Fun fact about this pattern: I never intended for it to be a pattern! When I crocheted this basket, I was making it up as I went along, trying my hand at the Fair Isle technique for the first time to see if I could do it. In the end, I loved it so much that it seemed a waste to not share it with you all!
Here’s a disclaimer, though. I’m no expert on Fair Isle, as this is my first project that uses it, and I have some work to do as far as consistency of stitches and tension. (If you look close, you’ll see some of that inconsistency, particularly around the middle of the basket.) So this won’t really be one of my more “teaching” patterns where I thoroughly explain everything and give tips and all that. I’m just putting the pattern out there so that anyone who (1) already knows how to do Fair Isle or (2) is confident enough to try can have a go at it. I promise that this won’t be my last Fair Isle pattern, though, and maybe when I’ve gotten a little more experience with it, I’ll come back and make a video for this cute basket!
About Those Leather Tags
Those adorable tags on my baskets aren’t actually leather at all – they’re cork! I had mine printed by All This Wood (affiliate link). They always do a great job for me. If you purchase tags of your own through this link, you won’t pay any extra, but I’ll get a small percentage of the sale. My affiliate links are just one of the ways I am able to keep releasing free patterns, so I am always incredibly appreciative of anyone who uses them!
Quick note — I attached my tag with yarn going through my layers of plastic canvas, so the plastic canvas is pretty much locked in place. Don’t do this if you want your bag to be washable!
Prefer a PDF?
This pattern can be completed using the 100% free version right here on this page. However, many people prefer the convenience of a printable, ad-free PDF. Below are two options: my popular All Access Pass, and the individual PDF pattern. Click the image to learn more about each option.
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Fair Isle Basket
View on Ravelry
Crochet Language: American Standard
Finished Size: 7″ wide x 6″ tall
Yarn: I used Yarn Bee Studio 72, a sturdy #4 weight acrylic blend available at Hobby Lobby, in the following amounts:
COLOR A (I used “Ivory”): 350 yards
COLOR B (I used “Teal”): 40 yards
Hooks: H (5.0mm) and G (4.25mm)
Gauge: With larger hook, your first 7 rounds should measure 4″ across. (This is only important if you want your basket to match my measurements exactly.)
You’ll also need: Yarn needle, stitch marker, heavy duty plastic canvas
Terms and Abbreviations:
MC (magic circle – view tutorial here)
SL ST (slip stitch)
SC (single crochet)
WC (waistcoat stitch; there are lots of tutorials for this on YouTube!)
HDC (half double crochet)
3rd Loop (see Special Stitch, below)
Special Stitch: HDC stitches have a 3rd loop that we utilize in this pattern. For this pattern the 3rd loop can be found just below the front loop on the side of the work that is facing away from you. When instructed to work in “3rd loop only”, reach over the two top loops and insert your hook down into this special loop. This creates a delicate braided look on the right side of the pattern.
(1) IMPORTANT: Most of this pattern is worked seamlessly, but a small portion is worked in joined rounds. Pay attention, and only join, chain and/or turn when specifically instructed. Use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of your rounds when working seamlessly.
(2) To maintain consistency in thickness, you will be carrying yarn along the bottom and outside sections of the basket (indicated in the pattern).
(3) Many designers who use Fair Isle crochet instruct you to complete the entire waistcoat stitch in the secondary color… but I’m not a fan of this technique as I believe it muddies up the design. So for this pattern, whenever you get to COLOR B on the chart, I want you to insert your hook into the stitch and draw up a loop with COLOR B, then yarn over and complete the stitch with COLOR A. When you do it this way, the only part of COLOR B that shows through on the design is the “V”. Nice and clean!
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To Begin: With larger hook and COLOR A, make a magic circle; CH1 (does not count as a stitch).
Round 1: 7SC in MC. (6)
Starting here, carry a 2nd strand of COLOR A along your stitches until instructed otherwise.
Round 2: 2WC in each ST around. (14)
Round 3: (2WC in next ST, WC in next ST) around. (21)
Round 4: (WC in next ST, 2WC in next ST, WC in next ST) around. (28)
Round 5: (2WC in next ST, WC in each of the next 3 STS) around. (35)
Round 6: (WC in each of the next 2 STS, 2WC in next ST, WC in each of the next 2 STS) around. (42)
Round 7: (2WC in next ST, WC in each of the next 5 STS) around. (49)
Round 8: (WC in each of the next 3 STS, 2WC in next ST, WC in each of the next 3 STS) around. (56)
Round 9: (2WC in next ST, WC in each of the next 7 STS) around. (63)
Round 10: (WC in each of the next 4 STS, 2WC in next ST, WC in each of the next 4 STS) around. (70)
Round 11: (2WC in next ST, WC in each of the next 9 STS) around. (77)
Round 12: (WC in each of the next 5 STS, 2WC in next ST, WC in each of the next 5 STS) around. (84)
Rounds 13-16: WC in each ST around. (84)
Rounds 17-37: Drop 2nd strand of COLOR A and begin to carry a strand of COLOR B. WC in each ST around, using the chart to guide your color changes. (Lefties, you can follow the chart from L-R. It won’t make a difference in the finished basket.)
Round 38: Drop strand of COLOR B and begin to carry a 2nd strand of COLOR A. WC in each ST around. (84)
Round 39: WC in each ST around. Join with a SL ST into the “V” of the first ST of the round (the same place you insert for a WC stitch). (84)
Round 40: CH1. HDC in each ST around. Join with a SL ST to the top of the first HDC. (84)
Drop 2nd strand of COLOR A; you will no longer carry yarn.
Switch to smaller hook.
Round 41: CH1. SC in 3rd loop of each ST around. Do not join. (84)
Rounds 42-65: SC in each ST around. (84)
To finish: SL ST into the next ST to smooth down the round. Fasten off and weave in ends, then proceed to “Adding Plastic Canvas.”
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Adding Plastic Canvas
Cut across your plastic canvas to make strips that are the same height as the inner layer of the basket. Set your basket so that it is completely unfolded. Roll up a strip of canvas and insert it into the bottom of the basket, allowing it to expand up against the walls of the basket. Continue adding as many layers as you want to make it as stiff as you want. Fold the inside layer down over the canvas. Work the fabric until it all lays neat and flat.
If you want, you can sew the inner edge of the fabric to the bottom of the basket to keep everything in place. (Avoid doing this if you want your basket to be machine washable.)
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you’re sharing your baskets on social media, be sure to tag me @yarnandchai.design!