Have you ever woven a basket and the stakes want to fold to the inside or the outside of the basket causing it not to pack tightly or look pretty? I have and it can be very frustrating.
- If you are like me and you cut an entire handful of stakes at one time to the desired length, take just a moment before hand and feel each piece of reed paying attention for flimsy pieces. Remove the flimsy pieces from your bunch and save those weak pieces for weavers.
- The opposite is true as well. If you have a weaver that seems especially heavy, don't use it to weave. Toss it aside and save it for a stake.
- If you have started to weave a basket and realize you have a weak stake, make sure that your weavers are well soaked and pliable. Then, as you weave around the weak stake, go slowly keeping the weak stake straight and make sure that your weaver is the one that bends to do the over under weaving.
- Change the pattern a bit. If you are finding that you are struggling with weak stakes, switch to smaller weavers. Take a look at the little tote bag in the photo above. The stakes are 3/8" flat reed. They are very thin. By using 11/64" flat for my weavers as well as seagrass, which is very pliable, for some of the weavers, I was able to keep my stakes straight.
- You can always insert another stake directly behind the weak stake making it a double thickness. Be sure to hide the ends of the inserted stake. This technique works well if the weak reed is caught early in the weaving process. Consider adding a second stake just slightly thinner and of a different color and place this second stake on the outside for a double thickness. This can give you a great plaid or decorative effect. My basket above is not the best example but it does show two layers of stakes. Look at the stem of the flowers. The stem is the second layer or thickness.
- 99.999% of the time I make sure that my stakes are larger than my weavers. A larger size stake means a thicker and therefore stronger stake.