Tag Archives: basket

Crochet Kitty Basket from T-Shirt Yarn

How Old is Eleven?

How old is eleven? Not too old to receive a Kitty basket!

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The idea for this basket came about a while back, when my niece M.’s birthday was still quite far off. I was crocheting a roundish basket with fabric yarn, and when I looked at the shape, or rather, when I felt the shape in my hands, I found myself thinking: If only this were in white… And had ears and whiskers… You see where I’m getting to.

But when M.’s birthday was nearing, I stopped to wonder for a moment – is eleven still okay for this? You know, eleven – old enough to babysit the neighbors’ kids, and understand a lot of things, and make beautiful drawings and handicrafts, and help around the house…

The answer I gave myself: Of course!

Crochet Kitty Basket from T-Shirt Yarn

I made a white, roundish basket, then made ears, and eyes, and whiskers, and a little bow. It was such  fun to make, and fun to give! And judging from M.’s response, I think I got the answer right.
Probably, not a moment too soon…

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Some Tips for Making a Kitty Basket:

The basket was crocheted in yarn under single crochet stitch (a favorite stitch with me), using a size 10 hook and white fabric yarn. The basket was formed by crocheting in a spiral.

The ears were crocheted separately and stitched on with fabric yarn (at just the right angle…)

The eyes and nose are cut from felt, and sewn on (you could probably paste them on with glue).

The whiskers were stitched onto the basket (each whisker is a single, jumbo-size stitch), and the thread is an old glasses cord.

The bow is made from a scrap of fabric yarn.

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denim fabric basket

The (Very) Last of the Tangerines

These were the last of them, at the top of the tree – well, at least at the top of the ladder. They were sweet, after hanging onto that tree, and sipping up every bit of sweetness and sunshine throughout the winter… They were also a deep orange, so much so that I found it hard to believe that they were ever green… We picked and ate quite a few in between, thinking each time that this was as big – and as orange – and as sweet – as they would get. Faith, patience, persistence… If we were lacking in them, the tangerines were not.

denim fabric basket
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Patience and persistence is what that old pair of jeans had, too. To wait around, faded and torn, for years – decades! Till that moment of grace  arrived and their fabric was turned into a useful and pretty denim basket.

denim fabric basket
I know it looks kind of shabby-chic (well, I’m hoping…), very raggedy and crochet-what-may-come – right?

denim fabric basket
Well, will you believe me if I tell you I crocheted, un-crocheted and re-crocheted parts of this basket as many as ten – fifteen – okay, twenty times? (Did someone mention patience and persistence?).

Crochet Denim Basket
See, it is exactly when something is “natural”, “coincidental”, that you can get to the point where – it’s not quite right, and the difference between messy – vs. cool – can be a stitch here and not there, that perfect shade of blue, and two, not three rows in height.  In the end,  I like the outcome – it just took me some time to realize This Was It.

denim fabric basket
A good thing all that time, the tangerines were busy ripening on the tree. Have some,  please – or you’ll have to wait till next year!

denim fabric basket

 

 

The Prince and the Not-Exactly-Pauper

Remember Louis , the neighbors’ cat for whom I made a cozy basket? All summer, Louis spent most of his time outside, and so I waited with great anticipation a certain interest to see whether the basket would do its job of keeping Louis warm and snug.
Then one day, when the weather was starting to get a little chilly, I received this on-site photo from Louis’s people:

IMG-20160123-WA0002 yoramI was flipping overjoyed delighted! Louis is actually using his basket, and he looks as pleased and snug as… Well, a cat in a basket! And take a look at this one – one can only imagine what sweet dreams he must be having (about the summer, when he was chasing toads?).

IMG-20160123-WA0000 yoramLouis’s new basket is perched on the exact same newspaper basket that he was using to snooze in before he received my gift. Rather than give it up, and finally allow his people access to their newspapers, Louis apparently decided that two baskets are better than one. Like many a cat, he has a certain regal inclination to assume he will meet little resistance on such matters from his people, which of course proved true in this case.

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Which brings me to another Louis, one much closer to kings and thrones and such, but let me tell you the story as it actually happened or you will not believe me!
Soon after posting about the basket I made for Louis, I was googling the title – but typing in “A Basket for Louis” brought me to another Louis, in another basket, in another place – and not just any old place – but the splendid and ancient Wells Cathedral in England! I quickly read on to see who this famous feline was – and lo and behold, it turns out the Wells Cathedral Lewis is a ginger tom-cat just like our next-door Louis!

Louis the Wells Cathedral Cat

Photo Courtesy of Marilyn Peddle

I was speechless… Our neighbors’ cat has a world-famous doppelganger! So famous, he’s even had a little film made about him… Louis of the Cathedral is so eerily like next-door Louis – in his appearance, in his tom-ish nature, and in his love of snuggling in cozy baskets. Like our next-door Louis, Cathedral Louis reigns from his basket over the abode that he resides in, certain that he is the true regal ruler of the premises.

The Wells Cathedral, Photo Courtesy of Peter Broster

The Wells Cathedral, Photo Courtesy of Peter Broster

I read the stories about Louis the Cathedral cat with fascination, looking for a possible explanation to this uncanny coincidence. Twins separated at birth? Some cat-magician casting a spell? You may think there is a logical explanation, such as – our neighbors having heard of the Cathedral Louis when they named their cat – but I assure you that this is not the case! You see, Louis was a lost kitten when our neighbors took him in. The name Louis was chosen by a little girl who didn’t speak a word of English at the time, in a country very far from England and its cathedrals. I have no idea where she’d even heard the name, but it must have sounded exotic to her.

And so the mystery remains. Perhaps ginger tom cats with regal inclinations and a love of cozy baskets simply inspire the name Louis in their people? For while the Cathedral Louis is very princely, you can see by now that our neighbors’ Louis is far from a pauper. He spends his winter days snuggling and snoozing in what is definitely the best spot in the house, close enough to the wood stove, with a good view of the front door, in full control of everything and everyone. In summer, he reigns over the great outdoors, coming and going as he pleases.

As cats are not big travelers, I doubt these two will ever meet. It is also quite unlikely, given the geographical distance between them, that they were ever exchanged. But I hope they both continue to enjoy their different – and yet somewhat similar – lives, snug, happy and purring with royal content.

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A Change of Season, A Change of Name

It’s finally winter – because winter holidays are for real winters!
Some days are pleasantly sunny, but the evenings are cold enough to make the warmth of the mornings welcome.
In my part of the world, we lit Hanukkah candles:
Hanukkah Candles
And on my part, I think I’m finally ready for a long planned Name Change. In case you haven’t noticed – my blog is now called The Basket Fairy (formerly Crochet Club…). And I have a domain name to match.

I have been almost as hesitant about this change as this fall has been about changing into winter.  But if you’re still here, it means my number one fear did not materialize: I was afraid everyone would turn away, thinking I’m someone else! Like a kid scared of putting on a party costume…

That’s because, you see, I’m not really a fairy, basket or any other kind. But a little over a year ago I may have been visited by one! She came by and waved her wand (or was it a crochet hook?), sprinkled something glittery, and disappeared into the woods with shimmery wings:

sunset
All I know is I suddenly felt an urge to pick up my crochet hook and stitch – a rug, then a basket, then lots more baskets…
Since then, I’ve felt as if I was going back in time to my teen years, when I spent many happy and peaceful hours making pretty things for everyone – and for myself. And I’ve been having fun writing here and sharing my projects.

I initially titled this blog “Crochet Club”, because I thought anyone reading, or just enjoying the craft, are like members of a big club. And I’ve even started a real-life crochet club in my community. But since there are so many real life Crochet Clubs out there, I thought I’d leave the moniker to them. Besides, it occurred to me that the Basket Fairy might like having a blog named for her!

As I didn’t really get a glimpse of her, I can’t post a picture here. But though I didn’t actually see her, I could sense her loveliness, and on a good day I think I can see a tinge of it in the things I make.

If she comes by your parts, would you please say hi for me? Tell her I appreciate the visit, and that she’s welcome to drop by and see what I’ve been working on! I hope she likes it. And I hope the magic works for you too!

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim

Autumn Bounty

Walking home from the bus stop I passed by the clothing recycling bin. Next to the bin was a plastic bag with some children’s clothes, and on the top was a boys’ dress shirt in turquoise with purple-pink stripes. How could anyone think of turning that into clothing pulp, or – as rumor has it – cloth wipes for the car wash industry? Mercy knows no boundaries, and so I picked up the shirt and took it upon myself to deliver it to the second hand shop, whose earnings all go to scholarships for disadvantaged girls. Which is how it landed upon my good deed roster to also launder it. It was only when I took the clean shirt down from the clothing line that I noticed it: An amoeba shaped fade-stain on the front right next to the second button from the bottom. By now, however, there was no turning back: Our destinies were intertwined, and knew I had to do what I had to do – tear the shirt up into strips and crochet it.

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim
Whether bounty or burden, I could not deny the delight of hooking this delicious color as a trim for a small basket.
I used an equally delicious pale magenta strand to make a soft but sturdy basket that I have not yet decided how to use. In the meantime, it is posing here with some hand-picked tangerines, a gift from our dinner guests, or rather, from their tree. Is there anything fresher or sweeter?

crochet fabric yarn basket

The architecture:

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim

And a close-up view of the recycled trim. The frayed edges give it personality, but also actually keep it from unraveling better than cut edges:

Crochet basket with recycled fabric trim

Fabric Crochet Basket Textile yarn t-shirt yarn plarn trapillo

It’s Not Me, It’s the Basket Fairy!

Yes, I know I’ve already made lots of baskets, even one or two pretty much like this one, but can I help it if I go out to the garden and find a cute pink basket just sitting in the geraniums waiting to be picked up? And can I help it if it’s just the right size for the baby gift I wanted to give my friends, and it even complements it in color? And can I help it if the baby who got it just loved it?
It’s the Basket Fairy, hovering over, finding the right moment to leave a soft, squeezable, colorful little gift where I least expect it. What would you do?

Fabric Crochet Basket Fabric Crochet BasketFabric Crochet Basket

How I Made the Basket: The same way as always… A size 12 hook and medium-wide, slightly stretchy, but not too stretchy, fabric yarn. Start with a magic circle and crochet a spiral base (or just a round base) in yarn under single crochet. Finish off with an invisible join. Start row 1 anywhere, crocheting into back loops only in YUSC. At the end of row 1, slip stitch into first stitch, chain 1, and continue stitching the next rows the same way. When you have reached the desired height, finish off with an invisible join. To make the trim, I used a complementary strand of fabric yarn. Place the basket facing you so that the part where you made the slip stitches to finish off the rows is in the far back. Now insert the hook into the back loop of the stitch in the middle of the top row (facing you ) to make a slip stitch, leaving a generous tail for the bow later on. Slip stitch into every stitch thereafter, into back loop only, till you have reached the stitch before the one you drew the strand from. Finish off with an invisible join. Cut the strand, leaving a tail the same length as the first one. You now have 2 tails on the inside of the basket. Draw each of the tails to the outside of the basket, using the spaces between double crochet stitches of the last row of the basket, with one dc stitch between them, and tie them in a bow.

Crochet Fabric Yarn Basket for Cat Textile yarn basket t-shirt yarn plarn trapillo

A Basket for Louis

Louis needed a basket to snuggle in. His people mentioned something about it rather inadvertently (I thought I heard the word “cat”, or maybe it was “bat”? And there was something about “basket”, but it might have been “brisket”, I’m not sure). At any rate, when I offered to make Louis a basket of his very own, they didn’t object. Well, not very insistently. I knew of course they were only being polite so as not to trouble me and so I assured them I’d be delighted to make it.
I asked them what color they wanted it to be (I am so very careful not to impose my designs on my friends’ décor). They said maybe dark red. Fortunately I had some, and I thought it would go well with the gray.
Louis’s people liked the basket, and I hope Louis will too (Right now it’s high summer so Louis spends most of his time outside, stalking frogs and such). If you want to know how I made the basket, please scroll down.
The cat in the pictures is not Louis, but our cat, who always joins me whenever I’m taking pictures of my projects in the garden. In this case she seemed especially interested, and in the end I could see why. I had to re-tie the bow a few times but now it’s back to it’s original elegant form.
(For updates on Louis and his basket, and a rather regal surprise, see The Prince and the Not-Exactly-Pauper.)
Louis 5bLouis 8Louis 9Louis 3

How I made the basket: I asked Louis’s people what size they thought it should be. They measured the newspaper basket he usually settles in and said, 30cm X 40cm. Since I wanted to make an oval, I subtracted the width from the length (40 – 30 = 10) and that gives you the length of the starting chain.

Make a starting chain of 10cm (I used a size 12 hook), ch 1, then sc into the 2nd st next to the one on on your hook, and into every one after but the last.

When you reach the end stitch, make 3 sc into it. Continue with sc into each st on the other side. When you reach the end stitch, sc 2 into it, which will join the one sc you made at the start.

Continue with sc in a spiral, always adding 3 sc on the round part of each side every time you crochet along it, the same way you pick up your salary whenever you pass ‘start’ in Monopoly.

When your width is 30 cm, your length should be 40 cm.  Stop adding, and make a row of 1 sc all around. Finish it off with an invisible join and cut.  Start a new thread for the next row (mine was red), crocheting with woven stitch around the base (crochet from the outside, with the right side of the base facing upwards), and close the row with 1 sl st and 1 ch st. Continue upwards with woven stitch, closing each row with sl st and 1 ch st. Notice you are no longer crocheting in the spiral but closing with a sl st  and ch 1’ing at the end of each row.

When you reach the desired height, finish off the last row with an invisible join and cut.

Make the trim using sl st into back loops only of top row of sides, finishing off with an invisible join. Leave a tail at the beginning and end of the trim (mine was gray as you can see).

Draw the tails outside, and cut a separate piece of red strand.  Try and simulate tying a bow before it’s cut so you know how long to cut it. Now place the cut strand on the inside of the basket where the gray tails were, draw out the tails of the red strand, and tie a pretty bow on the outside.  Snip the ends to match the length of the gray tails. I tied a single knot at the ends of the gray tails because it made them hang down a little better, so if you want to do that, tie first before matching the length of the red.