Get it? HOOK? Crochet?? OMG! I recently joined a hot pads and potholders swap and I've been crocheting up a storm!
That pretty specimen up above is from a German pattern, actually. I'm putting that "German for reading" course I took last summer to good use! Well, passing the exam was a good use too, I guess. But crochet is obviously better.
Here's my topflappen on rav, and here's the German pattern. I'd rather not post my translation without talking to the author of that pattern first (which I'll try to do, actually, but it doesn't look promising given the format of that site) but I can point everybody to some good resources if you're interested in working this one up for yourself.
LEO is a great online German-English dictionary.
And as comical as the initial results might be, it may behoove you, if you know no German whatsoever, to just run some sentences through google translator. It's not going to be pretty, but it'll get you started.
Next step - figure out some of those technical crochet terms. I used a combination of three sites to figure this one out. They are here, here, and (for the least ambiguity between American and British crochet terms) here.
I knit my topflappen with lily sugar n cream, which is a great workhorse worsted weight cotton. I used an F hook, and as you can see the results are a little holey. This would work under a hot pot on a counter but I definitely wouldn't stick my hand in the oven with this. If I do this one again for the swap I'll definitely test a couple hook sizes down first.
And finally - public service announcement! If you're going to make any kind of hot pad or potholder you MUST use 100% cotton or wool. NO synthetics. Not even superwash wool is a particularly good idea. Synthetics will melt and they will HURT you.