Braided Baskets and Bowls

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:MEMO0020

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.photo501250f470b6bf81f2685d68a7230fe67817644d0dc

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.

camera roll 084Another variation which Kris McDermet and I have started, is hooked/braided bowls which have a hooked bottom and attached to a butted braid base then butted braided rows up the sides.

The newest variation is with ‘wooly worms’ which are a by-product of Pendleton’s weaving process.camera roll 142 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. 01679207dc66442d76bfb177a41440acf9d9eaa7b4_00001Here 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

2 thoughts on “Braided Baskets and Bowls

  1. Mary here: Thanks for all of this good help, and for moderating my questions out into the group. I had been meaning to ask about your book, so am anxious to get my own copy.

  2. I really like the idea of the tiny basket with homemade jelly or jam as a hostess gift.I might try that next summer when the berries are in season. Also I like Christine’s idea of using two strands to make the basket. If you have two strands of one color on one and one of the same on the other, you make a lovely zigzag pattern.

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