We often cook with cast iron skillets and pots, as they are versatile in use, so you only need one skillet and one pot for most meals you'll ever need to make. They're also great to serve from, so you don't need to use up serving dishes. These trivets are designed to absorb some of the heat from the pots and hot skillets when you place the pots on the serving table. They're versatile and utilitarian, and the only supplies you need to make them are twine and some foraged twigs. It's also one of the easier crafts and is a great starting out point.
What you'll need:
- a sharp-bladed all-purpose pocket knife
1. Forage for twigs. You're looking for fairly sturdy but dry twigs of about the same thickness as each other. Check the wood to make sure small insects haven't made it their home as you likely don't want to track in a little nest of critters.
2. Cut down your twigs to the size you want. For a trivet, you'll want them to be about 5 or 6 inches long - for a placemat you'll want them to be longer. The best way to cut them down is to score small notches into them where you'd like them to break, as in the picture above, then snap them.
3. Line them up side by side the way you want them to look. It will take a bit of finessing - you'll want to make sure they line up with each other just right.
4. Pull out enough twine so that you can make a loop with one side of the loop about twice the width of the trivet. The other side of the loop will remain connected to the spool as you will need much more slack here to complete the trivet.
5. Working from this loop, tie a simple, one-half of a square knot. Then line up the next twig and do the same.
6. Repeat the process, while keeping the twigs parallel with each other, until you've tied up all of the twigs. Once you reach the end, make a full square knot, then cut off the tail of the string that's not attached to the spool.
7. For the end of the twine still attached to the spool, weave in and out of the twigs.
8. Continue the process, looping the twine around the ends, weaving in and out, in an over-under pattern. At the beginning the twigs will all splay out, but the more you weave, continue to pull it taut and as you go the twigs will line up more parallel.
9. When you reach the end, finish it off with a couple of knots and cut the tail. And there you have it.