Quite a while ago, a reader asked me about doing a post on making a ribbed egg basket. She had experience in making ribbed melon baskets, and wondered about the process for making an egg basket.
This won't be a full-blown tutorial on making an egg basket, but I will attempt to show the basics as they differ from a melon basket.
A ribbed egg basket is made much the same way as a melon basket. The shape of an egg basket (and a melon basket) is determined solely by the length of the ribs.
In a melon basket, all of the ribs are cut to the same length, giving the basket a very round shape.
But in an egg basket, the ribs are cut to different lengths, giving it what is referred to as a "buttocks" shape.
A weaver has a lot of "play" in determining the final shape of the basket.
You can follow a pattern that gives you specific measurements, or you can "eyeball" the lengths to give your basket exactly the shape you desire.
I have seen quite a lot of variety among egg baskets as to shape...some having extreme "buttocks" and some that are almost perfectly rounded! There really is no "right" or "wrong".
But for the purposes of this post, I will give you the rib measurements I used.
I have started out with two 12" hoops that I lashed together using a braided "God's-eye". (Instructions for making a braided God's-eye can be found in the book , Rib Baskets, by Jean Turner Finley)
I then added 3 primary ribs to each side of the basket, using the following measurements (cut two of each, one for each half of the basket)):
Rib #1 - 20"
Rib #3 - 24 1/2"
Rib #5 - 21"
As you can see in the photo above, the rib ends are pointed (I used a pencil sharpener), and are inserted all the way to the corner where the rim and handle hoops meet, behind the God's-eye.
Four rows are then woven around these ribs, on both sides of the basket.
After the fourth row has been woven, you are ready to insert the secondary ribs. The measurements are as follows (again, cut two of each):
Rib #2 - 23"
Rib #4 - 23 1/2"
Again, sharpen the ends. Rib #2 is inserted into the weaving right next to, and below, rib #1. Rib #4 is inserted into the weaving right next to, and above, rib#5.
(See photo below)
The next photo shows the view from the inside, and as you can see, the ends have been pushed all the way up into the corner, right alongside the primary ribs.
After ribs #2 and #4 have been added, continue weaving.
You will notice that your first row will be "off"...
But this will correct itself during the next row!
Continue weaving as usual, but when you find the spacing between your ribs to be about
1 1/2" apart, it will be time to add more ribs!
I will save that for my next post...because I haven't gotten that far on my example basket!
So stay tuned!