When I first learned how to weave we would put our dishpans full of water on the table to hold our reed in place. While this worked, it was very space consuming. The spoke weight is a heavy metal weight that also is a ruler. It is perfect for holding reed in place and measuring to get the exact length of reed or space between reeds. This is a must have tool for basket weavers.
Here is my tip. What if you don't have a spoke weight and don't want to put the dishpan on the table? What if you do have a spoke weight yet your basket is large and you need more than one. Here's what you do. Go to your pantry and get out a bag of dried beans and use that as a weight. Dried beans are inexpensive, the plastic bag keeps the beans dry, and they don't take up hardly any additional table space. Use 2, 3, or 4 bags if needed. It is a handy homemade kitchen tool to make your basket weaving just that much easier!"