I’ve been looking for a basket of specific dimensions for a while without any luck. Then I saw a circular version of this idea and realised I could make my own!
This uses a technique similar to thrumming, where you crochet over another thread to add bulk to a fabric. If you have ever crocheted over your ends to avoid weaving in, this works the same way.
In this case I used rope instead of another yarn, which is a lot bulkier but great for adding stiffness and making each row deeper. This project had the added bonus of using up a single skein I had left in my stash!
The resulting basket is rectangular with rounded corners.
You will need:
- Length of rope (mine was 38m in length and 6mm diameter, for a 22x42x17cm basket)
- Stash yarn (I used 310m of Patons 100% cotton 4ply in a cream colourway)
- Size 5.00mm crochet hook (use a metal hook if possible as the work is quite stiff), or larger if your rope is thicker.
Foundation row: Decide what size base you need. Mine was 22 by 42 cm. The difference between the two dimensions (in my case 20cm) is how long a chain you need to make to begin. This was 30 or so chains for me.
Ch 30 (or number required for you desired dimensions) +2, turn
Lay the rope alongside the chain to work with an overlap of a few cm.
Round 1: sc (working over the rope) in 3rd ch from hook. Complete a few more sc and then wriggle the rope forwards to line the end up with the beginning of the row (i.e. get rid of the overlap). Sc to the final ch, 5 more sc in final ch (turning the rope around the “corner” and rotating work), sc to end.
[NB: I sc in the back loop of my chain so that once I have turned the corner it is easier to complete the sc. You can see this in the photo's, but it is not necessary to do the same, you can sc in your chain as usual if you prefer.]
Subsequent rounds: 3sc into each corner st and sc in all the other sts. Continue until the work is your desired base dimensions.
Transition to working the sides: Once the base is large enough, stop putting 3sc in each corner st, just do 1sc in each st around. For the first round of this you will need to make sure you lie the rope vertically on top of the row below, which can be a little fiddly.
Handles: These are optional. When the sides are high enough, and after completing a round, place st markers where you desire your handles to be. Now when you reach a marker, leave the next set of sts unworked (I left 15sts to make mine), and instead crochet over the rope more sts than you have left unworked (I did 20 sts over the rope). Continue to sc in the sts after the marker as before.
Securing the end(s): I did a modified sc st at the end of my rope (and when I needed to join a new length part way through):
Insert hook in next st, draw up a loop, yarn over, draw through one loop, insert hook in same st, draw up a loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops.
Finish with an sc in the next st, but not over the rope. Trim the rope if needed, and weave in all ends.