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.

Japanese Style Weave

Yotsume (Square Plaiting) Purse

Yotsume (Square Plaiting) Purse

This was an experimental piece. I was trying to copy a bamboo purse that I saw on Pinterest. Again, as with “The Third Lid”, without a pattern this weave was very difficult.

I think the Japanese name is ‘yotsume’ which just means square plaiting. All in all I think it came out nicely. The handle is a 10″ square closed notch make of oak. I probably spent more time on it than the actual basket. There was a whole lot of sanding and retooling of the notch to get it to fit without a gap at the rim and I drilled two holes on each side to secure it tightly.

Not having large size bamboo, I used reed. Each ‘stake’ is comprised of two 1/4″ flat pieces. I call them stakes because there are no seperate weavers added. The double strips are laid out at crossed 45 degree angles in a simple over/under pattern. This created a basic mat in the center which formed the base and part of 2 sides.

I then folded up the 2 ‘sides’ and clipped them together. This left all the unwoven ends which I took and wove together to finish the four sides. I know this makes no sense but I really can’t explain it better. I should have taken pictures from the beginning!

I have no idea if this is the correct way to weave this pattern but it worked for me. The weave is not perfect but not bad for working in the dark. I plan on lining it with the material you see in the pictures. Of course it looks nothing like the purse I was copying!

Oh well, try, try again.

Handle Tying

Handle Tying

The Third Lid

Lg. Cat Head w/Lid

Lg. Cat Head w/Lid

Cat Head Basket w/Lid


IMG_0386I have finally finished the lid for this basket!  It was touch and go there for a while.  After throwing out the 1st lid, and giving up on the 2nd lid I was determined to make a lid and make it right.  Since I was making it without a pattern or anything else to study I found it to be ‘extreeemly’ difficult.

What I ended up with is an enclosed pyramid. With a flat top.  Or an upside down top!  Ha!  And, hey, I really like it.  But I won’t be doing another one anytime soon!

Just trying to explain this thing is difficult.  Like, does saying I put a base on the bottom and ended with a base on the top make any sense?  Let me know because that’s what I did.  After I found the finial for the top online, Ha!, I knew what I wanted the finished product to look like.  And so, this lid will forever be called “The Third  Lid”.  At least in my mind’s eye!

Let me know what you think.


Knitting Basket

Knitting Basket

Knitting Basket

Knitting Basket #3

Knitting Basket

Just finished this basket. It’s a pattern from a ‘Lyn Syler’ book by ‘Diane Kennedy’. It’s taken from an Abenaki style knitting basket. The Abenaki Indian people are from the New England/Quebec area.

I really liked making this basket. It stands 11″ tall, sans handle. I drilled the hole in a 2″ slotted wood base for the “donut ring” in the lid through which the yarn is pulled. Nifty! I also made a different handle out of 5/8″ braided seagrass instead of the yarn the pattern called for.

The lid is a new technique for me. It is called “Chase Weave”, which here uses #2 round reed, spaced-dyed. (Spaced-dyed is multiple colors blending the edges together.) The chase weave gives a lovely smooth look as compared to “twining”. It’s also easier and faster to do!

So, now back to my lid for the cat head basket! (But see, I can make a lid if I have someone else’s pattern!)

Round Basket

Round Swing Handle Basket

Round Swing Handle Basket

Wood Swing Bean Pot

This basket is also a Bean Pot style. I changed the shaping and put an oak swing handle on it. This handle sands up silky smooth. It’s stained a dark chocolate brown but looking at it now maybe I should have stained he ear attachments also. I prefer to put the handle ears on the outside vs. the inside of the rim. They give an architectural highlight that does’nt appear when hiding them on the inside. The color combination tends toward a harvest look but I did’nt do it for that reason. I just like the colors.