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Thursday
May242012

Whit's Knits: Crocheted Jewelry Dishes

I love the vitrines at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that are filled with household artifacts from places long ago and far away. Tightly woven mats and perfectly crafted sandals, hammered metal and braided leather, ancient objects still feel alive with the integrity and vitality of their makers.

What sometimes also strikes me is how little our aesthetic values have changed over the thousands of years. Beauty is still a human imperative and careful craftsmanship is still a revered skill. We still respond to simple shapes and beautiful materials, to whimsical embellishments and practical uses.

I thought about this a lot as I crocheted these Jewelry Dishes. I wondered if I were given the opportunity to slip them into a glass case at the Met, would they be so out of place? Or, if I put them on my dresser and filled them with my rings and bracelets, my pieces of sea glass and other curios, would it be that much different than, say, a Pacific Islander from centuries back storing glass trade beads and shell earrings in her own hand crafted vessel? And isn't this connection to the past really, deep down, why we craft?

My trip into antiquity was greatly assisted by the purity and simplicity of Habu's extraordinary fibers. I held two yarns together, Copper Bamboo and Dyed Linen. The bamboo and linen lend an exquisite rusticity to the finished pieces, while throughout, the copper flashes its chestnut sparkle, glowing like a warm ember.

It's not hard to make your own pretty little trays and bowls, just some simple crocheting... like it's always been done! --Whitney

PS Wouldn't these gorgeous brass bracelets be right at home in a museum case? The Maggie Bracelets were designed by our good friend Kerrilynn Pamer and are for sale online right here and at her lovely West Village store, Castor & Pollux!

 

 

The Materials

The Patterns

Gauge

9 single crochets = 1 inch

Finished Sizes

Square Tray: 3 3/4 inches x 3 3/4 inches

Rectangle Tray: 3 3/4 inches x 5 1/2 inches

Bowl: 3 1/4 inches in diameter

Pattern Notes

  • For all three patterns, hold together one strand of the Copper Bamboo and one strand of the Dyed Linen.
  • Don't despair if your tray or bowl seems a little floppy or misshapen as you work. The final step of starching and blocking works miracles!

Rectangle Tray Pattern

Foundation Row: With both strands of yarn, chain 29 stitches. Inserting hook into 2nd chain from hook, make 1 sc in each chain stitch. (28 stitches)

Turn the work.

Row 1: 1 sc in each stitch. (28 stitches)

Repeat Row 1, turning the work at the end of each row. Work until piece measures 4 1/2 inches from beginning.

Round 1: 1 sc in front loop of next 28 stitches, chain 1, mark chain with removable stitch marker, rotate work 90º clockwise, make 46 sc along long side of rectangle (one for each row), chain 1, mark chain, rotate work, 1 sc in each chain stitch (28 stitches), chain 1, mark chain, rotate work, make 46 sc along final side, chain 1, mark chain with different color marker to indicate the beginning of the round.

Round 2: *1 sc in each stitch to corner marker, remove marker, chain 1, replace marker on chain, skip a stitch, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 2 five more times. 

Slip stitch into next stitch. Cut the yarn, pull it through, and remove all your markers.

STARCH AND BLOCK

First, mix up your own batch of perfectly effective and safe household starch. Put a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch into about a 1/4 cup of room temperature water and stir it until it dissolves. Add to that about 1 3/4 cups of boiling water. When this has cooled down to room temperature, transfer your starch into a spray bottle.

Saturate your finished piece with the starch mixture and place it on a dry towel. Take the time to really shape the dish to how you want it, squaring the sides, smoothing the bottom and evening the edges. Allow the piece to dry and then fill it with your most special trinkets!

Square Tray Pattern

Foundation Round: With both strands of yarn, chain 1 into an adjustable loop (see our Adjustable Loop Tutorial right here for the how-to's.). Make 12 single crochets (sc) into the loop. (12 stitches)

NOTE: Mark the first stitch of the next round with a removable stitch marker. Be sure to reposition the marker at the beginning of each round to mark the new first stitch.

Round 1: 1 sc in next stitch, *3 sc in next stitch (corner), 1 sc into next 2 stitches, repeat from * two more times, 3 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in final stitch. (20 stitches)

Round 2: 1 sc in next 2 stitches, *3 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in next 4 stitches, repeat from * two more times, 3 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in next 2 stitches. (28 stitches)

Round 3: 1 sc in next 3 stitches, *3 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in next 6 stitches, repeat from * two more times, 3 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in next 3 stitches. (36 stitches)

Round 4: 1 sc in next 4 stitches, *3 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in next 8 stitches, repeat from * two more times, 3 sc in next stitch, 1 sc in next 4 stitches. (44 stitches)

Continue to work in pattern, (1 sc in each stitch along the edges and 3 sc in the center stitch of each corner), ending when there are 26 stitches between each center corner stitch. (108 stitches total)

Next Round: 1 sc in back loop of next 14 stitches, *chain 1, mark chain with removable stitch marker, skip a stitch (center corner stitch), 1 sc in back loop of next 28 stitches, repeat from * two more times, chain 1, mark chain, skip a stitch, 1 sc in back loop of next 14 stitches. (108 stitches)

Reminder: As you manage the removable markers at each corner, remember also to keep working the marker that indicates the beginning of the round.

Next Round: *1 sc in each stitch to corner marker, remove marker, chain 1, replace marker on chain, skip a stitch, repeat from * through all four corners, 1 sc in each stitch to end of round. (108 stitches)

Repeat last round 5 more times. 

Slip stitch into next stitch. Cut the yarn and pull it through. Remove all your markers.

Follow the Starch and Block directions of the Rectangle Tray Pattern and you're done!

Bowl Pattern

Foundation Round: With both strands of yarn, chain 1 into an adjustable loop (see our Adjustable Loop Tutorial right here). Make 8 sc into the loop. (8 stitches)

NOTE: Mark the first stitch of the next round with a removable stitch marker. Be sure to reposition the marker at the beginning of each round to mark the new first stitch.

Round 1: 2 sc in each stitch. (16 stitches)

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

Round 3: *1 sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (32 stitches)

Round 4: 1 sc in each stitch.

Round 5: *1 sc in next 3 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (40 stitches)

Round 6: 1 sc in each stitch.

Round 7: *1 sc in next 4 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (48 stitches)

Round 8: 1 sc in each stitch.

Round 9: *1 sc in next 5 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (56 stitches)

Round 10: 1 sc in each stitch.

Round 11: *1 sc in next 6 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (64 stitches)

Round 12: 1 sc in each stitch.

Round 13: *1 sc in next 7 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (72 stitches)

Rounds 14 and 15: 1 sc in each stitch.

Round 16: *1 sc in next 8 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (80 stitches)

Rounds 17 and 18: 1 sc in each stitch.

Round 19: *1 sc in next 9 stitches, 2 sc in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (88 stitches)

Rounds 20 and 21: 1 sc in each stitch.

Slip stitch into next stitch, removing the marker. Cut the yarn and pull it through.

Follow the Starch and Block directions of the Rectangle Tray Pattern and you've got a set!

Reader Comments (19)

Very classic pattern. I'm always happy to see more crochet!
May 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim
How amazing! Whitney, you truly are an artist! I'm looking forward to trying this, and using the Habu yarns suggested, great project for them.
May 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterandrea
This is such a lovely, simple, fast project. I tried it out over the weekend with some red-and-white kitchen string I had hanging around, which of course made for a completely different look. (http://yarnover.me/2012/05/29/crocheted-bowl-as-palate-cleanser/ if anyone's interested) Now I'm eager to try your pretty copper Habu combo.

One question: How long with the starch mixture keep, any idea? I have a lot left over.
May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren T
HI Karen T,

I have read on other websites that homemade starch lasts indefinitely, but I don't actually have personal experience with storing starch. I suppose if you're in doubt, you might want to whip up a another batch. In my case, I dumped my mixture because my plants needed my spray bottle!

Thanks for your question and your link. Your bowl is so adorable!

Whitney
June 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Thanks, Whitney. I'll have to give the other shapes a go this weekend.
June 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren T
I love this idea to give away as little gifts! I was wondering, though...are there any other patterns or projects that you can recommend the copper yarn for? I know I wouldn't be able to use up the whole cone on these little dishes without wanting to try it out on another project!
June 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
Hi Ashley,

The Copper Bamboo is a really fun yarn to have around. It's so unusual and gorgeous that it may inspire its own ideas! Here are a few to get you started:

The Copper Bamboo is perfect for Habu's Kusha Kusha Scarf (instead of the Silk Stainless). Habu was kind enough to allow us to post the pattern on the Bee. You can find it here: http://www.purlbee.com/kusha-kusha-scarf/2007/7/27/habu-textiles-kusha-kusha-scarf.html .

The Copper Bamboo would also be a beautiful addition to Wren Handmade's Crocheted Bracelets: http://www.purlbee.com/wren-handmade-crocheted-bracel/2009/8/17/wren-handmade-crocheted-bracelets.html .

Or try a super elegant version of our Sparrow's Nest: http://www.purlbee.com/sparrows-nest/2010/5/2/whits-knits-sparrows-nest.html .

Let us know what else you come up with and thanks for your question!
Whitney
June 4, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney,

These bowls and boxes are BEAUTIFUL -- but I can't crochet!!! Do you have a knitting pattern for it or know where I could find one? Thanks!
November 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Hi Stephanie-

Unfortunately we don't know of a knitting pattern like this. But if you're interested in learning to crochet this booklet is a great resource:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/213-TNNA-How-to-Crochet

Thank you for your question!

Molly
November 23, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Stephanie--I have knitted a number of bowls from a small book--I think it's called One Skein Wonders--I'll have to check that out--it seems to have wandered from my book shelf. Anyway it's a book full of projects that all require a skein (or less) of yarn. The bowl pattern I used was felted when finished but if you know how to knit, I think you could make an unfelted bowl using this pattern and a stiffer yarn. Good luck!
November 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkaren
Could you suggest some additional colorways? For example, would copper bamboo in light grey go well with dyed linen camel? or wine with brick red? I live in Colorado, so I can't come to the store to see them all together, and being somewhat color-challenged I could use some help. Thanks!!
November 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJuli
Hi Juli,

The Copper Bamboo in wine and the Dyed Linen in brick red is a lovely combination! The grays don't look great together in person...

Thanks for asking!
Whitney
November 27, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello! I am such a fan of the Purl Bee - I am making the 'Lovely Ribbed Cowl " with specified yarn right now and these are next on the list! I know you credit the bracelet supplier in the project notes, but where are those stunning shell-like brass earrings from - the ones that curl into themselves??
Thank you for all the wonderful inspiration on the site; it has reinvigorated my passion for knitting and crafts.

Lesley
December 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLesley
Hi Lesley-

They are from Ted Muehling:
http://www.tedmuehling.com/jewelry.html

Thank you so much for your nice words about the site, and good luck with the cowl.

Best-
Molly
December 22, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi,

My mother the crochet expert is making the jewelry dishes for me and we'd like to order supplies. But does your site sell the "A" size crochet hook so we can order everything together? Also, since the A hook is so small, are both yarns thread weight so you can crochet with two yarns at the same time? Thanks!

Stephanie
January 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Hi Stephanie,

Yes, we do sell the size A crochet hook! We have a couple of options in stock right now. Here are the links:

http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/3450-Skacel-Addi-Color-Coded-Crochet-Hooks

http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/3450-Skacel-Addi-Color-Coded-Crochet-Hooks

And, yes, both yarns are very thin, so even held together, the size A hook can accommodate them. But really, I used such a small hook so that the fabric of the dishes would be tight, giving some structure and strength.

Thanks for your questions! I hope your mother enjoys the project and you enjoy your dishes!

Whitney
January 21, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, love these jewelry bowls. Can you estimate how many yards you will use for each pattern. Thanks a Bunch. Nina
July 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternina
Hi, do you know what I could substitute for the copper bamboo and linen with? I found Lydia's bamboo thread but not sure what hook I would use. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Nina
July 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternina
Hi Nina,

I used about 200 yards of each yarn to make all three dishes.

And I'm not familiar with Lydia's bamboo thread, but it sounds worth a try! Just be sure to use a hook size that gives you a nice tight fabric so that your dishes have some structure. Be aware also, that bamboo by itself is not a great shape holder, so you may have to really douse your finished dishes with homemade starch!

Thanks for your questions and good luck!

Whitney
July 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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