A Primer on Rib Constructed Basketry Vol. 3

Melon, Egg, Herb, Square - what's the difference?

A Melon basket uses the bottom of the hoop and the rims of the basket to use as a guide for where the ribs need to be woven.  No longer than the bottom hoop and coming up to the rim in a half circle like the shape of a melon, hence the name.

An egg basket was used for gathering eggs from the hen house.  A basket that could nest the eggs so they wouldn't roll was required.  So the bottom of the basket was elongated at the sides to create carrying spaces.  Referred to as buns or granny's fanny I've seen them slightly flared like in the Blue Streak Basket or really flared like the Lupine Egg basket.

Misti Washington's grandmother came up with a 4-lobed egg basket for sorting the different colored eggs that she had as she gathered them.  I did a fancy version called Grandma's 4-Lobed.  I also did a 3 lobed egg basket called the Dryad's tri-urn more of an art piece that an actual working basket after being inspired by Misti's work and a 3 antlered 4-lobed piece called the Granny's basket.  I was inspired by Misti's grandmother!

A square basket, now I'm not sure why the design was thought up but I would think that more cargo space was the reason.   Some basket makers shy away from this design because of shaping the ribs but we've got a sure fire way of making them perfect.  Molding them on the hoop BEFORE the basket is started.  Then they are already formed perfectly for the basket.  All you have to do is trim to fit.

Herb baskets we're used for gathering herbs to dry.  It's a great beginning rib constructed basket because the majority of the weave is done on the base.  The hoop acts as the sides of the basket and it's embellished with twill when completed.  Probably not how our grandmother's made it but it sure makes it pretty when completed.

Check out these designs:

  1. Melon Basket
  2. Lupine Egg Basket
  3. Grandma's 4-lobed
  4. Tree Hugger Square Market 
  5. Herb Basket

Fancy handles - why bother?

A handle,  is a handle,  is a handle - unless it's a fancy handle.  Braid work or twill work on a handle before it's incorporated into the lashing makes for a dynamic fancy basket.  The designs are endless and so are the different options.  It's more work but it sure is worth it.  Check out the following designs with fancy handles: 

  1. Tree Hugger Square Market 
  2. Blue Streak
  3. Black Tie Affair
  4. Oval Melon with Twill handle
  5. Double Rimmed Egg

Twill work on the rims and bottom of the hoop

If you want to fancy up that basket a bit more considering doing a twill weave on the rims and bottom of the hoop of the basket.  It doesn't need to be all of it and a simple two-two twill will do but the options once again are endless.  See above design samples.


Doubling up handles:

I've recently started playing with doubling up hoops in a design like the Tree Hugger baskets round and square.  It makes for a dynamic one of a kind basket and once again the design elements for this type of handle are limitless.  Check out the following designs with double handles:

  1. Tree Hugger Square Market 
  2. Tree Hugger Round
  3. Double Rimmed Egg

Basketry | Jill Choate Basketry

Other Blog Posts on Rib Constructed Basketry:

  1. A Primer on Rib Constructed Basketry Vol. 1
  2. A Primer on Rib Constructed Basketry Vol. 2
  3. Weaving the first set of ribs


FREE Tutorial Videos:

  1. Blue Streak Melon Basket: DIY Basket with FREE tutorial VIDEOS
  2. 7 easy videos to weave the BLACK TIE AFFAIR melon basket

Jill Choate
Jill Choate


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