I found a groove late 2014 making a couple of baskets with raffia and the very fine Habu silk wrap linen paper. I started, below, with water blue.

Instead of using a needle to do blanket stitch coiling, I find it much faster and easier with a crochet hook - since I know how to crochet. You can use a needle and the effect of the stitching on the outside will be a bit different, but on the inside much the same. The 2.5mm hook is perfect for this, doing simple single crochet around and round to make a coil, letting the spaces get slightly bigger with each round, to create this very slight pattern. I wasn't too concerned for creating effects though...

After I'd had enough of making the base, I went upwards - which is easy enough to do, you just pull tighter to make more tension and things start folding upwards. I switched to the silk wrap paper in tea green for the 'walls' of the basket.

And finished with a row of blue and green around the top for extra strength. And that's all there is to it! Simple, and effective raffia basket!

II like the end result - the effect is a bit delicate, but this linen paper wrapped in a very fine, hair weight silk actually makes it pretty strong. I love the habu colours - each is strong on its own, but they go together so well. The colours also seem to change with the light - is it green or is it almost yellow?!


August 14, 2016 — Cassie Harris