Instead of presenting your loved ones with bland store-bought Easter baskets, give them one-of-a-kind knitted Easter baskets. Although hand-knitting Easter baskets may seem like a lot of work, knitting a simple basket will take even a beginning knitter just a few hours, and fulling the basket to make it into a sturdy piece takes even less time. On Easter morning, your family will love waking up to knitted Easter baskets made especially for them.
Cast on 80 stitches of bulky wool yarn on size 11 double pointed needles.
Slide a stitch maker onto your needle and join the cast-on stitches for knitting in the round. Be careful to not twist the stitches in different directions as you knit the first row, or you will have to undo your work and begin again.
Knit every row to create a stockinette stitch tube, working until the tub measures 7 inches in height.
Purl the next round.
Begin decreasing in the following round. Knit 14 stitches and knit the next 2 stitches together. Repeat until you reach the end of the round.
Knit the first 13 stitches in the next round and knit two stitches together. Repeat until you reach the end of the round.
Continue working in the established pattern, knitting 1 less stitch between knit two-together decreases in each subsequent round.
Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail, when 5 stitches remain on your needles. Thread the tail through a tapestry needle and draw it through your remaining stitches. Pull the yarn to close the hole at the bottom of the basket.
Pick up and knit three stitches along the Easter basket's cast-on edge. Place the stitches on a double pointed needle and knit an icord (knit one row, slide the work to the other end of the needle and without turning, knit the next row) that measures 12 inches long.
Pick up and knit the next three stitches on the cast-on edge using the method described above.
Repeat once more. You should have three lengths of icord.
Braid the three icords together as if you were braiding hair. Secure the end of the braid with a large safety pin.
Place the knitted Easter basket in a pillowcase and add it and a few pair of denim jeans to a top-loading washing machine.
Add mild laundry detergent to the load, use half as much as you would for a normal laundry cycle. Turn the water temperature to "hot" and wash the Easter basket.
Remove the fulled basket from the washing machine.
Adjust the basket into the desired shape and stuff it with plastic grocery bags; this will help it keep its shape as it dries.
Sew the other end of the braided icord to the inside of the dry easter basket to create a braided handle. Use a sturdy sewing needle and matching thread.