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Springtime Tote Basket
2006 by Beth Hester
The Basket Maker's Catalog

Around Mother's Day this year I created this colorful, feminine basket—with my mom, Betty Hester, in mind. It's generously sized, woven with flat and round reed on a wooden base and has a "Heart" handle. I hope you enjoy weaving this...with one of your favorite people in mind.

Please print this FREE pattern sheet and share with your friends.

Basket Size: 12" x 8" Height: 13" including handle

Springtime Tote Basket

Materials: Click item for more details. Click ADD to add item to your cart, use your "back" button to return to this page.

Quantity Description Item
Add to Cart
5" x 8" Oblong Slotted Wooden Base
1/4 lb. coil Jewel Tones Mix 1/2" flat reed Stakes / Weavers
35 ft.
#2 Round Reed - Weavers
85 ft.
1/4" Flat Reed - Weavers
12" Ash Heart Handle
4 ft.
3/8" Flat Reed - Rim row
8 ft.
1/2" Flat Oval Reed - Rims
4 ft.
#6 Round Reed - Rim Filler
30 ft.
11/64" Flat Reed - Lashing
  *These items have been rounded to 1 pound because it is less expensive to purchase 1 pound than to purchase the foot quantity.

Hints in working with Reed

  1. When the pattern calls for soaking your flat reed, soaking 1 or 2 minutes in warm water is usually long enough to make reed flexible. Soak the Round Reed and Flat Oval Reed for 5 to 10 minutes in hot water. If reed becomes dry while you are weaving, dip it in water for a few seconds or spray with water.
  2. Do not over soak your reed, it will become mushy.
  3. Flat reed has a smooth side and a rough side. You can determine the rough side by sharply bending a wet piece of reed in half. The rough side will usually fray or splinter more than the smooth side.
  4. Keep your weaving even as you make your basket. When weaving the sides, do not leave spaces between the rows of weaving.
  5. As you weave, gently push or pull on the stakes to keep them vertical, maintain a pleasing shape and keep the stakes equal distance apart.
  6. Reed should be completely dry before being stored.

Getting Started

Sand and finish the wooden base. Mark the center of each long side and each narrow end of your wooden base with a slight pencil mark. Cut 30 pieces (stakes) 11" long from 1/2" Multi Color Flat Reed and soak for a few minutes. Insert one stake (smooth side up) into the groove at each narrow end's pencil mark. These stakes are the stakes on which your handle will be inserted after the weaving is complete. Note where the center mark is on the long sides. Place one stake to either side of the pencil mark on the long sides. Insert remaining stakes evenly around the base.

Weaving the Basket

Soak a long piece of #2 Round and twine one row pushing each stitch tightly against the base. Twine a total of 4 rows, pushing each stitch tightly against the previous row. You are working on the outside of the basket at this point.

While weaving the following rows, stop often to check the circumference, adjust the staves so they are equal distance apart, and pack your weavers. Circumference at the basket's rim is around 32 inches. As you weave each row, position the center narrow "end" stakes (the stakes where you'll put your handle) straight up the basket.

Spray the stakes being careful not to wet the base. Hold the basket so the smooth side of the stakes are out. Weave the sides (smooth side to the outside) according to the following:

Side View Springtime Tote
  • Row 1 - 20 1/4" Flat
  • Row 21 #2 Round (twine or triple twine) Do not cut the #2 after weaving this row
    — leave the ends of the #2 on the inside of the basket
    — weave Row 22 with 1/2" Flat Dyed Reed
    — resume weaving with the #2 for Row 23
  • Row 22 1/2" Dyed Reed
  • Row 23 #2 Round (twine or triple twine) secure ends behind some weavers
  • Rows 24-29 1/4" Flat
  • Row 30 3/8" Flat (rim row)

Soak stakes that extend above the top of your basket. Cut and tuck each stake where the top row of weaver is on the inside of the basket, hiding the tucked end behind a couple of weavers on the inside of your basket.

Cut all remaining stakes level with the top of the basket.

Sand the handle then insert it from the inside behind some weavers along the center stake on the narrow ends.

Measure the basket's circumference and cut the rim material to length (cut the outside rim 4 inches longer than the circumference and cut the inside rim 2 inches longer than the circumference); sand the oval side of your rims. Soak rims for a few minutes then attach rims to basket with clothespins and mark the overlaps with a pencil. Remove rims and carve the overlap areas--carving the rounded side of one end of each rim and the flat side of the other end.

Attach rims and rim filler to the basket, using cable ties,cutting the rim filler to butt against each side of the handle.

Double lash the basket (creating a love knot—an interwoven backstitch—at the handle) with 11/64" Flat. See photo to the right.

This is such a wonderful basket in size and shape—and it's easy to make. I hope you really enjoy thinking of all the ways to use this practical, pretty basket .

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Lashing for Springtime Tote

Download Springtime Tote Basket Pattern in Adobe Acrobat Format.

SpringtimeTote.pdf (67 KB).

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