Wednesday, February 10, 2010

While the Cat's away

the mice will play, or work... Does basketmaking count???

Yes, I've taken another detour into basketmaking, mostly because I need a better way to transport and store some of my stuff. You see, the new studio is just one big empty room, devoid of any storage whatsoever! While I have storage at home, and my last vacation studio had built in storage (it had previously been an office) my new studio won't have much in the way of furniture (until we get to move there - wish it could be as soon as it is finished), other than my old cutting table, past desk / sewing table and eventually, my new loom. I will be ordering some office furniture eventually (you know, some assembly required), because that is something that has always been built in, but I need immediate storage for things like yarn, fabric, loom accessories, etc. that I want to keep available for constant use. Well, I don't really have a workspace that is large enough for baskets, I cover and use the dining room table, and since my husband was going on a business trip, I took the opportunity to pull out the basketmaking supplies and make a few more.

This first one is really supposed to be a purse, although I think I'll probably use it as a small tote. I love the twill design, but I found it much more difficult to weave. It was supposed to have one longer strap, but since I didn't have one, I decided to use this pair of leather handles because they really go with the colors of the reed. The pattern is called "Flowing Twill Purse", by Wendy L. Reary, and can be found in the book "A Basketmaker's Odyssey", Over, Under, Around & Through" by Lyn Syler.

"Sasha's Christmas Basket" by Dianne Stanton. Now this basket was a joy to make, and will hold quite a bit of yarn or fabric. I love the way the pattern came out with the walnut and smoked reed!

"Rosie's Tote" by Gina Kieft. Several of my friends have a tote similar to this one, so of course I needed to weave one of my own. It will come in handy toting things to class, because it will hold lots of fabric and other supplies!

"Recycling Basket" by Brianne Feldpausch. Now this one is a bit different, and much larger, as a matter of fact it's huge compared to the others! I had planned to use all green reed, but the narro reed arrived in a different shade, so I decided to use a varigated blue instead, and maybe I shouldn't have, but it's ok. I love the size and shape of this basket, and even the patterning, however, the rim is an issue - it's beautiful, but much weaker than any of my other baskets. Since I've never done a braided rim before, and the instructions were for a single braided rim, it's wimpy, squishy, and basically leaves the rim very flimsy. It's quite possible that I should have kept the reed tight, or maybe it really should have been woven thicker? The only one I have seen online was a double braided rim that Basketmaster Nancy used on her Mini Muffin Basket, and that was a tiny basket compared to this one, but would be stronger than the one in the directions I was following. I'm thinking maybe I could just add a 1/2 round rim that would be on both sides, leaving the decorative loops below the twining and the top of the braid as a rim filler, but with the curved top it might not work out very well. Anyway, I'm not going to put a finish on it, and will set it aside until my friend Cathy is here again, so I can get an expert opinion on what I should do.


Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster said...

What beautiful baskets. If you are going for strength on that last basket, go for the 1/2" half round or my personal preferance would be 5/8" flat/oval. The braided rim won't give you the strength you probably want.
Enjoy your day!

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

What a great collection of baskets!


I love your baskets, they are so beautiful. The one with the dark straps, are they fabric?

Lynn Majidimehr said...

Thank you all for such nice compliments, and Nancy, thank you for the rim help!