<b>Basket</b> Make an adjustable ring. Rnd 1: Work 6 sc into center ring, pull loop tight to close. Rnd 2: Work 2 sc in each st around – 12 sc. Rnd 3: *Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st; rep from * around – 18 sc. Rnd 4: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 2 sts; rep from * around – 24 sc. Rnd 5: *Sc in each of next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st; rep from * around – 30 sc. Rnds 6–13: Continue to work in established patt, working 1 additional st between inc in each rnd. At the end of Rnd 13 you should have 78 sc. Rnd 14: Sc in each st around. Rnd 15: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 12 sts; rep from * around – 84 sc. Rnd 16: Sc in each st around. Rnd 17: *Sc in each of next 13 sts, 2 sc in next st; rep from * around – 90 sc. Rnds 18–25: Sc in each st around. Rnd 26: *Sc2tog over next 2 sts, sc in each of next 8 sts; rep from * around – 81 sc. Rnd 27: Sc in each st around. Rnd 28: *Sc in each of next 7 sts, sc2tog over next 2 sts; rep from * around – 72 sc. Rnd 29: Sc in each st around. Rnd 30: *Sc2tog over next 2 sts, sc in each of next 7 sts; rep from * around – 64 sc. Rnd 31: Sc in each st around. Do not fasten off.
<b>Handles</b> This is where you do a bit of tricky shaping to customize the basket. First, you add sts evenly around to create a flare at the top, next you shape the handles by changing the st height before and after them, and finally you skip sts to create the handle space. Rnd 32: *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 3 sts *, rep from * to * once, **hdc in next st, dc in next st, ch 16, sk next 12 sts, dc in next st, hdc in next st**, rep from * to * 4 times, rep from ** to ** once, rep from * to * twice – 80 sts, incl ch sts. Rnd 33: Working in each sc and ch st around, *2 sc in next st, sc in each of next 7 sts; rep from * around – 90 sc. Rnd 34: Sl st-flo in each st around.
<b>Finishing</b> Fasten off and weave in loose ends with a large-eye needle.
<b>Variations</b> Adjust the size of the basket by working more or fewer increase rounds at the bottom. Thick sturdy fibers like sisal and jute could easily replace the leather. Beware the prickly nature of sisal, though. Throw a pretty ball of yarn in a sisal basket and it may get stuck. Leather cording comes in a few additional colors. Try working one or more stripes of colors throughout the pattern.
<b>Design Notes</b> The basket begins as a flat circle, then rounds using the principles of concave circles (see page 87). Once the handles are formed, you work multiple increases to flare the upper edge outward. This pattern is worked in a spiral without joining the end of each round. Using a stitch marker in the first stitch of each round will help you keep track of the rounds. Each time you come to the stitch marker, begin a new round and move the marker up to the new first stitch.
Reprinted with permission from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1580088589/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1580088589&linkCode=as2&tag=craftfocom-20">"Uncommon Crochet: Twenty-Five Projects Made from Natural Yarns and Alternative Fibers"</a> by Julie Armstrong Holetz, copyright © 2008. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. Photo Credit: Angie Cao.