Beefing up

Physically, I’m spending the bulk of my knitting time working on the Kiwassa shawl. It’s familiar, soothing, and not terribly demanding of my mental energy. So, while knitting the Kiwassa, I can’t help but daydream about the Hot Pads and Potholders swap. In fact, and perhaps this falls into the TMI department, I’ve been dreaming about color combinations for the potholders I’m planning to crochet!

I’ve decided to use Tahki Cotton Classic for my potholders. Even though I don’t have any TCC currently in my stash (save for a tiny amount left over after making Mr. Stegs), the purchase seems justified to me. A quick survey of my stashette revealed that I did not have enough skeins or color choices of any one variety of yarn.

My biggest stashes in terms of yardage and different colors are Gedifra Korfu (not allowed because of its acrylic content), Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock (ditto), and sportweight Louet (superwash wool is also a no-no). So, I’d need to buy something new anyway. Having just tabulated my yarn expenses for 2008, this was okay with me, since I spent a truly pithy amount on yarn in the last calendar year. Time to shop!

Tahki Cotton Classic comes in pretty small and reasonably priced skeins, thus making a major stash enhancement possible both in terms of money and storage space. There are over 100 different colors available – visions of kitsch, here I come! – a good number of which are carried at a yarn shop close to me, Wild & Woolly Studio in Lexington, MA.

From left to right: 3549, 3352, 3453, 3407, 3418, 3873, 3786, 3703, 3701, 3001, 3933.

These colors came home with me. My only disappointment was the complete absence of the dark red-burgundy-brown family from the Wild & Woolly line-up. What’s up with that? Those colors were major players in some of my potential color combinations! But I think I’ll manage nonetheless :).


These are the five color combinations I’m currently considering. Completely subject to change, of course ;).

The continuation of a serious crocheting obsession would not be complete without some new tools and reading material, of course :).


To this end, I’ve ordered the Clover Getaway Soft Touch crochet hook gift set (excellently priced at, as is the corresponding bamboo set, use code TTA76 for free shipping on purchases of $35 or more), Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs, and 200 Crochet Blocks.

The influx of new yarn, tools, and books is propelling me to work like the wind on the current projects!


29 thoughts on “Beefing up

  1. Harper

    I love Cotton Classic! I’ve been vaguely thinking of ways to use my stash of CC since seeing Eunny Jang’s scarf pattern in the latest IK. And my mother has just requested some washclothes for her birthday which I assumed I’d make in Peaches n cream. But now you have sparked the idea of combining my two trains of thought. And dreaming of color combinations doesn’t sound odd to me at all. If we can obsess and have nightmares about negatives why not about things that bring us joy? Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  2. Amy

    HAH! I’ve also been plotting potholder color combos w/ Cotton Classic and looking at the same books!

  3. Crystal

    You should enjoy 200 Crochet Blocks. It’s the only crochet book that I can’t bear to part with even though I rarely crochet anymore.

  4. mari

    I keep thinking I’m going to start crocheting… but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m looking forward to seeing your creations, I know they’ll be nothing less than spectacular!

  5. Cindy (maxfun)

    Yep, Cotton Classic is awesome in its color selection. We carry a lot of it at the LYS where I work. Sometimes one color gets completely depleted by someone doing a big project. Maybe that’s what happened with the red-burgundy-browns at your LYS. 🙂

    The Crochet Motifs book you got ROCKS. There are so many great motifs in there to inspire designs.

    I’m not a big fan of the soft touch hooks, myself, but that’s a style thing. I like a plain old straight hook with a nicely tapered neck and a pointy tip. I also like having the dip in the middle. But then, I don’t hold the darn things that way you’re “supposed” to, having taught myself as a kid without learning “proper” technique. Plus I’m spoiled by a set of hand-tooled hooks I bought years and years ago at an art fair.

    Enjoy your crochet ventures! The thicker fabric created by crochet is perfect for potholders. 🙂

  6. Nancy

    I also bought a set of the soft touch crochet hooks. Um, haven’t really used them for anything except for fixing dropped stitches, etc, but they are beautiful.

  7. Suzann

    I do a lot of crocheting and knitting. I think knitted wash clothes work better. With crochet dish clothes my fingers go right through the spaces. So, unless they are just for show, I knit my wash clothes.

  8. kmkat

    Take away the orange in the first color combination and replace it with the mustard yellow from the second; the result is the color combination in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes for a toddler Einstein jacket. (Great minds think alike ;-))

  9. Lillie

    I just love playing with those blocks and colors as well! Too fun! Crochet isn’t really my thing either, but I get really excited about the possiblities for blankets and the like when combining those two elements.

  10. tiennie

    Oh no! I think you are going to make me run out and get all these crocheting goodness even though I haven’t a clue how to crochet.

  11. Karen B.

    I am astonished. And proud of you for completely embracing the crochet into your crafting arsenal. Not so long ago, my friend, you two were not on speaking terms. Well done!

  12. melissa

    if you still want to look for some dark red/brown shades, black sheep knitting in needham has those colors (last i saw)

  13. kerry

    I too thought about participating in the pot holder swap, but smacked myself upside the head before I could add yet another item to my queue. The first combo of red/teal/orange is my fave.

  14. Danielle

    Ha! I’ve been looking at the same books, and I think I’ll buy at least one of them. Let me know how you like the hooks you got … I need to fill in some holes in my collection and, well, I like pretty things that come in matching sets!

  15. Mary Jane

    Hello! I am also preparing to crochet for the potholder swap and I was planning on using a superwash wool… I noticed you said it was a no-no… I didn’t read anywhere on the swap page that it was prohibited. Does the superwash make it flammable?

    Thanks for the help! I don’t want to make unsafe potholders!

    I have the crochet books you purchased- good choices!!

  16. Jenna

    I haven’t gone so far as to dream about my color combinations, but I have definitely been obsessing over this little project. The phrase “pot holders as art” has definitely put the pressure on! Good luck finding your pattern, I think I know what mine is.

  17. Shell

    I can hardly wait to see what they work out to look like. You get an idea from the skiens, but I find that depending on the arrangement you can get a very different look.

  18. Gail

    I bought “200 crochet blocks” because of an entirely luscious afghan at Ravelry made from that book and using color grown cotton.

  19. Beebs

    I made a twin bed sized Mitered Blanket out of the TCC and LOVED working with it. I ended up with over 40 colors and had an excellent time figuring out the combinations. And, yes, I did indeed dream about them. Have fun!

  20. Hickory

    Love your color choices! Just a friendly note: “200 Crochet Blocks” has a ton of errata. I printed out the corrections from Interweave’s website and just stuck them in my book. It’s such a great book otherwise! Have fun crocheting 🙂

  21. earthchick

    Oh fantastic. Love those colors, and the combinations.

    It was all I could do to keep from clicking the sign up button for the potholder swap. I’m just up to my eyeballs in knitting commitments right now, and it was a good exercise in making myself say no. Also, I would’ve needed to learn to crochet.

    I will live vicariously through your projects.

  22. skeinsherway

    Hmmm, that crochet hook set is mighty fine looking… (Why am I so easily tempted?) Surely I must need some crochet hooks, you know, just in case?

  23. Nora

    Hi – On March 22, Crystal mentioned that she loves 200 Crochet Blocks. Do you have her e-mail address?

    There are more mistakes than the ones corrected by Interweave Press on their Web site. I was wondering she had found the rest of the corrections. I just finished No. 8 Popcorn Flower and it has a bunch of errors. thanks for any help you can send my way. – Nora from Texas

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