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IMG_0727Using a size H crochet hook and worsted weight yarn, chain 39 stitches.  In order to produce a thick, protective Hotpad, your stitches should be fairly tight.  If your tension tends to be looser, you may want to consider a smaller hook and/or thicker yarn. IMG_0723Single Crochet in each chain stitch, beginning in the second stitch from the hook for a total of 38 stitches.IMG_0728Single Crochet once again in the last single crochet stitch made, turning the corner and crocheting the unworked side of the initial chain. IMG_0729Continue Single crocheting for a total of 38 stitches on the second side of the chain.

IMG_0726Without joining at the end of the row, make the next stitch in the back loop of the first single crochet stitch.IMG_0732 Continue crocheting in the back stitch of each stitch, around and around.

IMG_0808Since you made no joint at the end of the first row, your work will make a continuous “track” without any seam.  At this point you are working your stitches from the inside. . .

IMG_0734. . . At some point along the way you will find it easier to turn the corners of your potholder inside out and work from the outside instead.  You’ll know the right side by the stripey ridges.IMG_0736When you have somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 rows or so, you will need to begin checking to lay it flat and see if you have enough rows to make your seam.

IMG_0738When your rows buck up right next to each other smoothly, you need to determine where to stop to make your pot holder square.  You may need to add a stitch or two, or take a couple out in order to finish just one stitch shy of the corner so it will be square instead of rectangular.

IMG_0739Cut your yarn leaving a LONG tail (approximately two yards long.)  Thread your blunt tipped needle and stitch as shown, going back and forth through each set of stitches twice so it won’t be just a running stitch that could pull or pucker.IMG_0740When you come to the corner, take the needle off your yarn.  Pick up a loop to begin crocheting again by inserting your crochet hook down through both layers of the potholder slightly left of the corner, and pulling the yarn through.

IMG_0741Chain 5 and attach slightly to the right of the corner by going down through both layers as before. IMG_0742 Single Crochet in the loop as many stitches as will fit, cinching the chain up as you go.  This will form a nice round loop to hang your pot holder by.IMG_0743  Pull the yarn all the way through the last single crochet stitch, as shown.IMG_0745Poke your crochet hook through one layer of the pot holder starting from the corner farthest from the tail of your yarn, then out very near the tail end. IMG_0746 Pull the entire tail through to the inside of the potholder and you are finished!

IMG_0809No ends to weave in, you’re ready to start cooking!  (This is a very thick and substantial Hotpad, however, as with all Pot Holders, if you get it wet it will not be able to insulate against burns.)

IMG_0838 IMG_0839Alternately,  the thermal single crochet stitch as seen here also makes wonderful potholders.  Chain 30 and continue the thermal crochet stitch until it’s square.  For best results, make sure your stitches are very tight.  For the final row, slip stitch instead of single crochet.  Finish off with a loop as described above and weave in the ends.

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Wrap two hot pads with a few knit wash cloths and tie with ribbon or string for a  handmade bridal or hostess gift.  Add a personal touch with a copy of a favorite recipe.

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