Although I generally am not a crocheting person, I did pick up some basic crochet when my mother taught herself back in the mid 70s, and it’s been enough for my knitting needs – the occasional drawstring, a simple crab edging and so on. It wasn’t until I came across some very brightly coloured, plain pot holders in the Landlust magazine that I was taken back to another chapter of crocheting…
My godmother and great aunt Ella did handicrafts all her life. She couldn’t just sit without having a sock, a potholder or other knitting or crochet going. And it went – at an incredibly fast pace, she neatly and with great perfection executed what were probably millions of stitches in her career (sadly mostly in acrylic!). We lost her a number of years ago and I’m sure she would have been quite baffled at the concept of “internet knitters”!
Anyway, we used to visit my German relatives at regular intervals and I, as an only child, would quickly get bored and be on the look out for something to do. Fortunately, my family were keen to spoil me, so generally took me shopping for a variety of games and coloured pens and whatever else I happened to look enthusiastic about but I also showed some curiosity when Ella took out her brightly coloured crochet cottons to make the fashionably stripy potholders that were all thr rage at the time in Germany (probably to go with the free gaudy flower stickers that came with Pril washing-up liquid – who remembers those?! And what was with the towelling underpants for girls over there??). Soon, armed with a crochet hook and some green and orange cotton, probably with the tip of my tongue hanging out of the corner of my mouth, I was struggling along with my own first potholder. I’m sure it wasn’t even, and I’m sure I skipped a stitch here or there, did a double crochet instead of a treble or a single instead of a double. Whatever, I must have quite enjoyed myself, and by bedtime, I’d managed a fairly respectable chunk of cotton waddage.
Now comes the bit that is referred to quite often: once I’d gone to bed, Ella took my work, undid it all and did it again, “perfectly”… much to my mother’s horror! She shook her head in disbelief that my aunt could imagine I wouldn’t notice the difference the next day, but argument was futile. To be honest, I can’t really remember what I thought when I got back to my work, but no potholder of mine remains in our possession, so no doubt I didn’t fare any better the following day! I’m sure Ella meant well.
None until today, anyway. Struck by the simplicity of doing a potholder in a single, bright colour that actually looks quite classy (gosh, are you allowed to NOT do stripes in purple and mustard?), I quickly got hold of some cotton, pulled out my crochet hook and spent a couple of evenings pleasantly occupied with my potholders – plain green and plain cream, just “perfect” in my kitchen!
The pattern is available, in German, at http://www.landlust.de under “Anleitungen”/Häkeln, along with quite a few others, plus a variety of country-style knitting patterns and several crafts.