Friday, 18 December 2015
Basket weaving - a craft cliché
Now I call myself a multi-crafter, so really that should involve the most crafty of crafts. The stereotype of crafts, and of old ladies. I suppose I am sort of an old lady, well I feel like one with my lack of teeth. I took lovely mum and mum-in-law to deepest darkest Derbyshire for a one day course making willow baskets.
There were long sticks of damp willow, secateurs and pointy tools.
We started with the base. The spokes start off like this, 3 jammed inside another 3. Then the weaving begins.
Wow, it was tough. The willow branches used for the base were pretty thick and not very pliable, so weaving round and keeping them pushed down was a bit of a fight.
There were a few different colours of willow available, so as soon as I could, I swapped to the green which was much easier to weave. It hasn't stayed green though, now my basket is home and in a warm house, they've turned light brown.
With the base finished, the spokes are bent upwards and tied in place. A weight is placed inside to hold the base down as we worked. It's at this point that you could shape the basket, but I was having such a struggle keeping the spokes all tied up that I didn't even attempt shape!
I abandoned the willow used for the base altogether as it was too hard to weave, instead I did stripes of the green and a dark brown. It was fun. I did enjoy doing this part. I weaved and weaved until the class was nearly over.
Then the top was kind of plaited to finish it off and all ends were cut off. Ta-dah! Not a bad effort eh? It's not particularly round, or particularly neat, but I'm pretty proud of it. The one in the background to the left is mum-in-law's and the one in the background to the right is my mum's handbag!