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3 Tips for Making Potholders

Potholders are like the "beach books" of yarncrafting. They're quick to finish, require little concentration, and -- with all the possibilities for color and shape -- super fun! But if you don't choose your materials and design carefully, that potholder could become a pot-sticker -- or worse, fail to protect your hands from the heat. Read on for our tips on how to make potholders that will have a place in your kitchen for years to come. (To access the pattern for the potholders shown at left, click the picture.)

Choose fibers that can stand the heat. Yarns with 100% natural fibers, such as Lion CottonĀ® and LionĀ® Wool, have a natural ability to withstand high temperatures. (In fact, wool is naturally flame-retardant!) Plus, cotton and felted wool are both machine-washable. If you're unsure whether your yarn will work as a potholder, check the label -- if it's able to be ironed, it's perfect.

Thick fabrics make happy hands. A thin knit may be flexible, but it may allow heat to transfer through too easily. Choose a knit or crochet stitch with thickness, like a cushy garter stitch or a sturdy single crochet. If you're working with wool, try felting your work: felting shrinks the stitches together, making the fabric thicker and more solid.

Stay closely stitched. Using an open stitch is an absolute no-no! If you are a loose knitter or crocheter, try trading in the hook or needle size you would normally use for something two (or more) sizes smaller. This way, your stitches will sit closer together, eliminating any gaps in your work.

Do you have any potholder-making tips or stories that you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments.

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