Learn How to Weave a Basket, Thanks to Lisa Jones
Now that’s a basket case—er, a case for baskets.
Listen up, people: Basket-weaving is having a moment, and that’s because it rocks. For Lisa Jones, Pigeon Toe boss lady, it’s now become a bit of an obsession. “Once I started weaving, I was posting pictures of my baskets, and people said they were interested in learning. Now I’ve heard of so many people who have adopted this as their new hobby,” says the chick who’s a whiz at the pottery wheel, too. Ready to get to it? Dive into Lisa’s tutorial, stat.
+ Round reeds sizes 2, 3 and 4
+ Shallow container of water
+ Small hand clippers
+ Towel (to protect your clothes)
+ Reference book (Lisa likes Contemporary Wicker Basketry and Wicker Basketry, both by Flo Hoppe)
* Note: Reeds come in long coils that you can clip to shorter strands. You need approximately ½ pound of reed for 1 basket. Lisa recommends Royalwood, Ltd. for basket weaving supplies.
“First establish the frame. You need four 42-inch-long size 4 reeds. Pair them up, cross them, and them hold together. These are called the stakes or spokes. We are going to make a small basket, so we’ll have 8 stakes total. If you want a bigger basket, you just add more stakes.”
“Use the size 2 reed to establish the base and get a tight weave going around the base. This is called the weaver. Hold the crossed stakes with one hand and with the other hand wrap the weaver reed over and under the groups of two all the way around four times.”
“Then split up the doubled-up stakes to form eights separate ones. Adding a second weaver, go over and under between the stakes—so one weaver starts by going over then under a stake, and the other weaver goes under, then over that stake. This is how you twine the base and space out the stakes evenly.”
“After you establish the base, switch to two size 3 weavers to start building up the wall. You mostly need size 3 reeds for this basket. Press the stakes to shape the basket as you weave. I put most of my pressure on the basket when I’m passing in front of the stakes. You have to make sure the pressure is even on all sides or else you’ll have a basket that’s too wide on one side and too straight on the other.”
“You can give it another soak and shape the base with your hands.”
“Clip the weaver ends that started the basket and built the base so you can reach them before the walls get higher.”
“Now I’m adding a third weaver and a new color to make a spiral basket. Put one weaver behind one stake, the second behind the next stake, and the third behind a third stake. You are weaving the same way as with two, but this time, the first weaver goes over two stakes, then bring it back behind the third stake. Repeat with the other weavers.”
“When you have a third weaver, building the walls goes faster.”
“Once you have the height of the basket like you want, clip the weaver ends and tuck them against the reeds in back. Ideally, you don’t want to end all of your weavers in the same spot. Keep them long so they don’t slip out”
“Soak the spokes for a few minutes. I’ll finish with a track border, which is fast and easy.”
“It doesn’t matter where you start the border, but it’s probably better to start away from where you ended the weavers to avoid too many ends in one spot. Take one stake, go behind the one next to it then pull it down toward the front. You go around the basket holding the stakes as you bring the next one behind and down. When you get to the last one, pull it through the loop behind the first stake, and bring it down in front.”
“Now take the first stake you started with, pass it in front of the stake next to it and slip the end under the border of the basket, to the back. Repeat with each stake.”
“Clip the ends in back, making sure they are long enough to sit between the reeds and not push back through to the front.
“Shape the basket again, and let it dry!”