Finishing WIPs Week: The Ubiquitous Fruit Slice Potholder
This week, I’m trying to finish all Works In Progress so that my workroom can be in better order. First up: a lime potholder.
I chose a lime because I got a ball of green yarn and a ball of white yarn in a Salvation Army sewing and craft grab bag for a dollar (along with other goodies and yarn). But if I had pink and yellow, I could have made a grapefruit. If I got peach and beige, I could have made a cantaloupe. The possibilities are endless!
My mom used to make seemingly thousands of these potholders. She made oranges, lemons, limes, and watermelons. I wonder if it had anything to do with Dad’s love of fruit slice candy.
When one got dirty or singed, she made new ones. I’ve seen them in almost every thrift store and rummage sale I’ve been to, so I bet that a lot of moms in the second half of the 20th century were doing the same.
The way my mom and I make them is pretty straightforward. We are not crochet pattern readers nor pattern writers. Basically, we single or double crochet in a round, increase the stitches if the shape is curling up like an ashtray, or stop increasing or redo some rows with less stitches if the shape is wobbly and won’t lie flat. But this project is pretty forgiving, since folding it in half will take away some of the wobbliness or curling tightness.
If you would like a pattern on how to make a round crochet shape, check out the free vintage pattern here.
I made the light green circle with 14 rows of double crochet stitches, about 10 inches across. Then I added just one row all the way around of white double crochet stitches.
Then, for added insulation from heat, I added some acrylic felt. The felt had to be trimmed down to less than the half-circle the round makes.
Now, this is acrylic yarn and acrylic felt, so it might be prone to melting at high heat and should not be used by extremely high flames. But this is pretty good when you need to shield your hand from a hot tea kettle handle or a cookie sheet out of the oven.
The “peel” of the fruit slice closes the two edges of the folded half-circle. I just used single crochet stitches, drawn through pairs of the holes of the white stitches.
I started at one side, stitched a row, then made the loop using about 10 chain stitches.
After the loop was made, I went over the row again with single crochet stitches and ended the row on the end where the dark green started.
Then I sewed the seeds on both sides. You could also sew the seeds on before crocheting the circle shut, but sewing the seeds through all the layers helps to anchor the folded shape and the felt within it.