Free Pattern: Fmelted Plarn Toothbrush Holder
If you missed the original tutorial, "fmelting" is a combination of meting + felting.
With this pattern, you can recycle some grocery bags while creating a simple household item. You probably wouldn't think to crochet a bathroom item such as this, but using plarn and some heat from an iron, a floppy crochet piece turns into a useful toothbrush holder!
The pattern is quite easy to work, but some caution is needed during the fmelting process. I've mentioned this before in my other fmelted projects, and again I accidentally laid the iron on my hand, resulting in a minor burn. Perhaps I should take my own advice! Pay attention, work in a well ventilated area, and especially: Keep kids safe! Little ones interested in watching the process are often eager to see the results before the piece has cooled.
If you need extra information about the procedure, you're welcome to check out my original fmelting tutorial, or for step-by-step close up photos with my first three-dimensional project, click here. This project is a bit different, being round, but the process is the same.
Finished size is 4" (10 cm) tall by 12" (30.5 cm) circumference.
Crochet hook size G/6 - 4.25 MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Plarn cut 1 1/2" wide, single strand - see notes (about 10 bags)
Smaller hook or needle to weave in ends
15 oz. soup can
Aluminum foil, optional
Rounds 1-4 of pattern = 1 3/4" (4.5 cm) in diameter with single strand 1 1/2" (3.8 cm) wide plarn
Although plarn is often forgiving, consistency in width is important to the finished results of this project. Pay close attention while preparing your bags. The width of the strip should be within 1/4" (0.5 cm) of the specified size.
Click for help making plarn.
Save a few scraps in case of mistakes while fmelting. See end for example.
Slip stitch - sl st
Chain - ch
Single crochet - sc
Double crochet - dc
Begin with a magic circle.
Sl st in magic circle, ch 1 (counts as 1 sc). 5 sc in circle. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (6 sc) Tighten circle.
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in same st. 2 sc in each of remaining 5 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (12 sc)
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in same st and in next st. (2 sc in next st, 1 sc in the following st) 11 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (18 sc)
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in same st and in each of the following 2 sts. (2 sc in next st, 1 sc in each of the following 2 sts) 5 times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (24 sc)
Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each of the next 3 sts. (Ch 4, sk 2, 1 dc in each of the next 4 sts) 3 times. Ch 4, sk 2, join with a sl st to beg ch-3.
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in same st. 1 sc in next st, 2 sc in the following st. *5 sc in ch-4 sp. 2 sc in first available st, 1 sc in next, 2 sc in the following st.* Repeat from * to * 3 more times. 5 sc in ch-4 sp, join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (40 sc)
Sl st directly below current st, into previous row 5. Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in same sp. Working all sts into row 5: 1 sc in next, 2 sc in following st. *6 sc in ch-5 sp. 2 sc in first available st, 1 sc in next, 2 sc in following.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. 6 sc in ch-5 sp, join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (44 sc)
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in each of remaining 43 sts. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (44 sc)
Skipping last row, sl st directly below st into previous row. Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), 1 sc in each of remaining 43 sts in same row. Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (44 sc)
For rows 10 - 23:
(Repeat Row 8  times, repeat Row 9 once) two times.
Repeat Row 8 once.
End with Row 9. Bind off, weave in ends.
Your piece before fmelting will look slightly out of round. Fitting it over the form and the melting process will round it out nicely. However, if you like this square-ish shape, I suppose you could use a square form to make it stay this way.
I recommend using a spare (crafting) iron if you have one. This process may leave some residue on your iron. If you don't have a spare, and residue is left over, remove with a bit of vegetable or baby oil, then clean with a mild detergent. Dry, then preheat and use on an old piece of cloth (cotton cleaning towels work great) to ensure no residue is left.
Irons may vary, turn up your heat gradually if you need to.
If you haven't fmelted anything before, make a gauge swatch to practice on.
Preheat the iron on the synthetic (lowest) setting.
1. For your form, wrap an empty soup can (label removed) with waxed paper. If your project is slightly larger than the form, you can use extra layers of waxed paper or aluminum foil to make up the difference. You may also want to line the inside of the can with aluminum foil; this will prevent some of the heat from penetrating the inside of the form for better handling.
2. Place the project on the form wrong side out.
3. Cover with waxed paper, apply heat to the top and sides for 30 seconds to one minute. Do not heat the the thicker ridge between top and sides. It should be "crispy", but not completely hardened.
4. Once cool, remove from the form, turn right side out. The top will most likely pop up like the following photo shows. You may be able to push it down now, but don't worry, it will be flat when done.
5. Place on the form again, cover with waxed paper.
6. Repeat the process, applying heat for about 2 minutes for each area, until hardened.
Once finished, it will support itself and up to four toothbrushes.
You might think this one finished without a problem, but look closer:
The plarn was too thin in a couple of places, and I applied heat for a bit too long, breaking the material. Could you tell where the holes were if I didn't point them out? (Unnecessary hint: I wrapped too much material around the top one!)
If you break a stitch during the fmelting process, wrap around it with some scrap plarn. Cover with wax paper, apply heat for a few seconds at a time. You may need to repeat the process a few times. The scrap material will bond to the project, fixing the hole.
If your first attempt fails to harden completely, turn on it's side. Play indoor golf!
But seriously, if it doesn't harden all the way, this most likely means your wrong side (or maybe both sides) didn't get melted enough. If you have a mini iron, you could still save the project by using it on the inside. Lacking a mini iron, turning the project inside out again after both sides have been heated is nearly impossible.
Good luck and happy recycling!