Goldilocks and the three potholders

While I spent a good portion of the weekend’s crochet time working on the royal and dark orchid baskets destined to fill my Ikea cubbies:

crochet baskets for a cubby
Two more crochet baskets for my Ikea cubbies

I also spent a good amount of time working on potholders for my Cousin Lois.

Working from my now vintage stash of Classic Elite felted merino roving, I had my heart set on a pothole design that would be reminiscent of my cousin’s favorite candy: M & M’s.

My first effort, in a carrot colored orange, looked just fine until I got to the fifth round. The occasional gaps that had surfaced in the fourth round became larger and more regular. By the time I got to the ninth round (which has since been frogged), the gaps were quite large, and at that point I realized that when I felted it, those gaps would either remain (making it useless to protect hands from hot pans and pots), or the stitches would pull together and the potholder would be like a shallow bowl:

crochet circle with gaps
My first, somewhat gappy, effort at crocheting a round potholder

After spending more time than was useful trying to convince myself that it was fine, I finally accepted that my first effort would not work, I tried again with a warm yellow that leans toward gold.

Starting with more stitches in the first round, I was hopeful that I had hit on the perfect number with which to begin, but by the time I got to the seventh round, it was clear to me that this effort was tending toward hyperbolic rather than flat:

too ruffly crochet circle
This one was too ruffly

Unwilling to frog my effort, I went onto a third color. Using a green with lots of yellow in it, I tried a different start number for the first round, and this time, it seemed to me, I had gotten it just right:

just right crochet circle
I finally get the crochet increases just right

I was, however, unable to locate another partial skein of the yarn I needed to finish the potholder, and rather than take the time to wind the full skein that was handy, I went back to the orange (which I had plenty of nearby), and finished the first of what will be four potholders:

crochet circle potholder
The first just right crochet potholder ready for felting

While the color selection from my yarn stash is more muted than the candy that inspired them, I have noticed that these colors tend to brighten noticeably when felted, so my hope is that the once they are felted I will have four worthy and joyous potholders for my cousin.