I was strolling through Michaels one afternoon checking to see if they had any new yo-yo makers, because I am obsessed with them, when I stumbled upon a Clover basket template. I grabbed it off the hook and looked it over and thought this may be fun, so I took it home. When I got home I ripped open the package like a two year old with a new toy. Then I got down to business. I read through the directions and looked at some examples online and the next time I was near a craft store I bought a variety of yarn, cord and raffia to start creating. As I worked through the basket making process, I discovered a few tips and tricks that may help you as you try it out.
Tip 1#: Material
I have used a variety of yarns and cords and some work better than others. Here is a tip or two on choosing material:
- I liked variegated yarn it really makes your basket look amazing.
- The thicker the yarn the faster your basket goes together.
- Fuzzy yarn works well as long as it is not bulky. You can see from my two examples below that a thin fuzzy yarn makes a great basket and a bulky fuzzy yarn makes a great nest.
- I made one basket with green cord and used a raffia top. I think this basket looks the most like a “real” one. In fact, most people I showed could not believe I made that basket. This material comes in great colors and is just as easy to use as yarn.
Tip 2#: Process
The instructions included with the basket are very good and can be easily followed. Here is a tip or two on creating a basket:
- If using a bulky yarn (1/8 inch diameter or larger) cut the base and middle, of felt or fabric, a little bit smaller than the template provided. A bulky yarn pushes on the felt especially in the middle and can cause it to buckle even when glued in place.
- Bury your yarn end. I lace the yarn through the wedges as directed in the instructions and then I hold the first end up on one of the wedges and weave over it. This helps me bury the first yarn end to give a clean look in the basket.
- If using an oval template there are a few wedges at the end of the basket template that are longer than the ones in the middle. You will need to wrap all the way around these pieces with yarn once you get to the top of the wedges.
- PAY ATTENTION: So if you are weaving your seventh basket while watching Fixer Upper you may miss a wedge and end up with a yarn piece out of place. Let’s say I did this to show you what not to do. You’re Welcome!
- Weave your yarn to the middle of the holes at the top of each wedge. This ensures that the top of your basket and the weaving you did on the bottom will always match up and never show any of the cardboard template.
Tip 3#: Buying
Clover actually has several sizes and shapes of these templates. Here is a tip or two on buying:
- Check out the craft websites. I found several different sizes on Create-For-Less that were on clearance.
- Check out the craft stores in your area. These products are found with yarn, quilting and notions.
- Check out eBay and Amazon. They sell the templates as well.
- It is important to have some kind of clips to help you hold the yarn or raffia when you get to the top of the basket. I used clothes pins. You can buy them for $1.00 at the dollar store. I like to have one for each wedge.
- They recommend a darning needle to pin down your yarn and raffia on the top of the basket. I recommend an upholstery needle. It has a flat piece near the point as well as an angle that helps you get into the holes easier as well as bury the final end under the material of a wedge.
Happy Basket Weaving!
Talk to you soon!