First, we have the Magic Potholder, the one Grandma's made, and tried to teach us as kids. Next is a simply shaped bag, it's a little more complicated because it uses increases, decreases and back loop only. All techniques included in the Tutorial.
Both patterns are available for free on Ravelry so be sure to add Magic Potholder and Gift Bags That Keep on Giving to your queue.
You can also use these links to download .pdfs for the Magic Potholder and Gifts Bags That Keep on Giving.
The Magic Potholder uses single crochet in the round to create a double thick potholder.
For a 6 inch square potholder I used:
About 75 yards, worsted weight cotton yarn
Step by step!
Chain 30 – this chain will be the diagonal corners of your potholder, but once you begin stitching it will tighten up. My fingers show the approximate size of my finished potholder.
Round 1: Single crochet (sc) in back ridge loop of second chain from hook and each remaining chain. Do not turn.
Rotate work 180 degrees clockwise and sc into the bottom of each chain back to your starting point. You should have 29+29=58 sc
Don’t be surprised if the corners are a bit tight, we’re going to use that to our advantage!
See how that tight corner allows it to fold naturally as you continue? Here’s how it looks flat, opened up, front and back:
Keep working sc round and round until long enough for the folded sides to meet in the middle.
Cut a length of yarn about 4 times the length of your seam, and use it to whipstitch the two sides together.
Once the seam is complete, I use the tail to crochet a chain hanging loop. Use your hook to pull up a loop, chain 10 and slip stitch back into the corner.
Weave several inches of that tail into the fabric and you’re done!
One final look… I’ve pointed out the line of the original chain.
Notes on sizing: Use an initial chain based on what size finished potholder you need. I find a chain of 30 gives me about 6 inches, 35 about 7 inches, 40 about 8 inches. Remember that larger sizes will require more yarn.
This is also the one my daughters request the most because it's so easy to coordinate yarn colors to match the rest of the kitchen!
Gift Bags That Keep on Giving is a great next step because it calls for increases, decreases and back loop only single crochet.
I've updated this pattern to include lots of step by step photos.