Friday, February 28, 2014

Free Pattern: Lid for Coaster Basket

  When I finished designing my Plarn Coasters, I was satisfied, but the set needed more...The Plarn Coaster Basket was created as a result. I don't know if the set was still lacking something, or if I'm just fascinated with "fmelting" plarn, but I felt the need to make a lid for the basket.
  After finishing the lid, I realized that it's pretty cool just by itself. Even if you don't make the basket and coasters, this would be cute turned upside down and used as a dish for potpourri, keys, or anything else you could think of.
  Finished size is 6" x 6" x 1-1/4" (15.25 cm x 15.25 cm x 3.2 cm), including rolled edge. Interior measurement is slightly larger than 5" x 5" (12.7 cm x 12.7 cm).
See How to make Plarn

Skill level:
Easy

Materials:
Plarn, cut into 3" wide strips
Crochet hook size H/8 5.00MM or size needed to obtain gauge
Smaller hook to weave in ends

Gauge:
First round = 2" (5 cm) circumference

*Note:
Read ahead about my minor frustrations during the "fmelting" process so you have an idea about what's ahead for you. It's not complicated, I just came across some unexpected results. This caused my project to take longer than anticipated. Be prepared to make the process much easier for yourself.



Stitches:
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Single crochet (sc)
Double crochet (dc)

Directions:

Round 1:
Ch 4, 11 dc in farthest ch from hook. Join with a sl st to beg ch-4. (12 dc)

Round 2:
Turn. Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in same st. 2 dc in next st. (1 dc, ch 1) in following st. *(2 dc in next st) twice. (1 dc, ch 1) in following st.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (24)

Round 3:
Turn. Sl st into ch-1 sp. Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), (1 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same sp. (sk 1, 2 dc) twice. *(2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch-1 sp. (Sk 1, 2 dc) twice.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (36)

Round 4:
Sl st into next st and following ch, turn, sl st into ch-1 sp. Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), (1 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same sp. Sk 2, 2 dc in sp between posts. Sk 2, 3 dc in sp between posts, sk 2, 2 dc in sp between posts. *(2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch-1 sp. Sk 2, 2 dc in sp between posts.  Sk 2, 3 dc in sp between posts. Sk 2, 2 dc in sp between posts.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (48)

Round 5:
Sl st in next st and following ch, turn, sl st into ch-1 sp. Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), (1 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in same sp. Working only into sp between posts: Sk 2, 2 dc, sk 2, 3 dc, sk 3, 3 dc, sk 2, 2 dc. *(2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in ch-1 sp. Working into sp between posts: Sk 2, 2 dc, sk 2, 3 dc, sk 3, 3 dc, sk 2, 2 dc.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. Join with a sl st to beg ch-3. (60)

Round 6:
Sl st into next st and following ch, turn. Sl st into ch-1 sp, ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in same sp. (Sk 2, 2 sc) 6 times. *(2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc) in ch-1 sp. (Sk 2, 2 sc 6 times.* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. Join with a sl st in beg ch-1. (68)

Round 7:
Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc), turn. 1 sc in each of next 67 sts.  Join with a sl st to beg ch-1. (68)

Round 8:
Repeat Round 7.

Round 9:
Turn. Sl st directly below into st of Round 6. Ch 1 (counts as 1 sc). Working into sts of Round 6: 1 sc in each of next 67 sts. 

Round 10
*Sl st into back loop only of next st, ch 1.* Repeat from * to *  more times. Join with a sl st to beg sl st. Bind off, weave in ends.




To "fmelt":
  You will need an iron, wax paper, and cardboard or a similar heatproof material to make a form. This time I cheated on the first side, by only using a square of cardboard inside, then turning the iron sideways to press the sides inward. It worked, but I slipped and burned myself, so be careful if you try it. If you already have a form for making the basket, use that.
  I only took photos of the progress as I went this time. If you would like the full tutorial about "fmelting", please see the "Fmelted" Plarn Coasters pattern. For more help on making a form and working with a three dimensional project, check out the "Fmelted" Plarn Basket pattern.

  I won't lie to you; I thought this would go as easy as the basket... It didn't. Pro: The shorter sides allow you to turn it inside out. Con: The shorter sides don't hold their shape as well. You have to hold the shape for them until the piece is completely cool, or it won't be a cube, or fit the basket.
  I always come up with a better idea after I'm finished. If I had to do it again, I would try aluminum foil, probably a double or triple layer, molded around the outside. I didn't try it yet, so I can't guarantee it will work.
  Remember to cover the project with wax paper before ironing and please use caution.
  I recommend working on the sides of this piece first so the top remains pliable. Leave on the form until cool. Here is an example with the lid turned inside out, before melting the opposite side.



  Note the smooth sides. If you will be making this as a stand-alone piece, you might consider keeping it this way.



This could work on the basket, but the rolled edge makes a very tight fit. I would only suggest this for a "My gauge was off because I didn't make a swatch and now my lid is too big" moment; not that any of us ever make that mistake.



  When I made the basket, I couldn't turn it inside out after "fmelting" one side. This lid is shallow enough to invert, so both sides can be melted. I highly recommend doing so because the piece holds its shape better. However, be careful not to go too far and make the edges brittle before turning. It should look something like this:



  I found the best thing to do is only melt the entire piece about halfway, shape it some, then continue.



  Once you begin melting, the sides want to fall away from the body until it cools.  I had to go back to the drawing board. This is how it fit after the first time I thought I was finished:



  I know it isn't very clear, but I hope you can get an idea from it. You can barely see the basket because there is a gap of about an inch between the sides of the basket and the lid. Again, if you're making this as a stand-alone piece, maybe you like it that way, and gauge doesn't matter as much. But I know my gauge matches the basket; I know the lid fits. I just had to figure out a way to keep it from falling before it cooled.
  I left mine on the form, left the wax paper on it, then put a rubber band around it to hold the shape. And it finally came out square!


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