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    How to Weave a Reed Basket

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    Join date : 2011-05-30

    How to Weave a Reed Basket

    Post  Admin on Tue May 31, 2011 6:23 pm

    First, a few facts about working with reeds, they are extremely brittle when dry because they are dry grass. If they are too pliable just let then dry a few minutes. Place four pieces of the reed in your hand so they are horizontal and the other four vertical. Bring the narrow reed over the vertical strands and under the horizontal ones. Working with the smaller sized reed, briefly run warm water over it before uncoiling it.Do the same all the way around. Then gently bend one and place it inside the basket weave, skipping the reed next to it. If left loose it creates a unholy mess that strains anyone's patience to try and untangle. A good reliable place is the Cane and Basket Supply located in California. Place the smaller sized reed in the bowl of warm water to soak until it is ready to use. It is important to keep the reed damp.

    When you are almost three inches from the top of the basket stop and place it upside down in the water so the upper larger sized canes are wet. To begin, cut eight pieces of the larger size reed, each piece should measure approximately fourteen inches in length then set them aside to soak in warm, not hot, water for a few minutes. To loosen a strand of reed gently pull it loose from the bottom, following it up to where it joins the others. Continue to weave using the over one under one pattern. Now is a good time to place another coil of narrow reed in the water to soak, do this when you take out one so you have one soaking when you need it. Separate the larger reeds into pairs, you should have 16 total.

    Check the larger canes, they should be ready to work with now. Reed that is too pliable splits easily. Materials and tools needed: Round reed in two sizes, number four and number six reed is good to work with. The rest of the supplies are found in your home: scissors or clippers to cut the reed; a bowl; needle nose pliers a few wooden clothespins and a good chunk of time to work on the basket. Coil it in a circle as you go, but not too tight as it will break easily. Watch for any spots that are weak, this will make your basket unstable. Overlap the ends so that they stay secure and continue to weave. Either use a clothespin to hold them together or hold them with your hand, take the thinner reed out of the water, unclip the clothespin from it and wrap one end diagonally across the bottom of the vertical reeds. It is best to suspend the tied end of the reed someplace high, like a nail or coat hook while working with it. This gives you a nice decorative edge to your basket. Continue this until the larger reeds are secure. As you are working, you can shape the basket to be narrower or wider and shallow.

    When it comes time to add another reed, try and make sure the end of the previous one is inside or hidden beside the larger reed. Round reed is one of the easiest materials to use and these instructions will teach the reader how to make a basket that is approximately six to sevens inches in height and about a hand span in diameter. Basket making is very old, with almost any pliable material being used to make these versatile containers. You will need several of these while weaving your basket. Dry reed snaps easily! Weave the narrow reed over and under the pairs, keeping the tension even. Cut one of them short so that you have fifteen, then treat the single reed as a double. Check in the nearest craft store or basket supply place to obtain some. But when you soak them in warm water they become wonderfully pliable and bend to almost any shape you desire. At this time, make sure the bottom is level and the tension is even on the sides of the basket with no unsightly gaps.


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