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Wild Wools

I'd stalked (get it, stalked?) bamboo for months before finally having it sent to me [I live in Italy].

Once here I marveled at the sheen, the texture, the subtle color variations, so smooth, so precious. Promptly it was put back in its bag and secreted off to the hiding spot for my Special Yarns. For almost a year it lived, there, in the dark, next to others. We would visit and every time that it came that time to put it away I would again wonder, what it was meant to be, my little hank with great potential. I wanted it out, where I could appreciate its beauty, something of use but not completely utilitarian, mind you.

A basket it is, perfect for holding other precious things. Worked flat, top down, the shaping achieved by the changing needle sizes as to not to disrupt the pattern stitch. One seam, a touch of I-cord and a bit of persuasion.

photos: Wendy Wonnacott

Width at top: 4 inches
Width at base: 3 inches
Height: 3 inches


Alchemy Bamboo [100% Bamboo; 138yd/126m per 50g skein]; color: #14f Breath of Fire; 1 skein

1 set US #6/4mm double point needles
1 set US #6/4mm straight needles
1 set US #5/3.75mm straight needles
1 set US #4/3.5mm straight needles
1 set US #3/3mm straight needles
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
Sewing needle for attaching lining
Lining fabric, approx. 17 inches by 6 inches
Stiff interfacing or canvas for shaping, approx. 17 inches by 6 inches
Sewing thread
Large beads for embellishment (optional)

24 sts/40 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on US 6/4mm needles.



[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations can be found here]

Basketweave Pattern ->
(Worked over an even number of sts)
Row 1 [WS]: P1, sl1, [p into second st on left needle, p into first st on left needle, slide both stitches off needle together] to last 2 sts, p2.
Row 2 [RS]: K1, [k into back of second st on left needle, k into back of first st on left needle, slide both stitches off needle together] to last st, k1.

Using a double-pointed needle, CO 4 sts. K all sts.

Next Row: Instead of turning the work around to work back on the WS, slide all sts to the other end of the needle, switch the needle back to your left hand, bring the yarn around the back of the work, and start knitting the sts again.

Repeat this row to form I-cord.
After a few rows, the work will begin to form a tube.


Using US 6/4mm straight needles, CO 114 sts.

Work in Basketweave Pattern until work measures 1.5 inches.

Using US 5/3.75mm needles, cont in Basketweave Pattern until work measures 2 inches.

Using US 4/3.5mm needles, cont in Basketweave Pattern until work measures 2.5 inches.

Using 3mm needles, cont in Basketweave Pattern until work measures 3 inches, ending with a WS row.

Shape Bottom:
Row 1 [RS]: K6, [(k1, k2tog) six times, k10] three times, [k1, k2tog] six times, k6. 90 sts rem.
Row 2 [WS]: K all sts.
Row 3 [RS]: K6, [(k2tog) six times, k10] three times, [k2tog] six times, k6. 66 sts rem.
Even-Numbered Rows 4-10 [WS]: P all sts.
Row 5 [RS]: K all sts.
Row 7 [RS]: K3, k2tog, k1, [(k2tog) three times, (k1, k2tog) three times, k1] three times, [k2tog] three times, [k1, k2tog] twice. 42 sts rem.
Row 9 [RS]: [K1, k2tog] to end. 28 sts rem.
Row 11 [RS]: [K2tog] to end. 14 sts rem.
Row 12 [WS]: [P2tog] to end. 7 sts rem.
Row 13 [RS]: [K2tog] three times, k1. 4 sts rem.

Break yarn, leaving a long tail. Draw tail through rem 4 sts and pull tight. Use tail to sew up side seam of basket.


Weave in ends.

Block basket. Though label does say "Dry Clean Only," I dunked the bowl in cold water to loft the fibers. Block to shape using plastic grocery bags.

Shaping (this would be the "persuasion" part)
Cut four pieces of interfacing (or canvas or cork, whichever you are using) with a top width of 4 inches, bottom width of 3 inches and a height of 2 inches. (These pieces will be trapezoidal in shape.) Cut one square bottom piece measuring 3 inches by 3 inches.

Join the 4 side pieces at the side (slanted) edges, then attach the bottom piece. (I used tape; nobody will see the joins, really.) This is the inner structure of the basket. Place it inside the basket; if any trimming needs to be done to the interfacing, do it at this point.

Cut a piece of fabric 17 inches by 6 inches. Fold in half, so the 6-inch sides are together. Sew a seam from top to bottom at each end, at an angle, so you have a top opening of 8 inches across and a bottom opening of 6 inches across. (The fold will be in one of the seam allowances, which will be cut off.) Trim excess fabric from seam allowances.

Run a thread around the lower edge of the lining and pull tight to gather. Tie tightly to secure.

Place lining inside basket (with interfacing already in place), with the bottom gather facing the interfacing. Fold upper edge of lining, so folded edge reaches just below top edge of basket. Pin into place. Sew lining and basket together.

Using double-point needles, work 20 inches of I-cord as described above. Bind off. Attach beads to each end of I-cord if desired. Sew I-cord to bowl, 0.5 inch from upper edge (see photo).


Wendy can't stop with the i-cord and can not explain why.
She documents it all here.

More of her designs can be found at The Garter Belt.