My First Willow Basket.

Having a skill swap with a creative friend is a wonderful way to share our creativity. Last weekend my friend came to stay, I showed her how to make a simple pair of cropped trousers for her holidays, and I made her a boiled wool coat. The next day she showed me how to weave a willow shopping basket, she made me a large vegetable basket as a swap for the coat.

We always share the cooking and refreshments on these weekends, a good time is had by everyone including the husbands. Personally I feel like I’ve been on a residential course and I’m very inspired to learn more about basket making.

This is the base of my basket, it came out quite flat but a heavy weight on top also helps.

The basket started to look like a very large spider.

There were various techniques involved in weaving the basket, French randing and three rod waling. Basket terminology has me intrigued, I wonder how old these names are, they must be very old.

Here’s my finished basket, I needed quite a lot of help with the handle. I’m really pleased with it, I know it will get a lot of use.

Once my friend left I had a go at making a small basket with the leftover willow to see how much I could remember. It turned out a bit wonky, maybe because I couldn’t trim the willow much as I didn’t have enough withies.

I do have problems with my hands and they are quite sore so I will have to rest them before I start my next willow project. I need some more obelisks for the garden, and maybe some plant supports too.

2 thoughts on “My First Willow Basket.

  1. maryloulaberge

    Oh my goodness Jill. I loved reading about the visit with your friends. A skill swap with a good friend is a brilliant idea! Those baskets you are making are inspiring. This year we planted one Weeping Willow in our swamp land. 🙂 The idea was to use the roots to help dry out the wetland and make a bark tea, but now I am looking forward to the day I can give weaving with Willow a go. Thanks for sharing and take real good care of those talented hands.


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