Two potholders for Frank Stella

While economists might not consider potholders a durable good, in my household, they are.

This is particularly true of two dreadfully ugly potholders I purchased many years go. I did not like them when I bought them, but they were on sale, and because they were/are ugly, I did not fear using them and getting them burned or dirty.

They were, in my mother’s lexicon “good enough to use” which is, as my regular readers know, the opposite of something that is “too good to use.”

Couple that with the the fact that when something works, it’s hard to give it up, no matter how awful, and you have a have two ugly potholders old enough to be entering the fifth grade.

But today, as the month of July draws to a close and the promise of August arrives, I have decided that I am going to make myself potholders that can be left out on the counter and don’t need to be hidden from sight in the nearest cupboard or drawer.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a lot of yarn at my disposal, and, as the result of a massive purchase over a decade ago, I still have a sizable quantity of Classic Elite Waterspun yarn, and after my success using it to make this felted pet mat for my dog Clooney:

felted crochet pet mat
Clooney’s newly felted pet mat

I decided it would be the perfect yarn to make two felted potholders that will be “too good to use,” but which, defying a half-century of habit, I will use anyway.

Not wanting to reinvent the wheel from a crochet pattern perspective, I decided to go with what works, and using this test swatch turned cat mat that I made when I was working on a Frank Stella inspired throw as a color guide:

psychedelic crochet granny square
The first 17 rounds of my psychedelic rainbow crochet granny square

along with a 5.0 mm hook and an assortment of suitable colors from my stash of Classic Elite Waterspun (a one-ply felted merino roving), I got to work.

Because gaps in potholders can be hazardous to the user, I modified the design so that there were no gaps.

I started with red for the first pot holder and began to work my way out the rainbow:

frank stella inspired crochet potholder
I begin work on my idea for a crochet potholder for Frank Stella

while for the second, I started with violet and worked the same colors in the reverse order:

frank stella inspired crochet potholder
I start work on a second crochet potholder

I continued with my crochet, and got this far before stopping to eat dinner:

frank stella inspired crochet potholder
The first six rounds of two crochet potholders for Frank Stella

and then managed two more rounds on each before the sun set:

frank stella inspired crochet potholder
The first eight rounds of two crochet potholders for Frank Stella

By lunch tomorrow I hope to be finished with the crochet part of this project and ready to move onto the felting portion — and with any luck, I have to eat lunch at 5:00 pm to make that schedule.