Basket Weaving Blog
- Holiday Basket Weaving
We’re approaching the time of year when our holiday basket weaving can fulfill a variety of uses.
- Last minute hostess gifts
For our family, Christmas decorating with baskets began 30+ years ago with our Christmas Ornament Basket, a super easy basket that was our second basket weaving kit.
This Christmas Ornament basket is also a fun and easy project for the November meeting of your craft group. We have a Christmas Ornament Teacher Special that makes it especially inexpensive to weave. Less than a dollar per person for a pattern and enough reed to weave TWO Christmas Ornaments baskets!
After being introduced to flat reed basket weaving with our Original Beginner’s Basket Weaving Kit, students asked for a round reed basket. Since Christmas was coming, I laid out a simple base and finished the top edge with a border that looks like a complicated braid. In actuality, it’s super easy because it’s woven in more than one round. It’s not braided. I wove a tree full and filled them with handmade calico birds.
Gift-giving with baskets is a fun tradition. When our sons were young, we baked a zillion Christmas cookies and bagged up assortments in the freezer. Then we wove a dozen or more Cape Cod Blueberry baskets or Melon baskets and always had a handy gift basket for teachers and support staff.
This was also really handy for last minute hostess gifts—for occasions like last minutes invitations.
- Basket Weaving and Meditation
Basket Weaving and Meditation have a lot in common.
When you weave a basket, before you know it, you may find that you’re “in the zone”.
You become relaxed, you forget about your problems and your concentration is focused on the project in your lap.
You may experience a state of deep rest that’s similar to meditation.
As with the practice of other crafts like quilting, stitchery and seatweaving, your blood pressure may lower while your breathing becomes more even, your heart rate lowers and muscle tension relaxes.
Like the results of meditation, basket weaving and other crafts may decrease your risk of dementia while increasing health and well being.
It’s no surprise to us that basket weaving and crafts also boost your creativity and enhance your problem-solving skills in the same way that solving a puzzle does.
When you’re weaving a basket, you follow the pattern that enables the basket weave to take shape. The weaving requires concentration and that concentration is rewarded by the finish product. The finish product, in turn, makes us feel good through a feeling of accomplishment and well being.
Perhaps best of all, when we practice basket weaving with friends in a social setting, it strengthens our relationships. Aren’t these great reasons for weaving baskets?
Basket Weaving and Meditation
- Weave a Picnic Basket
Weave a Picnic Basket for summer!
We have a super basket weaving kit to make a traditional wicker picnic basket suitable for handing down through the family.
As shown, the base and lids are split spoke design with half-crosses, a reliable technique for strength and durability. You can even weave a version of this without the lids, if you prefer an open basket for some purposes.
You’re going to love weaving it as much as we enjoyed designing it!
51 full color illustrations and photos demonstrate every step of the way. 8 pages (8.5 x 11″) of instruction. 12×21″, 8″ deep, 14″ tall including handle.
SKILLS LEARNED: oval split spoke base with half-crosses, twining, 4 rod coil, rapid braid border and using D handles.
Weave a Picnic Basket
- Sweetgrass Baskets
Sweetgrass Baskets are a tradition along the Atlantic coast. CBS Sunday morning has published an interview and video of the harvest of Sweetgrass which you can see by clicking the Sweetgrass image below.
The text from the interview follows:
“Outside Charleston, S.C., Highway 17 looks like another Southern country road. It’s actually a working art gallery of sweetgrass baskets.
“All of the basket makers are artists,” Henrietta Snype told correspondent Mark Strassmann, “No matter how they work on their basket, they all are considered an artist.”
Snype, now 63, has woven baskets since she was seven. It’s more than a family tradition; it was a way of putting food on the table. “Still is a way,” she said. “Because some people never did anything else but baskets. They never did anything else but just do baskets. And this was a survival.”
“What does it represent to you?” Strassmann asked.
“I told people when I do these baskets it reflects my entire community,” she replied. “I never look at the basket and say, ‘Ah, this is what I do. This is what my family do.’ I represent a community.”
That community is the Gullah, descendants of West African slaves first brought to coastal South Carolina and Georgia in the early 1700s. They wove baskets from native grasses and plants out of necessity. Before these baskets became art, they were tools.
“Charleston was a place that grew a lot of rice,” said Snype, showing one particular design used on the plantation. “When the slaves would go out and gather the rice, they would put it in this particular style of basket. And they put all of the rice after they gather it, put it in here, and then they would throw it up in the air — and you feel the breeze.”
The grasses for the baskets grow wild. Lynette Youson took Strassmann to one field. She grabbed the green sweetgrass by the handful and — with her foot on the root — pulled it out of the ground. “And it’s just that easy,” she said.
“I will lay it out in the sun, go spread it out in the sun for about three to five days. Hopefully, it dries. When it dries, it shrinks and it’ll be a beige tone.”
Click image to view video at CBS Sunday Morning. Click here to shop supplies at basketweaving.com.
Free materials, but a lot of labor.
“You tie a knot and then you work around that knot — it’s like crocheting,” Youson said. “I can do a basket like this, maybe, roughly in about ten hours.”
And what would that sell for today? “About $350, $375. Which is not too bad.”
Simple baskets can sell for $40. Elaborate pieces, often prized by collectors, can go for $8,000.
Six days a week, Lynette Youson makes baskets with her mother, Marilyn, and daughter, Kimberly.
Kimberly is a sixth-generation weaver. And Lynette’s granddaughter, Allisse — they hope — will be a seventh.
“What goes through your mind when you look at them?” Strassmann asked.
“Honey, I look at love, heritage, you know?” Lynette replied. “‘Cause when I’m weavin’, it seems like I’m in my own world. I don’t have a thing to worry about.”
- Farmers Market Baskets
Farmers Market Baskets are handy for so many uses, but the best is for carrying your purchases at Farmers Market.
What’s great about this basket is that there’s plenty of room to tuck in delicate vegetables like lettuce and herbs without stacking them vertically.
Benefits of the Farmers Market Basket Kit
- Easy to weave
- Fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions
- Good basket for beginning or advanced weavers
- Wide opening with lots of room for purchases
- Vertical gathering doesn’t damage delicate lettuce and herbs
- Sturdy support D handle can handle potatoes and squash
- Great basket to SELL at Farmers Markets
When everyone sees what you’re carrying, you’re going to get lots of questions- “Where can I get one of those?” You might consider weaving and selling these at your own farmers market table.
Farmers Market Baskets