Thursday, 16 February 2017

Thyme and Season


The steps to making your own basket Part 3:



Weaving the Sides

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    1
    Stake up the basket. Choose 8 long, medium-sized willow shoots to serve as the basket's "stakes." These are the vertical pieces that form the structure of the sides of the basket. Use your knife to sharpen the ends of the stakes into points. Insert a stake alongside each of your spokes, pushing each one down into the weave as close to the center as possible. Bend the stakes upward so that they are pointing toward the sky. Use the hand pruner to trim the spokes back so that they're level with the edge of the weave, then tie the stakes together at their tips to keep them in place.
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    2
    Weave two rows of three rod wale. This weave requires three weavers, which are woven among the stakes to set them in position. Find three long, thin shoots. Sharpen the ends into points. Insert the shoots into the base of the basket on the left side of three consecutive stakes. Now do two rows of the weave as follows:
    • Bend the far left weaver to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.
    • Take the next far left weaver and bend it to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.
    • Continue weaving this way, always starting with the far left weaver, until you have two rows of three rod wale.
    • Untie the stakes at the top.
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    3
    Add weavers to the sides of the basket. Find 8 long, thin shoots. Use your knife to sharpen the ends into points. Insert one weaver into the basket behind a stake. Bend it over the next stake to the left, pass it behind the stake to the left of that one, and pass it back to the front. Now insert a second weaver behind the stake to the right of the starting point of your first weaver and do the same - pass it over the stake to the left, under the stake to the left of that one, and back to the front. Continue adding weavers this way until there is one weaver next to each stake.
    • When you insert the last two weavers, you'll need to lift up the first weavers a bit to make room to add the last weavers underneath. Use an awl or a long nail.
    • This type of weaving is called French Randing. It's a popular weave that results in even, upright sides.
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    4
    Weave the sides. Take a weaver and pass it in front of the stake to the left, then behind the stake to the left of that, and bring the end out to the front. Take the next weaver to the right of the starting weaver and pass it in front of the stake to the left, then behind the stake to the left of that, and bring the end out to the front. Continue weaving this way around the whole basket, always starting with the next weaver to the right.
    • When you get back to the start, you'll see that there are two weavers behind the last two stakes. Both weavers need to be woven around the stakes. Do the bottom weaver first, then do the top weaver. For the last stake, do the bottom weaver first, then the top weaver.
    • Continue randing until you've built up the sides as high as you'd like them to go, then trim the tips of the weavers.
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    5
    Secure the weave with a row of three rod wale. Find three long, thin shoots. Sharpen the ends into points. Insert the shoots on the left side of three consecutive stakes. Now do one row of waling as follows:
    • Bend the far left weaver to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.
    • Take the next far left weaver and bend it to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.
    • Continue weaving this way, always starting with the far left weaver, until you have a row of three rod wale.
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    6
    Finish the rim. Bend one of the stakes to the right and pass it behind the first two stakes. Pass it in front of the third and fourth stakes. Pass it behind the fifth stake, then pass it back to the front. Repeat with the next stake to the right of your starting stake.
    • The last two stakes won't have other stakes to weave around, since they'll all be woven into the rim. Instead of weaving around stakes, follow the same pattern but thread the tip in and out of the border.
    • Cut the tips of the woven stakes even with the side of the basket.

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