We three are all running a workshop at Bankfield Museum on Saturday 2nd December, although Julie is the expert and Karen and I are supporting. The course is now full but you could make a basket at home – I have tried to describe the steps for success.
I have not tried this method of basket making before but am having great fun getting a few samples ready. You can use a flan tray or cut circles of card (use two pieces with the corrugations running in different directions to give it strength).
If you use a flan tray you may have to manage with an even number of warp threads, which will mean that each time round you will have to miss a thread to keep to the under and over pattern. If you are using card, mark out an odd number of evenly spaced sections (like the segments of a chocolate orange.) Then you could indent the marks with a pair of sturdy scissors or a blunt knife.
Next you wrap the warp thread around the card or flan tray; the last one will have to be double – you will find out why as you do this, but fasten the loose ends off at the back, securely.
Start weaving your chosen weft (thread, wool or fancy ribbon) in and out, around and around. If you are making a very small basket, you might need to use a bodkin to thread and pull the yarn under and over. You can change the yarn when you have more confidence, just weave the new yarn in and continue.
Work loosely to begin with then when you are about half way through, gradually pull the yarn tighter until the last few round are quite tight. This will pull the weaving towards the centre, but will also act to give the basket shape when you have finished.
When you have finished weaving, cut the warp from the card or flan tray – I suggest cutting at the back to leave long threads which will give you options! You can gently encourage the basket shape by easing the sides up.
To finish your basket you can tie the pairs of threads off (you will have one set of 3 threads due to the odd number), or you can sew them in, or use another thread to sew them securely, leaving shorter ends loose.
I am going to use mine to put tiny presents in – perhaps in boxes!