of the plastic left from the plarn bag, I cut and twisted some goldish color plastic to make the flame and inserted it into a small cross cut I made in the center of the lid. All done.

Orange Mittens: I made these mittens from a repurposed wool sweater. I washed and dried the sweater on high to shrink/felt it and then cut out the pattern pieces and sewed them up to make warm, wooly mittens that are perfect for cold weather. (I have made about 150 pairs of wool mittens in the past year.) I chose orange for Brenda because she likes Halloween so much. Speaking of Brenda and Halloween, here is a perfect opportunity to mention her ravelry name, spookycuddles. Those of us who know Brenda thought her ravelry name might be a special endearment that she is called at home, but Spooky and Cuddles are the names of her two cats. She put both together and made one word to use as her "handle."


Table napkins and coasters: I sewed and quilted (by hand) four tiny Halloween coasters that are seen here on the far right. I tied the four together with an orange ribbon. A few years back I found brand new Halloween napkins at Goodwill for a very cheap price and tucked them away thinking, "The price is right and I am sure they will come in handy in the future." Well, this is the right time and they match the coasters! Having purchased them at Goodwill qualifies them for Trash to Treasure.

Dish cloths: I didn't make these dishcloths but they are brand new and nicely crafted. I found a whole bag of 28 of these knitted dishcloths at Value Village in a bag for 10 cents each. A real steal! Someone donated them to the thrift store and, to me, this qualifies them as Trash to Treasure. I picked out two from my stack and rolled them up. I specifically chose one in colors that was somewhat Christmasy because I wanted to put them into the candle. They fit perfectly inside.

Wreath pin: I sent two small wreath pins (under 2 inches across) to Brenda wrapped in tissue and inserted into one of the red cylinders. One wreath was completed (pictured here on the left) and the other was ready to be decorated. I also sent a little ribbon and some tiny Christmas balls for decorating so Brenda could complete it using these decor items or...she was free to decorate as she pleased. I wanted to send her a third one, a larger, unfinished one (2 and 3/4 inches across), but it didn't fit into the cylinder unless I scrunched it, so I didn't send it.

(Right) Here is a picture of a larger wreath pin that I made after I sent this Trash to Treasure package to Brenda. I am including it for the purpose of letting readers know that the directions for making this have already been posted. Make and enjoy!

Magnets: Wrapped in tissue and inserted in the final red cylinder, these refrigerator magnets were made from cut-out glossy magazine pictures that I glued to the backs of glass "rocks" from a package I bought at a craft store. Powerful little magnets were glued on last. I chose a sunflower specifically for Brenda because she had just completed a sunflower potholder for herself. Of these magnets, Brenda said she is keeping the rose and sunflower (she has lots of magnets) and plans to share the orange and horse toy with a family member. (She is doing exactly what I hoped, keeping what she wanted and then giving, swapping or sharing the rest.)


Cards: Using glossy magazine pictures or scrapbook paper and my sizzix machine (a little die cutter) I cut out little purses and used them as the focal points on some cards. I inserted optional sayings to insert into the cards along with the packet of five cards/envelopes that read, "Friends are like purses...you can never have too many of them."



Six-inch squares: I sent two completed six-inch squares worked up in the same pattern in the plarn bag. Brenda is always mentioning squares for a group in which she participates. Most of the yarn in these two squares that I crocheted is left from a project I finished up last month. Also I sent her the pattern for the squares and a few other patterns, too. This was a new pattern but she had some of the other patterns I sent her so she plans to share the duplicates with others.

General Directions for Making the Plarn Bag

To make the spiral strips of plarn:
  • Cut off the top handles and the bottom seal of a bag.
  • Using scissors, start at the top and make a diagonal cut to one inch.
  • Continue going around and around the bag in a one-inch spiral strip to the bottom.

To make the bag:
  • I used a G hook and, because I wanted a tight stitch to lessen any stretching, all stitches are sc's.
  • I made a bottom gusset and then worked up the sides going around and around to make the body of the bag in one piece. (no seams) I didn't count, but there are more than 120 stitches around on a single row.
  • Here was my pattern up the sides: six brown rows, 4 gold, 6 brown, 4 white, and so on.


Special thanks to Brenda for taking some of these photos because I accidentally erased photos from my camera before I downloaded them for use on this blog page.

* Update: October 5, 2010. I joined the From Trash to Treasures group, too. October's challenge is turning denim (old jeans) into something useful, wearable and/or attractive. I have two projects in mind...


Friday, September 10, 2010

Suzy's SW Potholders


September 1, 2010: This is the fifth month of twelve in our Dazzling Dozen Potholder Swap group at ravelry.com. This time it is Suzy's turn to be the recipient of eleven potholders made by the other eleven members of our group.

This is Suzy and she has granted
me permission to use her photo.


When asked about her preferences, Suzy posted, "I'm easy to please. But if it helps, my kitchen is decorated in a Southwestern theme. Colors are burgundy, gold and deep blue." When pressed for more information about her SW theme, she answered, "I love Native American art. On the shelf above my kitchen cabinets, I have about 50 different ceramic pots and chiminea. The rest of the kitchen is decorated with kokopelli, lizards and tons of suns. In fact, my husband had to put a halt to the sun purchasing."

I had no idea what Kokopelli meant and, being curious, I decided I would like to find out. Here is what I found at the Wikipedia site:

    "Kokopelli is a fertility deity, usually depicted as a humpbacked flute player.... He presides over childbirth and agriculture. He is also a trickster god and represents the spirit of music."
And here is the Kokopelli graphic Wikipedia uses to depict how this trickster god looks. I found a few more graphics which were all very similar.

Hmmmmm, this seemed like a fun element to use for Suzy's SW Potholder. Keying off of Suzy's three stated colors: gold, burgundy and deep blue, I decided to make a Ripple Potholder* using Lily's Sugar 'n Cream cotton and put a little Kokopelli embellishment in the center. I didn't find a sandy gold for what I imagine is Suzy's wall color and so I had to substitute a brighter yellow. The other two colors seemed like they were probably close. But then I took one look at these three bold colors together and experienced something new: color anxiety! Normally I don't shy away from color combining but WHEW! these were strong colors!!! I pondered softening their impact with rounds of ecru to separate them but then I had a good talking to myself about just throwing caution to the wind and "going for it."

After crocheting the main body of the potholder (both front and back sides), now I had to decide how to execute the graphic element of the Kokopelli. I was constrained by size: it could not be larger than 2 1/4 inches high to fit in the center of the potholder. There were too many finite parts to crochet it so embroidering it seemed the best way to capture the details.

Using a charcoal colored piece of cloth stretched on an embroidery hoop, I sketched out my version of a Kokopelli directly onto the fabric. Then, using three strands of DMC cotton embroidery floss, I stitched the outline all around. I completed the body using the satin stitch. When done, I secured the Kokopelli on the backside with a layer of washable, flexible fabric glue called Unique Stitch. The next day, after I was sure it had ample time to dry, I cut out the little figure close to the stitching line and glued it in place on the potholder using the same glue. After several additional hours of drying, I was ready to stitch the little hair protrusions directly on the potholder to finish up Mr. Kokopelli. To finish this project, I crocheted the two sides of the potholder together and completed it with a hanging loop.

Below (right) is the completed Kokopelli potholder.
You can see from this photo that there is a second potholder. I like to send something extra to each of our Dazzling Dozen members when it is their turn to be the featured recipient. Sometimes I send a sewn crochet hook pouch, other times a second potholder. A day or two after making the first potholder, I started a second one. This time I decided on a different embellishment—a ceramic pot. I crocheted the little pot using six strands of DMC cotton and a size 2 hook.

September 10, 2010:
Suzy received her two potholders today and so I can post this blog. Here is what Suzy had to say:
_____________________________________

Hi Claudia!
I just wanted you to know that I received your beautiful potholders last night and they are just amazing!! The center stitching even brought gasps from my teenage daughter and let me tell you, that is a rarity.

The colors are perfect and match my kitchen to a tee. Thank you so much for such a wonderful addition to my kitchen!

Suzy
____________________________________

Suzy, it was my pleasure.

*Instructions for making the Ripple Potholder can be found on this blog in a previous posting.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rose Ripple Potholder Pattern


Since sharing the Ripple Potholder pattern in an earlier posting at this blog site, I have had requests for a particular type of Ripple Potholder, the Rose Ripple Potholder. Here are three examples of the Rose Ripple Potholder.


The focus of this blog posting is to share the steps to make the Rose Ripple Potholder using heavier density cottons, such as Lily's Sugar 'n Cream, Pisgah's Peaches 'n Creme and Lion Brand Lion Cotton. Suggested modifications for moderate and finer density cottons will be given at the end of this posting.

This pattern is copyrighted. You are welcome to use it with these guidelines: Be sure to attribute this source when posting or presenting potholders made from this pattern and refrain from publishing or selling the pattern or representing it as your own. Otherwise, no other restrictions apply. Enjoy making these for selling, sharing, gifting or your personal use.

To make the Rose Ripple Potholder, you will need a G hook and three colors:

    -Color A is the rose color (in this example, yellow)

    -Color B is the leaf color (in this example, hot lime)

    -Color C is the background color (in this example, white)
    ____________________________________________________
Foundation: With color A, ch 4, sl st to form a ring.
Round 1: ch 3 to count as first hdc. 8 hdc. (9) Do not join. Mark the first ch 3 with a small piece of contrasting yarn at the base. (9) Rounds 1-2 will be a continuous spiral; do not join, continue in a spiral.

Round 2: Working in back loops, only, make 2 hdc in each st around (18). Do not join.


Round 3: Working in back loops, only, make 2 hdc in each st. Sl st in the back loop of the next st to end the row and break off. (36)



Round 4-6: Still using color A, join with a sl st in the front loop of the first ch 3/hdc that is marked by piece of contrasting yarn. Once you determine this starting st, you can remove the marker and then (ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, sl st) in that same front loop.

In the next 9 front loops in the spiral: (sl st, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, sl st). Total of 10 petals.





From here to the end of the spiral, crochet the same sequence: (sl st, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 3, sl st) in every other front loop: Break off color, bring all yarn tails to the back of this rose and secure the ends.















Round 7: Using color B (leaves), 3 ch in any back loop of the rose to count as first dc. In the same st: dc, ch 2, 2 dc. Ch 1. *Skip 3 back loops, in the fourth back loop: (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) ch 1. Repeat from * around for a total of 9 of these sets.


Round 7 is the same as the round nearest to the center in the diagram below.

NOTE: on Rounds 8-11, skip over two stitches from the end of one ripple and two more stitches to start the next ripple. In other words, there are four stitches skipped between ripples. The skipped stitches are seen in red-orange in the diagram below.

Round 8: *In ch 2 sp, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc). Repeat from * in all ch 2 spaces around. Break off color.
Round 9: This will a round in which there are four dc's going up the ripple to the peak and then, after 2 ch's, four going down to the valley.
With color C (background color), join in any ch 2 sp. Ch 3 (to serve as first dc), dc, ch 2, 2 dc, 2 dc in the top of the next dc, Skip over 4 dc’s and in the top of the one before the ch 2 sp, 2 dc. *In the ch 2 sp, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc). 2 dc in the next st. Repeat from * around and end with 2 dc in the st before the cluster in the ch 2 sp. Sl st to join round.
Round 10: This will be a round in which there will be five dc’s going up the ripple to the peak and 5 going down to the valley.
Sl st to start in the ch 2 sp. In the ch 2 space, ch 3 (first dc), dc, ch 2, 2 dc . Dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st, Skip four st. [see diagram] 2 dc after the second st in the ripple. 1 dc in the next st. *In the ch 2 sp (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc). Dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st. Skip four st. 2 dc in the next st, 1 dc in the next st. Repeat from * around. Join with a sl st to complete the round.
Round 11: This will be a round of hdc’s instead of dc’s. There will be six hdc’s up the ripple to the peak and six going down the ripple to the valley.
Starting in the ch 2 space: (ch 2, hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc), 1 hdc in each of the next 2 st's, 2 hdc in the next st. Skip four st's. 2 hdc in the next st, 1 hdc in each of the next 2 st's. *in ch 2 sp work (2 hdc, ch 2, 2 hdc), 1 hdc in each of the next 2 st's, 2 hdc in the next st. Skip 4 st's, 2 hdc in the next st, 1 hdc in each of the next 2 st's. Repeat from * around. Join with a sl st to end the round. Break off leaving a 7-inch tail.
This completes side one of your Rose Ripple Potholder. The only difference between sides one and two is in the center. The yellow in the center is flat, no rose is made. The three rounds of hdc, instead of being worked in a spiral in back loops, is made the usual way:

    -9 hdc's for the first round, joined by a sl st

    -18 hdc's in the second round and joined by a sl st

    -36 hdc's in the third round, joined by a sl st

Joining round: For the joining round, a potholder in other colors will be used so you can see the contrasting stitch colors better than using white on white as in the above example.

With wrong sides together and right sides facing out, match up points of both sides of potholder. Starting at the center top of the potholder, (which should be a valley), join yarn (and leaving a 7 inch tail for later use to attach the hanging ring) sc through both front and back pieces. [Refer to a, left]

You are going to go toward the center of the potholder with a series of top crochet stitches in the valley between ripples. Work top crochet stitches like this: around the last hdc round to the back to catch the yarn and bring it from the back to the front to complete what looks like a ch stitch. Continue toward the center going down, around, under the next dc round to the back and picking up the yarn to bring to the front. [Refer to b.]

This photo shows the hook pointed down, around and under a dc round.The next photo [Refer to c.] shows the yarn, having been caught from the back and being brought up to make the front st. The back st is a straight line but the front st looks like a ch.

Note: Be sure to keep checking the back to make sure you are catching the stitch in the same open space under the dc rounds on both sides of the potholder.
Continue toward the center with the front to back top crochet stitches. At the center, catch the top st of the center color on both the front and back sides. Draw up your stitch to make a nice, neat little st. [Refer to d.] You may want to use your fingernail (left hand) to hold the st in place as you complete the pulling up.

At this point, you will be going back up toward the outer edge. Your stitches will be adjacent to the first line of st going down and slightly to the left.

This photo [Refer to e.] shows the nearly finished second row of st's returning back to the outer edge. At this point, when you reach the top, go over the top to catch the yarn and draw up.

Continue with sc's in each st, again going through both front and back pieces, to the top of the ripple peak (i.e. ch 2 sp). When you get to the ch 2 sp, *sc, c1, sc. Sc in next 6 sc going down the side of the ripple, continue with the two lines of stitches as shown in photo examples a-e.

Continue around the potholder [Refer to f.] Sc in the next 6 st's to the left of the valley (going up the next ripple/peak) Repeat from * around. St st to the top of the first sc. Leave a 30 inch tail before breaking off.





Plastic hanging loop: Using a blunt tapestry needle and with the 7 inch yarn tail, secure the loop in place by going around the ring a few times and catching the body of the potholder with each loop.

Then, with the longer yarn tail, make tight button hole/blanket stitches around the loop. Cover your initial securing loops with blanket stitches to conceal them.

Variations: Here are color and yarn variations to this pattern. The potholder with the lime green border has a rose made of "I Love This Cotton!". The peach rose and green leaves rounds (lower right of the four potholders together) are crocheted using Tahki Cotton Classic yarns.

Posted after the fact: I am receiving messages and comments in which I am hearing that the center flower of this potholder resembles: a peony, a chrysanthemum, a carnation and a marigold. While I was thinking more in terms of a wild rose in full bloom, really it could be any of these flowers. I could see one of these flowers made as a homecoming mum with streamers in school colors, for instance. And this is the wonderful power of creating: that something can be interpreted however the individual creator desires.

Pattern modifications for medium density cottons:
Use an F hook. When using cottons such as Tahki Cotton Classic, Red Heart Creme de la Creme, Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton! or other similar density yarns, you will need to add one addition ripple for a total of ten ripple spires, rather than the 9 made using the denser cottons. To do this, your first center rounds would be 10, 20, and 40 stitches. You want the total number of stitches in the last center round to be divisible by 4. That is, 40 stitches divided by 10 (ripples) is 4 because you will start the ripples in sets of four. The ripple rounds are started by working the cluster (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in a stitch and then skipping 3 stitches for a total of 4 stitches per ripple start. Another modification, Instead of the last ripple round being hdc's, it would be better to crochet dc's that round to increase the overall width of the finished potholder.

Pattern modifications for finer density cottons:
Use an F hook. If using J&P Coats Royale Fashion Crochet Thread (size 3) or Patons Grace cotton yarns, add 3 additional ripples to the original pattern of 9 ripples per potholder for a total of 12 ripples. You will probably need to add two additional center rounds of hdc's and make the final round divisible by 4 (48 hdc's). As I have not crocheted one of the Rose Ripple Potholders using the finer cotton, I am only postulating possible modifications. Two other anticipated modifications: the final hdc ripple round should be dc's and an additional ripple round would need to be added to increase the overall size. When I actually make one, I will post the recommended changes.


Giving Credit and My Highest Recommendation: I want to note something about the inspiration for the center rose for the Rose Ripple Potholder. It is a modified version of a flower found in a Leisure Arts booklet called Chase the Chill. Project number 7 in this particular publication gives directions for the fullest, lushest crocheted flower and whenever I want the best flower embellishment for a project, I turn to this booklet. However, for this project I wanted the flower to be more rose-like and less full and round so, while I was influenced by the one in this booklet, what is stated in this pattern is different. I am particularly mentioning the booklet to all of my crochet friends because I hope everyone will pick up this booklet to have as a personal reference/resource. I highly recommend the flower pattern for hats, brooches, gift embellishments or wherever you need a really special flower.


Copyright 2010, C. Lowman/Delights. All Rights Reserved.