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How to make these crochet baskets

Download a PDF of this pattern from here

I experimented a little more with some old skills, and once I got back into doing things I remembered the things I used to make as a kid. I used to love making spirals, and used to litter our house with brightly coloured rough looking coasters!

I made these baskets above because for ages I had been using an old, accidentally felted cabled hat upside down as a basket in the bathroom and it was amazing to see how quickly the sunlight made yellow marks in it! So I needed a new bigger basket to fit my necklaces, earrings, hair slides and girlie junk in the bathroom.

Anyway, for anyone who wants to make a spiral (as seen as the bottom which was the start of this crochet basket) this is my preferred method.
For a 2 colour spiral.

Use a tapestry crochet technique throughout, i.e. working stitches tightly, carrying unused yarn and yarn tails along the top edge of work and making dc's around it so that they are hidden

Large Basket
4 x 50g Chunky Wool (shown here is Texere chunky)
A: Bright Pink
B: Bright Aqua
C: Green
D: Purple
1 3.5mm hook

Not essential, but make sure you use a much much smaller hook to get tight tension and a stiff basket. I used chunky for a normal knitting needle size of around 6mm, but my hook was 3mm.


Two Colour Spiral

1. With Yarn A, make a slip knot, but unlike your slipknot that pulls in or expands easily when pulling the working yarn, make sure that your slipknot is adjustable by pulling the tail of the yarn

2. Using the working end of yarn A, make 1 chain (to count as 1 dc) and 2 dc into the slipknot ring (3dc)

3. Using yarn B, make 1 chain (to count as 1 dc) and 2 dc into the slipknot ring made from yarn A (3dc)

4. Pick up yarn A again and make 2 dc into the top of each of the 3 dc of yarn B that you made into the ring (6dc)

5. Pick up yarn B and make 2 dc into the top of each of the 3 dc of yarn A that you made into the ring (6dc)

One rnd is complete, and there should be a total of 12 dc, half in colour A and half in the other colour B.

Now pull the tail of yarn A, from the original slipknot, and tighten the ring in the middle to make the stitches snug.

You are now ready to continue working in a spiral. Work half the rnd in A, remove your hook and complete the other half of the rnd in B always making sure you are going in the same direction.
Clever eh? So simple, and so effective.

I used 2 colours in this way to make the bottom of the larger basket, so you need to use the same rules as you would for crocheting circles:

In the first rnd I worked 2 dc in each stitch
Next rnd 1 dc in next st, 2dc in next st
Next rnd 1dc in each of next 2 dc, 2 dc in next st
Continue to increase in this way, putting one more dc in between each of the decrease dc's on each rnd until the basket bottom was the diameter I wished it to be.

Main Body of Basket
Make sure that you have a multiple of 12 sts to fit in these motifs, either stop at correct point, or you could increase or decrease a few sts on last rnd of bottom to fit
I started to work in the opposite direction, this was so that the right side of the bottom is on the inside of the basket, and the RS of the sides is shown on the outside.

Working in back loops only (this helps to shape the motifs used later) I worked in straight rnds, of 1 dc in every dc using tapestry crochet motifs and outer circle starts to curl and then you are working in even rnds in a tube shape for the top of the basket.

Hounds Tooth Motif Band

Still working back loops only and 1 dc in each dc:
Rnd 1: 1dc in ev dc using Yarn B
Rnd 2: *3dc Yarn B, 1 dc Yarn D, rep from * to end of rnd
Rnd 3: 2dc Yarn B, *3dc Yarn D, 1dc Yarn B rep from * to last 2dc, 2dc Yarn D
Rnd 4: As rnd 2
Rnd 5: As rnd 1

Plain rnd
Still working back loops only and 1 dc in each dc:
2 rnds in Yarn C (green)

Diagonal Motifs Band

Still working back loops only and 1 dc in each dc:
Rnd 1: 1dc in ev dc using Yarn B
Rnd 2: 2dc Yarn D, 2dc Yarn B rep from * to end
Rnd 3: 1 dc Yarn D, 2 dc Yarn B, 2 dc Yarn D rep to last 3dc, 2 dc Yarn B, 1 dc Yarn D
Rnd 4: 2 dc in Yarn B, 2 dc in yarn D to end of rnd
Rnd 5: As rnd 1

Plain rnd
Still working back loops only and 1 dc in each dc:
2 rnds in Yarn C (green)

Fasten off.
Finish edge using Crab Stitch as explained below.

Small Basket
Small amounts of
Yarn A
Yarn B
Yarn C

Not essential, but work tightly as for Large Basket

Bottom: 3 Coloured Spiral

I joined together 3 colours as a spiral, exactly as explained above
I had yarns A, B, and C making an initial 3dc each into the slipknot of yarn A, then made dc's into the next yarns in sequence, so

A worked 3dc into B,
B worked 3 dc into C,
and C worked 3 dc into A.
All travelling in the same direction and working in a spiral.

Continue to work all 3 yarns by making a dc in next dc's for a few sts, then removing hook and working another section. This will make a cylinder shape with stripes spiralling around to the top.

For this smaller pot, I stopped making a circle on 4th rnd, and then just worked one dc into every dc for the top part of the basket, finishing with yarn D.

Fasten off when required height.

Crab Stitch Edging

You can find a tutorial here
To finish off the baskets, I used good old fashioned crab stitch. I attached a contrast coloured yarn, here I used Yarn B.
This stitch doesn't so much go sideways as completely backwards.
Pull the hook with a loop on, into the stitch behind the current stitch i.e. backwards, then pull another loop through, and pull up 2 loops and pull the yarn through these 2 loops, and then work backwards again....repeating this sort of gives a cross between a blanket stitch edge or a picot edge in look, you can see where your 2 final loops get pulled around the edge of the basket.

Fasten off, and wrap last bit of yarn around the edge of last stitch twice, secure and weave end on the inside.

How to Block Your Baskets

I washed them both in fairly hot water for a semi felt to stiffen the wool but as I wanted to keep the shape and size, whilst it was still damp and hot I put the large basket onto a flower pot, so it has taken the shape of the gradually widening bottom of the flower pot. I put the small basket around my Gaviscon bottle, it fitted perfectly. Both baskets went onto a radiator or in the airing cupboard near warm pipes to dry and when the 'molds' where removed, they had taken on the shape of them perfectly.

If you don't mind a fair amount of shrinkage, you could completely felt them but do remember to try and reshape whilst felting otherwise you could get a
shapeless mess.

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