Subject: Basket-Work • Group: Handicrafts • Class Ib • Time: 40 minutes
By M. Mart
The Parents’ Review, 1904, pp. 947-948
I. To enable the children to copy a basket by looking at it.
II. To cultivate the sense of touch, and to train the eye to see mistakes at once.
III. To teach the children to work accurately, neatly, and quickly.
Step I.—Shew a basket to the children, ask them how they will begin. Choose a strand of medium thickness for the spokes at the base. In order to get well started up the sides in one lesson we shall need to make our baskets a good inch smaller at the base than the one before us. Ask the children to tell me what sized spokes they must cut and how many inches long. Draw from the children the quantity that will be required, let them measure and cut six strands four inches each, make a slit in the middle of three of them, push the other three through.
Step II.—Choose one long strand each, which has been soaked. Let the children start by themselves if they remember how, work the first round with the strands double, then separate them, holding the one down with the left hand and working from left to right. Great care must be taken to keep the spokes alternate.
Step III.—The children must now work the spokes into an even star-shape, they must be very careful to keep the weaving tight at first. Let them look at the model basket and say how we must proceed with the sides. Let them calculate how many fresh spokes will be needed, one each side of every point of the star, and there are twelve points. After they have calculated the number required and the height of the basket sides (allowing for some to be turned in at the top), the children must cut 24 spokes of thicker strand, and put them to soak in warm water.
Step IV.—While the strand is soaking continue to weave the base, leave the children to judge of the distance which must be left from the points.
Step V.—The long spokes having been soaked are now ready, let the children if they can say how they are to be inserted. With a penknife sharpen one end flatly to make it slip in amongst the weaving easily, insert a new spoke on each side of the old ones. Then weave a few more round to make these firm. With the back of a pair of scissors, make a nick; be careful not to cut the strand. Bend each spoke up at right angles. At first they will want tying up to keep them in shape. Continue the weaving, be careful not to have it loose nor too tight, or the shape of the basket will be spoiled. Work up the side as far as time will permit. Trim the first spokes which are sticking out from the base.