My Baskets

How I got started...

my basketsI started making baskets my sophomore year of high school because my art teacher wanted us to try a project involving sewing. I started a basket with some blue yarn she had because I had no yarn of my own, nor did I have a plan for what colors I would use or what the pattern would look like. A fellow student helped me start the coil, but once I got going I started to enjoy it. My mother also liked watching me make my basket because of how quickly she could see it take shape and how much motion was involved with my hands. After I finished my school project, I decided to continue making baskets on my own.

Learning from my mistakes

My first basket turned out a bit my first basketlumpy, but I still have a certain fondness for it. I figured out that if you show the stitching when you switch yarn colors, you can make it part of the pattern. This makes the colors overlap a bit better, giving your pattern eye-popping transitions. I also learned that when coiling, it’s important to plan out the stitches. If you wrap the yarn for too long before securing it to the coil your basket will have spaces in it and won’t be very firm (as evidenced in my first basket). But if you don’t wrap the yarn for at least a few times, it will completely cover up the work on the previous section joined to the coil.

my second basketSince my first basket was an experiment with color and pattern, I made my second basket an experiment with structure. I chose to use all black yarn, because I thought it would cover up any mistakes I might make. Counting the stitches helped me to keep them consistent. Also, I found a way to make the sides of the basket straight and firm: I occasionally stitched all the way down to the base of the basket and back up instead of just joining the line to the outermost loop in the coil. However, this is difficult to do with patterns that are not monochromatic.