HOW TO MAKE A COILED BAS­KET

Mollie Makes - - Introducin­g -

MA­TE­RI­ALS

12m (13 yds) of pre­ferred core ma­te­rial (we used dried grass) 17 1m (393/8") lengths of red plas­tic string 17 1m (393/8") lengths of turquoise plas­tic string Six 1m (393/8") lengths of black plas­tic string Three large-eyed nee­dles Ruler or tape mea­sure Mod­ern makes via tra­di­tional tech­niques? That’s what makes our hearts sing. Bas­ket weav­ing is one of those ar­ti­san skills that gets passed down from maker to maker, so we’re thrilled to learn the real deal and help keep it alive.

This bright, shal­low bas­ket is coiled, Sene­galese-style, with dried grasses and plas­tic string for those pops of colour. And yes, now we’ve seen this we can’t set­tle for less than a bas­ket gallery wall ei­ther.

Over­hand knot

This sim­ple knot is the start­ing point when coil­ing grass and is used to at­tach the stitch­ing ma­te­rial to the bun­dle of grass, known as the core ma­te­rial. To make an over­hand knot, wrap the string around the bun­dle and hold both ends on one side of the bun­dle – you want the left end to be about 5cm (2") long. Cross the left end over the right end, cre­at­ing a loop, then pass it un­der (through the loop) and pull tightly.

Coiled bas­ket

Gather 10-12 strands of your pre­ferred dried ma­te­rial for the core of the bas­ket, mak­ing a bun­dle 1.5cm (5/8") in di­am­e­ter, and one red plas­tic string for the stitch­ing ma­te­rial. Be­gin a round base with 11 rows as fol­lows: hold the bun­dle one thumb’s width from the end and se­cure tightly with plas­tic string in an over­hand knot. Thread a nee­dle with plas­tic string. Start coil­ing the bun­dle into a flat cir­cle around the knot, stitch­ing through the cen­tre of the coil to keep the grass in place. Con­tinue to coil a cir­cle, stitch­ing the plas­tic string through the core ma­te­rial in the pre­vi­ous row. The stitches are about 0.5cm ( ") apart. Once the first cou­ple of rows are com­pleted, it be­comes eas­ier as you have more ma­te­rial to grip.

On Row 12, be­gin al­ter­nat­ing 25 red stitches with two turquoise stitches. When the bun­dle of core ma­te­rial thins out, join in more grasses sim­ply by adding more strands into the bun­dle to keep the di­am­e­ter of the bun­dle con­sis­tent. When you’re left with only a short length of plas­tic string, thread the end into the pre­vi­ous row. Join in a new length of string by thread­ing it a cou­ple of wraps back – you may have to hold it in place while you make the next cou­ple of stitches to en­sure it stays se­cure.

From Row 13 to Row 16, al­ter­nate red and turquoise stitches to cre­ate the flower pat­tern, while shap­ing the bas­ket by plac­ing rows directly on top of one an­other. To shape the bas­ket or bowl and to build up the sides, place the coils slightly above the pre­vi­ous cir­cle. Make sure you’re hold­ing the core ma­te­rial in the cor­rect place and us­ing each stitch to hold it there.

As you build up the curved bas­ket shape, make sure the an­gle and height of the sides are even. Add ex­tra turquoise stitches each time you reach the pre­vi­ous ones so they stay aligned. This will re­sult in blocks of four turquoise stitches on Row 13, nine turquoise stitches on Row 14, 18 turquoise stitches on Row 15, and 32 turquoise stitches on Row 16.

From Row 17, add in the black plas­tic string to cre­ate the re­verse tri­an­gle that will act as a dec­o­ra­tive bor­der as you near the top edge of the bowl. Al­ter­nate 17 turquoise stitches, seven red stitches, 17 turquoise stitches, then two black stitches on Row 17.

Al­ter­nate 15 turquoise stitches, four red stitches, 15 turquoise stitches and four black stitches on Row 18.

Con­tinue, al­ter­nat­ing 18 turquoise stitches, two red stitches, 18 turquoise stitches and eight black stitches on Row 19 to com­plete the flower pat­tern.

Con­tinue to build the dec­o­ra­tive tri­an­gle mo­tifs on Row 20 with blocks of 12 black stitches and 16 black stitches.

On Row 21, work al­ter­nate blocks of 22 black stitches and 22 turquoise stitches.

On Row 22, work al­ter­nate blocks of 26 black stitches and 16 turquoise stitches.

Row 23 is the fi­nal top row, so dou­ble up on the stitches by criss­cross­ing each stitch. You need to do this all around the top edge of the bowl un­til you reach and fin­ish the fourth and fi­nal black tri­an­gle. Trim a few strands of the core ma­te­rial, so the bun­dle be­comes thin­ner in di­am­e­ter. Fin­ish the last row by wrap­ping the plas­tic string tightly into the core ma­te­rial so it won’t un­ravel. Trim off any ex­cess fi­bre and se­cure it with a cou­ple of ex­tra stitches.

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