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Yarn Basket

This lovely yarn basket is a great portable storage unit for knitting supplies.




We used double-faced wool for this craft, but you can substitute any non-knit fabric. If you use a fabric that frays, make sure to sew a line of zigzag stitching along all cut edges of each piece before constructing the bag. All materials and tools for this craft can be found at sewing and home improvement supply stores.


  • 1 yard of double-faced wool
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Grid ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Two wooden yardsticks
  • Clamps
  • Piece of scrap wood
  • Hand saw
  • Drill with 5/16-inch bit
  • 5/16-inch bolt with washer and nut
  • Two 5/16-inch dowels
  • Wood glue


  1. Step 1

    Cut the two wool pieces that make up the bag: Outer piece: 40 inches by 14 inches; Inner piece: 36 inches by 10 inches

  2. Step 2

    Prepare the outer piece. Hem each short end 2 inches. Draw two lines across the width with tailor's chalk, measuring from one hemmed edge: one 12 inches from the edge, and one 12 1/2 inches from the edge. Repeat for the other hemmed edge. Measure and mark the center of each line. Cut a 1/2-inch notch between the two centermost lines on each long side.

  3. Step 3

    Prepare the inner piece. Hem each short end 1/2 inch. Measure and draw a line across the width of the inner sling, in the exact center.

  4. Step 4

    Place the inner piece on top of and perpendicular to the outer piece, forming a cross with the two pieces. Line up the center line of the inner piece with the center marks on the outer piece.

  5. Step 5

    Pin the pieces together, matching up one edge of the inner piece with one of the outermost lines drawn on the outer piece. When one side is pinned, gently pull the other edge of the inner piece over to meet the opposite outermost line on the outer piece. Pin in place.

  6. Step 6

    Sew the inner piece to the outer piece along the edges you have pinned with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Once sewn, there should be a slight gap in the fabric in the outer piece -- this is where the bottom of your bag will attach to the frame.

  7. Step 7

    Pin the edges of the pieces together to form a box shape, inside out. You may want to cut into the seam allowance on the inner piece to make shaping the "box" easier. Sew along each edge with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Turn the bag right side out.

  8. Step 8

    Prepare the pieces for the frame. Cut a yardstick in half and stack one half on top of the other, with the 1- through 18-inch markings facing up. Clamp both pieces to a steady surface with a piece of scrap wood underneath. Make three 5/16-inch holes in the center of the width of the yardstick -- one at the 1-inch mark, one at the 9-inch mark, and one at the 17-inch mark. Place a bolt with a washer through the center hole and secure with a nut. Repeat for the second yardstick.

  9. Step 9

    Cut four 15 1/2-inch dowels. Insert ends of dowels about 1/2 inch through the holes of one bolted "X." Thread the bag onto the dowels, catching the bottom on the bag on the two bottom dowels, and the top two sleeves on each of the top dowels.

  10. Step 10

    Add the other bolted "X" to other end of dowels. Square off basket and adjust the bag, and glue the dowels in place with dabs of wood glue.

The Martha Stewart Show, March 2009



Reviews (13)

  • ksalford 30 Sep, 2011

    Here in the south double faced wool seems to be non-existent. Can someone recommend a fabric store to me that carries it?

  • raajia 9 Apr, 2011

    i Love this yarn basket ! Great idea many thanks

  • VarietyVic 11 Jan, 2011

    Love this yarn basket. Used woven fabric, however. Added a flap to each side to cover opening Next time I will create handle openings to provide an area for easy carrying.

  • joyfulneedle 20 Sep, 2010

    Re: fabric choice--I would suggest woven (not knit) fabric for this. I have one of these that I purchased many years ago secondhand. I sewed a new fabric liner for it. After a couple of years the woven cotton qulitng fabric stretched out of shape and I made a new one. I think that's why the knitted version is made with felted wool. The second liner--heavy cotton upholstery fabric--is holding up beautifully.

  • CraftyGal1965 7 Mar, 2010

    Someone asked about knitting the lining. Yes it can be done...check out Patons yarns, they have a book called About the Home (Pattern Book # 500859) that has this in it. You would have to purchase extra wool for the sides to be enclosed but ti is very cute!

  • CraftyGal1965 7 Mar, 2010

    Patons has a felted knitting/crochet book that has this very idea. It would give the way of doing this with wool and felting it.

    About the Home
    Pattern Book #500859

  • notwen 2 Mar, 2010

    i like it but my mom is alergic to woolso I sub the cloth with polor fleece

  • bopahyland 2 Mar, 2010

    Why not knit it with leftover yarn? It would have to be lined because of the stretch factor but many of us have leftover fabric, as well.

  • ZebaCollection 2 Mar, 2010

    What a clever idea to use all the yard sticks hanging around the house. I have a few in my house. There was a time that seemed all the stoeres were giving away yard sticks.

  • Doctora 3 Jan, 2010

    I own a ballet school...and it's perfect to keep lost and found ballet slippers or lost and found objects!!!

  • sosolisalisa 2 Jan, 2010

    I don't knit - but I could use it for something else!!! So great!

  • sophiamasters 13 Jun, 2009

    I could not figure out where the 1/2" notch went either until I watched the video and then I figured it out. This is a great project and mine turned out wonderfully but I had to make some adjustments to it didnt look so rough. There were edges that were rough from not being hemmed in the instructions so I added a few steps and rounded everything off. I also painted my wooden items just for fun. Great idea and I'm sure it didnt cost as much to make as it would to buy!

  • Simplyfun 27 Mar, 2009

    Did anyone else have trouble with the bottom being too tight for the dowel to fit?
    In 2. why cut the 1/2" notch and where?