How to Crochet a Simple Potholder

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Large and Small Potholders
Large and Small Potholders (Image: All potholder photos by Kristie Karns)

This potholder design is so simple, a child could make it, and it does not take very long to get the job done. This pattern requires knowledge only of the chain stitch and the single crochet stitch. The attached link will show you how to do those two stitches.

Things You'll Need

  • Yarn (any color or assorted colors)
  • Crochet hook
  • Scissors

This pattern can be made any size you wish, that's the beauty of such simplicity. 30 chain stitches will create a small potholder, about the size you will need for a small plate or bowl of soup. 50 chain stitches will create a very large potholder, which is perfect for placing under large bowls of hot food in the center of the table. Somewhere in between is the perfect general usage size. Select the size you would like to make for starters and begin by making the corresponding number of simple chain stitches. If you do not know how to chain stitch, please refer to the attached link. The single stitch is also portrayed therein.

Once you have your chain established it is time to start the single stitch. Go back through the loops of the chain you have already made and, while holding the yarn loosely but not too loosely, work your way back to your starting point again. Now go past it, turn the corner and single stitch through the loops on the other side. Once you have completed one full turn the going will be much easier as you will be able to see the loops you are hooking into much easier. Always remember that the outside of the potholder is the side facing you as you crochet.

Make sure that as you crochet row after row, that you don't skip stitches when you come around the corners of the potholder. This will cause the edges to turn inward which is precisely what you want them to do. You are going to make a double layer potholder so this is the start of the doubling effect. Keep going and don't tighten or loosen your stitches. It helps if you wind the yarn first around your pinkie finger and then around your index finger when you start to crochet as it tends to give you more control over the yarn's tension.

If you would like to vary the colors of your potholder, and you are not already using a variegated yarn try introducing another color by cutting the original yarn and knotting it together with the new color. Now this could be a matching color or it could be a totally contrasting color, it doesn't matter in the slightest. Either way it will be beautiful. Once you have tightly knotted the yarn, proceed as before, continuing to crochet around and around. As your potholder grows you will notice that the doubled-over edges are growing as well. It is beginning to look like a square potholder.

Small potholder.  Note the loop for hanging on a hook
Small potholder. Note the loop for hanging on a hook

Finally, the two open ends of your potholder will meet in the middle. Now it is time to sew the halves together to finish your potholder. Do not cut your yarn yet but use the crochet hook to pull it through one loop of each edge and keep doing that all the way down the length of the potholder until every loop is caught. Then cut the yarn, tie it into a knot and hide the loose ends by pulling them back through the original stitches. Trim the exposed ends of the yarn so they are hidden and you are finished. You have made a potholder, a very useful item for your kitchen. Once you are done you can also crochet about 20 chain stitches to one corner, then attach the end of it to the potholder and tie it off. Of course you should neatly hide the ends of the yarn. This way if you want to you can hang up your potholders, a convenient alternative to piling them in a drawer.

Large potholder showing edges joined together in middle seam
Large potholder showing edges joined together in middle seam

Tips & Warnings

  • If your stitches don't come out looking like the ones in the examples, you may have skipped a step somewhere along the way. Just be patient and go back and try again.

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