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CRAFT: Crafting with Nature
Crochet or Knit Swatch Planter Propagator
By Kristin Roach
Swatchplanter10
The downside of using random containers for planters is that they often look a bit, well, reused. I love my yogurt and all, but not so much that I want to look at 5 containers all around the apartment with plants sticking out of them. Enter swatches: another essential great thing. We all knit and crochet them so our projects turn out just so, but what to do with them afterwards. I have tried and failed to keep a swatch journal — it just gets so thick. Instead I’ve been using swatches for coasters, but how many coasters does one really need? Eight, tops. Recycled planter cozies! Perfect! You can use up 5 swatches in one go and the end result is a cutely snuggled plant in a great fiber-fantastic planter!

Materials:

Yogurt container, 1-pint size
Plant
Herbs or small flowers work great for this size of planter.
1/2 cup glue
1/2 cup water
Small cardboard box, or cardboard made into box shape
Yarn needle
5 yards scrap yarn
5 swatches
either ones you have on hand or you can whip some up with scrap yarn using the following patterns or any stitch pattern you have had a hankering to try (which is what I did for the side crochet swatches)

Pattern Directions:

Knit Swatch:
10 grams worsted-weight yarn for each swatch
Size 6 US needles
CO 18 stitches
Row 1: (K3, p3) to end, turn.
Rows 2 & 3: Repeat as row 1.
Row 4: (P3, k3) to end, turn.
Row 5: Repeat as row 1.
Rows 6-8: Repeat as row 4.
Row 9: Repeat as row 1.
Row 10: Repeat as row 4.
Repeat rows 1-10 until piece is square.
BO all stitches knit wise.
Crochet Swatch:
10 grams worsted-weight yarn for each swatch
Size D hook (US)
Chain 16
Row 1: Skip 2ch (count as 1 sc), work [hdc, dc] into next ch; *skip 2ch, work [sc, hdc,
dc] into next ch; rep from * to last 3ch, skip 2ch, 1sc into last ch, turn.
Row 2: Ch1 (counts as 1sc), work [1hdc, 1dc] into next ch; *skip [1dc, 1hdc], work
[1sc, 1hdc, 1dc] into next sc; rep * to last 3 sts, skip [1dc, 1hdc], 1sc into top of turn
ch, turn.
Repeat until your swatch is square (this is the swatch I used at the bottom).

Seaming Directions:

Swatchplanter02
Step 1: Place 2 swatches next to each other and do several stitches along the bottom to secure the end (no knots!).
Swatchplanter Step2
Step 2: Seam the swatches together by going up through the bottom on one side, down through the other swatch, up through the same side, and across down through the other side, up through the same side, and continue.
Swatchplanter Step3
Step 3: As you are seaming, tighten it up so a ridge forms on the back side (or what will become the inside of the planter).
Swatchplanter07
Step 4: Seam the remaining swatches together so they form a cube without a top. Unimpressive right? Well that’s where the miracle of starching comes into play.
Step 5: For the starching, mix equal parts of glue and water in a small container (a pint-sized anything works well). Wet down your swatches first and then push into the container of glue and water. Make sure it fully soaks in.
Swatchplanter09
Step 6: Ring out and place over a cardboard box that is the same size as the the swatches (about 5"×5"×5"). I cut down a box so it was the right size. Let it sit and wait for it to dry.
Swatchplanter10
Pretty much any container will work and you can make your swatches any size to fit it. I used a yogurt container because they are great for many types of plants. And with the lid, they even come with their own drip tray! Just make sure you have ample drainage. Just take scissors and poke about 7 holes in the bottom.
Tip:
Oh and I forgot to mention the best thing! You can still use your swatches as, well, swatches! Just pull out your ruler and measure away whenever you need to use it for a particular knitting or sewing pattern!
About the Author:
author_kristinroach.jpg
Kristin Roach of Craft Leftovers teaches fiber art classes full time, while also hosting the local Sewing Rebellion. You can find her current class schedules, free patterns, and links to all her online projects at http://krostudio.com/blog.


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