Monday, August 18, 2014

Simple Comforts: Baskets!

All right, all right... are you done giggling?

No? Okay, get it out of your system...

(checks watch) 

All done now?  Okay then.

Baskets are great;  they can be used to hold everything and anything. Today I'll have links for a variety of baskets, along with a couple of tutorials on how to turn plastic bags into a kind of yarn for projects that need more ruggedness about them.


I've crocheted baskets myself: small ones for holding change, larger ones for my really nice rock specimens, and medium ones to serve as cozies for cold drinks that I'd rather not have dripping condensation all over my very cheap particle board furniture.

Other uses for these baskets could be:
  • a way to sort and keep clothes clean
  • organizing toys
  • using hemp or cotton to make hanging baskets for fruits and veggies
  • a great way to store root crops (like potatoes, beets, radishes, carrots)
  • barter items
  • keeping folks who can't be active enough, or are sick or hurt, busy with something productive 
  • fishing baskets made from flexible branches and other materials


Another thing you can do (purely for bug-in baskets, unless you get adventurous and decide to incorporate grommets into the tops of the baskets so you can just cinch them down, seal them and stack them into packs or vehicles) is color-code the baskets: this person gets pink, this person likes tan, this person prefers orange, etc, etc.  This way the sibling fights over which stuff belongs to whom is hopefully reduced.  (Unless you're cursed with kids who are bound and determined to make their existence into a real life Hunger Games... in which case I can't help you there, cookie.)

Another thought with color coding items -- and I very much hope anyone who has a mentally challenged family member at any point in the spectrum will be able to chime in and let me know if this idea has merit -- is that this could be an invaluable way to teach that family member, be they various levels of autistic, Down's syndrome, etc, what to pack into their bug out in a specific order. It's my hope that teaching them this routine will help reduce whatever panic they may be feeling as they struggle to understand what is happening 

For this idea you would use a color scale from the darkest to the lightest colors.  I will say this: It's best to use the softer colors for this. I think I've heard that Browns, Grays, Blues and Purples are easy for them to handle as well.  You could use the entire rainbow of colors for younger non-disabled children as well, in terms of order of things to grab like shoes, hat, keys, coat, pack, etc.

Crocheted basket links

  1. Birch Bark Basket
  2. Crochet Rope Basket
  3. Plarn Laundry Basket (includes a tutorial link on how to make plarn)
  4. Twine Basket

How to Make Tarn and Plarn

Traditional Basket-Making Links

  1. The YouTube account of Nancy Jacobs. There are several videos that go over basket making.
  2. Wicker Basket (Jinkies! This site has a ton of info on it.)
  3. Understanding Basic Weaving Techniques

Just in case you'd rather buy baskets than make them, be sure to check out Bright Expectations, a traditional reed basket maker, on Etsy.


If you're one of our readers, or a member of our Facebook group, I have a coupon code just for you guys: using the code BLUECP2014 at my Etsy store gets you 15% off your entire purchase, and it's good until the end of year!

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