A few years back, I knitted and felted the Hot out of the Oven potholder set from Knit Picks, using their feltable wool and free pattern for the project. I blogged about it way back then, and have been using them happily in the kitchen ever since, including making a second set as a housewarming present for my sister. Wool, a natural insulator, makes great potholders (except when wet), so they work perfectly. End of story. Right?

potholder

Well, the other night I inadvertently let the potholder touch the red-hot heating element of our toaster oven while trying to remove the tray. Yikes! But here’s the good news. See the small amount of singed fiber at the bottom of the picture? That’s all the damage that was done. Wool is naturally flame retardant and will singe but not burn. The potholder and the 100% wool yarn did their jobs perfectly! There was a tiny bit of smoke but no flame, and the toaster is literally unaffected, not even a mark.

I’m really thankful for the wool felt kitchen set now! I’m not sure I would trust any random potholder from the corner store to behave so handily in a similar situation. The moral of the story? Make wool potholders and oven mitts for yourself, and everyone you know! I heard something about Christmas coming..