Rope Border

This twisted rope border is an interesting way to finish a basket.   It is a bit unusual in that the handle is made before the border and because the handle is made from the stakes it is very strong (unlikely to pull out like conventional baskets).

This border is usually made by holding the basket between your knees.   Choose your handle stakes. Two adjacent stakes on each side of the basket.   Insert 8 extra rods one on each side of your handle stakes so you will now have 4 bundles of handle rods (two pairs on each side of the basket) each bundle consisting of 3 rods (the original stake in the centre of two added rods)   Take the left hand set of handle rods (set 1 white) on the side nearest you and twist them clockwise.   Take them across the basket between the two sets of handle rods on the other side.   This set (1) forms the core of the handle bow.    Turn the basket round and once again twist the next left hand set of rods (set 2 red).   Once this is twisted it is wrapped round the handle core three times.   Start by taking them in front of set 1 and the under once, twice and three times ending up once again between the two sets on the opposite side of the basket.   Although I called the first group "the core" this is not quite the case as all the groups are twisted together to form a rope there is actually no core.   So make sure that the first group is not straight but is twisted round the second group.   In other words at this stage you should have two groups twisted together and not one group twisted around the other (there is a difference! I think!)   Turn the basket again and this time twist the remaining right hand group on that side (set 3yellow).   This third group then goes under the handle once, to the front lying below set 2 then under again lying along side set 2 (nearer you) and under again still lying next to set 2 (this time on top as you look at it) under again and out between set 2 and the other two sets.   Twist up the remaining group (set 4 black) and take it under the handle it goes under the handle once, twice and three times threading it through to the outside between sets 3 (yellow) and 1 (white).   Now take set 2 (red) through to the inside of the basket under set 4 (black).   Turn the basket and thread set 1 (white) through in a similar manner under set 3 (yellow) to the inside of the basket.   You are now ready to start the border.

Turn the basket and twist up set 4 (balck) which you will find on the outside of the basket.   Take it to the inside of the basket behind the first stake to the right of the handle.   Twist up set 2 (red) and take it over set 4 (black), in front of the first stake to the right of the handle and behind the next stake to the right.    Now twist up set 4 (black) incorporating with it the first stake to the right of the handle and take it and take it over set 2 (red) and behind the next rod to the right.   You continue round the basket in this manner taking the inner set and twisting the next stake with it.   Once you have 4 or 5 rods in each set you must leave behind a rod (usually the shortest) on the inside of the basket after each stroke to keep the border even.   When you reach the handle on the other side of the basket you must incorporate the sets 1 and 3 into the border.   Drop extra weavers at this stage to keep the border even.   When you reach the beginning you must thread you weavers away reducing the number each time.

It is very complicated to try to describe this method and complicated to do.  Unfortunately these sets are not coloured and because they are all twisted it is difficult to keep track of where each one should go.   I practiced this handle by nailing four different coloured pieces of electrical wire on to a small piece of wood and spent quite a long time twisting these to represent the handle.