Monday, September 17, 2012

Weaving a Stair Basket.

 I had already pre-cut to size the stakes for the basket. The weavers I had to make the basket were gathered together. I hoped I had enough walnut and brown stained material to make the basket. In the tote are some of the pre-cut stakes in soak.
 Clothes pins are very useful tools when beginning to weave the sides of the base. One trick to figuring out the sizes of the stakes is to add 4 - 5 inches to the lengths for the ends that are tucked in on the border. The stair basket is 8" wide, sits 16" tall and has a 9" base step and a 9" wide second step that is 8" higher than the base. The base stakes measure 52", the step base stakes measure 36", and the long side stakes measure 62". The fillers for both bases I cut at 21".
 Since the long side stakes serve as bases for the two levels as well as vertical stakes for the front and back sides, the mid-point for the lower base was not the mid-point of the 62" length. I calculated that base mid-point as 26.5". As you will see towards the last of these photos, that calculation was correct since all the vertical stakes ended up as about the same height.
 The weaving method for the sides is called "start and stop" weaving. In this a weaver is placed, as above, in front of a vertical stake, behind the next, in front, behind and so on. The start is shown above.
 To complete the weaving of a horizontal weaver, the weaver is overlapped for several stakes, the "stop" part of the weaving.
 Once I had woven the base level to a height of around 9", I added the handle and began to weave the base for the step section. The handle I chose was an 8" wide "D" handle purchased from WHBaskets of Port Rowan, Ontario.
 Here you can see that the stakes are all around the same height.
 When the basket was close to 16" in height, I cut off the vertical weavers on the inside of the basket.
 I then trimmed the weavers that were on the outside of the basket and began to bend them over the last weaver, and tuck them behind a lower weaver.
 When I received my last order of cane from Wanda of WHBaskets, I found two or three of the above tools included free of charge. I have found them to be very useful in lifting  up the lower rows of weavers so I can then tuck in the ends of the vertical stakes. I used to use a steel flat screwdriver!
 The stakes are all tucked away and the basket is ready for the finishing touches.

 For this I use another tool from WHBaskets, a "Lash Buddy" shown above.
 The lashing is the finishing touch to the rim. A seagrass filler sits between an inside and outside row of cane. The "Lash Buddy" separates the cane weavers so that the lashing can be passed through the weaving,
 The clothes pins hold the cane rows and the seagrass in place while the lashing progresses.
 The finished stair basket sits on the stairs ready to be taken to my next sale.

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