I wanted to make something in honor of the final episode on Sunday of the Mr. Selfridge series airing on Masterpiece Classics. I wanted to create a product Mr. Selfridge would approve to stock in his store.
Rhino fever strikes again! I saw an advert from Sur la Table for this potholder made in India and available for $9.95….
I dashed to Michaels to purchase cotton yarn. No black nor cream colored cotton yarn was available in 4-ply mercerized. What??? Did all the cotton bolls go rotten last year? (When them cotton bolls get rotten, you cain’t pick very much cotton in them Ol’ cotton fields back home. BTW: Where’s all the home grown cotton these days?)
I finally settled on 1.75 oz of light 3. I know you’re thinking, “This is going to be a challenge.”
Using the intarsia method
I worked the pattern for about 25 rows then thought, “this isn’t going to look good”, and un-raveled, re-wound and started over using a straight needle with 45 stitches and also thinking I wouldn’t need to carry the contrasting yarn all the way across the pattern, which was correct, but it was a pattern that left much to be desired.
I took a break to crochet the Eiffel Tower motif pattern to add as a separate piece.
Again, I un-raveled and re-wound the ball of yarn, casted on 90 stitches onto the circular needle, deciding I would mark to separate the front from the back of the potholder, knitting the front and alternating knit-purl the back in the base color.After about 2″ of work I decided this wasn’t going to work either, so back to un-ravel, re-whine.
I let the project rest for a day, then cast 45 stitches onto a straight needle and decided to make this into a washcloth instead of a potholder because I would have to make two squares, add cotton batting then crochet them together to be safe to use with a hot pot.
Two and a half hours later…..
Better frame it than use it! BTW: I did find Joanne’s Fabric and an online source to purchase cotton yarn!
I crocheted an Eiffel Tower measuring 3″ and added the motif and ‘made with love’ metal charm to a corner washcloth.
The next day, after studying the wash cloth, I finally decided I really did want a potholder and began a back piece to measure the 6.5″ square using the garter stitch.
I remembered that I had been holding on to a roll of cotton batting to make a quilt for about 15 years. I dug through the linen cupboard, found the package and deliberated with myself for about a second as to whether I was REALLY going to make a quilt, then grabbed the scissors and cut the cotton batting to size.
Using some black yarn, I tacked the batting down through the middle to secure it to the front and back pieces. I single crocheted the edges of the front and back pieces together then went around again with an edging stitch. I crocheted around and added the metal ring for hanging the pot holder and Viola!
Cost Break Down
So, the yarn cost $4.99 a skein. I outlined with k-p a ‘frame’ for the knitted center of the front piece, and the back is k-p every row. Add about $.25 cents worth of the contrasting color skein; add the ‘made with love’ charm .$05; about .$05 worth of cotton batting and the metal ring for .$05. It took 10 hours to make the final version @ $7.25/hr (minimum wage). The pot holder is valued at $77.59,which is to say, “This is the OOAK Pecuniary Purchase” or a potholder only the wealthy would buy for the resident cook to use!
However, if I really get ambitious, I could consider making 4 more as Christmas Gifts for JC Supper Club members or as a table favor for the next Ladies of the French Laundry Dinner Party scheduled in 2014. The theme is black and pink, but I’ll think about it….later.
Last week, I got a bug. I remembered my mother had taught me a hot pad pattern years ago. So after a couple of fits-n-starts, I finally crocheted a hot pad of which Mr. Selfridge would approve and available only in my Etsy Shoppe!
But, yesterday, in honor of Mrs. Selfridge, and because I wanted to see a variation on the theme, I created and included in my shoppe the Rose Selfridge Elegant Hot Pad.