Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Crocheted Hotpads, Thrift Style

Sometimes I can hardly resist vintage kitchen linens when I find them, especially if they are a thrifty price.  This delightful pair was there last week just waiting to come home with me.  They are about 5 1/2" square and about 3/8" thick.  I know they are crocheted, but I can't figure out how they are made....

The front looks like this:
I think it is a double or triple crochet but my knowledge of crochet is somewhat limited.  The crochet stitches on the front are about 1/4" deep.

The back looks like this:

What kind of foundation would be under all these lovely stitches?  The hotpads are soft, bendable, and thick.  I think they would be a fine protection for hands holding hot pans, but I can't bring myself to use them.  At least not yet.

Here's another view of a close-up of the crochet stitches.

You can imagine that my kitchen has very eclectic linens when you think of me using them together.  I would not use these colors for curtains that I see every day at my windows, but I'd be happy to use them for hotpads -- if they wouldn't wear out!

Happy thrifting to you!


  1. I have a potholder like this too, from a garage sale. I had not seen anything like it before. I just love these unusual linens!

  2. Those are great, and now you've got me curious. Be sure and share how they are done when you find out. I can not crochet, but I've been wanting to learn. Great find!

  3. That is very interesting. At first glance, it appears to be some kind of take on the granny square. You can see from the back that there is a 4 stitch foundation of yellow around some white. Given how the top looks, my bet is that each row is several double or treble stitches repeatedly packed in a chain space until they bend and gather. They're pulled forward and the next set are done on chain spaces from the previous gathered row.

    It's really hard to explain what I can see going on there, but it's basically a lot of stitches packed together so that they fold back on themselves, much like doing a crocheted hyperbolic plane. You then force those stitches forward and pack in the next stitches so they prop up the previous row.

    1. Ok, I think I just figured this out. There are actually two things going on here, and it's sneaky.

      First, a base square was crocheted. Probably something with a fairly open weave, maybe a simple granny square or similar. Hard to know. This bit was crocheted all in white, you can see it poking through the main pattern on the underside.

      Once this base square was made, the crocheter went back over it with double or treble crochets. They started in the center and worked outward starting with a cross. The crochets were worked through the base square and always pulling the stitch out to the same side. Looks like each section that's pulled up consists of around 6 or 8 stitches (hard to count just looking at that picture).

      Very sneaky, but it wouldn't be too hard to replicate. It's all a matter of figuring out what to use as the base square and how many stitches in each section.

    2. I'm working out how the base was made. Best guess is that it's a granny square with most of the double crochets replaced with chain spaces so that it's easier to pull up loops through.

      This is a really neat project. I think I'll play with a prototype of this a bit later to see if I can replicate it at all.

    3. Correction to above, I forgot that the thread doubles over when pulled up. From a stitch count on the front side and a recount of the back, it's most likely that there are 3 stitches pulled through each chain space.

  4. Found it! It's called Wiggly Crochet, and is one of a small number of surface crochet variants.

    Here's a page on how it's done:

    Mission accomplished.

    1. You're amazing, tacomagic! I searched a little online to see if I could find instructions but didn't. Thanks for working out how to do it and then sharing the link. I appreciate it!

  5. I love old linens too. I have a collection of vintage potholders, but I have limited myself to red and white.

  6. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wiggly-crochet-tutorial

    1. That's exactly the pattern! Thanks for sending the link. I don't crochet so won't be making these but there may be others who would be interested.


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