Monday, October 15, 2012

Crocheted Shape-Shifting Caddy

Isn't this the cutest hook caddy? I got the idea from Priscilla Hewitt and I have her on my sidebar so you can go see all her free patterns. The one that got me started on this project is under the heading "Crochet For Needleworkers". I liked the idea except for the cardboard core. So I came up with this one in a ramekin. I've also put one in a coffee mug as a great gift. Let your imagination go crazy. I've also made narrow taller ones for knitting needles which look great in a tall clear glass vase. I glued one to a round base for an artist to use for drying and storing brushes (also a taller one). I try to make the caddy about half as tall as what is going to be kept in it.
Because you may adjust and apply this for many projects, I'm going to spend extra time on it. Because it may help you towards free-form crochet, I'm going into a lot of detail. At the end you will see a different one with added embellishments, but lets get started with the basics.
The first part is a flat circle; that is one that neither cups nor ruffles. Pricilla's instructions are already worked out for you mathematically (and don't forget to work in back loop only. In case you want to change the size, let me take a second here about flat circles. The math is simple so you can make a flat circle of any size by understanding this.
The number of stitches you put in the ring (so it is flat) is the number you will use to increase in each round. In our example, there are 6sc worked into the ring. Rounds following are worked increasing by 6.
Therefore round 2 would be increased to 12 stitches 6+6 or increase in each stitch of previous round). Round 3 needs 12+6 for 18 ( or increase in every other stitch ). Round 4 needs 18+6 for 24 (or increase in every third stitch). Round 5 is 36 or increase in every 4th stitch. If your work starts to cup or ruffle STOP. It will get worse as you go, so stop and adjust hook size or number of beginning stitches
I strongly suggest stitch markers to make your circle flat. This applies to doilies, coasters or anytime you need a flat circle. Enough said.
Now that you have your flay circle 36 stitches around, you simply stop increasing. So simple.

Now you will see the front loops that you did not use as little horizontal bars. These are the free loops that you will now be crocheting into. Marked below.

From this point on there will be no joining and you will be spiraling from stitch 36 back to the center. No need for stitch markers as your stitch placements are marked by the free loops and you go until you have used them all. Switch to dc and remember to work even; meaning no more increases. Also you work in BOTH loops now. Here is how the transition looks.

Now when you get all the way around in dc you pick up the free loop directly below and continue your trip to the center.

This photo above DOES NOT show the direction of the hook insertion. It just shows which stitch is next used once the first round of dc is finished.

In the photo above you can see how your stitches are starting to stand up. Just keep following the trail around and around...

Until there are no more free loops to use and it looks like this.

Now chain up and reverse direction-work out to the edge again. It looks like this below.

Now do your dc round back to the first double crochet.

When you have dc in the first dc, start a trip back to the center. The more rounds to the center and back, the taller it gets. When you are happy with the height, fasten off and drop into your ramekin or coffee mug or wooden box or whatever you like. You're done!
I however, can not leave well enough alone. I used the same hook, some red Cebelia and did a reverse single crochet (crab stitch). I started at the bottom, worked the loop I made for a decorative button (by the way this one is larger) then worked my way to the center. Here's what it looks like.

And here is the shape-shifting part. Besides making it larger or smaller around or short or tall, you can shape it to fit any shape container : oval, triangular, round, etc. It simply conforms to any shape you want.

And here they are together so you can see the difference in size.

These work up in no time. You could easily make two or more between your last meal and bedtime. Please have fun and delight the crocheters and crafters in your life with a caddy gift.
Crochet every single day.

UPDATE - A better photo is located at post titled "NEW New Winner in #3 Giveaway" on November 2, 2012.