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CHAPTER IX
SCRAP BASKETS

THERE is always a demand for a strong, practical scrap basket, and if it is a thing of beauty so much the better. Simple forms are the best, and the study of Indian baskets will help the workman in his choice. The straight-sided scrap basket is one of the most satisfactory if the material used is attractive and the weaving well done.


Rattan and Rush Scrap Basket

Materials: A bunch of braided green rush,

  8 44-inch spokes of No. 5 rattan,

  1 23-inch spoke of No. 5 rattan,

  16 22-inch spokes of No. 5 rattan,

  16 weavers of No. 3 rattan,

  A knife,

  A knitting needle.


In using such heavy spokes as No. 5 it will be hard to make a flat bottom unless, instead of the usual arrangement, the horizontal spokes are slit in the centre for about an inch, or just far enough to slip the vertical spokes through them. The weaver is then started behind the upper vertical spokes in the usual way, and bound three times around before beginning to weave. When the bottom is about four inches in diameter, the sixteen short spokes, previously sharpened to a point, are in­serted, one on the right of each of the spokes, except one (to keep the uneven number), which is closer than the others. The spokes are then evenly separated, and the weaving proceeds till the bottom is eight inches in diameter, when the spokes should be wet until pliable, and then turned sharply upward. An inch of triple twist forms a band at the base. Just here it may be said that all ornamental weaving, or weaving done with wide material, like rush, should begin and end at the same point on the circumference of the basket. If not, as will readily be seen, the basket will be uneven at the top. The rush, which has been soaked for fifteen or twenty minutes, is now started behind a spoke and woven in under-and-over weav­ing for eight inches. If it is necessary to join the rush at any time, the ends should be crossed behind a spoke and sewed firmly together with silk matching the dull green of the rush. In this basket it will take care to keep the sides straight and true, and the spokes at an even distance apart. Constant criticism of the work from a distance is the only sure way to make such large baskets symmetrical. There are two inches of triple twist at the top, which makes a firm rim, and the basket is finished with the following border: After the spokes have been soaked until quite pliable, a small piece is cut out of the right side of each one, close to the weaving. This acts as a hinge, pre­venting the spokes breaking when they are bent sharply down. This border is in two rows; that is, the circuit of the basket is made twice, each time using a different process.



SCRAP BASKETS
The two small scrap baskets in the foreground are for use on a table or desk. They, as well as the two large baskets near them, are of rattan with bands of color. The large basket in the background is of dull green rush.


In the first row each spoke is brought back of two spokes and then out.

In the second row the end of each spoke is brought under two ends, and then pushed down inside the basket under the third end, and just back of an upright spoke.

Rattan Scrap Basket with Broad Band Near the Base

Materials: 8 46-inch spokes of No. 5 rattan,

  1 24-inch spoke of No. 5 rattan,

  16 23-inch spokes of No. 5 rattan,

  22 weavers of No. 3 rattan,

  4 weavers of No. 3 green rattan,

  A pair of scissors,

  A knitting needle,

  A knife.

The bottom of this basket is started as in the directions for the rattan and rush basket, except that in this one the bottom is much smaller, being only five and three-quarters inches in diameter. The spokes are then wet and turned up with a slight flare.

When six full length weavers have been used in under-and-over weaving, a row of triple twist is made and then two green weavers, stained accord­ing to the directions in Chapter XII, are started in double weave to make the band, which should be two inches wide and will take four weavers. A row of triple twist makes a finish on the upper edge of the band and the under-and-over weaving begins again, gradually flaring until when it meas­ures five inches from the top of the band it is thirty-six and a half inches in circumference. The spokes are then bent in, and the weaver drawn tightly until an inch and a half has been woven from the turn, when it is bound off and a border is made as follows: After soaking the spokes till they are pliable, a small piece is cut from the right side of each near the weaving, as previously described.

This border is in three rows. In the first row each spoke is brought back of the next spoke and then out. In the second row each spoke is brought back of the two succeeding ones and then out. It must be remembered in this process that the back spoke of the pair, made by bringing the previous spoke through, is always the one to use. In the third row each end of a spoke is brought over two spokes and pushed down inside the basket just behind the next spoke.


Rattan Scrap Basket with Broad Band Near the Top

Materials: 8 46-inch spokes of No. 5 rattan,

  1 24-inch spoke of No. 5 rattan,

  16 23-inch spokes of No. 5 rattan,

  26 weavers of No. 3 rattan,

  3 weavers of No. 4 rattan,

  4 weavers of No. 3 terra-cotta rattan,

  A knife,

  A knitting needle.

This basket is started in the same way as the others, by slitting the horizontal spokes and slip­ping the vertical ones through them, then insert­ing the extra spokes when the bottom is large enough to admit them. When the bottom is five and three-quarters inches in diameter the side spokes are wet and turned up and rows of under-­and-over weaving are formed into a bowl shape, which reaches thirty-five inches in circumference at its widest point. The spokes are then gradually drawn in by tightening the weavers until where the band at the top begins (about nine and three-quarters inches from the bottom); the diameter is not over nine and a half inches. Be­fore starting the band a row of triple twist in No. 4 rattan is made and then the colored weavers, stained according to directions in Chapter XII, are woven in double weaving into a band two inches wide. Another row of triple twist in No. 4 rattan finishes the band, and two weavers of No. 3 make a slightly flared edge in under-and-over weaving, which is bound off and completed with this border.

The spokes are soaked and cut as in the pre­vious descriptions. There are two rows in this border, and, as the second row is rather compli­cated, the beginning of that row should be left quite loose and open until the row is finished; enabling the worker to fit in the last three or four spokes in the border accurately and easily. In the first row the spokes are each brought back of the two succeeding spokes and then out.

In the second row the end of each spoke is brought under two ends, then over two and then down.


Small Scrap Basket for Desk or Table

Materials: 10 26-inch spokes of No. 4 rattan,

   1 14-inch spoke of No. 4 rattan,

   9 or 10 weavers of No. 2 rattan,

   2 weavers of No. 2 green rattan.

A small basket to stand on a desk or table and catch bits of thread or a letter, hastily torn up, is a convenience the housekeeper will appreciate. One that is quite decorative as well as useful is made as follows: A flat bottom, two and seven-eighths inches in diameter, is woven on ten and a half spokes twenty-six inches long. The spokes are wet until pliable and turned up with a flare. The under-and-over weaving continues up the sides for half an inch, and then a row of double weaving in green rattan makes a narrow band. The sides, still flaring, are woven in under-and-over weaving for two and a half inches more; then another row of double weaving in green is followed by four rows of double weaving in the natural colored rat­tan. A row of double weaving in green comes next, completing the ornamental band at the top, and after two rows of under-and-over weaving in the natural colored- rattan have been woven the circumference of the basket should be twenty-two and three-quarters inches. The spokes are then thoroughly wet and drawn in by tightening the weaver. An inch more of under-and-over weaving draws the spokes in further with each row, follow­ing the model in the picture. The basket is then bound off and finished with this border. Each spoke is brought over the spoke on the right, under the next one, over the next, under the next and then out where it rests on the spoke ahead, and is cut off when the border is completed. In this, as in other elaborate borders, the first part is left loose and open until the last spokes have been woven in.


Small Scrap Basket with Straight Sides

Materials: 8 26-inch spokes of No. 4 rattan,

  1 14-inch spoke of No. 4 rattan,

  8 or 10 weavers of No. a rattan,

  6 strands of raffia braided and colored.


Another scrap basket for a desk or table is woven on eight and a half twenty-six inch spokes. A flat bottom three and a half inches in diameter is first made; the spokes are then thoroughly wet and turned sharply upward with about half an inch of triple twist to begin the straight sides. Two and a half inches in under-and-over weaving con­tinue the sides, then three rows of braided raffia (colored with terra-cotta stain — see Chapter XII) make an effective band, which is followed by another two and a half inches of under-and-over weaving in rattan and half an inch of triple twist to form the edge. The border is made in two rows. In the first row each spoke is brought back of the next one on the right and then out, and in the second row each end is brought back of the next two spokes on the right and out, where it is cut just long enough to lie against the spoke ahead.


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