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WORK BASKETS : Page 67


Covered Work Basket of Green Rush

Materials: Basket—10 20-inch spokes of No. 4 rattan, 1 11-inch spoke of No. 4 rattan, 4 weavers of No. 2 rattan, Flat green rush.

Cover and Knob.— 8 20-inch spokes of No. 4 rattan, 1 11-inch spoke of No. 4 rattan,

16 10-inch spokes of No. 4 rattan, 4.5 weavers of No. 2 rattan, Flat green rush, A knitting needle.

In weaving with rush or raffia, but especially with rush, it is impossible to give the number of pieces necessary to make a basket, because of the varying length and thickness of the material. A caution will not be out of place in regard to soaking the rush. It should be wet just long enough to prevent its breaking when woven. As it is a very porous material it absorbs so much moisture if left too long in water that it shrinks badly when dry, and a basket that was quite firm when woven may become loose and shaky after the rush is dry. It follows of course that rush baskets should be very tightly woven, each weaver pressed down on those already in place, and sometimes, after the sides are finished, the weaving is bound down with string or linen thread (passed between the spokes and across the basket) and left to get perfectly dry before the border is made. In beginning this basket two groups of spokes, one of five and one of five and a half, are crossed in the centre. A weaver of green rush is bound around them and woven in under-and-over weaving into a bottom six and three-quarters inches in diameter which is slightly raised in the centre. The spokes are then wet until quite pliable, and turned sharply upward, with three rows of triple twist, to begin the straight sides of the basket. Next an inch and a quarter

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