Potholders!! Fun for the Whole Family!!!

Potholders! One of life’s simplest crafts is the potholder loom and loops. We had a potholder loom at home during the 50’s. Mama would get us loops and we would weave potholders for our kitchen and  TeeTee’s kitchen next door. I remember I loved to make them, and enjoyed trying out new patterns and colors. The basic metal loom comes from 1948. But today they make a plastic loom, but the instructions are still the same. When Daddy retired and was getting on up in years, Mama gave him the supplies to make her some new potholders. Daddy was a man with no hobbies and never did any art. The only thing I can remember him making was bullets. He would melt the lead, and pour it into molds. But, that was in the 60’s. So, for  Daddy to pick up potholder making in his late 70’s was something. He got obsessed with making them and did it all day watching  his TV. He made so any that Mama ran out of sources for the loops and finally called the president of the loop company and told him the story. He told her he could ship her a case of unpackaged loops and it was sold by the pound. Daddy never ran out of loops. he would put them in his pockets and when he went anywhere he would hand potholders out, even to total strangers. The organist and pianist at church were the recipients of some each time he went to church. he would just lay them on the benches and they would find them when they came to play for a service. I have a huge sack he made in the closet for my family later.

Well, the last few years at Sacred Heart we have been making potholders. Last year we gave a bunch to the kitchen staff and this year the 8th graders are making 10 a piece to sell as a class fundraiser  You know me I can’t just sit. I always have to be doing something. So, I a making potholders for presents. It’s fun, easy, clean and you can pick it up right where you left off. AND they are useful, decorative and can be washed. A SIDE NOTE: The loops are the left over rings off of the looms that make socks. Today they come in 3 different varieties: Cotton, the old regular ones , nylon thin & stretchy, and thick with some wool.

About Jim Gatling

Artist: primitive watercolors, colored pencil. Quilter: Original designs, Scrap quilts. Craftsman: Woodburning, Recycling Teacher: Retired MHS, SHCS K-12 Part Time. Collector: Antiques, Quilts, Glass, Buttons, Petit Point, Needlepoint, Hankies, Figural Perfume Bottles. Son, Father, Grandfather, Neighbor, Friend.
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5 Responses to Potholders!! Fun for the Whole Family!!!

  1. Liz Giovannini says:

    For some reason, this story made me tear up a little bit this morning. I guess it’s knowing your dad and knowing this craft must have given him a sense of accomplishment as he began to deal with his Alzheimers. I’m sure there are lots of people out there who will treasure thier little gifts from him for many, many years to come.

  2. Skye says:

    Oh, I love this!! Making these potholders was my first craft (that I turned into a little 10 year old cottage industry!). Where do you get the different type loops? I would also need a new frame, but I could probably get one at Hobby Lobby, yes?? I’d really like to know your source for cotton & wool loops, though. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Jim Gatling says:

      Yes, Hobby Lobby! I buy all they have in Conway & Russelleville when I start the school projects. Oh, there is a metal loo in a wsack of loopws. But the ones they have on the shelf are plastic. The etal ones are sooooooooooooooooooooooo much better.

  3. Kathy Garringer says:

    About 20 years ago when I was teaching in Joplin. I had a student who borrowed a $ from me. A few days later I asked for my $ back and he said he would bring it the next day. the next day he came in and plunked one of those potholders on my desk and said it was payback. I was speechless, I took it to the principals office and she told me to keep it in my desk and if he asked for money again–give it to him. Well, Sure enough he asked for another $. I pulled out the potholder and he asked, “What am I supposed to do with this?” that has made me smile many times.
    I have a bunch of those looms and loopers that I kept after I retired. Plan on doing them with my grandkids.

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