It's Market Basket month here at Attic Treasures Basketry. The farmer's markets are open and we're hoping to finish a few more baskets for bringing home all those lovely fruits and veggies we buy. This weekend I'm teaching a class on how to weave your own market basket over at Wisconsin's Driftless Folk School and hope to send a few new friends home with market baskets and a love of basket weaving.
I love to wrap handles and I think it adds a nice touch to an already beautiful basket. I get lots of compliments on these when I'm at shows, and I thought I would share how easy it is to do this technique.
It's not real easy to see, but on the left you can see the piece of 11/64 flat oval that I've used to start the handle wrap. I've soaked it and inserted it "wrong" side toward me and now I'm going to bring it around the front and to the right to start my wrap. Putting it in this position helps to anchor it. Notice that my rim is not yet on my basket, so the end will be covered when I rim the basket.
The beginning of my wrap is secure and now I do a couple of wraps for starters.
To begin the next step I've soaked a 1/4 inch piece of dyed flat reed and tucked it smooth side up under my two wraps and down into my last regular row of weaving. Once the rim is on the basket, the end of the reed will be hidden.
Now wrap your 11/64 piece around the handle. On every other wrap you'll go under the 1/4 inch piece in front.
Keep the wraps on the back side of your handle nice and snug as you wrap. As I get toward the top of the handle, I run out of 11/64 to continue wrapping and I have to splice a new piece in. You want this to be in an inconspicuous place, so if you have to, unwrap a few rows, so it isn't visible as you look at the basket from eye level.
As you look at the handle from the back side, fold your ending 11/64 piece at a right angle. Use a clamp or clothespin to hold this as you prepare your next piece. Soak your new piece, fold it at a 45 degree angle and insert it next to your ending piece.
My splice isn't as even as I'd like due to the fact that I'm doing my own photography and only have two hands. You can see though how the new weaver/wrap covers the tail of the old one and secures it in place.
Continue to follow the pattern on the front side of your handle as you wrap. As you finish up your wrapped handle, do two wraps so that you end like you started and tuck your end piece in between your handle and false rim row. Now you have a gorgeous handle and you're ready to rim your basket.
This is just a sneak preview. Hope you'll stop by tomorrow to see the finished basket. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me for more information.