Christmas Basket

2013's Basket

2013’s Basket

Well HO! HO! HO!  Merry Christmas everyone!  Since I didn’t make a Christmas basket this year, I’m posting last year’s.  I guess that means I’ll get some coal in my stocking.  HA! HA! HA!

This is a ‘Williamsburg’ basket (named for the handle).  I used red and green, naturally, but also some tan and spaced-dyed colors.  The handle has a ‘bow’ on both sides and the handle is wrapped in a Japanese knot for some more pizzazz. I think it works.

Maybe I should start next year’s basket right now!

Metal & Cane


Unusual Melon Basket

Unusual Melon Basket

Occasionally I like to try unusual weaving materials.  This is a 6″ melon rib basket in which I used black cane and galvanized steel from the hardware store.

Instead of weaving a God’s Eye for the ears, I tied on 2 antique pressed tin medallions.  Weaving with the wire was not necessarily hard, but it was hard to keep from poking and scratching myself with the ends. Ouch!

Weaving rib baskets is not really my ‘thing’.  I find them difficult to shape and also tedious to weave. Using a different weaving material made it more interesting for me.

This little experiment worked out well, but I think once is enough.  Any comments would be appreciated.

Combined Styles Handle

Japanese/Penland Style Basket

Japanese/Penland Style Basket

Handle -Side ViewHandle - Front ViewButterfly Knot - Top ViewButterfly Knot - Side View

I was asked by another blogger to explain how the handle of the basket was made. Foolishly, I only took the one photo and the basket has sold so I cannot show the handle from a better angle.

I took 3 pieces of flat reed and sandwiched them together. It is wrapped with 2 pieces of flat/oval reed in an “x” pattern up the two sides, leaving about 4″ empty at the top. Very simple.

The top Knot is called a “Butterfly” knot or “Japanese” knot. I have given you a top and side view (from another basket) but, please don’t ask me how to make it. Not so simple!

I hope this post helps a little in understanding the handle.

Wicker Basket

Wicker Basket

Wicker Basket

This is my newest endeavor. It is a ‘wicker’ basket made with round reed. Other common materials used for wicker are willow and honeysuckle. I got this pattern from a book “Contemporary Wicker Basketry” by Flo Hoppe. She is one of the best American wicker basket artists.

When I first started making baskets, I was very drawn to wicker style baskets. After trying a very simple design from a friend of mine, I found it was not for me. I found it extremely difficult and frustrating and had no patience for it. I never finished it.

Recently, as I was browsing through my books I found I was, once again, drawn to this type of basket. The pattern is called “Double Diagonals” for the intricate border. Taking my time, and keeping my patience I really enjoyed making this wicker basket. I think I will make this basket again, trying some different techniques and colors. Thank you, Flo!

Lid #2

Well I’m having real problems with this lid. I was on my 3rd lid today but when I left my weekly basket club, it was less done then when I brought it in 3 hours earlier!

In the end, I think that this 3rd lid will really work. I just cannot finish by Saturday.

I have gone back to the 2nd lid! Ha! Maybe, with some changes, I can have it finished by the end of the day tomorrow. If not, oh well, no lid for Saturday’s show and tell.

I’ll get back to you tomorrow.

Cat Head Samples

Cat Head Samples

The “Cat Head” basket has four pointed ‘feet’ on which it sits. When held upside down, the feet give the impression of ears, and so, the “Cat Head”.
This basket was first created by the Shakers who used molds. Now we can create them without molds in many shapes and any size. The baskets shown are about 10x10x6. I am working on one that will be about 15x15x20. Quite large! I’ll let you know how it goes.