How are you all? And I can ask that with a hint of confidence now as since I published my free tutorials for my retro granny stash bag and the retro granny stash box, the traffic on my little blog is looking more major road than sleepy lane…
In the last 30 days I’ve had over 13,000 visitors who have made over 22,000 visits to pages!! Thank you – I don’t feel as though I am talking to myself now! Most days around 800 of you are popping in, even if you don’t say hello 🙂
The biggest number of visits have been for my free tutorials and patterns and the posts about the stash bag and stash box. My box and basket making obsession doesn’t seem to be over yet and this week I’ve been tussling with yet another one.
But I have got my act together and finished it off now. I’ve given an overview in this post so if you are an experienced crocheter you will be able to make a similar basket (and improve on it) just by looking here.
The more detailed free tutorial for the monster stripy crochet stash basket is here.
Meet my monster stripy crochet stash basket
As a basket…
But also as a useful carry-around bag…
This basket was a bit of an experiment but thought it would be useful to write this post as the story of what I did (and what I did wrong). I’ve also written ‘how-to’ free tutorial too, highlighting where you can go one better at various steps. When I do another one, I’ll certainly be reading my own advice at some point in the future.
As you can see, its sturdy, it holds its shape and it stands up like a basket. The reason for this is that I made TWO crochet baskets and put one inside the other with an in-between quilted lining. Using acrylic yarn or wool doesn’t create a firm shape, it does tend to go all floppy.
My first piece of advice is therefore to try doing one of these in COTTON yarn. I have learned recently (yes, bit slow to this party) that cotton makes good baskets because it has hardly any stretch… I plan on making one in aran weight cotton to see if this works better.
Starting off – the basic basket design
My crochet basket is based on two core crochet stitches. Double crochets (UK term), which are called single crochets in US terms, and half trebles (UK), which are known as half double crochets in US terms. The base of the basket is a circle. You might like to look at my free tutorial on crocheting a perfect circle before you read on… And the free tutorial about making a neat join…
Yarn used: Hayfield Bonus Chunky (100% acrylic) in some bright spring colours: neon (the bright purple), softmint (the duck egg blue colour), bubble gum (the softer pink), sunflower (the egg yolk yellow), primrose (the pale yellow), aran (cream), bluebell and bright pink.
My first base consisted of a circle with 12 rounds worked in half double crochets (UK terms), adding two rounds in each colour.
On the next round I crocheted double crochet stitches into the back loop only. This creates a 90 degree angle so that the base sits nicely as the sides of the bag grow. And grow it does quite quickly.
The panel of photos below shows the rest of the stages, which are covered in much more detail in the Monster Stripy Stash Basket free tutorial.
Why so many stash bags, baskets and boxes?
Well, need you ask. Because, like most crocheters and crafters I have multiple projects on the go at any one time. Ideas are easy, doing the making is enjoyable but getting enough time to make the two match up is quite tricky.
I’m sure you’re the same. If only we could crochet 24/7 sometimes without distractions like work, sleep, eating, chores and life…
Having brightly coloured baskets I find is a great incentive to keep things out and about. Projects lying around in carrier bags or plastic bags don’t look that attractive and having them out makes it easy for stuff to get spilled on them, cats to wreak havoc and things to get moved. The alternative of packing everything away, for me at least, means out-of-sight, out-of-mind and projects just don’t get done.
By having separate but nice looking bags and baskets to contain each project I am hoping it will make me tidier AND more productive. I’ll let you know about that… jury is still out 🙂
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Thank you xxx