A fancy dinner calls for all the accoutrements – cloth napkins, extra forks, name cards, a tablecloth, and of course, placemats. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or a holiday get-together, placemats serve to keep your table clean, and to provide a space for glasses and silverware where they won’t make too much noise and drown out the conversation.
Of course, buying placemats is always an option, but there are environmental concerns with purchasing plastic placemats, and finding the right type of fabric placemats that can be thrown in the wash over and over again without losing their color or feel can become a hassle. If you’d rather forego all of that, you can make your own placemats from a quality cotton yarn that will retain its color and texture through multiple washings.
Little Monkeys Crochet has a free Color Block Placemat pattern labeled “Easy” if you want to make pretty placemats without a lot of fuss. The recommended yarn is Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton which is made to withstand plenty of washings while remaining the same color as the day you bought it. There are dozens of colors to choose from, whether you’re looking for classic neutrals or bright, bold seasonal colors.
You’ll need the following items to complete this project: a “G” size crochet hook, four different colors of yarn (unless you decide you want two or three colors instead of four), and a yarn needle. You’ll also need to know the following stitches: stitch (st), slip stitch (sl st), chain (ch), skip (sk), single crochet (sc), and half double crochet (hdc). Please note that the pattern is written in American Standard crochet terms. The finished placemat will measure 13″ x 18″.
Of course, if you are eager to try something with a little more pizazz, you could try Wendy Harbaugh’s Clover Patch Placemat (bonus pattern: Hot Pad). It’s an “Intermediate” project for either seasoned professionals or ambitious beginners. It also recommends using a cotton yarn (something like Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co.’s worsted weight cotton yarn), about four skeins total. You’ll need an “I” size hook for this placemat, which, when finished, will measure 12 1/4″ by 17 1/2″ inches. The bonus Hot Pad measures around 10″.
There are special stitches included in this pattern, ranging from the “small shell” to “medium shell” to “large shell”, but there are detailed instructions for each which make this pattern pretty smooth sailing. There’s also a conversion chart if you’re used to metric or UK measurements for the sizing and size of needle needed for the project.
To use this pattern, you’ll need to register with www.freepatterns.com – which means you’ll be getting access to a lot more free patterns you can use to spruce up your dinner table, bathroom, bedroom, and more. There are also other craft projects and patterns for beading, knitting, and cross-stitch, to name a few. You can also opt out of these if you just want the free crochet patterns.