3 tips to weaving twill baskets

Let's talk twill.  You know those beautiful Cherokee designs that you sigh at  and think there is no way I'm EVER gonna be able to weave that?  Like most things it's not that hard especially when you learn some tricks of the trade.  

First tip:  Weave a double walled twill basket.  The inner wall that is woven first acts as a mold for the twill work.  What could be easier.

Second tip:  Find a point in the pattern that helps you start out and use that to begin the row.  For me it's the diamond shape in this pattern.  If I can see what row in the diamond I'm at it helps me immensely.  

Third tip:  There's no way around it weaving twill is "spongy".  Spongy is my term for now wanting to pack down tight unless woven tight but how do you do that?  That's where the double walled construction really helps.  Use a clip at the beginning of the row so that you can pull the weave tight up against the inner wall of weaving.  

A lot of Cherokee twills use the 5-3-1 system.  WHAT?!   5-3-1, is that code for catastrophe?  Absolutely not.  Every row in the pattern is a variation of 5-3-1 with the exception of a freebie row of over 3, under 3 thrown in every once in awhile for eye relief.

So let's break down one of these patterns.  This is diamond pattern used on the Twill Backpack. 

I like to start with the bottom of a pyramid on this one.  The pyramid is an easy shape for my eye to take off from so I use it as a focal point to begin.  Once the diamond shape takes place I transfer my eye to that.  The pattern beginning with the first row is OVER 5, UNDER 3, OVER 1, UNDER 3, and repeats all the way around the basket.  Second row is one of those freebies to give you courage, OVER 3, UNDER 3, all the way around.  Third row is UNDER 3, OVER 1, UNDER 3, OVER 5, all the way around.  Fourth row is UNDER 5, OVER 3, UNDER 1, OVER 3.  Then we get that freebie row of UNDER 3, OVER 3 again.  Hence the term 5-3-1.  

The rest of the basket is just a repeat of the same system.  The hard part about twill is not understanding 5-3-1, it's understanding the right place to begin the weaver.    If you look to the diamonds you will never go wrong.  Guess that means diamonds really are a girls best friend. :)

If you can follow the above design you can make any of the twill baskets that are sale this week with no problem.   We just have a few on hand of each so act sharp to make them your own.

Limited to stock on hand - 20% OFF -  All Double Walled Twill Kits

Aurora Mountain Handbag - Quantity on Hand:  2



Tear Drop Twill Basket - Quantity on Hand:  2

Twill Backpack - Quantity on Hand:  3

Grenetta's Wall Pouch - Quantity on Hand: 5


Grab your kits and SAVE 20% - sale starts Sunday 22nd and continues until Saturday the 28th (or until their gone).  




Jill Choate
Jill Choate


2 Responses

Jill Choate
Jill Choate

May 17, 2016

Peggy DuBray, a good project for a beginner would be the Cherokee Storage Basket. You can find it here: http://www.jchoatebasketry.com/products/cherokee-storage-basket

Peggy DuBray
Peggy DuBray

May 16, 2016

Could you recommend a basket that would be good for a beginner? I have recently reconnected via Facebook with Annette and Lezette. I knew them for ages 6-12, but then they moved. I have enjoyed seeing the baskets they make and would love to try making one.

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