Monday, December 18

Fruit Basket Making

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Materials:

 5/8″ flat reed for spokes

 #2 round reeds for weavers

1/2″ flat reed for weavers

 1/4″ flat oval for weavers

 3/8″ flat reed for one row of weaving

1/2″ flat oval for rims

#3 sea-grass for rim filler

 Medium binder cane for lashing the rim

 and one wire box handle.

Preparation:

 From the 5/8″ flat reed, cut 5 spokes 24″ long and 7 spokes 22″ long. Mark the centers on the rough side. Optional: dye two pieces of 1/2″ and one piece of 1/4″ flat oval to weave a color design on the sides of the basket. Soak all material in warm water for a few minutes.

Base:

Place the 5 spokes 24″ long with the marked side facing up, horizontally on your work surface. Weave the 7 spokes 22″ long, vertically. Start on the center of the horizontal spokes, weaving over first. Weave three spokes on each side of this first vertical spoke. True the base to measure 7″ long x 4 1/2″ wide. Twine two rows with the #2 round reeds. End the twining after two rows and wet the spokes to prepare for the side weaving. Carefully bend each spoke up at the edge of the twining.

Side weaving:

 All rows are woven in a start and stop weave. You will end each row by overlapping the beginning point for four spokes. First row should start on the outside of the third spoke on the long side of the basket. Weave four rows of 1/2″ flat reed. Weave a color design of your choice next. Weave two more rows of 1/2″ flat reed. Weave one row of 3/8″ flat reed. Wet the spokes to prepare for the rims.

Rims:

 Cut the inside spokes off flush with the last row of weaving. Place the eyelets for your handle on the center spokes on the long sides of the basket.

Tuck the spokes on both sides of the center locking in the tails of the eyelets.  Tuck the remaining outside spokes to the inside of the basket. Hide the ends of the tucked spokes under three rows of weaving on the inside of the basket. Cut two pieces of 1/2″ flat oval to fit the inside and the outside of the basket. Allow a 2″ overlap on each piece. Shave one end of each piece and clothespin it to the basket over the last row of weaving. Place sea-grass between the two pieces for rim filler and lash in place with medium binder cane.   Use a bent tip tool to open the ends of the handle and insert each end into an eyelet. Close the eyelets with your needle nose pliers. 

 This is just one simple way to weave this basket. Be creative and add your own unique design on the sides. The finished height of the basket is about 5″.

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