Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crocheting a Basket and Dog Grooming

Today I was straightening up and decided that I wanted to keep all of Pickles grooming products in to make her morning groom more convenient. 

So I made something that I have made many, many times...a crocheted basket!

I like to keep them simple and just play with colors. This one had to have some purple because it will be located in my very purple kitchen.

I make my baskets by holding two strands together and using a N hook. Its big and they work up fast! I like using Red Heart Super Saver. It holds its shape well and the colors stay bright wash after wash.

I made the bottom black (holding two strands of black together) I formed a circle by working in a spiral. At the end of each row I did not chain or slip stitch...I just went right to the top of the next stitch and kept going.

Form the Base: 

In a Magic Circle I worked 9 HDC, cinched it closed. (9) If you don't want to pay attention to your counting, insert a contrasting strand of yarn to mark your stitch.
Row 2: Two HDC in each stitch (18)
Row 3: HDC around, increasing every other stitch (27)
Row 4: HDC around, increasing every 3rd stitch (36)
Row 5: HDC around, increasing every 4th stitch (45)
Row 6: HDC around, increasing every 5th stitch (54)

This is wear I stopped increasing. You should have a circle and it is probably about 8" across. You can keep increasing or not go as wide as I did. This is the base of your basket. Play with it!

I like to variegate the colors...a big of an ombre feel. Usually I will start with two different colors held together and then cut one and tie another color on, carrying the old one along with it, then a few stitches later I will cut the old color and tie the old strand onto a new color...going back and forth so it all kind of blends together. But, this time I left the lavender strand the entire time. I changed only the complimentary color and did not repeat the color at all.

The Sides:

Put the two colors of yarn on the hook in the same way you would normally place one strand on the hook. Hold the strands together, make them into one slip knot and put that on the hook. Crochet with them as if they were one thick strand. Like this:

 You start with the two strands, you come to where you want to change a color. Pick the color you want to change. In this case the purple strand will be continuing and the aqua is going to be to replaced with turquoise. 
 You snip the color that you would like to change (the aqua), you grab the strand of the new color (the turquoise) and hold new and old strands together. 
 Tie them.
Hold this strand with the old strand that is continuing (the purple) and keep crocheting as though they are one strand, crocheting over the tail formed when you tied the turquoise to the aqua. This will keep things neat.

When the time comes to change a color (I change every row or so) just cut a strand and knot the new color right on. I leave a 3 inch tail and crochet over the tail as I work. That way when I snip the ends it is nice and neat.

Still using the N hook. Attach the yarn to any stitch of the base. HDC around, when you come to the end of a row do not slip stitch. Crochet right into the next stitch to form a smooth spiral. I circled around for 6 rows. My basket is just shy of 4 inches tall. But can keep going.

To end this I crochet 3 single crochet stitchs as my last stitchs and then fasten off.

Here is the finished product! Perfect for my pups grooming supplies.

I wear perfume everyday...and so I feel Pickles should, too. The purple spray is Hartz Freshening Spray. It smells so pretty and gives her just a bit of extra luster. I got it at Walmart for about $4. It has lasted quite a while and as you can see I still have lots left. I just hit her with two spritzes during her brushing session. She gets frequent baths, but this is the icing on her morning routine.

I always like to I tried a recipe for dog freshening from the internet before buying the Hartz product.

1 Part Listerine (I got the green kind, it smelled the best)
1 Part Cocoa Butter Lotion (for shine, it said)
1 Part Water

Put these in a spray bottle, shake like crazy and spritz on puppies to make them smell better and have a shiny coat. You should have SEEN the expressions on my husband and teenage son when they saw me do this. Sadly they were right. Putting lotion (even watered down) on a dog is not a clean idea. It might just be "my" dogs. But, it was alot like if i spray lotion into my hair. Matted down mess, grease-slick, goopy, dust attracting...eww. And the listerine/cocoa butter scent left LOTS to be desired. Oh, the expressions on the dogs faces after I sprayed them with it was just so sad. I would do it again and snap you a picture. But, I love them too much. 

So, Hartz it is! 

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