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Twill letter basket with smoked reed (part 1)

December 6, 2010

This basket is pretty special and turned out beautifully, if I don’t say so myself. It also TOOK FOREVER! As such, I’m breaking it up into two posts so you can all feel the same suspense (frustration?) I felt as I was waiting for it to be finally done.

It is made entirely out of 3/8″ reed, and I started out by cutting about 40 stakes. This is normally a quick and painless part of the process, but it took a long time for this basket since there are so many. Here are all of the cut stakes:

cut stakes

You’ll notice there are two different colors there. That’s the first reason this basket is special– I incorporated smoked reed, which is just what it sounds like; the company smokes the reed to change its color. See what happens when you soak smoked reed after the jump.

I was a little nervous about what would happen when I put this stuff in the bathtub, and it turns out I was right to be.

Smoked reed creates a dark cloud when it is soaked

The smoked reed immediately began bleeding dark color into the water. I was worried it would completely dye the natural reed, but it did not. The color transfered a tiny bit, but that was ok with me because I thought the contrast between the two colors was a bit much anyway. I just hope it didn’t stain the bathtub, hmm….

Another reason this basket is special is because it has a fancy weave. In a twill weave, the pattern is over two/under two, instead of the standard over one/under one. For this basket I even did a twill weave on the base, creating a solid bottom. Check out the beginning of the bottom pattern:

twill woven bottom

I also carried the pattern up the sides– below is the almost-complete side weaving. Can you believe all those stakes sticking up in the air!?

twill sides

As you may have discerned, lashing (putting the rim on) is a tricky process for this basket. Since it took me many hours over two separate days to make this one, you will just have to wait until tomorrow to see the lashing process and finished shots! Thanks for hanging in there!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jayme permalink
    December 6, 2010 8:14 pm

    I want to see the final product!!! Post Part 2!! Looks like it will turn out beautifully!

  2. Liz permalink
    December 7, 2010 5:58 pm

    whoa. if i had read this last night when you posted, i would have been soooo anxious all day waiting for part 2!!!!!!!!!

    did the smoked reed actually stain your bathtub or did it all wash out? I HAVE TO KNOW!!!!!!

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  1. Twill letter basket with smoked reed (part 2) « Case of Baskets!

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