Hello! My name is Erin, and I am a Yarnaholic.
This is a little story about a pack of yarn I bought last summer, and the struggle I’ve had with using it up.
Any of you who have walked into an A.C. Moore knows about the yarn bin. You know, the one with packages of Mill End yarns that you can’t help but skim through. I was browsing through this bin on one of many occasions when I came across a package of black yarn. I scooped the pack up in a heartbeat, and brought it home with me, eager to make something with it. It wasn’t until I opened the package that I discovered something that I wasn’t used to – the texture of the yarn wasn’t anything like the acrylic yarn that I knew so well. I looked at the package and saw why. It was cotton yarn.
After messing with the yarn a little, I realized that it wasn’t as…erm, springy, as acrylic was. So the question arose – what could I make with it?
The first thing that kept popping up when I did a search online for projects made with cotton yarn was dishcloths. Ugh. Dishcloths sounded so BORING! Not to mention, with black yarn, what if the color started to bleed from the yarn, and it stained? I didn’t relish the thought of washing my face with my handmade washcloth and looking up to the mirror to see streaks of dye running down my cheeks.
I kept searching for alternatives that would be more interesting to make. It wasn’t really giving me many options that I liked, though. Washcloths were the number one project that I kept seeing, regardless of how pleased I was. A few people mentioned that clothing was possible, but they did warn that the finished work wouldn’t hold its shape as well as acrylic would (apparently, my observation that cotton wasn’t as ‘springy’ as acrylic was a reasonable one, and the shape can stretch out when worked in cotton). I decided that three skeins of cotton yarn weren’t going to magically become something by themselves, and I wasn’t going to waste it on boring old washcloths. So I worked up the Overcast Hooded Vest, which was a great privilege. Frustratingly enough, though, I ran out of yarn before I finished. Guess who went back to the craft store and bought ANOTHER three skein bag of black cotton yarn? This girl right here. Anyone willing to guess how much of that pack was used to finish my project?
Not even a full skein.
So I left the remaining two full skeins of black cotton yarn in my stash, and they sat. And sat. And sat. Occasionally, I would go back and look at them while contemplating using them. But, then, they continued to sit.
At one point, I pulled a skein out and used it as the black yarn that I needed for a crochet graph project. A little over halfway through, though, I ran out of the majority of the materials I needed to keep going. But guess what I still had plenty of?
You guessed it – black cotton yarn.
Let’s skip ahead to more recent times. I was preparing food for Superbowl Sunday and had finally made the move to replace my old boiling pot with a new one. The old one was peeling and rusting inside the bottom of the pot, so it was decided that the next pot would be a different type than that one was. I snagged a simple graniteware pot and brought it home with me, and didn’t think anything of it until I went to use it. As the pot got hotter, the lid became too hot to grab and lift off of the top.
I had potholders a couple of years ago, but after a few moves, they were lost in the hustle and bustle. I hadn’t needed them before this point because I always used a kitchen towel when removing hot cookware from the oven, and the lid to my stove top cookware was always heat resistant. Not anymore, though. I used a towel that night, but I hated the excess fabric involved, and a thought began to brew in my mind. I needed potholders!
If you don’t already know important rule #1 about acrylic yarn, pay attention, because I’m going to give it to you straight – Acrylic yarn should not be used for anything coming in contact with heat. That’s because acrylic is basically plastic, and the fibers melt and can catch fire very easily. When you make anything (like a potholder), you want to use a more natural fiber – specifically, wool or cotton.
Oh! Wait a minute! Guess what I have sitting around?
That’s right – my black cotton yarn.
I wanted to use my afghan hook for this project because I’m trying to become more proficient at Tunisian Crochet. Despite that, though, I chose to use the Simple Stitch to make this project up. I like the idea of having something quick and easy to whip up, all while working on improving my skills.
It took me a few hours of lazy crochet to whip this little darling up, but it really is so simple to make that it counts as another StitchFlix project! And, as I’ve done with the past few projects, I’m including the directions below for anyone who’s interested to make one!
I would like to add, as a side note, that I worked my original potholder with a single strand of cotton yarn. It works well as a tool to lift the hot pot lid off of the boiling pot, and I’ve even used it a couple of times to grab things out of the oven, but it does tend to heat up a bit fast. In fact, I decided to make another potholder using a double strand of yarn and am quite pleased with the results. The same hook with doubled up yarn makes the fabric more dense.
If you need a visual aid to get started, I strongly suggest this awesome video done by Mikey of The Crochet Crowd. He does an excellent job with his video tutorials. Have fun!
Simple Stitch Potholder
Approx. 100y Aran weight cotton yarn
Size H 8/5.00 mm afghan hook
1: Ch 32. Turning the chain over, insert hook into each back loop, one at a time, and draw a loop through the back loop. Leave on afghan hook, and repeat to end for 32 loops on hook. Yarn over and draw a loop through the first loop on hook. *Yarn over, draw loop through first two stitches on hook, repeat from * to end.
2-22: *Insert hook through front bar closest to crochet hook. Yarn over, pull new loop through bar. Repeat from * to end for 32 loops on hook. Yarn over, draw new loop through first loop on hook. +Yarn over, draw new loop through first two loops on hook, repeat from + to end.
NOTE: If making with double strands of yarn, make an extra three rows before proceeding with Row 23.
23: *Insert hook into stitch space between the vertical bars. Yarn over, draw new loop onto hook. Repeat from * to end for a count of 31 loops on hook. Yarn over, draw new loop through first loop on hook. +Yarn over, draw new loop through first two loops on hook, repeat from + to end.
24: Chain 20. Turning the chain over, insert hook into each back loop, one at a time, and draw a loop through the back loop. Leave on afghan hook, and repeat to end for 20 loops on hook. Insert hook into edge of closest row by start of chain 20 and yarn over. Draw the loop through the row and the first loop on hook. *Yarn over, draw loop through first two stitches on hook, repeat from * to end. Fasten off with a long tail. Use yarn needle and long tail to sew the chain 20 to the edge of the body of the potholder, forming a loop. Weave in any other ends.
Final measurements: Single strand – 8 1/2W x 8T
Double strand – 9W x 10T
If you make your own, please be sure to share pictures on your social media using the hashtags #stitchjunky and #simplestitchpotholder so that everyone can find your finished object!
I would like to thank the lovely Mary for allowing me to crash her blog today! My name, as you already saw, is Erin, but I’m also known as StitchJunky. I’ve been a yarnaholic since I found my first pair of knitting needles around 20 years ago, and I used the wonderful world of YouTube to teach myself to crochet 7 years ago. I just recently began my own blog and enjoy sharing my newest ventures on Instagram and Pinterest. If you liked what you read today, you can check out my website, StitchJunky.com , or feel free to follow me on any of the following social media pages!