I mentioned in a previous post, Beautiful Baskets, that I'd been learning to weave baskets with my friend Carolyn. I finished my basket quite quickly because I made it small and because I have quite a loose style. After I was done I got obsessed with many other craft projects, especially notebook making, but all this time Carolyn's basket was growing. She'd been aiming for something much larger right from the start and had a much neater, tighter weaving style than me. She also worked out ways to make her basket a more unusual shape and style to mine. She only finished a few days ago and the results were just amazing so I thought I would share them.
As you can see from this photo the basket is large enough to act as a proper laundry basket. Because the individual bags are more tightly bound together, and Carolyn used more tape to keep them secure, it's also strong enough to hold a wash-load of wet clothes. You can just about see in this photo that the basket has an oval shape, here's how she achieved that.
Initially Carolyn coiled the basket, giving the base a circular shape, but when it reached a diameter of about 5 inches she added two triangular pieces to opposite sides of the circle and continued to coil around them.
Another respect in which Carolyn took a different approach to the one included in my tutorial was in the handle-making. My smaller basket has so far not been called upon to carry a great deal of weight and the plaited handles I made have worked fine for this. Carolyn's basket would, however, clearly be called upon to carry my larger amounts, so she came up with a way to make a strong integrated handle.
A few rows before the basket was the height she wanted it Carolyn created handles on either side of the basket by effectively 'dropping stitches' and leaving 4 inch sections of plastic bag not bound to the lower row. These 4 inch sections were then bound with the rows that followed. the handles stretch when the basket is bearing weight, but they spring back quickly and are very strong.
I'm very sad to say that since finishing her basket Carolyn has had to leave the country, but I hope she'll get the chance to see these pictures soon and be inspired to more crafting. We will be thinking of you Carolyn and hoping for your quick and safe return.
Much love, and luck
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