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Striped Gift Baskets
You can fill them with home-baked cookies, handmade soaps or seasonal potpourri from the farmers market to share with those you love. Because of the striped nature of the baskets, this project would be a great way to use scraps of 100 percent wool yarns you've been stashing to make one-of-a-kind combinations. Be sure your yarn has not been treated for machine washability, however, since this chemical process prevents the necessary shrinkage.
Design by Donna Druchunas
Small (large) Instructions are given for smaller size, with larger size in parentheses. When only 1 number is given, it applies to both sizes.
Finished Felted Measurements
Approx 4 (5) inches tall x 18 (24)-inch top circumference
- Plymouth Galway Chunky 100 percent wool bulky weight yarn (123 yds/100g per ball):
1 ball each of lime #146 (A), aqua #149 (B), and fuchsia #141 (C)
- Size 15 (10mm) 16-inch circular and double-pointed needles or size needed to obtain gauge
- Tapestry needle
- Stitch marker
- Top-loading washing machine, zippered pillowcase, and dish soap for felting
9 sts and 12 rows = 4 inches/10cm in St st
Exact gauge is not critical; make sure your sts are loose and airy.
*Knit 4 rnds A, 2 rnds B, 2 rnds C, 2 rnds B, 2 rnds C.
Rep from * for Stripe pat.
Cut each yarn at end of stripe; do not carry up.
Change to dpns when sts no longer fit comfortably on circular needle.
Measurements are achieved using yarn and colors specified; results may vary depending on yarn, yarn color and felting time.
If solid-colored baskets are preferred, 1 ball of yarn will make a basket of each size.
Knit 2 rnds.
Work in Stripe pat until piece measures 6 (10) inches.
Continue in Stripe pat, and dec as follows:
Set-up rnd: *K12 (15), place marker; rep from * around.
Rnd 1: *Ssk, knit to 2 sts before marker, k2tog; rep from * around. (50, 65 sts)
Rnds 2: Knit.
Rep [Rnds 1 and 2] 3 times. (30, 35 sts)
Rep [Rnd 1] twice. (10, 15 sts)
Cut yarn, leaving a 5-inch tail.
Using tapestry needle, thread tail through rem sts, and pull tight.
Weave in all ends.
Felt following Felting Instructions below until baskets reach finished measurements or desired size, and then gently rinse in the sink. Roll the baskets in a towel and squeeze out the excess water.
Shape over a bowl or shape with hands and leave to dry.
Place items to be felted in the washing machine along with 1 tablespoon of dish soap and a pair of jeans or other laundry. (Remember, do not wash knitted item with other clothing that releases its own fibers, or you will have these fibers in your project.) Set washing machine on smallest load using hot water. Start the machine and check the progress after 10 minutes. Check progress more frequently after piece starts to felt. Reset the machine, if needed, to continue the agitation cycle. Do not allow machine to drain and spin until the piece is the desired size; creases can form in the fabric during the rapid spin cyle. As the piece becomes more felted, you may need to pull it into shape. When the piece has felted to the desired size, rinse it by hand in warm water -- a cold-water rinse will continue the felting process. Remove the excess water either by rolling in a towel and squeezing, or in the spin cycle of your washing machine.
Block the piece into shape, and let air dry. Do not dry in clothes dryer. Felted items are very strong, so don't be afraid to push and pull them into the desired shape. It may take several hours or several days for the pieces to dry completely.
After the piece is completely dry, excess fuzziness can be trimmed with scissors if a smoother surface is desired. Or the piece can be brushed for a fuzzier appearance.
Copyright © 2007 Knit Noel, House of White Birches. All rights reserved.