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Green Openwork Basket for Violets

Aug 17, 2007
The high-handled flower basket of our grandmother's time is seldom seen nowadays except in pictures. It has gone the way of the old- fashioned bouquet with short-stemmed flowers tightly bound together. In gathering masses of long-stemmed roses from our gardens we shall find a tray-shaped basket more convenient.

Green Openwork Basket for Violets

Materials:
24 30-inch pieces of No. 1 rattan,
2 weavers of No. 2 rattan,
An iridescent glass bowl.

Nothing could be more harmonious than the cool green of this open-meshed basket enclosing an iridescent glass bowl filled with violets. The basket is dainty, yet very simply made.

The arrangement of spokes in the usual sixteen-spoke centre is followed, except that there are six spokes in each of the four groups, instead of four, and the weaver follows three times around these groups before they are separated into threes. Ten rows of under-and-over weaving, according to the Indian method, for an even number of spokes, make a slightly rounded bottom. The edge is bound off, and each group of spokes having been wet until pliable, is brought under the next group on the right, over the next, under the next, over the next, under the next and outside.

The mat-shaped basket is then moulded up between the hands into a bowl shape, like the openwork candy basket in "How to Make Baskets." The spokes are drawn in or out and the top pressed closely in until it fits the glass bowl. This process will take time and patience, for the edge of the basket should be even and on a line with the edge of the bowl. When this is accomplished the basket is turned upside down and a pliable weaver doubled around one of the groups of ends is woven in pairing for two rows to form part of a base. This should be done carefully so as not to draw the ends too close together and make the finishing of the base difficult. Each group of ends is then brought over the next two groups, on the left and inside the base, which completes it.

In order to get the silvery green colour for this basket, it is not soaked in the alum mordant before dyeing, but simply wet in clear water. The directions for green dye with indigo and bark extract may be used, but before dyeing it the colour should be tried on bits of rattan.
About the Author
Buy the 77 page ebook More Baskets and How to Make Them to learn more on how to make and weave baskets.
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