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