Monday, February 15, 2010

What's In My Crochet Bag - Tisket Tasket Edition

Okay, so, in case you guys hadn't noticed, it's February. I still have in my possession two of my craft meme gifts that were to be mailed before the end of 2009. I have decided that the only way to whip myself into taking care of this situation is to start blogging it. That way, I can't just ignore it anymore. The sad part is that one of the gifts is completed and the other is completed except for a button being sewed on. As soon as I get that button on, it'll be done. And yet...

Ah well. Let's get started. This week, we'll focus on my gift to Joni at Where Your Treasure Is. A few months ago... Okay, last Easter Lion Brand featured a crocheted Easter Basket in their weekly e-newsletter. I fell in love with it. I lusted after this little basket and I couldn't wait to find an excuse to make it. So, as soon as I posted the craft meme, I started trying to decide who should get this little basket of fun.

I knew Joni had a little one at home and I knew how hard it is to keep your house looking like people live there when things are baby proofed. I thought she would enjoy it. The one pictured on Lion Brand was done in a slightly off white and had a little pink flower on the side, but it was an Easter Basket. I didn't want an Easter basket, I wanted a sittin-on-a-table-in-your-livin-room basket.

I purchased a really nice shade of brown Red Heart Classic. And I started the pattern. About two hours later, I threw it on the floor, pulled the blanket over my head and rocked back in forth in agony and frustration. It's not that the pattern is hard (it's mostly just really tedious single crochet) but that it's really bad.

I mostly love the patterns on Lion Brand, and if I'm going to bash this one, I feel that I should add that. They are mostly really good patterns. Well written, nice patterns with a lot of detail. I like Lion Brand patterns. Furthermore, they have an excellent pattern finder and a great system of making corrections when there is a mistake in a pattern.

This pattern, though, this pattern was stupid. Just plain stupid. First of all, there are two ways to deal with crochet in the round: one is to do rounds and connect back to the first stitch in the row. This method gives you a "seam" that you can see where the row begins/ends. However, it means that when you are done, you have a basically geometric circle. The other is to just keep going and mark the beginning of your "row" so you know basically how far you have gone. This method eliminates the "seam" but gives you less geometry. Imagine a spiral. No matter what you do, you can always see where the spiral ended.

This pattern used the spiral method. Now, I suppose that having no seam on the bottom of a basket is a good thing. But, in my mind, having a geometrically circular basket is more important.

Secondly, the body of the basket was just row after row of single crochet with no real texture or interest to it. It also had far less shape than the picture made it look. So, the next morning, I ripped it all out (for the fourth or fifth time) and started over. From scratch, pattern in the trash. I wish I had written down what I had done, because I am wicked proud of this. A few hours later, I had a really nice little basket. This summer, I'm going to try to replicate it and write a pattern. I also have a really nice idea of how to make a square, rectangular and ovular basket.

In the meantime, you'll have to live with a picture of the finished work. The flower was made from scraps, so I'm afraid I can't give you type and color names. The handle is stiffened with floral wire instead of being "stiffened." I'm especially proud of that basket weave. Doesn't that look cool? I'm totally patting myself on the back here. Ooh. I am sooo good.


Joni said...

My basket! I've been waiting for you to post the blog about it so I could get on here and rave about how much I love it! I do confess that although it is kid-friendly, I put it on the counter in my bathroom. Because the beauty would be lost on the men in my house, and I wanted to put it where I would see it often and where it won't be sitting next to a big red barn or be holding car-shaped puzzle pieces or be driven over by a truck... you get the idea. Anyhoo, my favorite part is most definitely the flower - I LOVE THAT! But I appreciate the beauty (and symmetry!) of the basket itself more too now that I know what went into making it. THANK YOU! :)

Suze said...

that is really, really cute! I totally need to learn how to crochet...

Jessi said...

Joni - I'm so glad you like it! And I didn't mean that it had to be anywhere in particular, I just wanted to give you some freedom with it.

Suze - I wish we could trade lessons. Maybe I'll get a webcam and we can skype. :)

Suze said...

hmmm, i've never done skype but i'm willing to try it out!