Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Anissa's Potholder

It's July and that means time to create another potholder for the Dazzling Dozens Potholder Swap. This time our featured group member is "crochetinmama" (a.k.a. Anissa). When asked her preferences, Anissa stated, "Okay here is the scoop, hehe. I love kitschy and wild and even more I love all kinds of potholders. Surprises and colors and new age to Kitschy are absolutely fine with me. I love potholders and towels for my kitchen lol I so love any type and any be wild and surprise me. I have seen some very lovely potholders made here and believe me I so will love each and everyone one that you all make me."

Wild? Kitschy? Colors? Okay, Anissa, hopefully this fulfills your requests because this one's for you.
Through the magic of photo software, you can see both sides at the same time.

About the potholder: Mostly the potholder was made using Tahki Cotton Classic yarns. The only exception is J&P Coats Royale Fashion Crochet thread, size 3 was used for the outlining on both sides. The outline color appears to be black in this photo but it is actually midnight blue. A size 4.0 hook was used throughout. I began with the side that is seen here on the left. It measured 8 inches. It was important to have this done first to know how to tailor the spiral side to fit.

The Spiral: While the spiral incorporates three colors: orange, green and midnight blue, there are actually four strands of yarn/thread used to create this spiral. The midnight blue crochet thread serves as the defining outline between the orange and green colors which meant the necessity of using two strands of it. To demonstrate the spiral process with four strands, here are two photos taken during the making of this side of the potholder. It is not as hard as you would think. You just crochet on one strand for awhile and then switch to the one that needs stitches next. The strands didn't get twisted like they can in many knitting projects.

Photo left: Initially the potholder began with sc's. Once started, the orange and green colors were upped to hdc's. Later (in a subsequent photo) orange and green were upped even more.

I figured out how to do this spiral on my own but I want to recommend a book that I checked out at the library. The name of the book is 201 Crochet Motif Blocks, Projects and Ideas by Melody Griffiths. In it, photos and how-to's show how to execute 2, 3 and 4 color spirals.

Below right: Here is the cover of one of the editions of this book. On this one you can see a two color spiral featured on it but this cover is different than the one I checked out.

Let me digress for a moment: You might want to check at your local library (or main library, if you live in a larger city) for this and other crochet books. I went online at home to scan our library holdings where I found there were dozens of crochet books in my library system. I reserved several of them with the request to be sent to my nearby library. A few days later I received my first email notification that the first wave of books had arrived. I am now on my third wave of crochet books. I returned a few of the books right away but kept several of them for a closer look until the due date. I have expanded my crochet horizons with a few interesting stitches I have incorporated into some of my projects. Anyway, if you want to try to tackle a spiral in multi colors, this particular book is a good resource.

Back to this potholder.

Photo left: Here is the potholder more progressed. By this time some rounds of orange and green dc's were done and trc's were begun. The midnight blue crochet thread were maintained in sc's throughout. When the spiral was getting close to completion, then it was time to fit it next to side one to know when/where to start decreasing the stitches to ease the colors back to make a more rounded shape. It was also important to end with midnight blue sc's.

Finally, the two sides were pinned together. The two sides were joined with sc's ending at the center top where a 1 and 1/8 plastic ring was put into place. Using the midnight blue crochet thread, the plastic ring was secured. A tight round of button hole stitches (also called blanket stitch) around the plastic ring completed the project.

The colors in actually are a little more intense than translate here. Very colorful potholder!