Crow Shay here. Easter is coming and I can’t wait to show you a project from The Mary Frances Knitting and Crocheting Book 100th Anniversary Edition. It’s a crocheted Easter Basket that’s just the right size for American Girl® dolls. I love to teach anything about crocheting and I will teach you how to stiffen this basket.
This basket was made with chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet and treble crochet using Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread, Size 10, in a color called “Copper Mist”. Some people are intimidated about crocheting with thread instead of yarn…but the stitches are the same…just on a smaller scale. This basket has had a special treatment that wasn’t possible 100 years ago: it’s been stiffened with a product called Stiffy. You can get it at any craft store and it’s made exactly for this purpose. It makes the crochet work very stiff so that it feels like a real basket and holds its shape. I’ll teach you my method here. I used an orange for a mold. The Kitchen People gave it to me!
Stiffy fabric stiffener
1 orange that fits inside your basket
1 twist tie
small glass bowl
1 clothes pin
1. Find an orange that is a snug fit for your crocheted basket. The handle should just fit over the top of the orange.
2. Wrap the orange tightly in plastic wrap. Secure with a twist tie.
3. Pour Stiffy in a glass bowl, enough to cover your needlework.
4. Use your hands to work the Stiffy into the crochet cotton until it is saturated. The Stiffy is water soluble and will easily wash off of your hands.
5. Place the wrapped orange into the basket. Position the handle at the center top and press lower half of basket into shape around the orange. Shape the bottom rim as you like.
6. Hang your work to dry using a clothes pin on the excess plastic wrap. Allow it to dry overnight.
7. Carefully cut away the top portion of the orange, just enough so that the orange will slip out of the basket. Use care not to cut through the basket handle. Remove the orange.
Note.– The Easter Basket is made from the Crocheted Flower Basket pattern in The Mary Frances Knitting and Crocheting Book 100th Anniversary Edition.