Tutorial: how to crochet a tek-tek yarn basket
Lately we've been obsessing over a wonderful new product called tek-tek we've just started stocking in The Makery shop.
Available in a wide range of colours and designs the material yarn is perfect for chunky crochet, knitting and macramé and is made from the waste products of fast fashion factories in Europe. So not only is it soft, lovely, durable and perfect for all your projects but it's good for Mother Nature too!
Here is a brilliant tek-tek crochet tutorial by The Makery's Emma to show you how to make your own crochet storage baskets.
Emma says: "The great thing about this yarn is that it's perfect for learning to crochet with as it works up so quickly and easily, you'll be hooked before you know it! (excuse the pun!)".
To make a small pen pot size basket you will need:
- tek-tek yarn
- crochet hook
- small scissors
- plastic needle
First take your yarn, and leaving a tail of a 5cm. Wrap it twice around two fingers on your left hand. Then hold the circle in your left hand and holding your hook in your right hand, pull the yarn through the circle so there is a loop on your hook. Then do the same again, looping yarn over your hook but this time do not pull it into the circle, draw it through the loop which is on your hook. You should now have one loop on your hook stemming from a stitch which has a base wrapped around the yarn circle. This is a base stitch and doesn't count as your first stitch.
Round 1: With your base loop on your hook, insert your hook back through the circle, yarn over hook and pull through a new loop onto your hook (two loops on hook), yarn over hook again and pull this loop through both loops on your hook. This is your first stitch, known as a double crochet (DC). Work 8 double crochet (8DC) in this manner around your circle.
To crochet like this in a round is called a "magic circle". When you have completed all your stitches on the round, pull tightly on the tail that you left at the beginning to tighten the circle as small as it can go. Magic!
To finish this round, work a slip stitch into your first stitch in the circle to join it up neatly. A slip stitch is simply inserting the hook into the next stitch as you would for a DC and pulling the yarn through both loops on your hook at once. This is the end of round 1.
Round 2: With one loop remaining on your hook, insert the hook into the top of your first stitch in your magic circle. From this point work 2 double crochet (2DC) into each stitch (insert the hook into the top of the next stitch, yarn over hook and pull through the top of the stitch you are working on (two loops on hook) yarn over hook and pull through both loops (one loop on hook). You should have 16 stitches by the end of this round and your circle will be beginning to grow as the base of your basket begins to take shape. Slip stitch to finish the round.
To make crocheting easier and to give you an even tension it can be helpful to hold the yarn as shown above. Wrap it round your little finger, under your ring finger and over your middle and index fingers. It may feel strange at first but you should find that it can help you crochet very quickly and evenly holding it this way.
Round 3: To keep on increasing the size of the base but at the same time keeping it nice and flat rather than to stuffed and over worked, work 2 double crochet (2DC) into every other stitch, 1 double crochet (1DC) in between for this round. You can see from the picture above that the last round is not so "full" as the first two. Finish with a slip stitch.
* If you're wanting to make a bigger basket, this technique is one you can use to keep gently increasing the size of your base. Each round that you work increase the gaps between the 2DCs with more 1DCs, and every other round have a simple round just working in 1DCs.*
Round 4: 1 double crochet (1DC) into each stitch, finish with a slip stitch. This is the last round of the base.
Round 5: Turn your basket base to the wrong side and note how on the back of each stitch there is a loop. See the above pictures for some close ups of what you are looking for!
1 double crochet (1DC) into the back of each stitch and the loop immediately behind it. This will create the bottom edge of your basket.
Round 6: 1 double crochet (1DC) into each stitch. Continue in this way for 7 rounds and watch your basket grow!
Last Round: Slip stitch around the top edge to create a nice finish for the basket.
Finishing Off: When you have worked a slip stitch around the top of your basket, cut your yarn with about a 5cm tail. Using the plastic needle, sew in the ends at the top and base of your basket. Snip off the excess, et voila! You have made yourself a lovely basket!
Tips: I recommend using a 7, 8, 9 or 10mm crochet hook for tek-tek yarn, matching the hook to the size of the yarn. Generally tek-tek recommend using a size 10 crochet hook with their yarns; this is totally fine but playing around with the different sizes of hooks can give a different outcome to the flexibility or rigidity of your basket, and as a recycled product there is naturally some variation in the thickness of tek-tek yarns across the board.
If you're crocheting using natural fibre yarns then a bamboo hook would be best as this creates a lovely tension and carries natural fibres beautifully but when using yarns such as t-shirt yarns like tek-tek or even cut up plastic bags, then a metal or plastic hook will be best and easiest on your wrist!