It’s cold drink season and time to break out the coasters…
All you need is:Jute twine* G/6 or 4.25 MM crochet hook scissors yarn needle
*You can purchase jute twine at the craft store or at the grocery store in the hardware aisle. Jute comes in varying qualities. Your craft store will likely carry a nicer quality but it will cost more. I bought my jute at K-Mart for less than $2 a roll. It is quite rough and “hairy” and therefore more challenging to crochet, but still does the job.
Aesthetic Nest has a great tutorial for how to start crocheting in the round HERE. We will follow the same method essentially, but instead of single crocheting into the ring, we will double crochet into the ring.
It can be a little tricky to see the technique with the jute twine, so here is the same method with regular worsted weight yarn.
Slip stitch into the first chain. This is your “magic ring.” (It is nicknamed the magic ring because if you ever need to tighten the middle of the ring, you simply pull on the tail)
9 Double crochet (dc) into the center or hole of the ring (not into any stitches). Crochet over the tail as you go encasing it in your work. (You should have a total of 10 stitches including the chain 2)
Slip stitch into the top of the chain 2 to complete the circle or round.
Dc into the same stitch as the chain, then crochet 2 dc in each stitch around. (total of 20 stitches including chain 2)
Slip stitch into the top of chain 2.
Tie off. Cut tail and weave in tail.
With worsted weight yarn, you would normally want to use 12 total dc stitches (including the chain 2), but jute is relatively so inflexible and thick that you have to reduce the number of stitches for it to lay flat.
There may still be somewhat of a bump in the center of your coaster where the yarn is more dense. If it causes your cups to wobble consider reducing the number of stitches again. This will depend on the quality of your jute… if it is really thick or thin, or stiff or flexible. One coaster takes so little jute and time, that making a test coaster first is a good idea.
-Give yourself plenty of slack. Trying to crochet jute too tightly will make inserting the crochet hook almost impossible. If you normally crochet tightly, make a concerted effort to loosen your gauge.
– When weaving in the tail at the end, weave it carefully and slowly. Trying to weave it through multiple stitches is really, really difficult and may require the use of needle nosed pliers. (Ask me how I know).
– Crocheting jute is not easy. It takes time to get used to. Keep at it. Your last coaster will probably look much better than your first.
– If you have never crocheted in the round before, don’t start with jute. Make a few coasters with regular yarn first to get the hang of it. Be aware that your regular yarn test coasters will be smaller than the jute coasters.