My new-to-me Ashford Traditional spinning wheel requires the use of an orifice hook, which is not a necessity with my vintage Louet hand-painted wheel. I also have learned that I need to oil my wheels far more often than I had been doing and this has made such a difference in the way both wheels spin! But to have these tiny tools handy for their frequent use was getting complicated. Our dear cat Milo thinks anything long and skinny on the floor is a snake or something to bat around with his paws. Setting them on a chair or table meant that I had to go looking for them whenever I needed them.
A couple of spinning friends of mine have these cute little baskets that hang from the maiden upright at the front of their wheels. Perfect spot to grab the orifice hook, wheel oil and even a Wraps Per Inch measuring tool. I set about trying to find a way to make my own basket.
I could certainly have bought a small wicker basket. But I really wanted to make my own thing. I did see a Free pattern on Ravelry for a beautiful knitted-then-felted basket specifically for a spinning wheel . But I wanted the bottom and sides of the basket to be sturdy and for the orifice hook not to get caught on the felted fabric. Hmmm…
After a bit of pantry-raiding and idea-casting, here’s what I made! I hope you like it, whether you are a spinner or a knitter or you just want something cute to hang and be useful in so many ways. I’m sharing the pattern and directions with you here so that you can make one too!
Happy Spinning & Knitting!
Spinning Wheel Basket
By Jennifer Edwards
Size 3 dpns
Fingering/sport weight handspun yarn
Drink mix plastic box cut at 4” tall or desired height
one or two 1/8” Satin ribbons, cut approx. 18” long
Cast on 12 sts.
Starting with a knit row, Work in Stockinette stitch for 24 rows.
On next knit row, k12, and do not turn, pick up and knit 16 sts evenly across side (Pick up 2 for every 3 rows) , pick up and knit 12 across cast on edge and then pick up and knit 16 sts along final edge. ( 56 sts total)
Place all sts on 4 dpns. Place marker at beg of round.
Begin with Garter stitch rounds (knit a round, Purl a round) 2x .
On next Knit round, decrease one stitch at each corner with K2tog. (4 sts decreased…total of 52 sts.
Continue knitting in stockinette for four rounds and then garter stitch for four rounds, changing colors as desired and alternating between stockinette and garter until piece is 1/2” from top. (The cover works best if you stretch it up a bit so that it fits more snugly around the plastic container.)
Work in garter for 6 rounds. Then work in Stockinette for 5 rounds . Bind off. (Note: I did not weave in the ends from changing colors due to the plastic liner covering all of that. But you can weave in any ends you like.)
Using a sharp pointy knife or awl, Poke holes into the plastic box you have cut to desired height , 1/2” from top of plastic box . Fold the top of your knitted cover over the box top with the final stockinette portion turned down over the edge. Starting at one of the corners and Using yarn needle and 1/8” ribbon, secure the top of the knitted cover by sewing through the plastic and the knitting. Make sure to secure the bind off edge inside of the box also as you sew. When you’ve made it back around to the corner, tie ribbons in a bow.
Using same needles, Work a four stitch I-cord for desired length of basket handle. Mine was 5” and has stretched out a little bit already. Bind off.
Using yarn needle, stitch ends of I-cord to corners on opposite sides of box.
Hang basket onto your spinning wheel. If needed, stitch the last end of I-cord after hanging the basket where you want it to be. Fill basket with spinning wheel oil, wpi tool, orifice hook, etc.