Here is a Lent/Easter basket I designed for our family celebrations based on an idea in Hannah Fettig's Closely Knit -- a book I highly recommend you check-out: she has some amazing ideas in there!
I made the basket in maybe 3 hours -- finishing in plenty of time to set our table for Ash Wednesday (Feb 25, 2009), the first day of Lent on the Catholic Calendar. We kept our basket filled with an alms box, rosary box (for evening prayer) and flowers (to remind us that Easter -- and Spring -- WERE coming!).
Fettig's version of the nest was for a palm-sized nest with eggs for pincushions. I changed her design, working from the center-out, using thicker yarn and created a nest large enough to hold our Easter goodies: a family's worth of peeps, jelly beans, chocolate eggs, DVDs, family game and a parade of "custom-designed" hard-boiled eggs.
We're still using this basket for our Easter celebrations -- in the Catholic Church, Easter Sunday lasts eight days (till today) and the Easter Season is celebrated thru Ascension Thursday (when we believe Jesus ascended to Heaven) and ends on Pentecost (the day when the promised Holy Spirit comes down to us on Earth, the birthday of the Catholic Church!). Good thing I made this big!
I've decided to offer this pattern to you, my readers, as an Easter gift. It's mindless and fun knitting and really looks like a bird's nest in this glorious "dark sheep's gray" from Bartlett Yarns.
Easter Nest Basket (inspired by Hannah Fettig's "pin cushion nest" from her Closely Knit)
- needles (dpns/circs as needed): US size: 10.5, 13, 15
- yarn: 1 skein Bartlettyarns "Bulky" (80 yds, 4 oz.) in dark sheep's gray
w/ 10.5 dpns, CO 4 and join. K rnd;
k 2 in each st (8); k rnd on 8 sts;
k 2 in each st(16); k rnd on 16 sts;
*k1, k2 in next st*; rep from * to * rnd (24); k rnd on 24 sts;
*k2, k2 in next st*; rep from * to * rnd (32); k rnd on 32 sts;
*k3, k2 in next st*; rep from * to * rnd (40); k rnd on 40 sts;
*k4, k2 in next st*; rep from * to * rnd (48); k rnd on 48 sts;
change to US 13 needles
*k2, k2 in next st*; rep from * to * rnd (64); k rnd on 64 sts;
*k3, k2 in nest st*; rep from * to * rnd (80); k rnd on 80 sts;
working even on 80 sts, change to basket st --
rnd 1-2: *(p7, k3)*; rep from * to * rnd
rnd 3: k rnd
rnd 4-5: *(p2, k3, p5)*; rep from * to * rnd
rnd 6: k rnd
change to US 15 needles
rep rnds 1-6 of pattern; BO loosely (or do another few rnds to finish ball of yarn, then BO loosely).