Make A Berry Basket!
Brought to you by The NorEsta Cane & Reed www.noresta.com
Materials: 1/2" Flat Reed; 3/8" Flat Reed; 1/4"
Flat Reed; #3 Seagrass
Tools: Scissors, Pencil, Tape Measure, Clothespins, Awl or Flat Tip Tool, Spoke weight or heavy book.
Preparation: From 1/2" Flat Reed, cut 9 stakes @ 18"
long and 1 stake @ 46" long (handle stake).
(Sort out the heavier pieces for your stakes and save the thinner pieces for weaving the sides of the basket.)
Soak stakes (also called "spokes") and one strand of 1/4" Flat Reed in warm water for approx. 3-5 minutes.
Mark centers of stakes with a pencil on the rough side of the reed.
Lay out the 46" stake vertically with two of the 18"
stakes on each side, marked side up, spacing 1/2" apart.
Use a spoke weight or a heavy book to hold the stakes in place.
Weave an 18" stake horizontally across the center marks, starting Over 1, then Under 1, Over the handle stake, then Under 1 and Over 1. Line up the center mark on the horizontal stake with the center mark on the handle stake. Lay a spoke weight or a heavy book on the vertical stakes to hold in place.
Now weave two 18" stakes horizontally on the side closest
to you, parallel with your center horizontal #1 stake, alternating the weaving
by going Under 1, Over 1, Under 1, Over 1, and Under 1 with stake #2. Over
1, Under 1, Over 1, Under 1, Over 1 with stake #3. Space 1/2" apart.
Weave the 2 remaining stakes on the other side of your center
stake, starting your weaver Under 1, Over 1, Under 1, Over 1, and Under 1
with stake #4 and Over 1, then Under 1, etc. with stake #5. Again space 1/2"
(You will want to move your spoke weight from the top ends to the lower ends and back again as you weave your stakes on each side.)
True the base to measure approx. 4-3/4" by 4- 3/4". Make sure the corners are at true right angles.
Remove your spoke weight. Place a clothespin on each corner
to hold base in position.
Re-wet base if necessary. Weave one retaining row around base
with 1/4" Flat Reed, starting at the 2nd stake from the top side, with
the rough side of the weaver facing up. Hold weaver in place with a clothes
pin. Miter your weaver as you go around by folding the weaver over at a 90
degree angle when you head down the right side. Your weaver will now have
the smooth side up. Notice that you are always weaving Under the stakes
that come from underneath the edge of the base and Over the stakes that come
from on top of the edge of the base.
Turn corner at bottom right by folding weaver at a 90 degree
angle (the rough side is up) and head to the left, continuing to weave Over
1 Under 1 etc. Turn again at bottom left corner and weave up to the top left
corner. Turn again and weave to the right. (If it helps, you can rotate your
base as you weave so that you are always weaving to the right.)
As you reach the place where you started, weave right over the
top of your beginning end, overlapping the weaver for 4 stakes.
Cut off the weaver so that it lays hidden under the last stake
on the left top edge.
If you need to stop your project for any length of time, be sure to suspend it above the work surface so that air can circulate around it while you are taking a break. When you go back to weaving, re-wet the reed and continue on.
Re-wet base if necessary. Upsett the stakes by folding each
one, one at a time, over upon itself, making a crease at the edge of the base
by pressing down on it with your index finger. Press down right on the crease,
too. Be sure your stakes are wet so that the stake will not break when you
do this. Some cracking at the crease is normal. After all stakes have been
upsett, allow them to lay somewhat flat on work surface again.
ROW 1. Soak a long length of 1/2" Flat Reed for 3-5 minutes.
Starting on a handle stake side, hold up the 2nd stake from the left to a
vertical position - this stake comes from Under the retainer row. Place the
1/2" weaver on the outside of this stake with long end extending to the
right. Weave across, starting with your over 1 already in place, then Under
1, Over 1, Under 1. Place a clothespin on your starting stake and on the 4th
stake from the left to hold weaver in place.
On this first row, the stakes you are weaving Under will actually just remain laying flat on the table. You will only lift up the stakes you are weaving Over to stay in a vertical position.
Turn base one quarter turn clockwise. Weave around the corner,
still working to your right, and continue the Over 1, Under 1 weaving sequence.
Each time you reach a corner, turn base one quarter turn again so that you
are always working on the side facing you and weaving to your right. In the
picture below, the first row has been woven all the way around the base and
you have come back to where you started.
Overlap the weaver by weaving right over your beginning section
for four rows. Cut weaver to lay behind the 5th (last) stake on the right.
Bend up the last stake on the right and hold in place with a
ROW 2. Turn basket one quarter turn clockwise. Start your second row with the 1/2" weaver, beginning Over the 2nd stake from the left. Hold starting end in place with a clothespin. Weave Under the next stake, then Over 1, Under 1, etc. all the way around the basket. When you come back to where you started, overlap the weaver for 4 stakes and cut off behind the 4th stake. Hold weavers in place with clothespins.
When you weave around the corners, do not pull to tightly on the weaver. Just allow it to take the shape of the corner of the base. Pulling with too much tension will cause the basket wall to lean inward; not enough tension will allow the side walls to flare out too much. You want the basket to build pretty much straight up, but with just a very slight amount of flare.
As you weave, let your weaver take on an "S" curve motion around behind each stake and back out to the front again. Let the weaver take up its own tension as you continue along. This will give you just about the right amount of tension on the weaver to give you the desired shape of the basket..
ROW 3. Turn basket one quarter turn clockwise. Start weaver over 2nd stake from the left and weave around, alternating weaving as you did for row 1 and row 2. When you reach the starting place, overlap weaver for four stakes and cut off behind 4th stake. Hold in place with clothespins.
Now is a good time to pack down the weavers. With the tips of your fingers, working on one side of the basket at a time, pack down the first row, then the second row, then the third row. You want as little space as possible between rows.
ROW 4. Now you are ready to weave with the dyed reed 1/2"
flat weavers. Before starting, soak the dyed reed in cold water for a few
minutes. When pliable, remove from water and run the weaver through a cloth
or paper towel to remove any excess dye. Be sure your weaver is not too wet
- just mellow. Turn basket one quarter turn and start over the 2nd stake from
the right, just as before. Weave around the basket, Over 1, Under 1, and overlap
4 stakes, cutting off behind the 4th stake to the right.
Continue weaving, adding two more rows of Dyed 1/2" Flat
then 1 row of 1/2" Flat Reed natural, and finally 1 row of 3/8" Flat Reed natural.
Remove and replace clothespins as you weave around.
At this point, your basket should measure approximately 5-3/4" to 6" diameter at the top.
Pack down all rows, working from the bottom to the top row on one side of the basket at a time. You will be surprised at how much space there was between the rows before you started packing them all down tight together!
Now you will measure and cut the stakes that lay on the outside
of the top row. Bend the stake to the inside of the basket and cut it off
so that it reaches just short of the bottom edge of the third row from the
top. With your scissors, clip off the top corners of the stakes so that they
are a bit pointed. DO NOT CUT THE HANDLE STAKES!
Tuck the stakes (the outside stakes that you measured, cut and
pointed) to the inside of the basket under the 3rd row from the top. Use your
thumb to gently roll the stake down into the inside of the basket. Use your
flat tip tool like a shoe horn to lift the row out so that your stakes can
slide in behind it.
Now you have just the inside stakes and the handle stakes standing.
All outside stakes are tucked.
Cut off the inside stakes flush with the top edge of the basket.
DO NOT CUT THE HANDLE STAKES!
To form the handle, bring one side up & over the basket
to the opposite side and tuck down behind several rows.
Take the handle stake all the way to the bottom of the basket if possible. The height of the handle from the basket rim to the top of the arch should be approx. 4-1/2" to 5" high.
Insert a piece of 1/2" Flat Reed between the tucked handle
stake and the standing handle stake. The inserted piece should be just long
enough to reach just past the opposite side of the basket rim. This will add
extra thickness and stability to your handle.
Bring the inserted piece around to opposite side over the top
of tucked handle stake and tuck just under the 2nd row down. Bring the standing
handle stake over to opposite side of basket and tuck under a coupe of rows
on the outside wall of the basket. Be sure all the ends are hidden and not
exposed beneath the rows of weaving. Use clothespins to hold in place so that
there is no slack, no space between the handle layers.
Soak a very long piece of 1/4" Flat Reed in water for approx.
3-5 minutes until very pliable.
With smooth side against the handle (rough side up) place end pointing upward for about 2" at one side of the handle on the inside of the handle.
At the bottom of the handle, almost touching the basket rim,
bring the 1/4" flat around and wrap it tightly around the handle. As
you wrap around, the smooth side of your wrapping piece should be facing the
outside and the rough side should lay against the handle. Continue to wrap
around the handle, catching in the 2" starting end that lays against
the handle. Make sure each wrap touches the one below so that there is no
space between wraps. Pull on the handle wrapping to keep wraps tight. If your
wrapper gets dry, spray mist it with water or dip back into water to re-wet.
When you have wrapped the handle all the way around to the other
side, your weaver should end on the inside of the handle. Loosen up about
5 wraps and insert the end of the wrapping piece up behind these loosened
wraps and pull the end upward behind the loosened wraps until you have a loop
left on the bottom side of handle.
Now bring the wrapping piece back down behind the loosened wraps,
skipping over the top loosened wrap.
Pull through, leaving a loop at the top.
With your fingers, re-tighten all the wraps so that they are
very snug around the handle.
Holding the wrapping tight, pull UP on the back side of the
top top loop until it is pulled all the way through and tight.
Then pull DOWN on the front side of the bottom loop until it is pulled all the down through tight.
Cut off the end of the wrapping piece, leaving about a 1/4"
extending below the last handle wrap.
Soak a length of 1/2" Flat Reed for about 2-3 minutes.
Pin one piece of 1/2" Flat Reed around inside top edge of basket. Overlap for approx. 3".
Pin another piece of 1/2" Flat Reed around outside top edge of basket Overlap for approx 3".
Position these rim pieces so that the overlapped areas of the inside rim and the outside rim are adjacent to each other on the same side of the basket. Your rim pieces should extend about 1/8" above your last row of weaving.
Place a piece of #3 Seagrass around top edge between the 1/2"
rim pieces, going around the outside of the handle. Overlap the seagrass for
approx. 3" in the same area as one of your rim piece overlaps.
Soak a very long piece of 1/4" Flat Reed in your tub of
water for 3-5 minutes to prepare to lash your basket rim.
With your flat tip tool, make a space between the rim pieces and the row below, in between stakes, just to the right of your right-most overlapped areas of the rim. You will be inserting your lashing piece into this space.
With your long 1/4" Flat length of reed, you will now proceed
to lash the rim of your basket.
Insert the end into the space you made, rough side facing up, from the inside to the outside of the basket. Fold the piece over the rim, smooth side up, and pin in place, leaving about 6" down to the left.
Make another space , just under the rim and in between the next two stakes to your right. Insert the long end of your 1/4" reed lashing piece through this space from the outside to the inside of the basket. Pull all the way through and back up over the rim toward you. Pull your lashing tightly around the rim and place a clothespin to hold it firm.
Continue lashing your rim, going up and over the rim and through
between each stake, working to your right, until you reach the handle. When
you come to the inside next to the handle, bring your lashing at a diagonal
across the inside rim and up on the other side of your handle.
Now bring the lasher at a diagonal down across the front side
below the handle and insert into the same space made just to the left of the
handle and back to the inside.
Bring your lasher over and down at diagonal to the right side
of your handle and insert to the inside. Then bring the lasher straight up
over the rim and insert into the next space.
If your lasher is starting to get dry, re-wet it with a spray
mist or re-dip the end in your tub of water.
When you come to the end of your rim overlapped area, draw a
light pencil line along the right side of the lash. Loosen the last wrap and
cut the end of the rim overlapped piece at an angle just to the right of your
last lash. Pull lasher tight again. This will almost hide the rim piece ending.
On the inside rim, do the same angle cut next to the last lasher
where the end of the rim overlaps on the inside. Do not cut too short; let
just a very little of the rim extend beyond the lasher so that the rim piece
will not be able to slip out from under the lasher.
Continue lashing, pulling lasher tight with each wrap. As you
reach the place where you overlapped the seagrass, try to hide the ends of
the seagrass under the lashing. There will be a double thickness of seagrass
for the space of two or three lashings. Smooth this area out as best you can.
When you reach the other side of the handle, make an "X" with your lasher as before. This "X" looks nice and also adds extra stability to the handle area.
When you have lashed through the last available space, bring
the end of the lasher up over the rim and to the inside of the basket.
Tuck the end of the lasher down to the inside of the basket
under the top dyed row. Then bring it upward and behind the first dyed row
and up under the inside rim. Cut off as close to the top of the rim as you
Bring the beginning end of your lasher down over the top dyed row and pull it upward behind that row and upward under the inside rim. Cut off as close to the rim top edge as possible. Your lashing is now locked in place.
Smooth out any bumps there may be in the seagrass with your hands.
If you see some little hairs of reed here or there, simply clip
them off close to the reed. A small amount of fraying of the reed is normal
for a basket, so don't be too over concerned with this unless you are a total
perfectionist. Erase the center marks on the base with your pencil eraser.
Reshape the handle with your hands if needed.Hang your basket up to dry so
that air can circulate completely around it. Remember, every basket is different
and no basket is absolutely perfect! This is the beauty and character of your
hand made basket!
CONGRATULATIONS! You have made your very own BERRY BASKET!
Sign and date your basket on the underneath side to record who made it and when for history.
This project has been brought to you
by The NorEsta Cane & Reed
www.noresta.com HAPPY WEAVING! ©2007