Dianne here…..Mary has asked for some input on teaching braided baskets/bowls as she is scheduled to teach a class in the spring.
Christine may well have more advice on this (and I encourage you all to contribute)…
I have somewhat specialized in baskets because in the West, braided rugs are not as popular as in the East (tho you wouldn’t know it from my house) and they are small projects to work on when I travel to Eastern braiding events. I make homemade jams/jellies and a braided basket with a jar of jam makes for a nice hostess gift….so that’s my history.
Our book (Combining Rug Hooking and Braiding. Basics, Borders and Beyond, Schiffer 2011 and available from Amazon) has a chapter on “beyond” which is primarily baskets and I encourage you to look at it (see if it is in your library). I began with continuous baskets and indeed all but one basket in the book is a continuous with only one an all butted basket.
Continuous baskets have an uneven ending which can be minimized various ways: pulled through and fringed; hidden behind on the inside of the basket; or hidden with a button or even a hooked button. The book chapter and this pix shows some ways:
I now primarily make a continuous base and butt up the sides. The value of this is two-fold: Faster base than butting from the start; butted sides allow for a flat ending as each row is a ring. You can change colors of all strands every row if you want as each row is discrete. Also, if you have a repeating pattern in a fabric, you can match the designs going up the basket as you won’t be increasing as on the base, although this is true with continuous or butted.
I have made baskets with handles as shown in the book, either ‘Easter basket’ handles or ‘cassarole’ handles but I find with butted sides I prefer no handles.
The newest variation is with ‘wooly worms’ which are a by-product of Pendleton’s weaving process. I have experimented with braiding with them; they are too narrow to fold and give a very rustic look, but I kind of like it. Here is one and here is one I did with kind of Christmas colors; it is felting on a bowl to give it a sturdier shape.
Comments? Hope everyone had a nice holiday! Dianne