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

No comments: