A Very Pandemic Easter Basket
Are you stuck in the house? Me too! Isn’t everyone? To help fill time I’ve been crocheting like mad. And shopping is a challenge so I decided to make my own Easter Baskets this year!
This pattern has been designed to be simple enough that you can substitute whatever yarn you have. Seriously! Anything will work! Have fun with colors and textures, although if you use more than one type of yarn, try to stay as close in weight as you can. A little difference here or there won’t make much difference, but don’t use a bulky yarn with a sport yarn. Unless you are okay with really working those stitches!
Isn’t that cute? It’s the perfect Easter size too! It has 2 dozen plastic eggs in it in that photo. But can be filled however you want.
So let’s get to it. Here’s what you need:
Suggested Yarn: Lily Sugar ‘n Cream
Yarn Weight: Worsted
Shown in colorway: Playtime Ombre and Yellow
Yardage: less than 100 yards
Recommended Hook: 5.00 mm, US – H/8
Dimensions: Basket 5 inches high by 11 inches across, Handle 12 inches at peak
Terms and Abbreviations Used (US terms)
(all stitch abbreviations capitalized for easy identification)
CH = Chain
SC = Single Crochet
CH sp = Chain Space
sh = Shell
DC = Double Crochet
SK = Skip
gr = Group
MR = Magic Ring
sp = Space
- I do not start my rows with a chain 3 as many patterns do. I instead use a stacked double crochet, as explained on this page. Instead of the first DC you may use a standing DC or a chain 3 as you prefer.
- This is a highly adjustable pattern. I used Sugar ‘n Cream cotton but you can use any yarn you want to adjust the size. A bulkier yarn will make a larger basket. You may also increase the number of double rows to make the basket deeper without affecting the pattern.
||Make a magic ring||
|1||Place 10 DC in the MR, join to the first DC with a SLST.||10 DC|
|2||2 DC in each stitch around, join to the first DC with a SLST.||20 DC|
|3||(1 DC in the first stitch, 2 DC in the next) x 10, join to the first DC with a SLST.||30 DC|
|4||(1 DC in the next two stitches, 2 DC in the next stitch) x 10, join to the first DC with a SLST.||40 DC|
|5||(1 DC in the next three stitches, 2 DC in the next stitch) x 10, join to the first DC with a SLST.||50 DC|
|6||(1 DC in the next four stitches, 2 DC in the next stitch) x 10, join to the first DC with a SLST.||60 DC|
|7||(1 DC in the next five stitches, 2 DC in the next stitch) x 10, join to the first DC with a SLST.||70 DC|
|8||DC in each stitch around, join to the first DC with a SLST.||70 DC|
|9||DC in each stitch around, join to the first DC with a SLST.||70 DC|
|10||DC in each stitch around, join to the first DC with a SLST.||70 DC|
|11||DC in first stitch, 2 DC in same stitch, (CH 4, SK 6, 5 DC in next stitch) x 9, CH 4, SK 6, 2 DC in same space as first 3 stitches, join to the first DC with a SLST.||10 CH 4 sp 10 5 DC gr|
|12||SC in first stitch, sk 2 DC (3 DC in next space, CH 3, 3 DC in same space, sk 5 DC) x 10, in last repeat only sk 2 DC, join to the first SC with a SLST.||1 SC 20 3 DC gr 10 CH 3 sp|
|13||SLST in each of the first 3 stitches and into the CH 3 sp, 3 DC in first CH 3 sp, (CH 4, SK 6, 5 DC in next CH 3 sp) x 9, CH 4, SK 6, 2 DC in same space as first 3 stitches, join to the first DC with a SLST.||10 CH 4 sp 10 5 DC gr|
|14||SC in first stitch, sk 2 DC [(3 DC in next space, CH 3, 3 DC in same space, sk 5 DC) x 2, (9 DC in next space, sk 5 DC) x 3] in last repeat only sk 2 DC, join to the first SC with a SLST. Fasten off.||1 SC 20 3 DC gr 10 CH 3 sp|
|1||With outside of basket facing you, locate one of the two pairs of edge stitches with chain 3 spaces in them. In the space on the right, place 3 DC, and 3 DC in the adjacent space, turn.||6 DC|
|2||DC in each stitch across.||6 DC|
|3-11||Rep R2||6 DC|
|12||Rep R2, fasten off leaving tail long enough to join to other side of handle.||6 DC|
Turn basket around and repeat handle instructions on the other side.
Sew 2 handles together with a whip stitch, and sew in all ends
After all your ends are sewn in and the handle sewed together, find a bowl that your basket will fit around. You should choose something that will stretch the basket and is tall enough to lay the top edge flat against the bowl for the prettiest finish. Next, dip the basket in a mixture of 4 parts water to 1 part Elmer’s glue. Do not soak, as this will cause the colors to bleed. Once dipped, fit the basket around your bowl, press your edges flat against the bowl, and prop the handle up. I used a tall cleaning wipe container with a bag of coffee beans on top. Whatever will hold the handle taut and upright. Leave the bag to dry until it stiffens. This took a little over two days for me, but could be sped up with a hair dryer.
Coronavirus and Fiber Crafts
It’s happening people. Coronavirus is coming to a town near you, very soon. There are already 2 confirmed diagnoses in my county, but probably many, many more cases because tests and supplies to take tests are so short. One friend told me her doctor’s office had 11 swabs to last the rest of the flu season. ELEVEN swabs to test for ifluenza, strep, and Covid-19. She’s saving the swabs only for potential strep cases because strep requires antibiotics.
People are hunkering down. My son’s Robotics competition was cancelled for the weekend. That’s 3 days of busy busy busy activities, a hotel visit, restaurant orders, coffee runs, all cancelled. And, I have 3 solid days at home now with nothing scheduled.
So, how does that impact my crafting? MORE! I’ve ordered more yarn, and am preparing to rewatch Parenthood from the beginning. Obviously I won’t get through it this weekend, but I foresee a good month of activities being cancelled, maybe even longer.
How are you coping?
Crochet Hooks and Wrist Health
Do you ever have pain when you crochet? I do, and I’ve tried a bunch of different things to figure out how I could keep up my creative outlet and still be pain free. I was a hairdresser (in cheap heels!) in my 20s which really wreaked havoc on my now 50 year old body. So I have to be extra sensitive to my wrist health. I never had surgery but have a few tips to keep your wrists in peak form.
First, consider your hook. When my old pain started flaring back up, I got the fastest solution I could find. The Crochet Dude Ergonomic Crochet Handle It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s available at most big box craft stores, so you can get your hands on one easily. It fits most aluminum crochet hooks, whether you’re a Bates or a Boye loyalist, so that’s extra handy.
Which brings me to the next consideration. How do you hold your hook? I prefer a knife hold personally, and my pinkie is what grips the hook in pace against my palm. The egg works great for knife holders like me, and I’ve read that pencil grippers also like it. Try it out if you’re in an urgent need.
The downside of the egg handle is that it requires extra parts and I’m prone to losing things. Because it’s designed to be univeral, and crochet hooks are not all the same diameter, it requires a rubber stopper to be placed around the hook and then through the inside (which screws apart) to secure it in place. Great concept, but if you lose a stopper, you’ll need to improvise or your hook will rattle around and the egg won’t hold it tight enough.
You can also buy foam grips which slip over your hook. They come in multiple sizes and are typically inexpensive enough that you could probably purchase a few and leave them on your hooks permanently. This is a good solution if the grip is the right diameter for you. I, personally, need a larger grip to open my hand up and prevent cramping.
Which is how I started searching for alternative ergonomic hooks. I started with inexpensive sets from Amazon like this one. They’re cheap enough that I keep a set in my car for emergencies, but they had a few problems. First, I’m a Bates Hooker, and these are more Boye like. It’s exceedingly hard to find an ergonomic handle with a Bates hook. And secondly, the diameter is just not big enough for my grip.Paragraph
My search continued until I found these beautiful wooden hooks from Too Shay Crochet. I started with a 7 hook set and I’ve ultimately replaced every hook in my everyday collection with them. I’ve even sent them my favorite steels and they placed handles on them for me.
Once I figured that out, my wrist pain has virtually disappeared. I do have to pay attention to my posture and make sure I’m seated comfortably and my work is well supported.
It was touch and go there for a while though! I was afraid I would have to give up my beloved hobby. But, I persisted and found a solution that works for me. If you encounter pain, just know that there are a number of options before you have to give up. Try a few things out and I bet you’ll find the solution!
Favorite Item To Crochet
Do you have a favorite item to crochet? I do. Shawls! I never really wore shawls before I started crocheting. Sometimes scarves, back in my hairdressing days, but never a shawl. Now, I have a massive collection that’s still growing!
I love the way they incorporate color and texture into my wardrobe. I can put on a crummy pair of jeans and a plain shirt and suddenly BOOM! It’s an outfit when I add a shawl.
I also love that they work up reasonably fast and are so portable. I can make a shawl in just a couple weeks and use bright colors to add whatever I feel is lacking in my wardrobe.
And the stitches! I learn so many new stitches and stitch patterns by making shawls. It’s exciting, fun and learning new things is supposed to help ward off alzheimer’s so it’s beneficial too!
My very first shawl was a blue variegated merino wool in a fingering weight. I had never used such nice yarn before and it was definitely stretching my comfort zone to work with something so fine. But, man am I glad I did! I think fingering weight is my favorite weight to work with. You get a lot of warmth and can make beautiful lacy patterns. And, it’s really cost effective. Most fingering weight yarns come in 400ish yards, so you only need 2 to make a nice sized shawl.
As a plus sized woman, I also love that there’s no size to shawls. They really do fit everyone. I’ve heard other plus sized women say shoes fill that niche for them, but I have wide feet with very high arches, so shoes have always been an issue for me. I ruined my feet in my twenties as a busy hairdresser in cheap heels so I have to stick to supportive shoes which aren’t quite as fun – currently Danskos in a brightly colored patent leather. But, shawls? I can wear whatever I want!
So how about you? What’s your favorite type of crochet project? Is it socks? Afghans? Shawls? Anything made of yarn??
Preparing For Summer!
I’m tired of the dreary weather that isn’t quite winter here in Raleigh. I need something bright and summery to bring some cheer into the world. So I started this.
It’s working up super quick. I can’t wait to share the details!
I’m sitting down and typing this baby up right now! It looks so good without blocking I may not take the time. But here it is pre-blocking!
Is It Too Soon To Start Summer?
I don’t know about you, but we’ve had a very mild winter here in Raleigh, NC. It’s made it really hard to get into warm comfy blanket making as I usually do this time of year.
Instead my mind is full of summer tees and swimsuit wraps. The beach is on my mind and I’m torn between starting two new designs. Should I go with a bias wrap with turtles or a beachy coverup? Both are calling to me.
In the meantime I’m writing up a beautiful shawl I just finished. The yarn has me so excited! It’s a new to me yarn with long, one ply at a time color changes. It goes from a bright green to a deep navy and it travels through several fabulous shades of blue along the way. I’m so in love!
Ugh frogging. If you don’t know what it is, it’s not because you haven’t done it. Because we all have. It’s the nickname for the dreaded task when you undo your work. Because you “rip it, rip it”. Get it?
When I first started, I would do anything to avoid frogging. It felt like the ultimate admission of failure. That my work just wasn’t good enough and I’d wasted my time.
I’ve changed my perspective on that though. Yeah, those stitches might not be good enough, but *I’m* good enough to not settle for anything less than great. I will undoubtedly spend all my free time crocheting, so what’s the difference if I’m redoing something I’ve already done or forging forward in unfamiliar territory? I have a better chance of achieving perfection if I’ve already gone through and attempted once. I probably won’t make the same mistakes again, right? Okay, sometimes I do, but the odds are less.
There are some mistakes you can just live with – you seem to be one double crochet short but don’t notice any gaps anywhere. Or you did a chain 2 where you should have done a chain 3 but you’re working stitches over that chain so it will probably stretch a little. That’s not worth frogging over. But if you have 11 repeats where you should have 12, that’s a major problem and it won’t go away with an extra increase here or there.
I’m working on a shawl design and realized that I don’t have enough yarn left to finish the way I’d originally planned, so I frogged. Heartbreaking, but I really want this to look the way I want it to look and I’d rather deal with that little bit of irritation than the major irritation of it not looking right.
There are sometimes alternatives to frogging. Sometimes you can get away with a few increases or decreases if your stitch count is off. If the probably is in the row you just finished and you don’t want to rip all the way back, you can also make a tiny snip, undo some stitches carefully, attach a new strand with a magic knot, redo the incorrect stitches and sew in your ends. This is especially good for very long rows but it’s tricky so only tackle it if you’re really confident. You can even go down a few rows as long as you remember which direction each row is going.
Just remember, everyone makes mistakes. But if you don’t frog, that mistake will live there forever. Are you going to be more bothered by looking at the mistake or by redoing a few rows? For me, it’s always better to frog and be happier with the finished product.
CGOA Conference 2020
Yes! The location is official! We are meeting in New Orleans this year! I’m not sure how much sightseeing I’ll actually do, but Laissez les bon temps rouler!
We will be at the Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center. More information is available here: https://www.crochet.org/page/CL20Location
Mouse over CGOA Conference and that menu will pop up. Lots of good information available. I love going to conferences and I think this year I’m going to take the certified teacher’s class so maybe soon I can start teaching!
Will you be there?
It’s Not Knitting, It’s Crochet!!!
Quick, raise your hand if you’ve ever said this.
Yeah, me too. Mostly from people who don’t craft. And, they deserve our pity, lol. Life would be so boring without yarn.