6. Continuing the Basket
This video is somewhat of a recap of everything we’ve learned so far. It is a clearer, more fluent demonstration of the working process, filmed from a second angle. I also demonstrate some alternative weaving and trimming options here, and emphasize a couple of important things to notice while you work.
Weaving the basket between your knees
As shown in the video, this working method is pretty comfortable, as long as the French randing weavers are not too long. As for the waling bands, they are easy to weave in this method regardless of the length of the weavers. I think some other techniques, like English randing and slewing, are also quite easy to weave in this method. The difficulty is mainly with French randing and French Randing-based techniques.
Sorting the weavers for the randing sections
It’s important to understand that these are not different lengths I’ve chosen in advance for each of my randing sections. These are all weavers that I’ve placed in the same group when I sorted my willow. While I was weaving the basket, I’ve sorted them further into 3 groups, though the difference between these groups is minute.
As the spaces between the stakes become bigger, the weavers make fewer strokes before they are used up. So, for the three sections to have the same number of rows, I’ve used the shortest weavers when the spaces were the smallest and the longest ones when the spaces were the largest.
In this basket, the widening angle is quite small, but when the angle is bigger than that, I might actually choose different lengths of weavers in advance, for each of my French randing sections. Whenever a basket is woven straight up at a 90° angle, the weavers can all be of the same length.
Is it crucial to do it as I do?
Well, if your basket looks like my basket, then not so much. It’s perfectly fine to grab a bunch of weavers randomly for each of your French randing sections. The reason I’m sorting my weavers like this is that I want my work to be as neat as possible. However, as I’ve mentioned above, if your basket opens up at a wider angle, this sorting of the weavers becomes more important.
Fastening and rapping the work
As you can probably tell from watching the video, it’s important to rap your work often, especially where the weavers are quite thick. When the weavers become thinner, you can weave more rounds before rapping. This applies to all techniques. Make a habit out of rapping your work often! It is also a good chance to see if your basket is straight and if the spaces between the uprights are even. It's important to always make micro-corrections and fix any tiny deviation before it becomes a big one.
Another thing that you’ll see me doing a lot is fastening the weave with my hands. This is a bad habit of mine! It isn’t necessary and it causes me a lot of pain. Stick to using your rapping iron and try to avoid fastening with your hands completely. If you don’t have a rapping iron, try to find some sort of substitute for it. A hammer can do the job fine, also a heavy piece of metal or a heavy piece of wood.