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Saturday, July 5, 2008

By popular demand...

In response to the enthusiasm people show for my crocheted baskets whenever I carry them or post pictures, I am bowing to the inevitable and will be offering several for sale at the SoCal Bench Project fair on August 9th. I hope all you nice folk who spoke to me about them at Swaporamarama will stop by. I will be in booth 24, which appears to be outside. Here is the first one - a humungous round bottomed basket tote with two handles, 25 inches tall sides. The pear is there to show scale.
This would work very well as a beach or picnic tote including fitting a groundsheet. I use my similarly sized one when I go to Costco to haul bulky but not too heavy items like the big packs of paper towels or TP. At home I have been using it to store my stock of scrounged plastic sacks. Right now it's almost empty! It would just as well store blankets, towels, or stuffed toys.

The not-very-technical specs:
The yarn is about one inch wide strips of post consumer plastic bags and grocery sacks. I used a J/10 (or 6.00mm) crochet hook. Stitches are single and double (what is called treble in Australia) crochet. I learned that each regular grocery sack makes about 7-8 linear inches of double crochet at this gauge. I also utterly failed to keep track of how many bags I used for this one.

Additionally, I will have a limited number of small and medium baskets for sale, along with the Dream Star dolls, Wish dolls, hand painted lavender sachets, and some assorted figurative soft sculptures/standing art dolls (including the bead head granny and young lady) both in cloth and crocheted plastic.
Stay tuned for futher bulletins!


Pam Genant said...

I love those bags and have made a couple myself. Will have to get them up on my blog. The first one I had some trouble with the handles stretching. The second, larger, one I attached them differently and crocheted them several times for extra strength. What do you do for handles, and do you have any trouble with the stretching of the plastic?
Thanks for sharing, you have me addicted to recycling those bags myself.

Robyn L. Coburn said...

I don't have any trouble with stretching. That is to say, if the handles are stretching at all, it doesn't bother me. I'm not using the baskets for super heavy carrying. Since the yarn is two ply, I think that helps.

They are crocheted in a continuous thread, so the handles are integral rather than attached. For the paired handles, I just chain however many and skip over the same number or fewer, and then rejoin. Obviously I do this twice on opposite sides of the rim, and continue five or so more rows all around (clear as mud?).

For the once over basket handle, which fits very nicely in the crook of my elbow,I begin by single crochet what will be the final edge half way around the circumference of the basket. At the point where the handle will start I switch from single to double, and do six or seven, then reverse and do six or seven more double crochet continuing until I have the length of handle I like. Then I join the handle with slip stitch to the opposite side and finish with single crochet the half of the diameter that had not been finished. Basically I would then end back at the bottom of the handle. Sometimes I go around again and along the side edges of the handle - just for fun.

Actually the very first thing I crocheted from plastic bag yarn was a lacy garland to hang from my balcony for Christmas.

I'd love to see some photos of your bags, Pam. Maybe come September I'll get to see some in person!