To make a mini basket, you will need:
Rowan Handknit Cotton, 10g should be plenty
A scrap of fabric, at least 8cm x 12cm
3.5mm crochet hook
Needle and thread
Paper and pencil
The cotton I used for these baskets combined with using a hook smaller than recommended creates a stiff fabric so the baskets hold their shape well. If using an alternate yarn, don't use anything too soft or fine - you may find the basket doesn't hold it's shape well enough.
If you would prefer to use a written pattern, or would like to use it in conjunction with this tutorial, you can find it here.
To start, chain two. The first round will be worked into the second chain from the hook.
Double crochet six times into the second chain from the hook.
Do not finish off the round, instead work straight into the first of your double crochet stitches.
Double crochet twice into each stitch around. You should end up with twelve double crochet stitches.
Working straight into the next double crochet stitch as before, double crochet once into the next stitch then double crochet twice into the following stitch. Repeat this around until you have eighteen double crochet stitches.
Working straight into the next stitch, double crochet once into each of the next two stitches, then double crochet twice into the third stitch. Repeat around until you have twenty four double crochet stitches.
Take a small length of yarn to use as a stitch marker and place to the left of the stitch you have just completed, underneath the working tail of yarn (the one attached to the ball).
Crochet one double crochet stitch into the next stitch, working over the stitch marker to hold it in place.
Continue around, working one double crochet into each stitch. After each completed round you should still have twenty four stitches. After a couple of rounds the edges should start to turn up.
At this point you can turn your crochet the right way out if you wish, or carry on and do it later.
I tend to leave the stitch marker in, rather than removing it and replacing it for each round. It still acts as a guide to where my rounds start and finish (it doesn't matter if you are a stitch or two out in each round, it won't make a huge difference to the finished basket), and it allows me to keep track of how many rounds I've completed.
When you have completed six rounds after inserting the stitch marker, slip stitch into the next stitch.
Then chain twelve.
Fasten the chain to the opposite side of the basket with a slip stitch. Then turn so the working tail of yarn is behind your crochet hook, ready to continue.
Work fourteen double crochet stitches over the chain of twelve. To do this, insert your crochet hook under the chain of twelve.
Bring through a loop, as you would to work a normal double crochet stitch. You should have two loops on the hook.
Then, bring your yarn round the hook and pull through both loops to complete, just as you would for a double crochet stitch.
Work another thirteen stitches over the chain and fasten to the base of the handle at the opposite side with a slip stitch.
Fasten off and weave in the end.
The basket is now complete. Hooray!
To add a fabric lining, take your basket and a piece of paper and a pencil. Flatten the basket and roughly draw around the outline of the part you want to line. It will probably look something like this...
I tend to neaten up the edges a bit, adding a little to the top (you will need extra fabric here to turn under) and straightening it off.
Cut out your pattern, lay it on your fabric and cut out two pieces.
With the wrong sides together, stitch around the edge. Sometimes I do this on my sewing machine, sometimes I do it by hand. I depends how many I'm making and whether the sewing machine is set up! If sewing by hand, I use a back stitch to stitch round the curved edge of the fabric pieces.
Next, turn the top, straight edge of the fabric over, just a little, so it looks like this...
Then place the lining inside your basket. It can a be a little fiddly to get it in place. I line up the seam of the fabric lining with the handle and have the turned over edge just below the edge of the basket.
Stitch the lining in place.
I do love little stitches (even though mine are a bit wonky) so I always use a contrasting thread. If you'd like the stitches to be less obvious, choose a thread to match your fabric - they tend to stand out more on the fabric than they do on the yarn.
Fasten off the thread and find some tiny things to put in it...
It is Easter Monday, and these are the only two mini chocolate eggs I could find in the house... the rest have been gobbled up already!
We've used a basket to deliver a tooth to the tooth fairy also (it made her job much easier!). If you find any other uses for them, do let me know...