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Four more ideas for Clean Cotton Big yarn

by Cynthia MacDougall

Whew! What fun I’ve been having with Clean Cotton Big! This super bulky (6-8 sts to 4″ [10cm]) yarn knits up quickly on Knitter’s Pride basix circular needles.

Yesterday I shared a pattern for knitting a gingham baby play mat in Clean Cotton Big. This is super soft for babies! Today, I’m sharing 4 more ways you can use Clean Cotton Big around the house, 3 of which came from the samples made for this series.

Clean Cotton Big is useful in more than just the laundry room: you can knit items for other rooms of the house, too!

I started the week testing my gingham plan with a mint and peach sample made on size 15 [10mm] needles. The 9-patch gingham started out to be for a tightly-knit tote bag, but I switched gears when I learned how heavy the tote bag would be. Oh, sure, it would have been STRONG, but also heavy to lift once it was filled with goodies!

The 9-patch sample for the tote bag can be down-scaled to make an attractive hot mat for the dinner table.

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But, all was not lost. This sample sparked my first idea for this post.

I really like the density of this fabric, and the high cotton and low polyester content of Clean Cotton Big makes it well-suited to make hot mats to protect table tops. This sample, at approximately 13″ x 13″ [33 x 33cm] is a bit big for a table, though. But, if I scale it down by casting on 6 stitches in each color and working 8 rows, it’ll end up closer to 9″ x 9″ [23 x 23cm] – perfect for my favorite square casserole dish!

BONUS If you REALLY want to protect that table top, you can knit it double thickness. Either cast on double the stitches, work it in the round, and stitch the cast on and cast off closed after the ends are woven in, or make a plain-knit back for create one plain and one patterned side to display according to your mood.

EXTRA BONUS For family dinners, you can make a hot mat table runner by adding two or 4 rows of color blocks – each repeat will add about 5½” [14cm] to the length of the runner.

Behold the humble gauge swatch. Harbinger of idea number two.

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The second idea is also for tableware. If weaving in a bunch of ends for a table mat isn’t your cup of tea, you can also make a hot mat from the solid yarn. I used this sample to demonstrate weaving in ends in my second last blog post.

This piece is a straight-up gauge swatch with a garter stitch border keep the edges from curling. For it, I cast on 20 sts, knit 4 rows of garter stitch, then switched to stockinette stitch for the center 16 sts, continuing to work garter stitch on the 2 edge stitches on each side. Once the piece was nearly square, I switched back to garter stitch, knit 4 more rows, then cast all the stitches off and wove in the ends.

BONUS If you make two small tubes (16 sts) or two small strips (8-10 sts each) and sew them into a pocket you can make microwave oven mitts. They’re great for hot dishes coming out of the microwave, but I’d want a double layer of fabric for conventional oven mitts.

A bird’s eye view of the finished play mat, showing the borders on the bottom right and top left corners, and that amazing gingham effect!

To turn the baby play mat into a bath mat, work with the sections outlined in yellow – it’s less knitting, even with a 4″ plain border all around the outside of the “gingham.”

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The third big idea takes us to the bathroom and has us re-jigging the baby play mat in my last post.

Without changing the size of the blocks (8 sts x 12 rows) or the size of the needles (size 17 [12mm]), you can create a gingham bath mat for your loo. Here’s what I recommend:

A standard bath mat is 32″ x 21″ and I determined that if I cast on enough stitches to make 5 color blocks wide, and knit only 3 color rows the result will be a piece that’s approximately 24″ x 13″ [61 x 33cm]. At the top of the last row, I would use my circular needle to pick up stitches down the left side (with the RS of the work facing), along the cast-on row, and up the other side, then knit a 4″ [10cm] border in garter stitch, increasing at each corner on every second row. When you add a 4″ border to a center that’s 24″ x 13″, you get a bath mat that’s 32″ x 21″ – not bad!

If that’s too much bother, work the edging as I did for the peach sample: cast on 54 sts (5 color block section of 8 sts = 40, plus 7 sts for each side edge = 14). Knit the bottom border using the trim color and garter stitch, then switch to 7 sts in border color, 40 stitches in the gingham pattern, and the last 7 sts in the border color. Keep the 7 stitches on each side in garter stitch. At the end of the last row of color, work another 4″ of garter stitch in the trim color and cast off all the stitches.

I highly recommend, though, that you place a non-skid mat under your beautiful bath mat. Safety first!

I had just over a ball of the red-and-white Sailboat yarn leftover from the play mat. I made this loop-stitch duster with just a few yards to spare!

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The last idea for my time with Clean Cotton Big is a little something that will use up the leftovers from other projects – and all us knitters like to do that, right?

I played around with loop stitch and created this dusting mitt! It would also make a great car wash mitt.

Clean Cotton Big Dusting Mitt

materials

  • 1½ balls of Clean Cotton Big
  • circular knitting needle size 13 [9mm]
  • large tapestry needle

Instructions

Cast on 12 sts. K 1 row.

Row 1 (Loop row): *wrap yarn around ring finger on left hand, then insert needle into stitch and draw up a loop. Place this loop back on the left needle, then ktog with the stitch the loop was drawn through (1 st on right needle); rep from * to end of row.
Row 2: knit through back loop (ktbl) of every stitch. Cast on 5 sts for cuff. (17 sts)
Row 3: k5, work loop st in rem 12 sts as given for Row 1.
Row 4: (Ktbl) 12 times, k5.
Rep rows 3 and 4 4 times more.

Back of mitt

Row 1: K across
Row 2: (short row): K to last 5 sts, turn work, k12, turn work, k to end.
Rows 3 and 4: K across
Rep these 4 rows until cuff stretches over the hand. If necessary, end on row 2, if fullness is needed to match the width of the loop st section. Cast off all sts. Sew side and fingertip seams, weave in all ends.

What fun Clean Cotton Big can be!

If you’ve been counting, you’ll note there are a lot more than 4 ideas in this post of household items you can make from Clean Cotton Big. This can be our little secret, though – it’s alright with me if the rest of the people on the World Wide Web think there’s only 4!

This is part 5 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 4: Knitting a playmat for baby with Clean Cotton Big yarn

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