Potholder stitch and periodicity

Ordinarily, crocheting in variegated yarn produces alternating patterns because the crocheting goes back and forth. But when you do potholder stitch (see my earlier post) the situation is different. Each row only shows on one side, so all the rows on the same side go in the same direction. That means that a pattern will tend to be regular.

My aunt got some yarn for me to make potholders, and it’s white yarn variegated with five rainbow colors (not blue or indigo). Each white or colored section takes about 6 inches, or 3 stitches. So my 30 stitches turned out to be nearly perfect to make the yarn go through exactly one cycle per side. I thought this would mean that the potholder would have boring nearly-vertical stripes, but it turns out that the dyeing of the yarn is not quite regular enough to permit that. It’s close, but it has zany variation! Take a look.

I didn’t bother to flip my pictures this time: my computer takes all its pictures as mirror-images, which is sort of annoying, but this way it looks as if I crocheted right-handed. Shrug. ūüôā

Potholder

I have now crocheted two versions of a Potholder Stitch Oven Mitt: one for me and my roommates, one for my father. ¬†The website with the instructions seems to have been shut down! ¬†So, the way I do it is with Sugar&Cream cotton yarn, because it’s good for high temperatures and it’s variegated. ¬†I use a size G hook, but another size would be okay.

The tricky thing is how to do a potholder stitch. ¬†You start with an ordinary chain for row 0; then, for the first row, you single-crochet only in the back loop of that row, leaving the front loops. ¬†At the end of the row chain and turn, and then single-crochet through the back loop of the first row and the remaining (front) loops of row 0. ¬†You’ve left the front loops of the first row alone, so for row 3 you use those loops along with the back loops of row 2. ¬†The overall effect is a kind of crocheting that is twice as thick and the stitches on a given side all face the same direction.

Instructions:

0: Chain 21 stitches.  Turn. 
1: Sc (single-crochet) into back loop only of row 0, 19 stitches.  Chain 1.  Turn.
2: Sc (single-crochet) into back loop of row 1 together with front loop of row 0, 19 stitches.  Chain 1.  Turn.
3-30: Continue, until you have 15 rows visible on each side.

Thumb: Do only 5 stitches for row 31; chain 1, turn. ¬†Continue for a total of 10 5-stitch rows. ¬†Then to neaten up the top, pull a loop through *both* loops of the first stitch of row 40 and the back loop of the last of row 39; pull another loop as usual for the second stitch; yarn over and pull through all three loops. ¬†So, in other words, crochet the first two stitches together but use up the front loop too for the first stitch because you won’t need it. ¬†Do the next stitch as usual; then for the third, crochet the last two together, using up the front loop of the last.¬†¬†Chain 1, turn. ¬†Crochet the first two stitches together as before, and do the third one single-crochet through all three loops. ¬†Knot the yarn, cut it.

Fingers: Go back to the other 14 stitches, and do as the thumb was.  I do it for 14 full stitches, making the thumb stick out slightly.  The original instructions have it just for 13, so the thumb can go straight up.  Anyway, do 20 rows for this (10 on each side) then decrease each row at beginning and end, so by 2 stitches and using up the extra loops, 3-4 times or until satisfied with the shape.  Finish.

Finally, you go and make another one, and sew them together on the edges except at the bottom.  I ended up crocheting them together along the edges and then turning it out, but that may not be the best way to do it.

Here’s a picture of the first one I did: