Anyone with a creative hobby knows that supplies have a strange way of multiplying. One week, one owns 10 colored pencils that one scarcely uses; the next week, one falls madly in love with colored pencils and must have 30 more. Clay tools, tubes of glitter, ergonomically-designed crochet hooks – supplies of almost any kind can get out of control, which then creates the dual problem of storage and access. I, for example, have been storing my colored pencils in a big jar, but that has created two problems: 1) I now own roughly two more pencils than the jar can hold, which is kind of obnoxious; and 2) I hate having to dig around in the jar for 45 seconds every time I switch colors, because I have the patience of a starving tiger. Solution: I crocheted several smaller containers that I can use to sort by colors. Hooray! Sanity and adorable kitten-like behavior reign anew!
What follows is not a pattern per se, only because I don’t know what you need to store, in which sizes, and in what quantities. You can easily make your own storage containers, however, by following these basic steps.
1) Crochet the base of your container in the round without joining rows, amigurumi style.
2) Work in increments of 5, stopping when the base is as large as you need:
MR5 or ch 2, sc 5 times in 2nd st from hook
1. 2sc each (10)
2. (Sc next, 2sc next) x5 (15)
3. (Sc next 2, 2sc next) x5 (20)
4. (Sc next 3, 2sc next) x5 (25)
5. (Sc next 4, 2sc next) x5 (30)
6. (Sc next 5, 2sc next) x5 (35)
7. (Sc next 6, 2sc next) x5 (40)
8. (Sc next 7, 2sc next) x5 (45)
9. (Sc next 8, 2sc next) x5 (50)
Remember to stop when you achieve the size you need! My largest container had a base of 35 stitches, and my smallest had a base of 20.
3) When you achieve the size you want – whether you have a circle of 25 stitches or 55 – you should “snip and flip.” Why do I say that?
As soon as your circle gets any larger than 20 stitches, it will begin to curve downward, like this:
A container with a curved bottom is not going to be terribly stable. A toddler / dog / welterweight hamster / voyeuristic neighbor will practically be able to knock it over just by looking at it. We don’t want that. By flipping the circle over, you will position the curve on the inside of your container, leaving the container free to sit stably on your desk, table, or shelf.
4. After you “snip and flip,” join your yarn. (You can either F/O and join a new strand or undo the last st and join as if changing colors.) Working in TOP LOOPS ONLY (i.e. the loops closest to the ceiling), crochet the first stitch, place your stitch marker, and then finish the row. Keep working in the round without joining rows until the container is as tall as you need it to be.
5. For maximum style, finish the container with a row of contrast edging. I used a crab stitch. You can do a scalloped edge, an HDC edge, or whatever else your heart desires.
After I finished my first container, I proudly filled it with pencils – and then my shoulders fell. I had made the accursed thing too big. It was just going to replicate the problems of my big jar.
If that happens to you, don’t panic! Flip your container inside out and SC a straight line across the center of your base. At the end, Ch 1, and sc back across. Keep going until you achieve somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3rds of the total height of your container, then F/O and leave a long tail.
After you pull the piece right side out again, use the tail to stitch each side to your container. Voila! A container with compartments!
These containers make great stash busters, and they can be joined together or left separate and independent, as best suits the way you use your supplies.
For variation, you can – in addition to changing colors – also change your stitches, alternating rows of sc with rows of DC, as I did with the pale blue container you see here.
Hey, have fun solving your storage problems, and if you make some containers of your own, link up so we can see!