Slip Stitch Basket, Part 1
My apologies for the delay... I'm still not fully back to myself, but I'm getting through it. So... In my state of exhaustion, grief and stress, I failed to realize how many photos this tutorial would be! Sorry people, we gotta split this up into parts or the rest of blog-o-sphere will think I've gone bonkers - not to mention it would take forever for the page to load. This one's bad enough. Boo.
Adding to the delay, I found that thing that you should never find... A knot tied in the middle of my skein! That's a bonus for you beginners, because I'm working on a video that will show you how to deal with this problem in a simple way. But I'm not very good at video editing, so it's taking extra time. Bear with me and you will benefit. In the meantime, shall we get started with the pattern?
You'll need to make four of these pieces, so that should give me a good buffer to get the rest of the tutorial uploaded. Oh, and um, if you didn't notice by the title, it's a basket. I strove to find a simple project that would teach you the stitches, joining pieces, and could be usable by everybody... And that wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. This pattern will create a small 4" (10 cm) square basket that is perfect for holding your new crochet notions, such as little scissors and stitch markers.
But, you could use it for whatever you chose. It would probably work as a desk or bathroom accessory for holding smaller items, or a million other things. Check out the stitch markers I use, and you'll see why I need a container of some kind to control them! Remember, we don't need no fancy tools 'round here... We just need to keep it all organized. As a bonus, nobody has to use this rectangle to make a basket. Maybe you want to make a blanket or a scarf, and you could use it for that, but this tutorial creates a basket, so you newbies should probably stick with me this time around. Beginners, you'll find a step by step photo tutorial ahead, and remember that my lessons can be lengthy because I want you to learn more - but I've included the written pattern first, so more advanced crocheters who don't need help can get right to work. Ready?
Worsted weight (4) acrylic yarn
-I'm using Red Heart With Love in Water Lily
Crochet hook size H/8 - 5.00 MM or size needed to obtain gauge (which isn't important for this pattern!)
Stitch markers - optional, but recommended
Yarn needle or smaller hook to weave in ends
Not important! See how easy I made that for you? I'll get you next time.
But just in case, each rectangle measures 2.25" (5.5 cm) by 4.5" (11.25 cm). The pieces are small enough that you could just work one instead of making a gauge swatch.
If you would like to make this piece wider (which would make the sides of your basket taller), it's easy - Just increase your number of beginning chains. You will need an odd number of stitches, plus one to begin, so start with an even number of chains.
Likewise, if you want to make the entire basket wider, you can increase the number of rows. Just end on an odd-number row. (I'll show you how to adjust the pattern for the bottom to match!)
Stitches and abbreviations:
Slip Stitch (sl st)
*Click the links for the tutorials!
Back loop (b/L)
To begin, chain 12.
Sl st in the b/L of the 4th ch from the hook. (Ch 1, sk 1, sl st) 4 times.
Ch 2 (counts as first st in the row + ch-1), turn. Sk 1st available st, sl st in b/L of next. (Ch 1, sk 1, sl st) 4 times.
All following rows:
Repeat row 2. End on odd number row (19 to follow pattern).
Bind off, weave in ends.
-So, here's my stitch markers. Do you have a habit of saving every twist tie from every bag of bread you've ever had? Well, I do. They make great stitch markers, but you do have to watch that the wire isn't poking out to snag your yarn. We're going to start without these, because I want to show you how to find the stitches on your own. But don't worry - I'll still show you later, just in case.
-Here I've started with a chain of 12. That's an odd number of stitches, plus one chain for the first 'chain-one, skip-one' of the pattern.
-Now, where to start? Remember, never count the loop on your hook. The first chain away is the chain-1, the second chain counts as the first stitch, and the third chain counts as the first skipped stitch. What I failed to add to the graphic is to work into the back loop. So, you're going to begin with a slip stitch in theback loop of the 4th chain from the hook. Also marked in the photo are all the stitches you will work into.
-Are you confused by that algebraic equation in the last photo? It's just part of a crochet pattern! It means, from here, you will chain one, then skip one, and slip stitch (in the back loop) a total of 4 times. Sometimes parenthesis ( ) are used to tell you all those stitches will be made in one stitch or space, and sometimes they're used like this along with a number of times to repeat.
-So breathe, chain 1, and skip the next stitch. Slip stitch in the back loop of the following chain.
-Working into the back loop will pop the front loop of the stitch forward as I showed you in the slip stitch tutorial. But, because we have a 'chain 1, skip 1' space in between, it will be a bit easier to find the stitches. Continue working (ch 1, sk 1, sl st in the b/L) to the end of the row.
-So, getting to the end of the first row is easier than the rest. Now what?
-Now, we chain 2. The first chain created counts as the first stitch (mark it if you need to!), and the next is the chain-1 for the skipped stitch.
-But, how do you start a new row? We have to turn our work. Do me a favor first... None of that "keep your yarn behind your hook" junk that I learned. Just put your work down for a second and let me show you... I mean it, seriously, put it down!
-Now, you'll never turn the wrong way if you put your work down first! Grabbing the opposite end, turn it over. You can only turn it one way! And okay, so you do have to keep that working yarn behind your hook... But if it was there when you put your work down, then it will be behind it after you turn. Simple 'nuff?
- Oh no, now what do I do? Count your stitches. It will be the next best thing you'll ever learn besides the easy way to turn. Again, don't ever count the loop on the hook as a stitch. The first chain away from the hook is our chain-1, the next counts as the first stitch, the following stitch is the one we skip, and the one after that is where we will start.
-Remember from the first tutorial: The stitches will fall forward, hiding the back loop. Don't let it fool you! Look down from the top of your work to find the correct loop.
-Can you follow the simple pattern from here? Every row is the same... But now that we've worked past the first row, that last stitch in the row - known as the "turning chain" - becomes harder to find. It tends to fall a bit lower and slightly behind the rest of your stitches, easily fooling a beginner into thinking they've reached the end of the row. And if your tension is too tight, this stitch will seem impossible to find.
-Trust me, it's there. Sometimes it helps to flip your work around, and then you'll see the rest of the stitch connected to that stitch that you thought was the last stitch. And sometimes, it can even be easier to work into that turning chain while your work is still turned around.
-So, think it's too hard to find those stitches without marking them? That's okay; finding and working into the turning chain is one of the biggest complaints of crochet. After you make the first chain of the beginning chain-2, mark it with a stitch marker between the front/back loops and the bottom bar.
-No, I don't want you to mark the back loop, even though that's the loop you need to find...
-Because this. Here, I've worked back to that marked stitch, and you can see that you can't see the back loop of the last stitch from the front. Okay, so if you have to cheat, I guess I can't stop you... But I'd much rather see you learn how to find that loop on your own.
-How to count those rows: Easy in this pattern, even without markers. Remember that you worked towards your tail for the first row, so if your tail is to that side, you're on an odd-number row. With the piece this way, each "ridge" counts as two rows. Then, you'll need one more row ending on the tail side to make your odd number.
-Um, don't count my rows here. I'll admit I messed up. After taking the photo, I decided to increase the pattern to 19 rows. No excuses, I simply forgot to take another picture... But you can still use this as a lesson, right? (And so can I...)
-Finally, to "bind off", which means "cut your yarn and pull it through the working loop". Don't, please, oh please don't pull it tight. Hold that last stitch secure with your finger as you pull the yarn through.
-I'll show you a cool trick for this first part of the end-weaving, but we're going to cheat for the rest. Because you like cheating, don't you? Let's make a fake stitch! It creates a nice ending with no bumps. See that very next stitch under the last loop made? We're going to copy it.
-Flip your work over (I know, so much flipping!), and use your hook for this so your stitch stays the same size. Insert the hook into that stitch I just showed you, and grab the yarn (tail) with the hook.
-Again, hold that ending stitch secure so you don't pull it tight. Pull the tail all the way through the stitch.
-Now, flip to the front again. (Again?) Yes, again. See why we don't want that ending loop tightened? Insert your hook from the bottom to the top through the front loop of the stitch.
-Grab the tail with the hook, and pull all the way through the stitch. Now you've made a "fake stitch" for your ending, and we can move on to that cheating...
-I'm switching to my yarn needle, but you can use a smaller hook if you prefer. Since the pieces of the basket will all be joined, then a border added to the top, you can be a bit lazy and weave the ends back and forth along the sides. As we work the joins, the tails will be secured under the stitches. In later tutorials, wewill learn a better way. But for now, seriously, the teacher is letting you cheat. Do it.
-I'm weaving my beginning tail through the bottom of the beginning chain, but you can weave it up the side if you like. I didn't like the double thickness of both tails on one side, so I'm taking it in a different direction.
Now, you have to make three more! And I have to get back to editing. If the tutorial for the next piece isn't up yet, then please be patient. (I'll put a link here when it's up.) I know you're eager to learn and to finish your first pattern, but remember I have things to feed other than myself... If it was different I'd just be eating peanut butter on bread while I'm at the pc. And sometimes I do this thing that I think is called sleeping in between that and working. If you're bored in the meantime, you can always practice some more! The next piece will have you working into the front loops! *gasp*