How To: Reusable Plant Covers
We all have different reasons for how and why we end up brining home house plants that we don’t really need but just had to have. Mine is that when I’m venturing through the imposing isles of a giant home improvement store searching for someone who can answer questions I don’t know, I begin to feel so lost. I begin to mentally tally the supply chains, environmental impact, and labor practices behind everything I see and begin to enter a haze of frustration. So, when I catch sight of the houseplant section, I make a b-line for it.
With the right light streaming through the windows and how tightly the plants are packed together, they create a sea of stunning serene green beauty. It’s like the thrill I get when I get to visit a botanical garden while visiting an old city, or a greenhouse of someone with years of experience propagating and tending plants. I’ve always held an intense fascination for greenhouses, and can spend hours in them, carefully caring for plants of all varieties. So there I am, in the home improvement store, gawking at these shiny green leaves, and suddenly I am in the checkout lane with some plants I can’t afford and don’t really know how to care for.
I also have to come to grips with the black plastic pot they are sitting in. It isn’t attractive, and at this point is probably too small for the plant, but just buying some big pot and simply tossing the black plastic planter seems irresponsible (more irresponsible that buying a plant I might kill). I’ve taking to saving the black planters and using them to transplant other house plants into when they outgrow their pots, and embracing the simple utilitarian nature of the planters, and pairing them with the a plastic tray or old plate to catch extra water so I am not sending the black plastic planter to a dump. I was struck by the idea of creating covers for these planters when I bought some plants for our retail store and felt that, while it might pass in my own home, I should make an effort at the store to spruce them up a bit.
I debated a sewn cotton fabric cover (still have not ruled that out), but after taking a kurinuki method class with the incredible Melissa Weiss and enjoying the way that she seems to just throw some stripes on a vessel and have it look so effortlessly perfect, I decided to just dive in. On a slow Saturday in the shop, I grabbed some Core Spun Rug Yarn leftover from a pervious shop project and started knitting. I threw in a few stripes for fun, knit them in no time flat, placed the planter and tray gently inside, and sat back to enjoy.
Alden Roberts, a team member who also works in our shop, replicated and wrote down the pattern, and we are sharing here for people who need more knitted vessels in their lives. Feel free to stamp this pattern to match your own style - play with stripes, color block, knit it solid, knit it in a rainbow - and enjoy.
This pattern alternates K and P in the round in order to create a garter stitch. We are writing the basic pattern as if you were going to knit it in one solid color and are listing an example of what rows to knit with a contrast color (CC) at the bottom of the pattern if you wanted to knit the version with the two stripes. We recommend using our Rug Yarn with size US 50 (25.0mm) needles, but you are welcome to try this pattern with any other jumbo yarn. This pattern works well for a 10” planter. You can add or subtract 2 stitches to make it for a larger planter or a smaller planter.
Cast on 20 sts in MC, PM to mark beg of rnd. Join in the round.
Rnd 1: K.
Rnd 2: P.
Rnd 3 - Rnd 12: Rep rnds 1 and 2. (If you need to make the planter shorter or taller, just add or subtract rnds, ending with a even P rnd.
Rnd 13 & Rnd 14: K.
Rnd 15: K2tog around, using the magic loop method as the circumference decreases (10 st)
Rnd 16: K.
Rnd 17: K2tog around (5 st)
Finishing: Pass the tail end of the yarn through the remaining 5 stitches and pull taught to close the loop. Weave in ends using your fingers.
Use a CC when your purl the 4th rnd and 8th rnd to achieve the two stripe look of the planter cover in the picture, or just add in a stripe where you feel inspired to!