Friday, June 14, 2019

Giant potholders (or: so maybe gauge does matter - a little bit)

I needed a simple and washable project to take with me to the house. So I decided to knit some potholders. I have been doing that the same way for years now.
Just knit diagonal squares by casting on three stitches, make a stitch in the second stitch of every row until I have sixty stitches, knit one row without decreasing or increasing and then knit the second and third stitch together every row until three remain.

Simple as that. No need to worry about gauge or needle sizes. Size isn't that important for potholders and since I make them by crocheting or sewing two squares together they're always thick enough even if I knit a bit loosely. I like that, because gauging is not my thing, really (yes, yes, I know... but I rarely knit clothing from real patterns, I usually just wing things).

I finished the first square rather quickly, but when I got halfway the second one, I remembered that I've always gotten only one and a half square from one ball of cotton. So I frogged part of the first one and added black stripes on both of them.

After finishing the first two squares I got kind of bored, so I thought it would be a brilliant idea to make crochet squares for the backs. I happily crocheted away, but I found that every time I thought I was done, the knitted square stretched just a bit more and I needed to add another round of crochet.

After a while, I realized that this cotton was a bit (or actually a lot) thicker than the cotton I normally use for potholders. I was also using larger needles and I could have stopped increasing at fifty stitches to get the size I make them normally (which is already bigger than most store-bought potholders).
By then I was almost done (or so I thought before I found I needed to add another round of crochet), so I thought 'Oh well, bigger is better'.

I did not take into account that with crochet the squares also gets thicker.  Ahem.

So now I have two giant, really thick potholders. But you know what? I love them. I use that cast iron frying pan a lot and with normal sized potholders I often accidentally touch the hot handle. With these, I have never done that (and I have been using them at least twice a day for almost a week now).

All is well that ends well, I guess. But I will try to remember to at least consider gauge for my next project.