I just love how easy they are to make and you only need one material, wool rope!
Once you know the basics of making a woven rope basket, the possibilities are pretty much endless. You can play with different basket forms and shapes, changing colors, mixing up materials, adding fun elements like tassels or pom-poms, etc.
I tried to make this tutorial as understandable as possible, with tons of pictures. Any other visual learners around here?!
What You’ll Need
- 17 yards of 5mm felted wool rope
- I used felted wool rope from my shop in the color sea spray
- Bowl or basket for a mold
- Tape measure
*this tutorial uses 5mm rope, but you can use it for the 10mm rope too, I would just double the lengths of the rope and size of the mold.
Cut the rope into warp and weft pieces. For the warp you’ll need 12, 18” strands. For the weft you’ll need 11 yards divided in half, but still connected. Make a slipknot in the middle and separately wind each end into a ball.
Group the 12 warp strands into 6 pairs.
Arrange three pairs of strands horizontally and parallel to each other. Interlace each vertical pair alternatively over and under the horizontal pairs. Ensure that the woven square forms at the midpoint of all the pairs. Carefully tighten the square to the fullest extent possible. It’s like lattice work on a pie!
Take a piece of scrap yarn and tie a knot on the leftmost strand among the vertical pairs of rope. It serves as a helpful marker for the starting point of each weaving round.
Now take your weft rope that has been wound into two balls, undoing the slipknot and placing the center of the rope around the pair where you tied the marker knot.
Let's begin the weaving process by maneuvering around the warp spokes. Take the two lengths of weft yarn and twist or twine them around each pair of yarn warp.
Here's how it works: as you transition to a new pair of warp strands, bring the lower strand up and the upper strand down, creating a twist or twine effect. Continue this pattern as you move around the warp pairs.
It's important to keep an eye on the weft balls of yarn as you weave. Every several rotations, pause to untangle and straighten the bundles of weft. This will ensure a smooth weaving experience and help maintain the neatness of your project.
Keep weaving around the square, which is gradually transforming into a circle, as you continue twining the two yarn lengths around each pair of warp strands. While you weave, tighten the center. Make sure to adjust and tighten the initial round or two of weft as necessary to maintain a uniform and snug weaving pattern. This process will help create a well-crafted base for your basket.
Once you’ve woven a circle that fits the base of your mold, place it on your upside down mold, so that your basket can start to take shape.
As you go around the circle, pull the weft threads snuggly against the mold's shape. This will help the woven piece match the shape of the mold. When transitioning from flat to vertical, pull the diameter of these rounds tightly enough to turn it vertically, but not too tight that the base pops off. Once you've safely made it around the corner, keep weaving and tightening the weft for a snug fit around the mold.
Once you've twined the warp pairs four times around (use your knot as a reference for the start of a round), it's time to twine each warp strand individually. Continue the pattern around the circle, treating each warp thread separately.
Once you reach the desired height for your basket, take the woven piece off the mold and flip it over. Trim the weft ends, leaving about 4 inches. Take each end and tuck it beneath the weft rows' channel where it hangs. Tuck the excess length inside the basket.
To complete the warp ends, take each warp strand and bring it behind the one to its left. Then, guide it down the weft channel of the next warp thread (which is two spaces over from its starting point). Make sure to pass it under at least 3 or 4 strands for a secure hold. Again, tuck the remaining length inside the basket.
Tighten each warp end to tidy up the braid along the top edge of the basket. Feel free to adjust the shape of the basket to your liking, making small adjustments if needed.
Trim the extra lengths from the ends inside the basket. Then boom, you have your very own woven basket!!
I had so much fun making these and have a bunch of ideas in my head for similar projects that I can’t wait to make! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it inspires you to make some baskets and bowls with felted wool rope!
Pin this post for later and tag me on Instagram @pineroseandco so I can see what you make!