This was my first finished project in fabric yarn. I had started a rug from recycled shirts, but I ran out of old clothes to recycle and had to go buy some ready-made fabric yarn. The thread was soft and high in cotton fiber, the colors were delightful, and I was on my way to a double-birthday coffee meetup… So I decided to make two little baskets to give my two friends. I knew how to crochet from ages and ages ago, so I thought – okay, same thing, just a bigger hook and thicker thread. Almost…
I used a 9-10 hook.
I made a magic ring, then single crocheted into it and started going around in a spiral. For the blue basket, I crocheted inside the stitches (the usual way), and for the pink basket, I crocheted into the back of the loop. I increased intuitively, creating a small flat base (usually, increases for double crochet are about 6 per row). When the base was big enough (about 15 cm, I think) I stopped increasing and just crocheted around till the basket was tall enough (about 6-7 cm). I closed the spiral by crocheting the last couple of stiches a little more tightly, and then made one or two slip stitches – to gradually decrease the height of that last row and close it off. The last stitch was an invisible join.
I discovered the special thing about fabric yarn: If it’s made from jersey – t-shirt fabric or the likes, it has that bit of a stretch, which makes it tighten a little at the top. In other words, it wants to be a little round basket. It keeps rounding itself as you crochet, even if by sheer math you have the right amount of stiches to create a flat base or straight-up row.
Perfect for the job!
Still, when I got to the top, I slip-stiched a trim, and decreased a couple of stiches to make it close in a little more. For the blue basket, I used the right side of the work for the outside, the “normal”‘ way. For the pink basket, I turned it inside out and used the backside for the outside – that’s because crocheting in the back loops made the spiral too visible for my liking. But the back side was cute, it looked round and pearly.
I had the ends of the trim thread left, and so instead of weaving them in and cutting, I used them to tie a small bow for embellishment. The ribbon conveniently hid the end point of the spiral, which despite my camouflage efforts, did show a tiny jump in height.
The hook was okay for the thread, but created a pretty tight “fabric”. If the thread had been any thicker, I would have needed a bigger hook. But the tight texture of the finished fabric was so cool, it made the basket pretty sturdy, and yet it had the softness and flexibility of the cotton knit it was made from. It made me think of a traditional straw basket – and I think that’s part of the appeal of fabric crochet.
And the reason I became immediately hooked!
(Oh, I was running late to the coffee meetup, so I just grabbed the camera and snapped this in pretty dusky lighting… I hope my next photos will be better).
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Lovely baskets. Waiting to see more of your work.
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Thank you so much, Golda! 🙂