Dear Weavers

I have been busy weaving and designing. This is the time of year where in the past my creative juices would go crazy trying to get ready for my retreats! It is also too hot to do much outside this time of year…so I weave! 

First projects that I wanted to tackle was to weave some of my older patterns designed years ago. You know how sometimes the rooms in your house just feel worn and dated. It seems to happen about the same time all the paint commercials hit the airwaves! So if you are like me you pick out a new paint color and get ready to paint to refresh the room. Of course Tom (my husband) knows how I paint and the minute I buy the paint he takes over! Which is what I planned all along! 

I  digress. Back to refreshing my old patterns. Most of my first designs were simple and basic. They were lacking texture and fun elements. The first basket I updated was the "Cross Stitch Basket". The biggest difference with this basket was making it a closed bottom (base is woven with filler spokes). Baskets with closed bases are always more useful. I kept the cross stitch design on the side weaving and added a Cherokee Wheel design and updated the handle wrap to an Arrow Head design. 

My next project was also a tote. (I love totes as you may be able to tell!) I use almost all of my baskets and totes are great for road trips, shopping at farmers markets, and just for hauling fun projects everywhere (knitting, quilting and any craft project). I wove "The Farmers Market Tote". I had forgotten how large this basket was. It is a great size for a tote ( 17.5" long by 9.5" wide by 10" tall).I removed the color design and just added texture with several rows of triple weave and replaced the round swing handles with leather. 

My last renew project was an old favorite. I love to weave cat head shaped baskets! Basically with this basket I found several spokes buried in my weaving closet and made them work. The size was determined by the spoke length and number. I wove a few rows of dyed cane and lashed with the same cane. 



Now for a couple of new designs that I have been working on! This first basket was so much fun to weave! I love working with round reed and you can really get creative with not just the design but the color!



The Lace and Twill design and shape just evolved as I wove. I started with a twill base and experimented with several designs on the side weaving before I settled on a simple chase twill. Once I had the sides established I played with several designs that just seemed too heavy. I settled on a Japanese Diamond Weave. The diamond weave just seemed to fit the basket. I topped it with a hand carved handle and dyed cane for lashing.

I challenge you to go back to your first baskets and see what you would do to update and refresh the design. You don't have to do major overhauls to give the pattern an updated look. Think about all you have learned since your "first" basket! Pick your favorite design element and go for it! I guarantee you will have more fun weaving than painting a room! 

Happy Weaving


© Monica Impellizzeri 2014