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Whit's Knits: Crocheted Stash Basket

It doesn't take many years of knitting before one day you wake up to realize you have a lot of yarn. So you embark on a striped project campaign hoping to pare down, but end up buying more and more yarn because you don't have exactly the right colors, and finally you face one of knitting's truths: stashes are unbustable.

And where there's a stash, there's a storage problem. Instead of heading over to the dreaded Container Store, I decided that I would crochet my own storage unit. I imagined something with the feeling of a handmade basket; I wanted it to be nubbly, beachy and beautiful, and so, I turned to Hand Jive's Rustic Silk. One hundred percent Tussah Silk, handspun and handdyed, it is a really special yarn. It is splendidly earthy and fascinatingly varied, like Mother Nature herself created it.

I love my new basket for yarn, but now I'm wondering if I'll need another one for afternoons in the park, days at the beach, and weekends in the country. Ahhh...more yarn...!


  • 2 skeins of Hand Jive's Rustic Silk, 100 % tussah silk. This color is Buttermilk.
  • A size "I" crochet hook
  • A removable stitch marker (or safety pin)



3 single crochets = 1 inch

Finished Size

Approximately 13 inches in diameter and 9 inches high

The Bottom

Chain 6 and slip stitch into the first chain to form a ring.

Round 1: Make 12 single crochets (sc) into the ring.

Note: Mark the first stitch of the next round with a removable marker. Reposition the marker at the beginning of each round to mark the new first stitch.

Round 2: *1 sc into next stitch, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (18 stitches)

Round 3: *1 sc into next 2 stitches, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (24 stitches)

Round 4: *1 sc into next 3 stitches, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (30 stitches)

Continue to work in this pattern, each round adding one stitch between the increases until there are 17 stitches between the increases. (114 stitches)

The Sides

Preparation Rounds: Make 1 sc into each stitch for 5 rounds.

Round 1: 1 double crochet (dc) into each stitch.

Round 2: 1 sc into each stitch.

Round 3: * Chain 5, skip 5 stitches, 1 sc into next stitch...

...repeat from * to end of round. (Make the last sc into the last stitch of the previous round.)

Round 4: *5 sc into the 5 chain arch, 1 sc into the top of the sc of the previous round...

...repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1-4 four more times. (Make sure as you work that the "holes" line up. If you've missed a stitch or added one, it's easy to get back on track in Round 3. Just be careful to work the sc directly above the sc from the previous repeat.)

Next Round: *1 dc into next 18 stitches, skip a stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (108 stitches)

Next Round: *1 sc into next 17 stitches, skip a stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (102 stitches)

Next Round: Slip stitch into each stitch.


Continuing from the last round, chain 1 and sc into the next 4 stitches.

*Turn the work, chain 1, 1 sc into next 4 stitches, repeat from * until handle measures 10 inches.

To keep the edges of the handle straight, make the first sc of each row into the stitch marked by the arrow...

... and make the final sc of each row into the chain of the previous row.

Finish the handle with a right side row.

Fold the handle over so that the right sides are facing each other, and the inside corners of the handle are 3 1/2 inches apart.

Insert the hook into the slip stitch at the top of the bag and make a sc.

Continue to attach the handle to the bag by pulling a loop through both the next stitch of the handle and the next slip stitch of the bag, and then making a single crochet.

Continue to the end of the row.

Cut the yarn and pull the tail through the last stitch.

Fold the bag in half in order to place the second handle directly across from the first handle. With the right side facing you, start the new handle at its far right corner by inserting the hook into the slip stitch of the bag.

Pull a stitch through and make a chain. Make 1 sc into the next 4 stitches.

Make a 10 inch handle identical to the first. Finish with a right side row, and attach the handle to the bag the same way you did with the first handle, although this time you'll attach the left end of the handle instead of the right.

Weave in the ends and fill your basket up!

Reader Comments (54)

beautiful. though i see myself buying *more* yarn to make this...
June 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelaine
I love it! I have the perfect yarn in my stash to use for it, too. Thanks!
June 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAsh
What a great project ! I'll take some "unused" yarn to do it... if I can find what I need...
Thank you !
(I love your pattern called "Mary Jane Slippers", I already have made 2 pairs and I'm knitting the third one !)
June 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterClo Verveine
this is wonderful!! what a great basket - i just love it and can't wait to try this out. thank you so much for the perfect tutorial! (and love that tussah silk)
June 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterseashoreknits
Fabulous! I love crochet baskets, made some of my own and I'm certainly going to make one of these as well!
Thank you.
June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnat Dvir
Oooooo, yummy gorgeousness. That's lovely.
June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia P.
That is just beautiful...the inspiration is just too much. Time to start taking some classes and get moving :)
Thanks for sharing.
June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Doherty
what a lovely basket!! i only wish i had learned how to crochet. hopefully, you will have tutorial for knit basket soon.
June 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commentervalerie k
This is such a cute project! I recently started teaching myself to crochet. I will be attempting this basket soon.
June 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkyoo
Beautiful thank you! I can't wait to make one! Thank you again for sharing your design, I just love it!
June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCéline
This is a great great tutorial thanks!! Love it, your pom pom peds, and your granny square blanket!
June 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfragilistica
Love it. Can't wait to start. Thanks!
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterartsyjo
This is a beautiful project - I only have one concern though - does it stand up on it's own? It seems like it would be frustrating for it to flop when you take some things out of it, no? I might try this with some really substantial yarn that would have some stiffness and bulk.
June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMoonbeam
What a wonderful tutorial ! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!
June 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterginger
I love this basket, but since I'm relatively new to crochet, I'm not sure I'm doing the rounds correctly. In the base rounds, do you do a chain 1 (to start the round) before starting to do the single crochets? (then slip chain into that first chain 1 at the end of that round?) And I have the same question for the sides, when doing the double I do a chain 2 before I begin my round of double crochets? Thanks for the help!
July 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Hi Michelle,

There are two techniques (at least!) for crocheting in the round. One is what you describe and is basically making concentric circles.

The technique I use (just because I think it's easier, but opinions differ...) is a spiral. This method involves the use of a removable stitch marker that indicates the first stitch of the spiral. Each time you come around to it, you remove the marker and put it onto that new stitch. You don't have to make any chains; you just keep going with your stitch pattern. The beginning of John's Favorite Bucket Hat has a couple of photos illustrating the placement of the stitch marker, which you may find helpful.

Thanks for the great question - I struggled with the same one when I started crocheting!

Good luck -
July 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
When I saw this basket on your site, I thought you had made it out of "plastic" yarn. It just seems to be the perfect pattern for a 'Plarn" project. So I made one! And it's perfect for holding wet swim suits and water bottles that gather condensation. (I also made a smaller version to hold my smaller yarn balls that always seem to get lost in my bigger baskets.) Thanks for the great pattern!!
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMcMol
I love this pattern!!! Thank you for the great tutorial. I made it out of wheat-colored cotton to stash the rounds of bread I get from the local baker or to store the partial bags of rolls left from the first use. The handmade projects that have a practical use thrill me.

Also, I tried it alternating the holes halfway from the previous row - does that make sense? (Just for a different look.)

This is a great way to use some things I already have - thanks again.
July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVicki K.
I'm new to Purl Bee (yes, I've been living under a rock, apparently) and i just wanted to tell you I loved this pattern. I made the basket out of some vintage yarn from my grandma's stash, and it worked up pretty quick. I changed up the handle because i was quickly running out of yarn at the end. I just made one handle about 10 or 12 inches long. about an inch before the end, I crocheted in a button hole using the same technique from the "holes" in the pattern. I then sewed a wood button onto the basket directly across from where the end of the handle connected to the basket and voila! more of an easter basket type handle.

anyway, thank you. I think i'm going to make those little organizing purses next, and i'm looking forward to going through the archives. :)
July 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly G
Wow, that is really pretty with all of those fall colored yarns in it!

And yes, after only four months of knitting, my stash seems unbustable already. I keep trying to pare it down, but alas. It continues to grow!
August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCP
This was an awesome project - it was easy & finished quickly! I've made one and plan on making more for sure.
August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTamdoll
what a wonderful basket ... love it! there are so many things I want to make, this one included, so little time and only 2 hands ... thanks for the tutorial!
August 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterelsa
I am going to try this project with my left over yarn, hopefully I can keep from buying more yarn!
August 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEstela
I just finished this project, it's going to be a Christmas present for my mum, really great pattern, easy to follow, clear instructions and looks lovely. I will be hailed as a wonderful daughter thanks to you :)
September 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly
What a great looking basket! Do you have a knitted pattern available?
September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Hi Amy-

Thanks for your comment. We don't have a knitting version of this pattern- but we do have great books if you'd like to learn how to crochet:,4

It's really fun and easy! Thanks again-

- Molly
September 28, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there,

I just finished making this for my mum, it's gorgeous and really fun and easy. I'm going to have to make one for myself now too.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly
i just finished making the basket and I love it!!!!!!!!! I'm kind of new in the crochet world and I have to say i love the tutorials featured on this website. I've learned how to make granny squares (which are my favorite to make) i made the grocery sack and now the basket. Please feature more crochet tutorials, I'm totally hooked! Thank you so much : )

December 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJania
I plan to make one for my greatniece,having her first baby. it will be great in the nursery for the stuff that just needs to be at hand, but not piled up. I will use some of my stash so it will pare it down, and it will match the blanket I made them for the crib.
each row is a different yarn, with fringe at each end. all sc.[I used the navajo design for interest] and it all matches. also if longer basket can be a place for laundry hanging from end of crib.
my mind is going fast for all the baskets I can do, christmas is 9 mo away!
March 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpatei
Love, love, love this basket. I printed the pattern to make it myself. Perfect and very pretty. Oh yea, I stumbled this pattern too!

April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnabelle
I love this basket ~ it's so earthy, yet so functional! Tickled I found this posting.
May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTina
Since this particular yarn is no longer available, what yarn would you recommend I use? I am dying to get started on this project!! Thanks so much! Christine
June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
Love this bag!
Hmmmm....I gotta get my yarns out and try this.
I like how you filled the bag with yarns...what a nice idea for gift-giving.
November 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjessica
I would also love a recommendation on yarn alternatives. Thanks so much!
January 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Just found your site and love the patterns. The basket is wonderful but, as someone asked, how do you get it to stand up with holes in the sides? I have made baskets but even with heavy starch they "slouch". Is this something that just stands up because it is stuffed with something?
February 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Jones
Hi Sharon,

Yes, the bag is standing up because it's stuffed, otherwise it slouches, which has its own charm. When my Stash Basket's not full of yarn, I use it as a tote!

Thanks for your question!
February 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Hi! A couple of ladies have asked for yarn suggestions, since the recommended is no longer available. I'd also love to know your thoughts. Thanks so much!
February 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Hi Kate,

Here is a link to our Chunky yarns, any of which would be good replacements:[]=7 . I would look especially at Lorna's Laces Revelation and Manos's Handspuns! (Also, you will need about 300 yards of whatever you decide.)

Thanks for your question!
February 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
This is GORGEOUS! I love love love your blog. So many great ideas. I hope you don't mind I will be linking up to a few of your patterns at Tangled Happy next month. Thank your for sharing all your wonderfully inspiring tutorials! :)
February 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSara
Just finished its looks absolutely lovely :) thank you for sharing. much love lizii x
April 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLIZII
This is such a beautiful basket! Wanted to let you know I included one of your photos and attributed you with this link in a TipJunkie article introducing crochet:
May 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnneliese
*THANK YOU!* for such a beautiful pattern! Can't WAIT to make many of these!!!!
July 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter(((((HUGS))))) sandi
hi! i really love this basket..but since i'm using a different weight yarn and hook, the number of stitches doesn't add up to the gauge required..
so i'm kinda wondering what's the math for the number of stitches for the sides?
December 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterelly
Hi Elly,

The stitch pattern for the sides is any multiple of 6. If you follow the bottom pattern, you should be all set because it increases by multiples of 6, even if you stop early or continue longer.

I hope this helps and good luck!

December 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
After row 4, is the pattern then row three then four or does the pattern continue with just row four? If I continue the pattern using row four, I don't end the next row with a 2sc and have an extra stitch before I start the next round. I have an odd number of stitches. What am I doing wrong. Thanks!
January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaize
HI Maize,

What I mean by "continue to work in this pattern" is to each round add one stitch between the increases. So the next round isn't Round 4 or any of the rounds you have worked so far; it is *1 sc into next 4 stitches, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * . Then the round after that will be *1 sc into next 5 stitches, 2 sc into next stitch, repeat from * , then 1 sc into the next 6 sc, then into the next 7, etc. until there are 17 single crochets between the increases.

I hope this clarifies the pattern for you. Please let us know if you need more help!

Thank you!
January 23, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Could do with some advice from crocheters on this as I've only ever completed one crochet project (the circle placemats also on this blog!).

I used craft cotton (may be called something different in the states to the UK but it's the stuff you make dishcloths from) for the placemats and have a fair bit left so thought I might try to make one of these from it, since it's quite sturdy and stiff yarn. It's also relatively inexpensive (about £4-£5 GBP for 300 metres) and although it obviously wouldn't be as tactile as silk, it would be more in my budget!

However, it's only a DK weight yarn so obviously it would come up smaller unless I make it bigger - my question is whether you would need to use a hook that is smaller than usual to make it stiffer? Or would you maybe double the yarn, in which case what size hook what you use for this? I still don't have my head around hook sizes yet!
July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Just got to the second repeat for the sides - I'm quite pleased with it as I haven't done much crochet, and despite using craft cotton and a 4mm hook, it's actually a fairly good size (good enough to keep a current project or two in by the sofa).

Quite annoyed though as I seem to have acquired an extra stitch somewhere - when doing the row of chains split by single crotchets, I ended a stitch early and when I counted I had 115. Grrr! I was so careful too. This means that one lot of gaps will be split by 2 SCs instead of 1 - usually I would go back and correct it as this would drive me crazy, but as I intend to do more of these I will leave it!

Next i will try one with the craft cotton doubled but only going up to a 5.5mm hook for slightly more bulk - mine looks like it might be a but floppy, but not as much as I expected!

(Also, it might be worth updating your crochet tips as the SC misses a step - the current instructions are for a slip stitch as it misses the second yarn wrap, before pulling through the 2 loops. It nearly have me a heart attack yesterday - I get confused as I learnt with UK terms so k went to check and thought the whole base was wrong. Luckily I checked before unravelling it all!)
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Hi Rachel,

The smaller the hook relative to the size of the yarn the stiffer your finished fabric will be. I don't know exactly what size hook you would use if you doubled the yarn - it depends on a few things: the size of the yarn doubled, your tension as you crochet, and what you're going for. But I would guess that a DK weight doubled would be good with somewhere around a J hook maybe.

Thanks for asking!
August 2, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I started crocheting this, but the bottom is like a bowl. I don't know whats up with that, or if it is supposed to happen, but it did. Do I need to add more increases, or what? Thanks! - Elyse
September 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElyse

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