Free Pattern: That Potholder Loop Rug

By Ann Shayne
December 8, 2020

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47 Comments
  • OH My Gosh. Thank you for the look back down memory lane! I think I still have my potholder loom that I received at about age 8 or 9. (That would make it at least 56 years old.) I was a potholder making machine back then. Now I must find my loom and I must also make a rug!

    • My sister and I were both potholder machines back in the day lol. Everyone got potholder for Christmas. Grand daughters are making them now. Harrisville loop colors are much nicer than I remember ours being.

  • I loved making potholders as a kid. We used to sew the potholders together into a grid and make small rugs that way.

  • Creating potholders was(is) the foundation for so many of us, that have progressed to larger looms and a love of creating handwoven fabrics…. thank you Harrisville & MDK for giving another generation the opportunity for creating memories with traditional tools and quality supplies.

  • I still have my SuperFancy Rug and it’s still going strong after 10+ years atop my dryer!

    • Me too! I made mine a bit bigger (runner size) and it lives on the floor in front of my washer and dryer.

  • Forgive my ignorance but how do you “chain loop the loops”? I remember making these but don’t recall chaining.

    • Take the end of the first loop and pull it up thru the second loop, and take the other end of the second loop and pull it down thru the first loop. Then pull. Makes a kind of square knot.

      • I could use a video tutorial on this! There probably is one on the Tubes of You 😉

        • I don’t know why but the Tubes of You is just hilarious!

    • Me too – is it taking a loop through the end of the first loop and then feeding it back through itself? Also, you would not want the gauge too loose, correct? For once, drape is not good!

  • This is so great!! pretty colors, easy-Peary, definitely uplifting fun during this pandemic!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • I also like how FAST they are to make. You can fool around with colors and all of a sudden you made a thing.

  • Aww! The memories—what could be more seductive? Potholders must have been the gateway craft for so many of us.

    • Yes! When I was coming along, the loops were made with the leftovers from sock-making factories, so the loops varied a lot in terms of color, texture, and size. The worst was to get one that was JustTooSmall to make it across the loom. Bummer!

  • I bought one of these the day the Holiday Store opened and of course as soon as it arrived I started making potholders. Super fun!! I didn’t know about the Super Fancy Potholder rug. Quick, get me some more loops!!

    • So glad! Would love to see what you’re cooking up–please share a photo on Instagram (if you’re into that sort of thing) with the hashtag #mymdk!

  • Is there a recommended minimum age to use the loom? Considering gifting this to a child.

    • Hi Jorie! You’d want the child to be three years or older just to be safe about the potholder loops as a choking hazard. I think seven years old is a safe bet, but I’ve seen six year olds crank these out–sometimes an adult needs to help with binding off at the end. Needless to say, I have also seen many full-grown adults take over and have a fine time.

      • I had the pleasure of introducing my six-year-old granddaughter to the loom (“Over, under, over, under.” So cute!) and I’m glad to report that the sub-two-year-old sister didn’t eat one loop in the making of the potholder. I did the bind off and it was a pretty joyous afternoon. Harrisville loops are the best.

      • Actually, now that I’m looking on my computer, as opposed to my phone, I can see that the box is marked 6+. thanks for the quick response!

  • I’d gotten that Harrisville loom for my son when he was much younger, but I think I’ve made more potholders than he has. And enjoyed making every one of them. Harrisville has a wizard on their site that you can use to create designs. It’s a blast to play with – https://harrisville.com/pages/potholder-wizard

    • Holymoly that’s fantastic! What will they think of next?

    • Designer potholders! Oh my stars, but that is clever of Harrisville.

  • The rugs also make ideal office chair seat covers for when enough hours spent at the screen are just too many!

  • I remember making these over 60 years ago. It came with a metal piece hooked at both ends to guide through and pull loops. It was fun until the loops were gone.

  • I ordered a loom and loops towards the beginning of the pandemic and cannot stop making potholders (holiday gifts). The color combinations and patterns are so much fun. Each potholder takes me about an hour. Be sure to use binder clips or opened paper clips to create tension as you bind off the last 2 sides!

    • Good bind off idea! I’ve been putting sides 3 and 4 on a cable needle before they want to fling off the loom.

  • A rug… would love it but might it be slippery? Or does it stay put fairly well?

    • And another question: did I read the rug directions correctly? Size 35 needle?

  • Potholder looms to use for weaving cotton loops go back at least as far as 1956. At that time they were “all the rage” with the the emementary school set. I vividly remember making many potholders those 64 years ago!

  • Making potholders was reserved for being home from school sick in bed. If you were well enough to be out of bed, you were well enough to go to school. The bag of loops and the loom appeared from the top of the linen closet and you were set! I have given looms over the years, and still have some potholders made for me by a now 37 year old. She was over visiting one day and I used one. She quirked and eyebrow before rolling the eyes. “Really?” Yes! And I also have a lead rope for a horse she finger knitted with loops. It’s still in my tack box. I must have some new young un’s that need a loom. These are way better than the rubber band things from a few years back!

    • You don’t need young uns! This is awesome for you. I have the slightly bigger potholder PRO loom that Harrisville makes (big hands – like the little bit extra coverage) and I thoroughly enjoy making potholders.

  • How do you chain loop? As a kid I made lots of potholders. I’m 71 and I still have two I use in my kitchen from way back when.

  • I really love this idea, but is there a place where we can get LOTS of these loops for a reasonable price? By my estimation, it would cost over $150 to make from 30 bags of loops. I’m thinking making (longer) loops from t-shirts.

    • I had same concerns. A google search did not yield any bargains. 🙁

    • Hi Alyson and Nan! DEFINITELY do t-shirt loops! We wrote about this idea in our first book, and it’s a superfun way to give old t-shirts new lift. We called it calamari knitting because you’re cutting rings of fabric the way a chef cuts up calamari. You can get a giant ball of calamari yarn really fast with this method.

    • You can buy potholder loops by the pound on eBay and etsy – I think “bulk potholder loops” will probably help you narrow down the search, you just need to be mindful of the size and fiber content.

      I bought 2 lbs. of these on a whim from etsy a couple years ago, so I think the rug is a fabulous idea.

  • Wow. I think potholder loops must be an American phenomenon that has never made it over to the UK. I’ve never heard of them but they sound like a lot of fun!

  • Another excellent reason to subscribe to your emails! I was a potholder making wiz as a kid and embarrassed my mom going door-to-door selling my potholders from a little suitcase for $.50/pair. Three years ago, I happened upon the wire loom and small round suitcase of loops at a garage sale for…wait for it…$3.00! Naturally I scooped that up and friends and family have been getting potholders from me ever since. Love the idea of a rug. Thanks again for the inspiration1

  • The nostalgia is strong with this! My childhood, and then some rainy weekends with the stepkids when they were little. Now that they’re teens, they laugh and roll their eyes when I use their potholders daily in the kitchen, but you cannot damage these things!
    I’m looking at that rug, but I was also picturing a log-cabin kind of rug – lots of single potholders sewn together?

  • Great idea! Harrisville use to have wool loops too. Miss them, great for kitchen..wool smothers fires.
    I do potholders, knitted washcloths, nylon net scrubbies, make colorful linen towels, and find a beautiful French damask cotton towel for house warming gifts… Linen towels are so expensive, making ..
    A couple from one yard!

    • I wish Harrisville would bring back the wool loops

  • My children were potholder fiends when they were younger. Then my son absconded with the loops and made a very long rope. He took the very long rope and tied everything in the house together–the doorknobs to all of the doors, the dining room chairs, the kitchen cabinets and drawers, as well as the fridge and other appliances. We would undo the rope to use the house parts, then he would tie them back together again. He was very diligent with his rope. Finally he decided that rope maintenance was too taxing, so we went back to normal use of the house parts.

  • The instructions for the rug states to use 20 bags; does this mean that 20 potholder kits at $7.99 per kit are required to make one rug? TIA

  • I am a life-long potholder maker. Gave looms and loops to my dear friend’s granddaughters. Love the colors of Harrisville and have quite a tubfull. The craft group at my church was meeting periodically with some refugee elder ladies and I was looking forward to participating and taking looms and loops (in my retirement as of Mar 20) to that group – language not as much a barrier as in trying to teach knitting or crochet. My shopping bag still sits there – waiting. I make only 10″ ones for gifts now – works of art inspired by zinnias, autumn leaves, winter solstice, Christmas, etc.

  • Funny you should mention this. I had my loom out last night making pockets for the jacket I’m designing and knitting. As I spin and ply yarn of many colors to knit with.

    I love my little Harrisville made in the USA, sturdy metal well designed loom. I hope a lot of people discover it.