Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WIP: Not So Blue Snowflakes

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and hot pads! and potholders - the swap.

I'm "remote blogging" from my parents' house right now. I left my potholder stuff at home, but I took some pictures before I left.

Two completed potholders

So far I've finished two potholders, and I have four to go. (I plan to make an extra for myself.) I decided to go use the Patons Classic Wool that I have in my stash and the Blue Snowflakes pattern from Woman's Day Prizewinning Granny Squares.

Potholder Overlay

The squares are crocheted in two layers. You start by crocheting the top part.


Then you crochet the first few of rounds on the bottom part of the pot holder. On the next to last round, you start crocheting through the top part. You can see where I've connected the first point in the top portion.

Too short

The only problem right now is the size. Six inches across is the minimum for the swap. I'm about half an inch short from side to side...

Long enough?

...but well over six inches from corner to corner. Does that count? (If not I'll add a spiffy border.)

What do you think?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hotpad Heaven

As many of you are already doing, I have scoured through at least 100 patterns and stitch dictionaries trying to find that perfect pattern for my potholders. I've also have made several prototypes that just didn't cut it, but I think I have finally "found the one" that will make it all better. So, as a preview, here's the beginning of a beautiful arrangement of colors.

What have you all been up to?

Ready to go!

I was so excited when I heard about this swap that I signed up right away. Number 2 on my to do list? Learn to crochet. Yeep!

It's been going well and I've been practicing with scrap yarn while I wait for a yarn order to come in.
I made a traditional granny square:

And then a nosegay (Ravelry pattern link):

I'm feeling confident enough in my crochet abilities now and am ready to go! Good thing too, look what showed up on my doorstep today.
Oh Hai!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Try, try again

It has taken me a while to pick my pattern. Here is what I decided on, with my rejects underneath. It's not finished, I am going to add a ring of red and a ring of purple so it will end up the size of the orange and yellow one underneath.

:) angharad

Saturday, March 28, 2009

An Introduction

Hi everyone, My name is Angharad and I'm really excited to participate! I've been crocheting since I was a kid, and my grannie was a master crocheter-she had a certificate from the Queen of England and everything! Do you think they still give those out? I have one of my grannie's blanket on my guest bed right now. Anyway, I need to take pictures of my attempts to decide on my pattern, but I wanted to share a crochet blog I recently found that has really inspired me.


Happy Crocheting!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Potholder Inspiration

Cross posted at Sally Comes Unraveled and hot pads! and potholders - the swap.

I wanted to contribute my own inspiration to the hot pad swap. I went and found two of my old books and took some pictures. (I did a little research, and based on what I found, and my past experience, I think I'm well within copyright laws.)

The first pictures come from Illustrated Patchwork Crochet: Contemporary Granny Squares for Clothing and Home Decorating, a book I found at a garage sale in Florida.

"Newfangled" Techniques

The book has some "newfangled techniques" in it. (I love the title of this chapter!)

Granny Squares from Illustrated Patchwork Crochet

I like the squares on the draped afghan here. I also like the squares in the rug. They created "diamonds" by turning them 90 degrees. (The book also had some interesting hexagons.)

Women's Day Prizewinning Granny Squares

The other squares are from Woman's Day Prizewinning Granny Squares. Unfortunately, Bunny Foo-Foo got to the cover of this book. But you can still see the "Sierra Pinwheels" on the front. I think this is a good example how much of a difference color choices can make.

Windmill Squares

I don't think the entire "Windmill Square" would make a good potholder, but I'm looking at just the center. The book says this pattern combines several small squares in the middle.

Blue Snowflakes

I also really like "Blue Snowflakes." The 3D effects are gorgeous.

I'm still debating what to do, and I'm considering some online patterns as well. But I wanted to share some of my finds from books that (I think) are now out of print.

You can see all my pictures here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spiral Jetties

I LOVE making hotpads.

This is partial prototype in Lite Lopi, alternating singles with buillion stitch. I've been making many versions of this, because I am obsessive AND only since starting this swap has it become clear to me how hotpads are incredibly useful. Between pans, under flower pots, as coasters, cat hats - the possibilities are endless. Thanks to Sean for the picture.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Introducing Myself!

Hello Everyone! I'm Candace - you can also visit me over at Squash House Quilts! It took me a while to figure out what to make for the swap, but I settled on a pattern the other day. My friend Terri, who is also in the swap suggested I run, not walk to this site Elann Products for yarn! Wow - was she ever right! So I thought I would post and tell you all that if you haven't purchased your yarn yet, or even your crochet hook, this is a fantastic site! Their prices are unreal and the products are wonderful. There are lots of 100% cottons if that's what you're looking for!

Below are the yarns I purchased for my potholders along with a great crochet hook that has a nice ridge to help me grip the needle!

The other great thing about this company is that I ordered my yarn Monday and got it today - Wednesday! Of course I am only about 75 miles from their Washington State location, but they sent it Priority Mail - so even if you're on the East Coast, you'll have it in just a few days!

I'm going to keep my pattern a secret, but I might post a little corner of the work once I get it going. This is going to be a lot of fun!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

postage update

Hey folks! Just wanted to let you know that there will be a postage increase in May and that the Priority Mail postage for packages under a lb. (which is what we'll be using) has gone from $4.80 to $4.95. I have edited our last post re: rules to reflect that increase. Sorry about that, everyone. And thanks for understanding. Many thanks to Karen for telling us!

Bertha asked a question about the postage that I'll address here. The stamp we're talking about is an actual stamp, like from a book of stamps. It's worth $4.95. This is what it looks like and I called to make sure and we can purchase them singly at the post office. That will cover the postage on any package up to a lb.

Monday, March 23, 2009


...thank you so much for letting me join the potholder swap!...i'm kinda a beginner and kinda fretting because i see that everyone else seems to be way more talented than me (here and on flickr)?...i'm experimenting with patterns and did these two potholders last week...opinions, please?...i really don't want my stuff to suck?...lol...:

...again, thanks!...i am really loving this (outside of the fretting, you know...)...

terri, purple and paisley......

Let the Swap Begin!

81/2009: Catherine Wheel

Thanks so much for joining, everyone! This swap has grown larger than we ever could have dreamed. When we were first planning it, Maritza and I thought we might have all the participants crochet a potholder for each participant. It's a really good thing we didn't do that or we'd each be crocheting over a hundred potholders! Makes crocheting five look like a walk in the park, doesn't it?

The Blog:
We've exceeded the number of authors Blogger allows for each blog, so people that signed up later on won't be able to contribute to the blog but are still absolutely welcome in the swap and to contribute to the Flickr group.

The Sidebar:
We've been working hard on adding your names to the sidebar, but we haven't gotten them all in. If you're a participant, would you check to be sure you're there and the link is correct? If not, let us know the name you'd like us to use (doesn't need to be your real one) and what you'd like linked to (doesn't need to be a blog - Ravelry and Flickr are fine). Please put "Sidebar Link" in the email subject. We'll be happy to make it right.


Your Potholders:
Each participant is required to crochet 5 potholders in the same pattern. Please do vary the colors as you see fit. We don't want you bored to tears! Please be sure your hot pads and potholders measure between 6 and 12 inches across.

We'll be using wool and cotton yarns exclusively. We did some burn tests this weekend and have decided that superwash wool is out. One sample produced a bit of a hard bead when burned, which seems dangerous for a potholder. We don't want yarn that will stick to either a pot or a hand when heated or exposed to flame.

Label each pad/holder with maker, fiber content, and care instructions.

Put a note in your package if you are allergic to wool so that we don't send any to you.

The goal of this swap is to produce and receive little pieces of crocheted art. Use beautiful yarns, color combinations, and patterns. Don't feel pressured to use teensy little crochet cotton, even with all those links to it in the sidebar. Use thick cotton, or wool wool wool! Have a ton of fun.

Postage + Envelope:
US participants need to include $4.95 in postage with their swap package. You can purchase special USPS Priority Mail stamps at the post office, so this will probably be the easiest way to go about this. Since the swap is huge beyond our wildest dreams, we're also requesting that you include a self-addressed (large + tyvek is best) envelope. USPS Priority Tyvek envelopes are available for free at the post office. The post office even provides free labels for them. This will help us immensely when it comes time to ship your packages back to you.

Non-US swappers, the best way for us to collect postage fees from you is probably PayPal. If you don't want to do it that way, please contact us at potholderswap2009@gmail.com and we'll make other arrangements. We'll contact you about postage when your package is ready to send, as we want to go by its actual weight, rather than guess now and possibly overcharge you. We expect packages to weigh under 8 oz., so postage should be between $4 and $8, depending on where you live.

We'll need to receive your potholders by May 31. Please mail them to:

Hello Yarn
P.O. Box 19
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

This is going to make the postal employees in Adrian's little village either laugh or cry! Maybe if we give them potholders, they'll be appeased.

Inspiration + Patterns:
There are several links to free patterns in the sidebar. Please feel free to post with more, or email them to us so we can put them in the sidebar.

Keep us abreast of your progress, both here and in the Flickr group. Talk about yarns, show your in-progress hot pads, and tell us about patterns. This will be a blast!

ETA: Sally asked some questions in the comments that I want to address. Absolutely, do up your potholders as you see fit. Give out pattern info, yarn info, write a note to each recipient, etc. Make each potholder an extra super special treat, if you like! Keep in mind that potholders will be mailed back in envelopes, so don't include fragile items.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

today is the day!

Hi, folks! Thanks to all of you who have joined! We are so excited about this and happy to have you all participate in this swap. There is still some time left for those of you who are interested but have not joined yet. The deadline for signing up is midnight tonight.

76/2009: Cotton Crochet Practice

We've sent out some invites to the blog that weren't used, so if you signed up but don't see your name on the sidebar, please do not hesitate to email us with a link to use for you. Drop us a line at potholderswap2009@gmail.com so we can update the swapper list with your name and link.

Regarding fiber, we are specifying wool or cotton only please. The reason being that cotton ignites at about 410º Fahrenheit, and wool ignites at an even higher temperature and has excellent insulating properties, which is a quality one would want in a functional potholder. Cotton potholders and hot pads can be thrown in the wash where as wool might require a little bit more special attention. For more particulars regarding the pros and cons of what fibers to use for potholders, please see this discussion here. For this swap, however, we need you to use wool or cotton only please.

We'll have more info regarding the swap details with you soon.

Monday, March 16, 2009

hello folks! welcome to the swap blog!

Hi everyone! Welcome to our little swap blog here. Some of you may know us from Flickr and may have reached us from the swap group over there. Thanks for dropping in! Lately, we have become just slightly obsessed with crochet, and what better way to learn about crochet than to start with fun simple projects that are both pretty and functional? Hot pads and pot holders are a great way to learn the techniques as well as play with color and create something that can function as a practical object and as art. That's not even to mention the kitschy fun to be had with it!

We'd love to have you join our swap. To participate, please email us at potholderswap2009@gmail.com. Deadline to enter the swap is 3/21/09.

Now for the rules. They're pretty basic, so here goes....


- hot pads/ pot holders must be crocheted
- each member will crochet 5 hot pads/ pot holders in the same pattern. Different colors are okay. (You can choose whatever pattern you want to work with and vary the colors between them, as long as you crochet 5 hot pads/ pot holders in that same pattern.)
- each pad/holder must be tagged with maker, fiber content, and care instructions
- wool or cotton yarns only please- no synthetics, for safety reasons
- if you have a wool allergy please let us know so you will receive cotton hot pads only
- each pad/holder must be between 6 - 12 inches in diameter
- US swappers., you must include a USPS Priority stamp for return postage with your potholders. Non-US residents are welcome, we'll just need to work out how you pay for return postage with you.
- have fun with this!

We're thinking that 2 months should be enough time for everyone to finish their hot pads/ pot holders, but we'll post an official deadline and details as to where to mail them shortly, once we have all our swappers.

For now, there are a few wonderful resources for pot holder patterns, such as Crochet Pattern Central and the Crochet & Crafts Link Index, as well as an inspiration group we started on Flickr.

Take a button!