• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
stewards:
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Miles Flansburg
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mike Jay
gardeners:
  • Bill Crim
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Greg Martin
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in textiles.

In this project, you will knit a hot pad out of wool yarn.

To complete this Badge Bit, you must:
  -  Post a picture of your wool yarn and needles
  -  Post a picture of your hot pad in progress
  -  Post a picture of your completed hot pad
  -  Unfelted, it should measure about 10 by 10 inches (If you felt it, it will end up smaller, and that's okay!)

Here's a tutorial on how to knit!

Step
1

Pick yarn and needles



First you need to pick your yarn. Look for wool yarn. If it says "prewash," you will not be able to later felt it. That's okay if that's what you want. The reason we chose wool for this Badge Bit is because it is fire and heat resistant--perfect for hot pads!

Note: If you chose a thicker yarn, your project will go a LOT faster!

Next, choose your needles. Look on your yarn. There should be a place where it says needle size. Sometimes there's a range.



For a nice tight knit on this, you'll probably want the smaller needle size, or even to go down one size lower. If you choose to felt it afterward, you can go up a size or two. Hot pads are really forgiving!


Step
2

Make a slip knot



Next, you'll want to make a slip knot. There are LOTS of ways to do this. And, even if you get it wrong, it's not the end of the world. Here's a tutorial on how to make one type of slip knot.



Here's my slip knot.


Here it is on my needle



Step
3

Cast On



Now it's time to cast on. There are two methods to casting on--that is, making loops ("stitches") on your needle. This determine how WIDE your hot pad will be.

I prefer the first method in the following video, because it basically teaches you the knit stitch. What you're doing is making a knit stitch and putting it back on your left needle (when NOT casting on, the lop stays on your right needle).



You're going to cast on (create) enough stitches to make your hot pad about 10 inches wide. You'll want to STREEEEEETCH your little loops/stitches out to really see how wide they are. When stretched, they should be about 9 or 10 inches (often, on your next row, they'll magically stretch out even wider).

Here's 38 stitches on my size 10 needles with "worsted weight" wool yarn. My, that doesn't look wide enough!


Here they are stretched out. Way too wide! It's fine if it's wide, but it'll take longer to make!


So, I slipped off 8 stitches. Now it measures about 9 inches, which will probably magically increase to 10 inches on the next row.



Step
4

Knit



Now it's time to knit! You're going to do what you just did in the last row, but instead of putting the loop back on your left needle, you're going to LEAVE IT on your right needle. So, as you knit along, there will be less stitches on your left needle, and more and more on your right. You're doing it correctly!

Here's a great video on how to knit



I've just made my second row, and when I stretch out my stitches, it is more than 10 inches. But, that's because I'm really stretching it. It will probably be around 10 inches slack.



Step
5

Keep Knitting Rows



Now that you've made your first row, you're going to move your needle that's full of loops/stitches to your left hand, and knit another row!

Keep doing this, over and over and over and over again until your hot pad is as long as it is wide!

----------

Here you can see that I've knit about 8 more rows.


And, it looks like my hot pad is just under 10 inches. I probably should have cast on 34, rather than 30 stitches. But, since this is for my 2 year old, I'm not goind to worry. I could, however, take my needle out and unravel the hot pad and start again if I really wanted it 10 inches.

Step
6

Cast off



Now that you've gotten it as long as it is wide, it's time to cast off, WITHOUT dropping all those stitches! To do this, you knit two stiches, then pull the right one UP and OVER the left stitch and off the needle. You'll only have one stitch now on your right needle. Then you knit another stitch, and pull the rightmost one UP and OVER your left stitch and needle. Keep doing this until you only have one stitch left. Measure out about 5-8 inches of yarn and cut the yarn (*gasp!*) and put the yarn through the last stitch/loop. Pull it tight!



You might want to weave your few inches of yarn through your hot pad a few times and tie some knots, just to be on the safe side (that's what I always do, anyway!)

Step
7

(OPTIONAL)Felt/Full the Hot Pad


If you want a really thick hot pad that you can take things out of the oven with, without burning your hand, you can felt your hot pad!

The basics of felting (also called "fulling" when one is felting something that's already made):

* Hot water loosens the fibres, allowing them to tangle. And when you scrub it around in the hot water, it really tangles them up!
* Cold water tightens the fibres, shrinking them up.

To make a really well felted thing, with no little holes, you want to use a lot of hot water and a lot of movement. You can either do this by hand in the sink or bathrub--just scrub your hotpad around in hot water for a while. OR, your can throw it in the washing machine and let it churn away in hot water. Make sure to check it frequently in the washing machine (TURN THE MACHINE OFF before sticking your arm in!). Things that are felting tend to go from the same size to the same size, to a little smaller to *BAM* a whole lot smaller! So, check on it!

Once it's down to about the size you want, stretch and scrub it until it's the shape you want. Let it dry in that shape. *Poof!* Now you have a hot pad!

Here's some of my hot pads that I've made. Mine are double-long, folded over, and sewn on the sides so I can stick my hands in them, but the process is the same






You're hot pad will still qualify if it's lumpy, bumpy, and even if you drop some stitches and it gets narrower as you knit. This is a beginner project, and you're still likely learning how to wield the long needles and not get tangled in yarn. By the time you've finished this hot pad, though, you should be able to knit with confidence, and be ready to make something that requires a bit more accuracy. All this hot pad needs to do is keep your table from burning
COMMENTS:
 
master steward
Posts: 7318
Location: Pacific Northwest
2397
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
About a week ago, I got my daughter's hot pad finished, but forgot to post pictures. She wanted LOTS of different colors, so I let her pick them, and tell me which color to do next and how many rows to make of it. I made it twice as long as wide so she could use it as an oven mitt. Here is the final length:



I forgot to mentiion in the tutorial, a really easy way to check to see if your hot pad is square is to fold it in half diagonally. If the edges match up, you're at pretty much a square. This is a great way to quickly check without having to pull out a ruler every few lines.



If you're wanting to make double-sided oven-mitt hot pad, all you have to do is make it a little over twice as long as it is wide (you want it a little more than twice as long as wide, because you fold the oven mitt in half, and so some of the length gets eaten up on the fold). Then you want to cast off, and then fold it in half and attach the two sides together. You can sew them together, but I find that sewing is tighter than knitting, and does funny things when you felt it. So, I knit the edges together (I can post pictures and a more detailed how-to if anyone wants them). So it looks like this:



Then, I use the strands/ "tails" left from knitting and braid or chain stitch them into a long line and sew it as a loop, to make the oven mitt hangable.




Then I throw the whole thing in the washing machine that's full of hot water!

After 4 minutes, it looks like this:



That's totally stretched out--no worries, though! I stretch the thing longways and toss it back in the washer. I take it out after another 4 minutes and stretch it longways and put it inisde-out, and throw it back in. Then turn it rightside out again, after stretching it longways. Here it is after a total of 12 minutes in the washing machine



It's getting the size I want it, so I watch it carefully now. I take it out after a minute or two to stretch it to the correct shape. Throw it in for another minute, check and stretch it, etc. Here it is finished



To dry it, I lay it on a towel and fold the towel around it (keeping it flat) and then step on the towel to have the towel soak up the moisture. Make sure to dry your hot pad FLAT, as it will stay in the shape you dry it in.

My daughter loves it! She instantly took it over to her pretend kitchen and got things to take in and out of the oven with it!

 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 7318
Location: Pacific Northwest
2397
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just realized that I had not technically posted a picture of the yarn and needles. You can see the needles in the picture, so that's good. But, there's no picture of the balls/skeins of yarn. So, here's the picture of the yarn and needles (the red yarn is currently in use by my son's hot pad that I've almost finished knitting).
IMGP0719.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMGP0719.JPG]
Staff note (paul wheaton):

I certify this BB is complete!

 
garden master
Posts: 1978
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
507
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
While at Wheaton Labs, I made a couple of hot pads. These are the progress pictures from one of the hot pads that I made. I made this one with cotton yarn, and it measures more than 10 by 10 inches on both sides. The project probably took about four or five hours, but I was able to do other things, while knitting, like listening to podcasts, watch videos, have conversation, and be part of a meeting. I am not yet skilled enough to do it entirely without looking, but I do only have to glance at my knitting now and then.
IMG_5745.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_5745.jpg]
IMG_5746.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_5746.jpg]
IMG_5747.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_5747.jpg]
IMG_5748.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_5748.jpg]
IMG_5763.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_5763.jpg]
IMG_5764.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_5764.jpg]
IMG_5765.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_5765.jpg]
IMG_5766.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_5766.jpg]
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 7318
Location: Pacific Northwest
2397
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's some good knitting! I'm pretty sure the hotpad has to be wool, though....mostly because the heat transfers through the cotton way too easily (I tried knitting a cotton hotpad a few times, and the heat always came right through it, no matter how tightly I knit). If Paul has wool yarn, you knit two strands at onces and use the big size 10 needles, and it should go a lot faster.

I really want to certify this, because it obviously shows that you can knit. I think the main reason we did crochet cotton washcloth and knit wool hotpad is because crochet has a lot less stretch to it, making it perfect for washcloths. A knit washcloth might stretch out too much, and not be so useful for scrubbing.

You could probably still use this hotpad for putting on a table under a pot, but I wouldn't try using it to take something out of the oven (ask me how I know, LOL!)
 
Dave Burton
garden master
Posts: 1978
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
507
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, I was working with the yarn I had with me. It’ll still work great as a drying towel/cloth, though! Even if it can’t get certified for using cotton instead wool, I could update later with something else, because I’m always crafting something, whether it be crochet, knit, or Tunisian crochet.
 
master steward
Posts: 26420
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you are going to do cotton, you have to have a strategy to make it thicker, or have an insulative layer.   There are cotton fabric hot pads, but they have an insulative layer.

 
Dave Burton
garden master
Posts: 1978
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
507
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So, I have this fuzzy skein of what I think is wool. If I made a hotpad out of this and then posted the pics,, do you think I would be able to get certified for this BB?

Does this skein look like wool to you, Nicole? It is soft, fuzzy, and has a wispy quality to it.
IMG_5768.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_5768.jpg]
 
Posts: 6677
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
764
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dave Burton wrote:So, I have this fuzzy skein of what I think is wool. If I made a hotpad out of this and then posted the pics,, do you think I would be able to get certified for this BB?

Does this skein look like wool to you, Nicole? It is soft, fuzzy, and has a wispy quality to it.



Dave, one way to know for sure is to carefully light a two inch  piece of the yarn.  If it smells like burning hair it's most likely wool.  If it flames up and does not self extinguish it might be cotton or  another cellulose fiber or a combination with synthetics.  I like to do this at the sink with water running so I can quickly put out the fire before burning my fingers.  If the charred part feels hard it has some sort of synthetic fiber in the mix.

Be careful!!!  I do this a lot and have had some surprises where the fiber flames up more than expected...

As for potholders...I use the old woven type every day all day long made with a metal potholder maker and they are all cotton...a solid very tight weave...some are more than thirty years old.  
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 7318
Location: Pacific Northwest
2397
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Judith Browning wrote:
As for potholders...I use the old woven type every day all day long made with a metal potholder maker and they are all cotton...a solid very tight weave...some are more than thirty years old.  



I'm pretty sure I have two of those, too! My neighbor's grandma made some and gave them to my mom, a good 25+ years ago. I took two when I moved out of my mom's place. They are both working wonderfully, though I wish they were a bit longer. So, I tried to knit one with cotton on tiny needles, and it stretched too much and the heat came right through the holes. I then tried to weave more cotton through the loops. It didn't work. My wool hotpad/oven mitts are actually modeled after the woven ones
IMGP0770.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMGP0770.JPG]
Woven cotton potholder
IMGP0771.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMGP0771.JPG]
side view of woven cotton potholder
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 7318
Location: Pacific Northwest
2397
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dave Burton wrote:So, I have this fuzzy skein of what I think is wool. If I made a hotpad out of this and then posted the pics,, do you think I would be able to get certified for this BB?

Does this skein look like wool to you, Nicole? It is soft, fuzzy, and has a wispy quality to it.



That looks very much like an acrylic yarn, especially with that sheen. Pretty sure I've knitted with that type of acrylic "Boucle"-stlye yarn. Acrylic should melt when ignited--and does not make a good potholder because it'll melt against your skin. Judith's burn test is a really good way to test to be double sure.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 6677
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
764
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nicole, the old potholder in your image looks as though it was woven with thrums on a floor loom or some sort of loom with harnesses and maybe with a linen warp?...it's wonderful!  

I love the felted wool ones for this project and might have to dig out some homespun and a set of knitting needles.

The cotton ones I mentioned are made on the little 'loom' that used to be every child's first taste of weaving...the sets, frame and loops, are still made but in plastic and sometimes with synthetic loops that of course are not useful at all because as you mention, a synthetic will melt to your hand.  


and below is my drawer full of cotton potholders...
IMG_5866-(2).JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_5866-(2).JPG]
 
Dave Burton
garden master
Posts: 1978
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
507
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Umm, well, I guess that’s the trouble I run into with using stuff I got in bulk from a thrift store that was mostly unlabeled. (And we’re not allowed to play with fire on campus, which is where I’m back to right now, so I can only try to figure out by pictures and touch) I looked at some pictures and descriptions of prewashed wool yarn.

I really want to say this is wool.... what do you all think?

Does this look like the right (wool) yarn to get certified for knitting a hot pad?
6A1A3F70-2383-41BC-99C6-0BA07CD2AE81.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 6A1A3F70-2383-41BC-99C6-0BA07CD2AE81.jpeg]
wool?
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 7318
Location: Pacific Northwest
2397
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It looks to me like cheap acrylic yarn, which can be rather scratchy. It has a bit of sheen to it that's common with acrylics, but that could be the lighting. Sadly, for many many many years, most craft stores had only acrylic and maybe cotton yarn. Wool made a bit of a comeback recently at my local store...only to have them reduce stock because no one wanted to pay $10 for a skein of wool, when they could get acrylic for $3.

One test you could do is to scrub a few inches of it under hot water and scrub for a couple minutes. Then switch to cold water and scrub for half a minute, then back to hot. If it's not prewashed, it'll felt up.

Or, just walk out to where the ashcans are and use a match/lighter on it (I'm assuming your campus probably has designated smoking areas--people might give you some interesting looks, though!). It'll be pretty obvious if it's acrylic.

EDIT: It's also in a skein...and I rarely see wool sold in skeins. I usually see it sold in balls or in twisty loops like this

 
Judith Browning
Posts: 6677
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
764
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

dave wrote:Does this look like the right (wool) yarn t



I very rarely find wool at thrift stores...most are synthetics/ acrylics.  It's hard to tell from a photo...

 I think if wool is made too alkaline it can dissolve so maybe could try a strong baking soda mixture to test some of the fibers.

Keep the pH of the wool on the acidic side of 7. Alkaline pH will harm the wool and make it coarse. If the pH is high enough, the wool fibers will dissolve completely.  



The problem would be that if this method is not decisive and it is not wool but a synthetic, and used for a potholder it will possibly catch fire easily or melt like plastic.

I wonder if you could heat a bit of it some other way, without burning but enough to get a smell of hair if it's wool?  Does it have any 'sheepy' smell at all?
 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
Posts: 7318
Location: Pacific Northwest
2397
cat duck fiber arts forest garden homestead hugelkultur kids sheep foraging wood heat
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So, with wool being sometimes hard to find in larger craft stores, expeically in more rural/less-hipster areas, I thought I'd search through Amazon and posts some links for wool yarn.



Paton's Classic Worsted Yarn $8.49 I've not used this yarn before, but worsted is a nice size of yarn. When knitting normally, you can use size 8 needles. If felting (or doubling up on the yarn), size 10 or 11 needles work well.  Comes in 9 colors on Amazon.




Knit Picks Worsted Wool of the Andes $32 for 10 assorted skeins. $29 for 10 skeins of the same color. Each skein is about 1/2 the lenght of Patons or Cascade yarn. So, this ends up being a better deal if you plan on doing a lot of knitting with non-prewashed wool (it will felt!). I've not used this yearn before.




Flora Knit "Medium" chunky roving yarn This is FLUFFY, thick yarn. It will tear easily and felt easily. You could knit a hotpad super fast with this--knit it really loose and then felt it down. Check on it carefully while felting--or hand felt it--because it'll get out of shape fast. $15 for 1/2 pound. 14 colors.



Cascade 220 Worsted Wool, official website Cascade Yarns @ Yarn.Com $10.50/hankAmazon has the yarn sold individually, with prices and shipping varying. Amazon's link to Cascade Superwash Sport (which is thinner than worsted weight, and won't felt) 7 colors and $9/hankThis is the wool sold in my local craft store. They have it in different thicknesses and have prewashed and non-prewashed. I love the feel and warmth of this yarn. They offer an insane amount of colors, too. You have to wind the hank into a ball of yarn before using it! I usually stick it on the back of a computer chair with enough pillows to hold it up. THen I spin the chair while winding the yarn. If you wind it the spiffy way, you can make a ball of yarn that you can pull from both the middle and the outside.

 
Dave Burton
garden master
Posts: 1978
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
507
books forest garden greening the desert tiny house transportation urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I did a less intense felting test. I wetted two pieces of the yarn and tried to fuse them together by rubbing them dry between my fingers. The strands of yarn did not bind together. So, yes, I think it is likely acrylic yarn. So, I’ll go back to knitting and crocheting just for fun and relaxation. And I’ll get back to this BB when I have the correct materials.

I’ll go check out those Amazon links for wool. I might hold off on buying them, because I do have all this yarn, and I still think I ought to be making something with it all.
 
CAUTION! Do not touch the blades on your neck propeller while they are active. Tiny ad:
Getting ready for the Better World Book kickstarter - February 2019
https://permies.com/t/99513/ready-World-Book-kickstarter-February
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!