SUPER CHUNKY CROCHET BASKET WITH A KNITTING MILL – FREE PATTERN

Last year I got myself a Prym knitting mill (small). I haven’t made that many actual things with it yet, apart from a few decorative Christmas wreaths, but I’ve gotten very addicted to turning the lever (or crank as I like to call it) to produce the lovely thick yarn.

Here’s what I have learned so far:

  • The mill works best with DK/3 light/8 ply yarn, but I haven’t quite worked out yet which type/material of yarns are the best.
  • Eg. I have tested it with two yarns, both of which are 50% cotton and 50% acrylic. The other yarn knits through the mill beautifully whilst the other one is constantly falling off one of the hooks. I can barely get 30cm knitted before the whole things falls off the mill. I’m not quite sure why this is happening. I feel that the yarn that always fails has a matt friction feel to it and the one that works better is more shiny and slippery. 
  • But then again I’ve used two 100% acrylic yarns, one of which was super smooth and slippery and the other which was soft and slightly fuzzy and both worked very well with the mill. Another DK sock yarn with 75% wool and 25% polyamide has slight friction to it, so I need to be a bit more careful with it, but it still works very well.
Big time tangles
  • I find that the yarn produced by the mill is best worked with a 15-20mm//Q/19-S/35 crochet hook. 
  • As the yarn is knitted it has some stretch to it. The amount of stretch depends on the strech in the yarn used with the mill.
  • I haven’t measured how much yarn in grams is needed to produce a meter of milled yarn as this varies by yarn. I also haven’t done any knitting with this yarn yet, but after milling through 370 grams of yarn I have made this lovely rainbow basket.
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Rainbow basket

I had 56 meters of milled yarn and I used a 15mm crochet hook. It’s approx. 18cm high with a diameter of 23cm.

Start by making a magic loop.

Round1. Ch-1, 6 dc in the magic loop, ss to the beg ch-1.
Round 2. Ch-1, 2dc in each st, ss to the beg ch-1. (12sts)
Round 3. Ch-1, [1dc, 2dc] 6 times, ss to the beg ch-1. (18sts)
Round 4. Ch-1, [1dc, 1cd, 2cd] 6 times, ss to the beg ch-1. (24 sts)
Round 5. Ch-1, [1dc, 1dc, 1cd, 2cd] 6 times, ss to the beg ch-1. 30 sts)
Round 6. Ch-1, [1dc, 1dc, 1dc, 1cd, 2cd] 6 times, ss to the beg ch-1. (36 sts)
Round 7. Ch1, work 1 dc in the back loop of each st. (36sts)

Back loop is outlined with blue

Round 8 – 18. Ch-1, 1dc in each st, ss in the beg ch-1 (36 sts)

Depending on your tension you might end up with a basket that is one round shorter or taller. 

Weave in ends.


Now I’m very sad to say that I have just broken my knitting mill. Not sure how, maybe I was making it work too hard? Maybe using my left hand to give the right one a break messed the mill up? In any case I decided to put all my milled yarns together and make another basket.

In my sadness over losing the mill, I forgot to measure the overall length of milled yarn used for it, but it weights exactly 880 grams. It’s approx. 27cm high with a diameter of 28cm.

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I made it the same way as the rainbow basket, but with further rounds of 1dc per stitch to use up all the yarn I had left (so it’s taller). I also included a handle by crocheting a desired length of chain, using a slip stitch to secure the chain onto the basket, then working slip stitch back along the chain to reinforce it and finally further securing it to the basket with one more slip stitch.

I miss my knitting mill already, but perhaps this is an opportunity to sample other methods for making super chunky yarn.

Pattern copyright Ida @ Lemon Bee Designs. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce or sell my patterns. You can sell products made from this pattern, but please credit back to Ida @ Lemon Bee Designs as the designer.

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