Thursday 17 October 2013

Norwegian Heart and Flower Pot-holders

This heart-shaped pot-holder, I am ashamed to say, I began and basically finished in June, but it needed a loop to hang it up by and although I kept meaning to get round to it, somehow I never did, so it languished in a work-bag all summer waiting patiently. A bit silly really, when to make a simple crochet strip for a loop and stitch it in place, only takes a few minutes.

I seem to make a habit of this almost-but-not-quite-finishing - I have a cushion cover that's finished apart from the buttons to fasten it; there's a skirt that just needs the hem hand-sewing in place; the blossoming bag of my last post waited for two months for the final blossoms to hang from the handle and there are several other things in the same limbo zone, if I think about it.

But in this month's finishing-things-off-mode, a loop was made and my happy, heart-shaped pot-holder is ensconced in the kitchen where she should be.

I absolutely love the yarn I chose for this - it's Spud and ChloĆ« Sweater - a mixture of wool and cotton - and it's utterly dreamy to crochet with.  I was lucky enough to get some for my birthday (as the result of a bit of happy, hooky hinting!) but it's rather expensive so I wanted to use it thriftily.  That steered me to choose several smaller projects rather than one big one as I felt this would stretch what I had, to best effect. So a few pot-holders looked a good option (as did a cushion cover and a little Christmas project I've been playing with, of which, more another time) None of them used a huge quantity of yarn and could be enjoyed in different ways and in different rooms. Canny!

The pattern for this heart-shaped pot-holder is on a lovely Norwegian blog - Olavas Verden and the pattern is, not surprisingly, in Norwegian. You can find it here. Despite my complete lack of any Norwegian at all, Olava's version just looked SO lovely that I had to have a go and, with the nice clear pictures and the aid of Google Translate, I took my courage in both hands and plunged in.

I am not sure I've followed the pattern entirely accurately - Google Translate is wonderful, but not infallible, especially when it's asked to navigate the intricacies of crochet terminology! So I had to do a bit of working out on the hoof, as it were, especially for the edging which wasn't included as part of the pattern, but it seems to have worked and I love the way the colours  - some of my absolute favourites - harmonise together. If I had my way, my whole house would be in shades of pink, lavender and turquoise, I think!

Olava has another gorgeous, flower-shaped, pot-holder pattern which you can find here and, very helpfully, she has provided an English version here. This also called for a couple of experiments using the same yarn:

I haven't made loops for these because, although the backs looked quite neat, as you can see in this one:

I felt it would enhance their functionality to pad them with a bit of quilt wadding and a disc of fabric.

A happy thought, as they now feel, as well as look, all gorgeous and squishy, but the only problem is that now, loops aren't so easy to attach.

Don't tell me! I know; I should have sandwiched a loop between the backing fabric and the crochet before stitching it all in place!

The absence of loops means these are not hung to hand when a bubbling casserole wants removing from the oven and secretly, I am pleased because I can't bear the idea of Casserole Overspill spoiling my hooky petals or even the cushiony backs! Woe betide anyone who thinks they will use my heart-shaped one for such a purpose either!

Fine to use to retrieve an Apple Glut Cake though, when its baking time is up, and, all golden and risen, it's singing quietly to itself.

This is my version of a Dorset Apple Cake and is basically a pound cake recipe to which peeled and chopped apples are added. I like to flavour it with cinnamon. I refer to it as Apple Glut Cake because I use double the original quantities of apple, when my conscience is pricking me about using all the windfalls strewing the grass, but you can use a smaller quantity for a non-glut version when apples are not coming out of your ears!

If you want the recipe, it's very simple.

Preheat the oven to 170 C and line a deep 20 cm / 8" round cake tin. Cream 225g / half a pound of soft unsalted butter and the same quantity of sugar together. Beat in 4 large eggs along with 225 g / half a pound of self-raising flour and 25 g / 1 oz cornflour that have been sifted together with a heaped teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Peel, core and chop enough apples to fill a 1 litre  / 2 pt pudding basin almost to the top. Tip the apple into the cake batter and fold in. Spoon the mixture into your tin and bake for about an hour and a quarter until, as I say, your cake is golden, risen and singing. It keeps surprisingly well considering the amount of apple in there.

Now for the next project whose "call is important" but which has been "held in a queue" for some considerable time! Fortunately, crochet is patient!


  1. Mrs T, you have me off on two new adventures. One is using soft pastel colors of yarn similar to your beaut-e-ous heart pot holder. So pretty and the lemon hook on which it is held shows it off beautifully.

    Had to look up com flour...we call it cornstarch. I just might have to try your recipe for a church bazaar fundraiser next week. It looks wonderful.

  2. Dear Mrs T
    Lovely colours and projects. I totally sympathise about not finishing things - I have a few projects languishing away which probably don't need much doing to them, but somehow they keep getting forgotten about! I would imagine most crafters are the same...
    Your apple cake looks absolutely delicious and I think I may have to bake one soon!
    Best wishes

  3. Tu es la reine du crochet !!!
    Love from France


  4. Such beautiful colours, I love the flower pot holders they remind me so much of water lillies.
    Clare x

  5. Very nice, you have been busy creating loveliness! :) x

  6. How lovely! they are both so pretty, I love those colours too. I think we must all be the same when it comes to finishing off, I am just as bad but I usually get everything completed eventually, I'm always so impatient to get something else started and think I'll finish that later and it's usually much later haha That cake looks yummy! :)

  7. You have made such beautiful projects the colors are fantastic.

  8. I barely understand crochet instructions in English, let alone Norwegian! Alas I have projects that need finishing and am currently wearing a cardigan that's fastened with a kilt pin because I haven't got around to sewing on buttons and fasteners. Love the colours of your pot holders

  9. What a bright and happy productive post this is....its top pot holder is gorgeous.
    I also wanted to say thank you for the lovely comment you left on my blog re. being 50....I felt so much better after reading it!!
    bestest weekend wishes to you and yours
    daisy j xx

  10. My sentiments exactly. Your post is bright, happy, and productive as Miss Lazy Daisy Jones commented. I love the slippers, the cake looks delicious, and the colors in your projects are delightful. In one of your other posts, you said that "crochet is patient". I LOVE that! And it makes us feel better about our unfinished projects, doesn't it? I have about eight going right now. Check out my blog at, if you have time, and you will see what I mean. I will be following you, as I am new to your site, but I look forward to seeing your creative projects, and reading some of your older posts. Thank you for your inspiration. xxoo. JO

  11. I never really think to knit pot holders (or wash cloths) and yet they really are the most useful things. And pretty, when worked in such a gorgeous yarn :)

  12. I like that Norwegian heart very, very much and am now imagining one in red and white for Christmas...I may have to investigate the pattern . Yes, google translate - it's brilliantly useful but often a bit bonkers. I'm glad you said your pot holders wouldn't be used for casserole dishes, I couldn't bear to think of anything greasy soiling those beautiful creations! x

    1. I found a pattern for a heart shaped pot holder in drops
      Hope it helps


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