13 March 2014

A Project for my Project

Oooo, I was so ridiculously excited about this post when I first drafted it! I had just finished a project and I couldn't wait to show it to you. Now, the excitement has gone down, but the finished project remains a firm favourite of mine. And it was not just any old project, if I dare say so myself. It was a Project for a Project, and more specifically... a Basket for my Blanket!

See, ever since I had started the Blanket, the 12 balls of differently coloured yarn had been lying around in my living room, most often propped on top of each other between the back of the sofa, or strewn across the carpet, dangerously exposed to feline temptations. Plus, I found it made it difficult to properly take in all the colours, as some of the skeins invariably ended up on top of others. In one word, it was restricting.

So I needed some kind of container for all the yarn balls. A basket. But there was no way I was going to buy one. Coincidentally, there was a pattern in issue 14 of Simply Crochet magazine, but the design was a little too intricate for my liking. I wanted something that could work up quickly in simple rounds of (UK) double crochet stitches so I could start using it as soon as possible. After a quick visit to John Lewis haberdashery section, I came back with two 200g balls of Patons Fab Big in Cream and Poppy shades. The idea was to make a basket big enough to hold 12 balls of yarn, and with "gradual" stripes. I used this bag from http://www.momtastic.com/ as inspiration:

Absolutely love the dynamic effect it creates! So light and airy, so stylish! So I decided to make the base of the basket in solid red and without further ado, set to the task:

Predictably, I soon hit a snag. As I worked up the base, I quickly realised I was running out of yarn fast. I didn't really want to go buy some more, as I thought I had more than enough. What was needed was simply a smarter way of distributing the yarn across the whole basket. Plus, I uneartherd some cream and red chunky yarn from another project (the Rug, to be exact). The colours looked almost undistinguishable from the Fab Big yarn, so I thought I'd use those scraps for my base. So far, so good:

But another snag was promptly hit. In my eagerness to save yarn, I didn't even realise that the scrap yarn was noticeably thinner than the Fab Big yarn, resulting in a smaller, floppier base. Plus, the Fab Big yarn added to the base started to make it ruffle, so it was an absolute no-no.

OK, back to the frogging board then, and more than a little annoyed by my lack of success.

Soooo, I turned back to the Fab Big yarn, but this time decided to start the striping on the base itself. At the same time, I also decided to stagger my increases, so as to avoid the distinctively hexagonal shape created when you increase directly on top of an increase in the previous round (see pics above). Soon enough, I had worked up a few rounds, and not only did the base look definitely more circular, but also the yarn was not literally being eaten away before my very eyes. Success at last. :)

And so I carried on until I felt the base was big enough:

Night had fallen by then, hence the weird lighting in the above picture. It was now time to start the sides of the basket, which I did by working one round into the back loops of the last round of the base, and then carried on in rounds without increasing, which naturally created the sides.

With such chunky yarn, it was working up very quickly, making it very satsifying. It was almost as if the basket was growing out of nowhere. Almost. Very soon, it started to look very basket-ish indeed. Or basket-esque.

By then, it had become so basket-y that I couldn't resist already using it as a basket while I was still making it.

I was so extremely excited by the fact that it was keeping its shape. Granted, I don't need much :D But still, this was a project of my own design, born out of trial and error and perseverance. It is an incredible way to boost your self-confidence.

And finally, it was time to add handles. Weaving the ends in, which thankfully there wasn't much of, as I'd done most of it on the go, and that was it. The basket was finished! 

A little look? Come on, you know you want to. :)

Ooooo, so stripy and basket-y! I absolutely loooove how it turned out. And as a consequence, I took quite a lot of pictures. The top view...

The arty-farty view...

And many more, but I'll leave it at that. Except for one last little picture... The one with all the yarn inside it, of course! It's a basket after all ;)

So there you have it. The Basket for my Blanket. It is now a fixture of the living room, and I am pleased to say it is very good at fulfilling its basket duties!

I'll be back soon! xoxo :)

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