I’ve always used crocheted hot pads. When I was growing up, my grandmother made them for my mother. Among my favorites were hot pads that looked like a sliced grapefruit with a cherry in the center and a sliced watermelon. There was also a hot pad mat or trivet that was a bunch of grapes with a pop bottle cap in each grape to give it shape. The patterns came from Coats and Clark or Star booklets from the 1950s. My grandmother gave me her crochet booklets in the 1980s and I made myself some of my favorites. By now they have a few charred edges, are stained and faded. I’d make new ones but several of the thread colors (like variegated purple for the grapes and neon pink for the watermelon) are no longer made.
The hot pads pictured above were made for me by my great aunt Marie Eggers as a wedding shower gift in 1974. My grandmother (Marie’s sister) said that Marie’s tension was way too loose, you’d burn your fingers right through the hot pad! I never used these as hot pads (I framed them and hung them in my kitchen) so they still look like new. And I heeded my grandmother’s warning. I crochet my hot pads thick and tight or add a layer of nonwoven cotton batting so I don’t burn my fingers. And I always use 100% cotton thread, synthetic fibers can melt and stick to your skin causing a severe burn.