Basketmaster's Weavings is about my passions, much of which revolves around basket weaving. I weave with reed and I love teaching others to weave. Many of the patterns and styles that I show in the blog are geared to the beginning weaver, or even the brand new weaver. If you have been thinking about wanting to learn to weave, then this blog is for you. Throughout the blog and videos I take you step by step through each and every process of weaving. I want you to be successful in weaving the very first time you try. For the intermediate and advanced weaver, my wish is that you take ideas that I show, mix them up a bit, and incorporate them into your own beautiful creations.
Happy Weaving and Baskets of Blessings to all my visitors,
You may find my YouTube Videos Here.
Listen to Basketmaster's Making our Home a Haven Podcast.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I also wanted to say, last night on my computer, a small window popped up with the first name of someone asking if they wanted to be my friend for IM'ing. I'm not into instant messaging so I declined, but then the computer said it would block all messages from this person. I didn't want to block e-mails from this person, I just didn't want to become involved with IM. I didn't recognize this person immediately. Then thought it might be a blog reader. I don't want to offend anyone here and I'm sorry if it was one of you I blocked. Blocking was not my intent. It just seemed to happen when I declined receiving that person's IM's.
Hope you all understand.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I've been about to bust wanting to show you these baskets and have been waiting patiently for them to officially go on sale before showing the pictures.
I tested a couple other patterns out for Julie and I will be showing those to you very soon.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
In this video we will finish the base. That will include tucking in the fillers, twining a keeper row and upsetting the stakes.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The bottom photo shows a big poster that the library had made advertising the class. I got two of the posters when I left. How cool is that?!
Have a blessed Sunday and Happy Weaving,
This next week I will show you how I did this and what I created with it!
Today is my class at our local library. I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes. I have a full class with 12 students!
Have a wonderful weekend and let me know what creative things you've been up to this week.
Friday, October 23, 2009
He sells his baskets through Etsy and his Etsy shop can be found HERE. It showcases his beautiful woven baskets as well as kits and even greeting cards with woven embellishments.
You really need to visit his shop to see all his wonderful work.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
We will begin weaving a new basket shortly. It is my "Mini Muffin Basket."
Get you weaving supplies ready. You will need the following:
- 5/8" flat reed
- 3/8" flat reed
- 1/4" flat reed
- #3 round reed
As always, if you would like to view any of my baskets, you can visit my YouTube channel at
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Julie has her patterns for sale on her website HERE. They will be for sale soon at Basketpatterns.com I'll keep you posted when those go live. The patterns I've tested and woven were the "Recipe Box Basket", the "Yarn Dispenser Basket" and the "Santa Boot". I'll be posting pictures of those soon. All three are very unique and clever baskets and were a lot of fun to weave. Julie is a very thorough pattern writer and there are lots of photos in the pattern making it easy to follow.
Thank you again Julie for both the angel and the opportunity to weave your patterns.
ps. If anyone has patterns they would like tested before publishing, just send me an e-mail. I promise to give only constructive comments.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
If it is a large project, one stage you can do is read through your pattern, gather your supplies and cut your stakes. Of course you can stop at this point. I like to have all my supplies gathered together because it is frustrating to have to get up and down because I've forgotten something.
Is your basket being woven in all natural reed? If so, and if there are no wooden parts then you can stop at most any time during your project and just resoak it when you are ready to begin again.
If you have wooden parts on your basket such as a wooden base or a wooden handle, you shouldn't even dip those in water. Some wooden handles are held together with glue and the water could affect the stick-um power of the glue. Some handles are steamed into their shape and water could cause them to relax and straighten back out. Of course they may get slightly damp from using wet reed and that cannot be helped, I'm just saying don't dip them in water. So that said, when you start weaving, it is best to weave up to the top of your basket and get your stakes cut and tucked. You can always put the rim on during your next basket weaving session.
I hope this gives you some suggestions when to pause your weaving should you need to . Of course, in all instances, it is ideal to go from beginning to the finished project in one session.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
On the inside of the basket you will see the fillers are finished off in a "Crow's feet" or "Chicken feet" method for a fun look.
I think the little raffia bow is the finishing touch!
Baskets of Blessings,
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The kids and I continue to cook. They love to work in the kitchen and are old enough to do candy making safely. The kids liked the candied apples best but my favorite was the Candy Corn Cookie Bark. (I'm not kidding, the Candy Corn Cookie Bark is seriously yummy!) For the candied apples, I just used the recipe from Joy of Cooking.
Candy Corn Cookie Bark
Recipe adapted from Your Home Based Mom
One package of Oreos broken but not crushed. Keep in large chunks.
3 cups pretzels, broken into pieces.
2 lb. white chocolate, almond bark
2 cups candy corn
Melt almond bark over low heat in a large saucepan.
Add Oreos, pretzels and 1 cup candy corn to the almond bark and mix, coating well.
Cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper.
Pour almond bark mixture onto cookie sheet.
Sprinkle remaining candy corn and colored sprinkles over the almond bark while it is still wet. Tap the sprinkled candy corn lightly into the almond bark mixture but let it stay on the top for decoration.
Place cookie tray into refrigerator until set and firm. Remove and gently break bark into small pieces. Store in air tight container.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
ps. What do you think of my photography skills here? I'm trying some of those fancy close-up shots and I have a frame around my picture. I'm learning! (thanks Anne for your Power Point help) These were suggestions from the book I told you about the other day Blogging For Bliss by Tara Frey.
Halloween Smores In A Jar
1 quart mason jar
1 sleeve graham crackers
1 package holiday marshmallow peeps
one bag of holiday M&Ms candies
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1. Crush 1 sleeve graham crackers to crumbs.
2. Layer 2/3 of the graham cracker crumbs in a 1 qt jar. Pack down the crumbs a bit.
3. Arrange 8 to 12 marshmallow holiday peeps standing up, facing out around the inside of the jar. Press them up against the glass, but don't squash them.
4. Carefully spoon remaining cracker crumbs in the center of the jar to support the peeps, pressing down to keep it snug.
5. On top of this pour 1-1/4 cup M&M's in holiday colors.
7. Spoon 1/3 cup brown sugar into center of M&M's, gently pressing with a spoon. If you have any room left over, fill the jar to the top with M&Ms.
1. Empty the jar contents into a bowl.
Snip the peeps into bits with kitchen shears or cut up with a knife.
Return the peep bits to the mixture. Mix well.
2. Melt 1/2 cup butter; add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour this over the dry ingredients, mixing well. Pat into a greased 8" or 9" square pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
From time to time I like to weave a basket to contain something specific like this Corning Ware dish. I've also woven around plastic containers of various sizes. These plastic containers basically become a liner for the basket. This way, I can put food or plants in my baskets and I don't have to worry about my baskets becoming damaged or wet.
The way I start designing the basket is I know what purpose I want to use the basket for.
If I want to weave it around something like this dish in the picture, I measure around it. Look closely at the photo. My tape measure extends two inches on each side of the basket. I would cut my stakes for this basket 17". This gives me room to cut and tuck and I won't run short when I get to the top. So basically, measure the three sides (side, bottom, side) and add 4 inches. If it is a large basket, I would add 6" or an extra 3" to each side. Make sense?
Then I almost always use 1/2" flat or 5/8" flat for my stakes or spokes. I weave typically with thinner reed than my spokes so 3/8", 1/4" or 11/64" flat or flat oval or round reed, anything that is thinner or more flexible than my stakes. If I use fillers for my base, I often use 3/8" or 1/2" flat. To know the number of stakes to cut, you're just going to have to do the math on your particular project. It depends on what size stakes you are using and the spacing you choose between each stake.
As I weave up the sides, my creativity just guides me. I just have a finished height in mind. For my rim row, I weave 1/8" narrower reed than what I'm going to use for my rim. for example, if my rim is 1/2" flat/oval, I would weave my top rim row 3/8" flat.
Have you ever been at a store and saw a basket you really liked and thought you could weave it at home with a higher quality look and in colors that matched your decor? Just keep your tape measure in your purse and measure around the basket like I did in the photo. Take a few notes as to what sizes of materials they used and the finished dimensions of the basket. Then you can go home and weave it with better quality products, better reed, better handles etc.
Be sure to post a comment or send me an e-mail if you have further questions about this. I hope it gets you started on designing your own baskets. As always, be sure to let me know when you finish a basket and post me a link to its photo.
Monday, October 12, 2009
This is my new favorite book and I've been devouring it. I love reading blogs. I think what I like so much about reading blogs is that they remind me of reading a magazine and I love reading magazines. Magazines have short articles of interest and that is just what blogs are about, short articles of interest. I really enjoy blogging and I've been trying to get better at it. Have you noticed I've been playing around lately with the look of my blog? I've been looking at blogs and trying to decipher what it is about some that just draw me in. That is what I want for my blog. I want to draw you in. I want to be a better writer. I want to be a better photographer. Goodness, some of the photos on blogs make me feel like I am right there. If it is food I just want to reach into my computer and taste it. If it is fabric I just want to touch it.
Blogging For Bliss by Tara Frey is scrumptious. I'm not kidding. She uses examples from over 50 blogs that are amazing in one form or another. She starts out with the very basics covering starting up a blog and takes you step by step through the process. She covers photography, HTML codes, banners and sidebars, search engine optimization and more and more and more! The 50 plus blogs that she mentions are like an interview with each one. Each blog interview talks about blogging and gives some tips and advice. Tara blogs over at http://www.tarafrey.com/ and you can get her book on Amazon.
Have a wonderful day,
Sunday, October 11, 2009
As the weather cools off I wanted to show you a couple of casserole carriers I wove. Both baskets have handles made from the stakes. The one on the left has a 7/8" strip of reed in the middle of the weaving which I painted. The basket on the right has filler from #6 round reed rather than seagrass. I took the round reed up from where it is sandwiched between the rims and incorporated it into the handle wrapping for a sturdy handle. As I wove these both, I kept putting in the Corning Ware dish into the basket to make sure it would fit. It is a handy way to serve a hot dish at the table.
Have a Blessed Sunday,
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Hugs and Blessings,
Friday, October 9, 2009
I am so thrilled today as I have been featured on FaveCrafts! They have published one of my basket patterns HERE. Also, they wrote a very nice blog post about me HERE. This is really exciting for me as it is my first publication feature!
Be sure to visit FaveCrafts and get your free basket weaving pattern. While you're there, take look around their site. They have some amazing crafters and tutorials on almost every craft imaginable. I was their first basket weaving tutorial!
I've got to be careful because I'm getting a seriously big head here.
Thanks for letting me brag and share my enthusiasm with all of you and a huge THANK YOU to FaveCrafts.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Here is the written pattern for the berry basket. You can do this basket by following step-by-step through the videos. If you look on the left hand sidebar of my blog, scroll down to my "Learn to Weave" video section. Look for the videos for BERRY BASKET. They start with the one for "Round Basket Base - Berry Basket". Then just go down the video list in order to weave this basket with the videos.
Pattern Written by Nancy Jacobs
- 5/8" flat reed
- 3/8" flat reed
- 1/4" flat reed
- 11/64" flat reed
- 1/2" flat/oval reed
- 11/64" flat/oval reed
- #3 round reed
- Cut your spokes from 5/8" flat reed. Cut 7 spokes at 18" and 1 spoke at 50"(The 50" piece will form your handle). Mark the centers of your spokes on the rough side.
- With rough sides up, lay the 50" piece on the bottom and three of the 18" pieces matching the centers to start the base. It should look like the spokes on a bicycle wheel. Space them apart evenly.
- Twine with #3 round reed until the diameter of the base is 5 1/2". Incorporate the four remaining spokes and twine for a couple more rows or until the base is 6".
- Upset the spokes.
- Using basic over-under weaving for the sides of the basket weave in the following order: Rows 1 and 2 weave 3/8" flat. Rows 3 through 11 weave 11/64" flat (I used dyed reed). Rows 12 through 14 weave 3/8" flat.
- ATTENTION, PLEASE READ BEFORE GOING ANY FURTHER. DO NOT CUT YOUR 50" PIECE HERE. It is time to cut and tuck your spokes. You will be cutting the inside spokes and tucking the outside spokes. Even if your handle ended up as an inside spoke, do NOT cut it. Just cut and tuck the other short spokes.
- Cut a handle filler from 5/8" flat reed 15" long
- Tuck the handles into the basket on the opposite side to your desired length. They will loop over each other to make a double thickness. Sandwich the handle filler between the 50" pieces to again increase the strength of the handle. This now makes a triple thickness for the handle.
- Position a rim from 1/2" flat/oval reed on the inside and outside of your top row of weaving. Sandwich a piece of seagrass between the rim pieces. You may taper the ends of the 1/2" flat/oval if desired to decrease the thickness where it overlaps.
- Lash the rim in place with 11/64" flat/oval reed.
- Wrap the handle with 1/4" flat reed. You may do a decorative treatment with matching dyed reed as desired.
- Trim or singe the hairs of the basket.
I hope you enjoy this basket and give it a try, especially if you are new to weaving. If you are a new weaver, this basket is just for you! Follow along with the YouTube videos and it should be a snap. Please let me know when you have woven this or other baskets as I'd love to stop by your blog and see them!
Happy Weaving and Baskets of Blessings,
Monday, October 5, 2009
- Use plenty of clothespins especially in the first few rows. They are your extra hands. One thing I notice when teaching is that students use too few clothespins. The basket above is not large yet I have 10 clothespins on it. As I weave higher up the walls of the basket I won't need as many.
- Clothespin your corners upright. You can see easier in the top photo that I have all four corners clothespinned upright. Keep these pinned also for the first few rows, then the clothespins in the corners can be removed.
- If you are a new weaver, select patterns that use at least 3/8" or wider weavers for your first few rows. The strength of a 3/8" weaver is strong enough to help get the sides of your basket going up straight quicker. In the photo, I am weaving with 1/4" flat reed. This is a very weak reed so I will need to use more clothespins and continue using quite a few clothespins for additional rows to ensure that my basket walls are going up straight.
- One e-mail mentioned that she was weaving with the basket upright like in the top photo and she was struggling. She noticed that I turned my basket on its side like in the bottom photo. If you turn your basket on its side to weave as in the bottom photo, this helps not only the stakes on the top, but also on the bottom take their proper upright shape. One thing you do not see in my videos that I will mention here; On my videos, I weave on the table so that my webcam can see and take the picture. When I weave without a camera, I weave in my lap! I lay my old towel in my lap and weave there. My lap works the same as the table in that I have my basket turned on its side as in the bottom photo. It is much more comfortable to weave in my lap and therefore I get a better finished product.
- When starting a row of weaving, get around the first corner and STOP. Take a moment to shape that corner, add clothespins if needed. Now weave across one side of the basket and around the second corner and STOP. Get this side of weaving adjusted as needed and the corner shaped. Continue on with this pattern of stopping after going around each corner so that you can shape each side and corner just the way you want it, not too tight and not too loose so that the sides of your basket will go straight up and down rather than bend inward or flair outward (unless that is the desired shape like in THIS basket which both flairs and bends). Take your time to get it just right with each row.
- When lashing on a rim, remember rim material is considerably heaver than your other weaving material. It needs to soak longer so that you can bend it 90 degrees at each corner. What will happen if you don't is the top of your basket will be round or oval. Again, if that is your desired shape then ok, otherwise, be sure to soak it well and bend it well at each corner to keep that square shape.
- If the base of your basket is wobbly once it is woven, dampen it slightly and place a heavy book on your basket like a phone book. Let it set overnight to dry and it will be perfectly flat in the morning.
- Remember that shaping gets better with practice. The size of the basket in the photo above is a nice size to begin with for a new weaver, it is not too large or not too small. In the words of Goldilocks, "It is just right." For new weavers, be sure to start with some easier baskets to practice your shaping. Most patterns will identify themselves as either beginner, intermediate, or advanced. When you've done a few beginner patterns, spread your wings and try something more challenging. If you follow these tips and take your time, even your very first basket will be a beautiful work of art!
Have a wonderful day of weaving,
A couple of weeks ago I was asking for prayers for my dear friend Barb and her husband Rick. You can read about it HERE. I continue to ask for prayers for them. After 27 days of hospitalization, Rick is now at home but continues to be in pain and is still in need of medical care at home which Barb and home health care providers give. They both continue to have many worries over this and are in need of comfort and encouragement as well as healing.
As I said in my previous post, I met Barb when she took one of my basket classes that I was teaching. I taught her, her very first basket and the beginning techniques of how to weave. Above is a collection of some photos she has sent me and given me permission to post. Just look at her beautiful work now! She wanted me to say that these are not her own designs, but patterns of others that she weaves beautifully. Barb you are an artist!
Please continue to keep Barb and Rick in your prayers and uplifting thoughts.
Love and Blessings,
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Have a Blessed Sunday.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I love this basket!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Baskets of Blessings,