Crocheting these hot pads for the hope chest was the most fun I've had in some time. But thinking about and writing the directions and tutorial was not! Here is my best attempt. I hope the pattern makes sense.
I used Peaches & Cream worsted weight cotton and a size G hook.
Special stitches: This pattern is based on the Post Stitch. Rather than working in the tops of the stitches of the previous row, post stitches work around some stitches, creating a lovely raised pattern. To make a front post double crochet (FPdc), catch the yarn over the hook as usual. The hook is inserted from front to back, around the post of a stitch indicated (usually in a previously worked row). The hook is pushed out again to the front on the other side of the stitch. Yarn over, then carefully pull up a loop back around the post (3 loops on the hook at this point). Catch the yarn over and draw through 2 loops, twice. FPdc made! For a back post double crochet (BPdc), the motion is repeated, except the hook is inserted from the back to the front around the post of the stitch indicated, carefully pulling the loop around the post to the back. It is awkward to work these stitches at first, but you'll soon get the hand of it. The pictures should help, but if the post stitches are confusing, try looking up a video about post stitches on YouTube. It might help to see moving pictures.
To make a half-double crochet (hdc): A half-double crochet is longer than the single crochet but shorter than a double crochet. Hdc is made with a yarn over the hook once. Insert the hook in the stitch indicated, yarn over and draw through the stitch (3 loops on hook). Yarn over and draw through all three loops, completing the hdc stitch.
To begin: Chain 27.
Row 1: Dc in fourth ch from hook (skipped ch 3 counts as the first dc) and in each chain stitch across. (25 dc) Mark this side as the right side.
Row 2: Ch 2 (counts as the first hdc), turn.
Work FPdc around next two dc stitches.
Work BPdc around next dc.
Work (FPdc around next two dc stitches and BPdc around next stitch) across to the last three dc.
Work FPdc around the next 2 dc, hdc in last dc.
Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as the first dc) and turn. Dc in the tops of the next two stitches.
FPdc around next stitch (this is the BPdc from the previous row).
(Dc in the next two stitches. FPdc around the next stitch) across to the last three stitches. Dc in the last three stitches.
Rows 4-11: Repeat row 2 and 3.
Row 12: Repeat row 2. Fasten off.
Repeat pattern 3 more times for a total of 4 pieces.
Edging: Row 1: Hold two pieces together, back to back, with the last row worked at the top. Working through both pieces at once, join with a sc in the top of the first dc of the right corner. Ch 1.
2 sc in same stitch – corner made. *Sc in each stitch across to last stitch in the row. (23 stitches).
3 sc in last stitch of this row – corner made. Repeat from * twice more. Sc evenly down the last side (23 stitches), slip stitch to the ch 1 stitch in the first corner.
Row 2: Chain 4. (dc, ch 1, dc) – corner made.
** Dc in each stitch to the second sc in the next corner stitch. (Dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in the second sc of corner stitch to round corner. Repeat from ** two more times. Dc in each stitch down last side. Slip stitch in top of first corner and fasten off. Weave in yarn ends.
I think these hot pads are cute and I love how thick they are and how bumpy they feel when I hold them. Give it a try!