Here’s basket experiment number 4. In this one, I crocheted around 5mm washing line to see if that would strengthen the structure enough to make a real biggy. I’m aiming to get to washing basket size, and with this one I’ve just about made it.
The basket is more robust than using the chunky yarn alone. There’s an assortment of washing lines used, whatever I could find cheap on ebay until I settled on a reasonably-priced source for braided nylon rope. The piece ended up being about 40cm tall, and the same in diameter in the main body, flaring out at the rim. The thing is, I didn’t shape the body at all. I only put an increase on the final few rows to exaggerate the flare. The rest of it is just what happens when I held a steady row count. It tends to bulge out a bit from the flat base, then pull in, then it starts to collapse outwards again under its own weight. There’s only so far you can push it.
The Mermaid’s Pool basket is now available in my etsy shop.**
If you want to try it for yourself, here’s how. It’s a bit grandiose to call it a pattern, so maybe a method? (UK terminology). You’ll need about 10 balls of chunky yarn (I’m using Cygnet Seriously Chunky), an appropriate hook (6mm for me), and around 40m of washing line, more if you’re going to reinforce the base. I didn’t.
The base follows the standard pattern of increasing for amigurumi to create a flat circle. The whole basket is worked in spiral crochet, as for amigurumi. You only need to know dc (sc for USA), how to do a magic ring, and how to increase, i.e. crochet two dcs into one stitch.
Row 1: dc 6 into a magic ring. (6 stitches) Alternatively, chain 3, join into a circle with a slip stich, and then dc 6 into the centre of the circle.
Row 2: 2dc into each stitch. (12 stitches) i.e. increase every stitch. If you’re reinforcing the base, start crocheting over the washing line here.
Row 3: (dc into next stitch, 2dc into next stitch), repeat until end of row. (18 stitches) i.e. increase every other stitch.
Row 4: (dc, dc, 2dc), repeat until end of row. (24 stitches) i.e. increase every 2 stitches.
Row 5: (dc, dc, dc, 2dc) repeat until end of row (30 stitches) i.e. increase every 3 stitches.
Row 6: (dc, dc, dc, dc, 2dc) repeat until end of row (36 stitches) i.e. increase every 4 stitches.
Follow this pattern of increases until you get the size base you want. I went up to 22 rows, i.e. increasing every 20 stitches, which gave me 132 stitches per row.
If you haven’t used the washing line as a core yet, start now. Maintain the row count and make your basket as high as you like, or until it starts bending outwards too much. I did about 35 rows.
If you want to flare the rim a bit more, try increasing every 7 stitches for the last 3 rows.
For each handle, crochet a straight, flat piece of dc. (I used 5 rows of 40 stitches). Fold in half into a long tube and stitch together along the long side . Curve the tube into a ring and stitch the ends together.
To attach each handle, crochet another straight, flat piece of dc, long enough to wrap around the handle with a little room to spare so the handle can move. (I used 10 rows of 13 stitches). Wrap around the handle to hide the end join and stitch the ends together without stitching through the handle. Stitch securely to basket.
Ta dah! You’re done. Apart from weaving all the ends in. Sigh. Then you’re done. If you give it a try, I’d love to see the results!
** Costing takes into account the amount of yarn and line needed to make it. While I’m still experimenting, I am definitely underpaying myself for my time.