Starting a classic 3/3 twill basket.
Years ago, when looking for an easier way to start a base when teaching beginners, I came up with this technique. I use it instead of the classic 2×2 twill base that most instructions call for.
First I sand the stakes using a green Scotch Brite Green scrubby pad. Fold the pad in half and pull each stake through the fold once or twice in each direction. Voila, most of those pesky hairs are gone.
I taught myself to weave using information and instructions from many different books. In Shereen LaPlantz’s book “Plaiting Folios” she wrote about weaving bases from the center out, stating:
The easiest way to achieve equidistant tension is to start plaiting the base in the center. Plait two elements across two elements in the over one, under one pattern. Continue plaiting the base by adding one element to each of the four sides. Continue this until the base is the desired size. Adjust your tension as you go.
That made a lot of sense to me, and I do all my bases using her center out technique. I mark the center with a piece of wire or waxed linen, to help me keep track of my place. When I’m done, it’s easy to snip out.
Although Shereen passed away years ago, many of her books are still available. Check out Amazon, or your favorite online book store. Some of her books are back in print. and many basket suppliers, like Royalwood and The Caning Shop carry them.
The finished base. Note the single spokes in the center; necessary because I have an odd number of spokes vertically and horizontally. If there were an even number of spokes, I would place a pair of spokes in the center both horizontally and vertically.