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The Vintage Files Title Graphic Introduces The Collection of Turn of The Century Basketmaking Patterns on About Basketry - vintagefiles.gif (3663 bytes)

Blue Tilde Line Graphic - bluedivider.gif (980 bytes)

Round Reed Basket Table Mat - a free, simple beginner's basketweaving pattern or project with illustrated instructions - basematitle.gif (2037 bytes)

Round Reed Basket Table Mat - a free, simple beginner's basketweaving pattern or project with illustrated instructions - basemat.gif (38273 bytes)

This vintage pattern for a round reed, base mat first appeared in an antique basketweaving book that I have in my private collection by George Wharton James. It can be used as a table mat when finished with the looped border. The same instructions can be used to make the start for other round bottomed, round reed baskets using a 12 spoke basket base.

Practical Basket Making. 124, [2] pp. Illus. & plates from photographs. New Edition, Enlarged and Revised. Pasadena: George Wharton James, no date, no copyright notation. Though not stated, it is apparently the second edition; the third edition was published in 1903 and totaled 136, [20] pp.


All baskets must have a base and all round bases are made more or less alike, therefore, remember when once you can "open a good center" and make a good mat, the question of the basket base will take care of itself. This is the first requisite to good basketry so do not give up at trifles. If the first attempt is not satisfactory, try again and you will be repaid for your effort.

First Step --- Cut twelve piece of number three reed sixteen inches long, moisten well and straighten; find the center of six reeds, pierce and slip on the awl. Move the awl to the right and left a few times making an incision about half an inch long in the six punctured reeds. Point one end of each of the remaining six reeds and slip through the incision in the punctured reeds withdrawing the awl after slipping through three or four reeds which will make space for the remaining two reeds. Be sure the reeds are all the same length from the center. The cross pieces are now held firmly in place and you are ready for weaving. Note you now have four sets or quarters of six reeds which are to form the stakes of the mat. The punctured reeds should be held in a horizontal position while the inserted reeds will be a vertical position.

Second Step ---- Select a very pliable number one (fine) weaver, moisten well and double so as to form a loop nearly in the middle. Hold one end of the loop firmly in the left hand and twist or roll the other end to keep the reed from breaking. Place the twisted loop over the set of six inserted stakes. Here, again, we must name our weavers, namely, face-weaver being the weaver toward you and the back-weaver the underneath weaver. Bring the face-weaver to the right across the front of the six vertical stakes and down between the first and second quarter UNDER the back-weaver, bring the back-weaver to the right back of the vertical set of six stakes and upward crossing the the face-weaver in the same space. The cross-pieces or quarters are now revolved from right to left bringing the left hand forward to the right, one space or to the next quarter of six stakes. Note you have encircled one set of six stakes and repeat this process of weaving until you have encircled the four sets or quarters of six stakes twice around taking extreme care that the weavers cross each other on the down and up strokes in the SAME space.

Third Step ---- Moisten the work and repeat the same method of weaving working over two stakes once around the mat.

Fourth Step ---- Continue exactly the same method of weaving, separating each stake carefully. Care also should be taken that the stakes radiate at equal angles, the weaving be close and strokes lay parallel. Continue in this method of weaving (which is called pairing) until the woven diameter of the mat is four and one-quarter inches.

Moisten the work well and bring the two weavers to the front in each of two consecutive spaces. Introduce another weaver to the front in each of two consecutive spaces. Introduce another weaver in the next space and weave four rows of triple twist by bringing the left-hand weaver to the right in front of two stakes, back of one stake and out in the next space. The second weaver now becomes the left-hand weaver and is treated exactly the same as the former weavers. After weaving four rows of triple twist, bring all of the weavers to the front of the mat and cut them off, leaving ends about three inches long and fasten as follows. Take the left-hand end, bring to the right over two stakes and tuck under one row of weaving, leaving end at back of mat. Repeat this process with the remaining two ends.

Fifth Step ---- Moisten mat and lay on flat surface. Even the spaces by slipping the awl carefully beside each stake changing the position to the right or left as necessary. Point the ends of the stakes sharply, leaving ends five inches long. For the border, which is to complete the mat, take any given stake, bring it to the right, back of two stakes and over one stake and slip down by the side of the third stake until the arch of the scallop is one and one-quarter inches deep from the top of the triple twist. Repeat this operation with each stake. If you find difficulty in slipping the stakes down, open the spaces by slipping the awl beside each stake. When the mat is finished, it should form a true circle. Clip all ends closely at the back of the mat. This model will be found useful by all housekeepers as a table mat, etc. A Whisk Broom Holder may be made by making two mats having one slightly larger than the other. The smaller one should be curved slightly outward and placed in front of the larger mat and tied together firmly with bits of raffia or ribbon through the scallop at the right and left sides. Make a hanger about twenty inches long by braiding strands of raffia and fasten by tying through the scallop on both sides.

Finish ---- The mat may be left in its natural color by giving it a coat of shellac with wood alcohol or it may be stained with wood stains to any desired color.

Lily Basket Using This Base

Graphic of the original pattern text.

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