Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chase Weave

Q: The pattern calls for the "weave and chase" method. Could someone explain this to me in simple terms?
A: Chase weave is weaving with two pieces so that one "chases" the other. This allows you to do a continuous weave without having to split a spoke. The weavers are traditionally the same size.

Taper each piece for about 6 inches. Start weaving with one piece on one of the long sides of the base. Stop when you get to the opposite side. Now start weaving with the other piece until you catch up with piece #1. You'll soon find what works best for you - weaving until you catch up to the other piece, keeping the pieces close together and weaving over a couple of spokes with each piece, or keeping the ends on opposite sides of the basket.

When you run out, it's ended the same way as a start/stop weaving. Overlap the ends of the old weaver and new weaver for 4 spokes, hiding both ends behind a spoke.

When you reach the top of the basket, taper each end again for about 6 inches and stop them about where you started. Now weave a rim row and use this to tuck your stakes over.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weaving on Gourds Book

NEW BOOK - It's HERE! Weaving on Gourds by Marianne Barnes $19.99
Combine basket weaving & gourd art. 200 color images & step- by-step directions, five projects are presented for both the beginner & advanced weaver: Twine & Triple Twine Gourd, Twill Woven Gourd, a Gourd Basket with Four Rod Wale. Chapters cover preparing the gourd, weaving techniques, strengthening the rim & adding embellishments to your finished gourd. Six contributing artists provide tips & a gallery of completed works offers inspiration for creating your own designs. 112 pages Soft Cover
- Includes the Random Gourd Rim pattern by Angie Wagner

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Winter Hours

The heat hasn't left Kempton yet but our winter hours begin with the 1st of October.
Monday noon - 5pm
Tues - Fri 9 - 5
Sat 9 - 1

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How does changing the handle size affect the stakes?

Q: How do I know how long the stakes should be if the pattern calls for one size "D" handle but I want to use a different size?

A: Keep this rule in mind: the length of your stake is determined by adding the width of the base plus 2 times the height desired plus an extra 6" (for tucking the stakes).

If you are using a larger handle than in the pattern, make sure you add extra stakes both horizontally and vertically (otherwise your stakes will be too far apart and you will be left with a weak base and basket).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Special Reed Sale:

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~ Help us CELEBRATE! ~

Special Reed Sale:

In honor of our 35th anniversary (1975 - 2010) we are offering a 20% discount on 35 pounds of mixed sizes of reed. The reed must be of ONE type (ex: 35 coils, any size of flat reed, or flat oval reed, or round reed). Please note: This price for MIXED coils will NOT show up in your shopping cart but will be applied at invoicing and reflected on your shipping confirmation email.

The mixed 35 pound discount will last until December 30th. (If you are ordering 35 pounds of the SAME size, this is the usual discount and the discount WILL show in the online catalog.)

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Friday, August 13, 2010

What is Machine Cane?

Prewoven cane is known by quite a few names: press cane, loom cane, mat cane, sheet cane, machine cane, cane mesh, cane webbing, etc.

It got the name machine cane because it is woven on a loom, a "machine" vs. being woven by hand onto the chair seat. A huge misconception is that prewoven cane is "made by a machine", this is not true at all.

Rolls of prewoven came are 50ft. long so several pieces of cane are attached into one lone piece with overlapping and glued ends to reach that length needed for a full roll. These long strands are rolled onto bobbins and form the warp.

Workers will weave shorter cane strands horizontally for the weft.

Some imperfections will appear in the weaving due to the natural imperfections of cane as well as the piecing process. To repair these weak spots: Cut pieces of cane from the edge of the mat. Soak both the mat and the short pieces of cane. Using a tweezers and/or flat tipped awl, lift the pieces of cane on the mat and slide the repair piece into place, overlapping as much as possible to add strength. Use white glue to secure the new pieces of cane.


No loom can weave a diagonal strand so the diagonals are woven into place one at a time after the horizontal and vertical grid is removed from the loom.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Amount of Shaker tape yardage needed for seats.

Figuring the approximate amount of Shaker tape yardage needed for seats:


Width x Depth= ? Inches

(Measure at widest points.)

For 5/8" tape: ? Inches ÷ 5.3

For 1" tape: ? Inches ÷ 9
Answer = number of yards needed

(Avg. 15" x 18" seat = 52 yds. of 5/8" or 30 yds. of 1")
Two color seat: Answer ÷ 2 = yardage of each color needed
Remember, this is only an approximating tool. It is best to order more that needed because chairs and dye lots can vary.

Click here to order Shaker tape and a Shaker tape color chart with actual samples of tape.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tip of the Week - quick kid's project

Weave around a Styrofoam cup.


Round reed can be inserted across the cup near the bottom. A base can be twined for a couple inches or start weaving up the sides right away, using the shape of the cup as a mold. After the weaving is finished and secured, break away the Styrofoam. Voila', a finished basket.
You can rewet the basket and push the bottom up so it sits flat.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Country Seat Courier

To read the pdf version of our monthly newsletter - The Country Seat Courier - visit our Newsletter Page - http://www.countryseat.com/newsletter.htm . 6 months of newsletters are posted in case you missed one.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tip of the Week - Chase Weave

Q: The pattern calls for the "weave and chase" method. Could someone explain this to me in simple terms?

A: Chase weave is weaving with two pieces so that one "chases" the other. This allows you to do a continuous weave without having to split a spoke. The weavers are traditionally the same size.

Taper each piece for about 6 inches. Start weaving with one piece on one of the long sides of the base. Stop when you get to the opposite side. Now start weaving with the other piece until you catch up with piece #1. You'll soon find what works best for you - weaving until you catch up to the other piece, keeping the pieces close together and weaving over a couple of spokes with each piece, or keeping the ends on opposite sides of the basket.

When you run out, it's ended the same way as a start/stop weaving. Overlap the ends of the old weaver and new weaver for 4 spokes, hiding both ends behind a spoke.

When you reach the top of the basket, taper each end again for about 6 inches and stop them about where you started. Now weave a rim row and use this to tuck your stakes over.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Organizing Tool

Bob-EEZ Bobbins - Made from soft, flexible plastic, they are stackable, and have a patented locking feature which prevents threads, etc. from unraveling. Use multiple bobbins to secure loose ends as you work.


Large size great for round reed.
LARGE - 3 -1/2” diam.

Monday, May 24, 2010

How Much Reed is Needed to Weave a Basket

Q: I want to weave a basket, but the pattern doesn't tell me how much reed I will need. How do I know?

A: Our print catalog and on-line catalog list the approximate number of feet per one pound coil for each size of reed. For example: 1/2" flat reed has approximately 185 feet per one pound coil.

The way to approximate how much you need for a particular basket is to take the number of stakes times the length and divide by 12 to get the number of feet needed. For example: 5 stakes at 20" and 7 stakes at 18" = approximately 19 feet. Now divide 185 by 19 = 9 baskets.

For each size of reed on the sides of the basket, take the number of rows of weaving, times the diameter of the basket (add 4 inches to the diameter for the overlap) divided by 12 to get the number of feet needed. If you do not know the diameter of the basket, take the base measurement and add together. For example: the base measures 10" x 12", so take 10" + 10" + 12" + 12" = 44" + 4" overlap = 48" approximate diameter.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Measuring Pre-woven Cane

Q: How do I know what kind and how much cane mesh do I need?

A: Pre-woven Cane comes in several styles and sizes. If the cane is a pattern with small octagon openings: measure the distance from the left side of 1 vertical strand to the right side of the next corresponding vertical strand - it should measure 3/8" (superfine open), 1/2" (fine open) or 5/8" (medium open).
Fine Box has small square openings and Close Woven has no spaces between the strands of cane.

You need to add 2 inches to each direction. Ex: if the opening of the wood measures 12" x 12" you should order a piece of cane that is 14" x 14".
New cane will not match the color of the old pieces still on the chairs, so you have to either redo all at the same time, or stain the new ones to match the old. If staining, use multiple thin coats until you like the color. Stain the top and bottom of the cane.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tip of the Week - Mellowing Materials

Mellow a Material
Q: I want to work with cattails, the directions say to "mellow the cattails". What does this mean?

A: Mellowing is a way to make a material flexible without saturating it with water.

Lay cattails out on a plastic sheet and sprinkle them with water (or very quickly dip them into water), wrap the plastic around them and let them sit until they feel flexible. Cattails become waterlogged very easily and they will swell. This produces a loose product after they dry. Mellowing adds just enough water to become flexible.

Other materials can also benefit from mellowing.

The twisted natural grass rush should be dipped in warm/hot water and wrapped in a damp towel until the moisture seeps into the center and becomes flexible.

Try this with dyed reed to help keep the color from running.

Many natural materials like grasses and pine needles also benefit from mellowing.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tip of the Week - Weaving Table

Our weaving table is wonderful for starting spoked bottom and double spoked bottom baskets. The table is 14" square with a 1" square grid marking. The grid also has 1" apart circles for measuring the rows of twining.
The spokes are laid out in a pin wheel fashion and a T-pin is inserted into the center and through the hole in the weaving table to hold them all in place. Then you can begin twining and be sure that all the spokes are spaced evenly. The table is mounted on a ball-bearing base so it spins as you work.
The surface of the table is treated with a waterproof finish.
The weaving table can also be used for laying out square or rectangle bases, no measuring, just use the 1" grid markings.
The table also works great for slotted bases. You can turn the the weaving table, instead of turning the base,while weaving the first couple of rows, without knocking any of the stakes out of the groove.

When working on a spoked bottom basket. If it is hard to get the T-pin through the reed spokes, turn the table over and tap the T-pin through the reed with a small hammer. Once the tip of the T-pin is through the reed, you can place the pin into the center hole of the weaving table. This way you will not put extra holes into the weaving surface.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Summer is coming

While spring has just sprung in our area, it's not too early to think about summer and what to do with the kids on those lazy summer days.

Weaving a construction paper basket:




Cut strips of construction or water color paper 1/2" wide by at least 14" long.

Using 2 colors will give the checkerboard effect seen in the photo.

Lay out a base of 12 spokes by 12 spokes, weaving over 1 / under 1. The horizontal spokes are all the same color, the verticle spokes are all the 2nd color.



Now you have a woven base with 4 sides, each side will have one color of spokes extending away from the base.

Gather all the spokes from one side. Bend them upwards and fan them so they are wider at the base and all the ends come together. Staple or glue and clamp the ends.



Repeat this on the other three sides.

Take 4 more strips of paper (2 groups of 2) and attach to opposite corners to make a handle that crosses in the center.



Form a bow with paper strips and attach to center of handles.

Let you imagination go to work. There are many ways this little basket can be altered and embellished.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tip of the Week ~ Mitered Corners

Mitered Corners
Q: The last direction in making the base says "Using 1/4 flat, miter the base." We're not sure what "miter" means.

A: To "mitre or miter" a base is basically the same idea as twining the base. When you twine you use round reed, when you mitre you use flat reed.. It is merely a way of locking the spokes into place before turning up the sides and it also adds another 1/2" to the width and length measurements..

Simply weave over/under the spokes, when you get to a corner, you will "mitre" the reed, simply fold it over itself so the opposite side is up. Continue weaving over/under. Make the fold or right angle at each corner. You must select a "nice" piece of reed as two sides of the basket will have the right side out, two sides will have the wrong side out. However, since it is on the base, it is not that important.

This is also called a "locking row".

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just released - Vladimir Yarish's first DVD. Lesson 1 is the small Square-to-Round basket, the foundation basket. Get your copy at the introductory price of $9.95. DVD Lesson 1 Square-to-round birch bark basket

Tip of the Week - What is Chicken Track?

Chicken Track
Q: A pattern I want to try calls for chicken track around a base where filler reed was placed, what is the chicken track.?

A: "Chicken Track" is merely one of several terms for the design that is created when filler spokes are split down the middle and tucked under a stake to each side rather than being turned back upon themselves (this forms a "V" shape). The term was most likely first applied by someone who knows the design chickens make in the mud. It is also referred to as: chicken feet, crow's feet & henscratch.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tip of the Week - Tucking Stakes

Tucking stakes is my least favorite part of weaving a flat reed basket (I think that's why my favorite style of weaving is round reed, the rims are so much fun!).
In case you feel the same way. here are some tips and tools to make it go faster.
Cutting the inside stakes flush with the last row of weaving (the rim row).
If the stakes are dry, rewet all stakes with a wet (but not dripping) sponge. You want to rewet the stakes but not drip or spray water all over your basket, especially if you have wooden handles or bases.
Use the Plato Shear to cut off the stakes. If the stake is wide, cut 1/2 way through the stake, bend the cut part back and cut the rest of the way through.
Tucking the stakes into the inside rows of weaving:
Bend a stake down to the inside of your basket. I hold the basket so I am reaching across the basket and looking directly at the spot where it will be tucked. Eyeball or mark where it needs to be cut off (a general rule is to tuck a stake behind 2-3 rows of weaving). I then let the stake stand up and cut all the other stakes to the same height (double check afterwards by bending them down). Cut off the tip of each corner with the Basket Shear. This will allow the stake to slide down easier as well as hide it from view on the outside.
Now the stakes are ready to be tucked. Using the Weaverite tool letter B or D (B is shown in pictures), slide the tool behind the first row of weaving, using the tool to make space between the upright stake and the row of weaving and push the stake down into the space. Move the tool to behind the 2nd row of weaving and push the stake the rest of the way down. I give a final push on the top of the stake to make sure it is as far down as it will go.
After all the stakes have been tucked, remember to check the outside of the basket to make sure the stakes are all inline and not out to one side or the other. If they are out of line, push then into place with the tip of the Weaverite tool letter B.
If any of the tops of your tucked stakes look like this:
trim them with the Plato Shear.
If you treat tucking stakes like an assembly line and use the right tools, it will go a little faster.
happy weaving

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How to Make Baskets 1-10 book series

We are proud to announce that we are the owners and distributors of the
How to Make Baskets 1-10 series of instruction books written by well-known author Lyn Siler.

All ten books are in print and available for immediate purchase.
The entire series is being revised as reprinting becomes necessary and the cover price is eliminated on all revised books (suggested retail price: $4.00). We hope that you will like the new, easier-to-read type style, clarified directions, and consistency throughout the series.

As of now, books 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10 have been revised.
This softcover series covers classic as well as innovative designs. Each book contains instructions for three baskets (as well as additional sizing variations for some of the baskets).
 
To receive discounted pricing, the minimum order is six copies of one book.

Titles may be assorted to reach each level of quantity discounts.

6-12 copies $2.40 each

13-50 copies $2.10 each

51-100 copies $1.65 each

101-200 copies $1.55 each

201+ copies $1.48 each

 
Terms: Net – 15
FOB Kempton, PA
Shipped via UPS
For any questions, please contact us at weaving@countryseat.com.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Micro clips - 10 per pack $3.95 each.
1-1/8" long x 1/4" opening
Perfect for working on miniatures, pounded ash and birch bark.
Micro Clamps in Online Catalog

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lashing with Cane

Tip of the Week ~
Lashing with Cane

When lashing with natural or bleached cane (or weaving a cane seat) look for the tiny nodules along the length. These nodules are where the thorns were removed (cane is the bark of the rattan plant, reed comes from the core of the plant). The cane should ALWAYS be pulled though with the high side of the nodules coming first. If it is pulled in the other direction, the nodules can catch and may rip or shred the cane.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year

So far so good as we enter the new year but it sure is cold in a lot of places. Good weaving weather. This Tip of the Week will cover one of my favorite tools.

Tip of the Week ~

One of my favorite tools is our Basket Shear.
The Original (Gardencut Bonsai) Basket Shear has solid red soft flex handles with incredibly sharp and strong, carbon-steel blades. Made in Japan. 2" blades, 8" overall length.

These shears will cut the thickest reed, harvest naturals or trim the thinnest hairs. Great for general household use ~ Bonsai, cutting flowers, trimming shrubs, small branches, etc. (only good for ribbon and soft materials when they are new). Stays sharp and lasts for years. Don't be fooled by cheaply made shears.

These shears make work easy. When they begin to dull, I sharpen them on a sharpening stone. A professional sharpening will make them like new.

I have cut down small trees with these shears. It takes several cuts, but for me they work much better than pruning shears. I keep a pair in the house, in the car, in the shop, etc. Love them!