I've been really wanting to explore integrating different materials and techniques into my crochet projects and pattern designs for a while now, but haven't really had the chance yet. In 2020, I spent a lot of time pursuing and exploring designing garments. Garments are incredibly fun to design, but if you've ever designed them before yourself, you understand what a toll that process can take on you physically and mentally — it can be quite exhausting. So, 2021 seemed like the perfect opportunity to start integrating some less stressful makes and designs into the mix, and start experimenting again with some new home decor creations.
My friends at Michaels happened to reach out at just the perfect time to help support me in this design adventure, and what resulted was this fresh, earthy, and warm decorative tray + vase cozy set! The inspiration came from searching 2021 interior design trends. I discovered a theme of warm fabrics, natural fibers, neutral/earthy shades with pops of color, rustic details, eco-friendly materials, and plants! So I took all of these elements and created a year round versatile piece that could easily make itself at home in a variety of home design themes — farmhouse, cottage, shabby chic, eco chic, traditional, ocean/beach vibes, vintage, country, or monochromatic!
To get things started, I sketched out a basic concept that included a couple different handle options. I decided to use the jute rope instead of the beads.
I then headed to my local Michaels to source everything I needed. They have a really wide variety of products to choose from, and my go-to's for this project were Caron Angel Cotton Cakes (this cotton yarn is one of my favorites that they carry, and works great for home decor items), a couple varieties of Ashland Jute, artist board, and a beautiful blue vase (for a pop of color).
I couldn't wait to get started, so immediately after my supply haul, I dove straight into creation mode! While you are more than welcome to follow the same weaving pattern I did, I would also encourage you to explore and experiment with creating your own weaving pattern, if you're comfortable doing so! It's a fun and flexible part of the process!
The free pattern is written for you below with accompanying links to a couple of helpful tutorials on Instagram. However, if you wish to provide addition support to this small business, you also have the option to grab the beautiful, convenient, and downloadable print-friendly pdf (which has some additional photo references for weaving the twine) in the shop here, on Etsy, or on Ravelry. You can also feel free to pin this post for later.
Let's get started!
All your materials can be found at Michaels online or in store.
(2) cakes Caron Angel Cotton Cakes (I used the color Sea Salt)
(2) 11-inch pieces of Ashland 15mm Jute Rope
(1) 12"x16" canvas artist board
4-inch diameter cylindrical vase (I got this blue Ashland one)
large tapestry needle (I recommend a bent tip one)
a pair of sharp heavy duty scissors
fresh or artificial blooms/flowers/greenery
ch(s) | chain(s)
st(s) | stitch(es)
hdc | half double crochet
rnd | round
sl st | slip stitch
hdc-blo | half double crochet in the back loop only
rsc | reverse single crochet (aka crab st)
mc | magic circle
rep | repeat
rem | remain(s)(ing)
RS | right side
WS | wrong side
fo | fasten off
Gauge = Rnds 1-4 of Tray Bottom = 2.5" x 6.5"
Gauge is important for this pattern. Your sts should be fairly tight to enhance sturdiness. For more information, tips, and advice on gauge, check out this blog.
TRAY BOTTOM (MAKE 2 | PANEL 1 & 2)
Foundation | ch 22, turn -- (22 sts)
RND 1 (WS) | 2 hdc in 2nd ch from hook (mark 1st hdc), hdc in next 19 sts, 5 hdc in last ch (mark 2nd and 4th hdc), hdc in next 19 sts (down the other side of foundation chs), 3 hdc in last ch (mark 2nd hdc), sl st to 1st st to join, turn -- (48 sts)
NOTE: For a visual on how the Foundation + Rnd 1 works, check out this quick video I did on Instagram.
RND 2 (RS) | ch 1, [hdc up to marked st, 3 hdc in marked st (move marker to 2nd hdc)] 4 times, sl st to 1st st to join, turn -- (56 sts)
RND 3 | ch 1, [hdc up to marked st, 3 hdc in marked st (move marker to 2nd hdc)] 4 times, hdc in rem sts, sl st to 1st st to join, turn -- (64 sts)
RND 4-22 | Rep Rnd 3 -- (216 sts)
NOTE: Each rnd adds 2 sts/side (8 sts total) to the st count.
After completing Panel 1, fo and weave in end. After completing Panel 2, do NOT sl st to join and do NOT fo. We'll move right into attaching the panels together and inserting the artist board between them. When complete, the panels should measure approximately 12"x16". If they don't, now is a great time to block your panels to this measurement. For more information, tips, and advice on blocking, check out this blog.
ATTACHING PANEL 1 & 2
Lay Panel 1 with RS facing up towards you. Lay Panel 2 on top of Panel 1, also with RS facing up towards you. Make sure side with start/stop of rnds is oriented in the same direction. Sl st each st of last rnd of Panel 1 and 2 together. Make sure your sl sts are snug enough to securely close the panel edges together, but not too snug where you can't insert your hook into these sts. We'll be using the back loops of these sl sts to build up the sides of the tray in the next step. Before stitching up the last long side, insert the artist board between Panel 1 and 2 (in the same way you would insert a pillow form), and finish stitching the panels together. The board should fit slightly snug between the panels. When finished, turn and do NOT fo. We'll move right into crocheting the sides of the tray.
The hdc-blo sts will go into the bl of the sl sts you just created to attach your panels together. If you're finding it a little difficult to get your hook into the bl of the st, use a paper clip, and smaller hook, or a bent tip tapestry needle to pull it up (refer to photos below).
RND 1 (RS) | ch 1, hdc-blo in each st around, sl st to 1st st to join, turn --- (216 sts)
RND 2 (WS)-9 | ch 1, hdc in each st around, sl st to 1st st to join, turn; on last rnd, do NOT turn
RND 10 (RS) | ch 1, rsc in each st around, fo
WEAVING THE TWINE
This is where you could spend time experimenting and exploring different patterns to give your tray the look you want. If you're interested in weaving yours the exact same way I did, I created this video tutorial you can reference and follow on Instagram to help explain and demonstrate the weaving pattern. I recommend working with approximately 2 arm spans worth of twine at a time until you've made it all the way around the sides. When complete, weave in all loose ends.
You'll now need the 15mm jute rope, jute twine, hot glue gun/sticks, and the sharp heavy duty scissors. With the scissors, carefully cut (2) 11-inch pieces of rope. With the twine, tightly wrap approximately 1 inch of each end, adding small beads of hot glue along the way to secure it. Trim rope ends of any uneven strands. Attach these handles to the 12-inch sides of the tray. Leaving approximately 4 inches on each side (you can eyeball this or lay a 12-inch ruler on your surface in front of the tray as a guide), center the handle and secure it with hot glue. You want enough glue to secure the handles, but not so much that it seeps through the fabric on the inside of your tray. Hold in place until cooled and secure.
Your tray is complete!
Matching Vase Cozy
Foundation | create a mc
RND 1 (WS) | ch 1, 10 hdc into center of mc, sl st to 1st st to join, turn -- (10 sts)
RND 2 (RS) | ch 1, 2 hdc in each st around, sl st to 1st st to join, turn -- (20 sts)
RND 3 | ch 1, *hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next st,* rep from * to * around, sl st to 1st st to join, turn -- (30 sts)
RND 4 | ch 1, *hdc in next 2 sts, 2 hdc in next st,* rep from * to * around, sl st to 1st st to join, turn -- (40 sts)
RND 5 | ch 1, *hdc in next 3 sts, 2 hdc in next st,* rep from * to * around, sl st to 1st st to join, turn -- (50 sts)
RND 6-20 | ch 1, hdc in each st around, sl st to 1st st to join, turn; on last rnd, do NOT turn
NOTE: Mark Rnd 8. This is the 1st rnd of the sides and where you'll begin weaving in your twine.
RND 21 | ch 1, rsc in each st around, fo
You could customize the height of your vase cozy, if you needed or wanted to. I recommend working in repeats of 4 rnds.
At this point, I would slip the cozy on your vase and use the same technique for weaving in the twine as you did for the tray, but the weaving section will be taller than on the tray. You'll be weaving starting on Rnd 8 and going up to Rnd 19. When complete, weave in any loose ends.
Your vase cozy and entire project is now complete! Add some stems, blooms, or greenery to your vase, and decorate the tray with knick knacks, books, or other items that integrate well into your personal style and home decor.
Don't forget to grab all your supplies from Michaels here.
I'd love to see how your projects turn out and support your maker journey, so don't forget to tag me on your photos @thecozyknot and use the hashtag #thecozyknot so I don't miss your makes and I can share them with the community.
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