Many adults can remember weaving a nylon or cotton potholder at some point during their childhood. Even if you don't remember using a potholder loom as a child, you can still teach your children this once ubiquitous handicraft. Loom-woven potholders are easy to create, and they make excellent handmade gifts that children can give to their favorite home cook.
Potholder loom kits usually include all the materials you need to help your children start weaving. You should have a plastic, metal or wood loom, a metal weaving hook and loopers made from nylon, cotton or wool. Although wool makes the most heat-resistant and full-looking potholders, nylon and cotton work fine.
In addition to the materials included in the kit, you might want to purchase a size K crochet hook to use when binding off finished potholders.
Before you begin weaving potholders on a loom, help your children sort through a package of loopers and pick out any that seem too short to extend from one end of the loom to the other. You don't want to warp the loom trying to get a looper to fit.
While you're sorting out unusable loopers, have the children begin to think about the colors they want to incorporate into their potholders. Some children might want to pick random loopers as they work, but others might want to design a color scheme.
Once you've sorted the loopers, you can begin weaving on the potholder loom. Stretch loopers vertically from the loom's top to the bottom. Hook both ends of the looper onto pegs sitting parallel to one another. Have the children fill every vertical peg in this manner. The stretched loopers form the warp, or the base around which the weft is woven.
Help your children begin weaving the weft. Hook a looper onto the loom's top horizontal peg and attach the looper's other end to the weaving hook that came with the potholder loom. Weave the looper under the first vertical loop and over the next. Continue until you reach the opposite peg. Hook the looper onto this peg and move on to the next row. This time, weave the weft looper under the first warp loop and over the next one. Continue until you reach the opposite peg. Alternate these two rows until you've filled all the horizontal pegs.
Children might find binding off their first potholder a little challenging. Help them work the bind-off to ensure none of their weaving is lost. Use a large size K crochet hook or the metal weaving hook to bind off. Just lift a loop from a lower corner off its peg and pull it through the loop above. Pull the loop into which you just wove off its peg, and replace the first loop onto its peg and repeat until you've crocheted around the entire border. Knot the last loop to keep the loom woven potholder from unraveling.
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