Appalachian Gathering Basket
Pattern description from Folk Style: “Gina Wilde’s passion for basketmaking prompted the idea for this unusual felted tote. ‘I rambled all over Tennessee, up into the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, and even met a few Chickasaw Indians from Mississippi, all in hopes of learning weaving techniques from the few remaining master of the trade. Basketweaving is a part of the culture of the South that is fast slipping away, and I am grateful for learning to weave at the source.’ Incorporating motifs of the Southwest’s Pima Native American tribe, Gin’s intentions to synthesize two distinctly North American ‘tribes’ of weavers hits the mark with this knitted tribute to American basketry.”
Finished Size: After felting, about 8” (20.5 cm) wide at base, 15½” (39.5 cm) wide at top, and 12¼” (31 cm) tall. Before felting, about 9½” (24 cm) wide at base, 16¼” (41.5 cm) wide at top, and 15½” (39.5 cm) tall.
Yarn: DK weight (#3 Light).
Alchemy Yarns Sanctuary (70% merino, 30% silk; 125 yd (114 m)/50 g): #76E citrine (light olive; A), 2 skeins; #35E fauna (dark olive; B), #96E two rock (brown; C), #36F lantern (gold; D), #72E vintage jade (pale jade; E), and #48A passion flower (purple; F), 1 skein each
Needles: Size 6 (4 mm): 16” (40 cm) circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions: Markers (m; 2 or 3 colors recommended); tapestry needle; pillow case or lingerie bag for machine felting; bath towels; straight pins; one pair of 6”-8” (15-20.5 cm) handles (handles shown are from The Knitterly in Petaluma, California); sharp-point sewing needle and matching thread for attaching handles.
Additional Gauge: About 16 stitches & 20 rounds = 3” (7.5 cm) in stockinette stitch worked in the round.
Notes from Folk Style:
You may find it helpful to use a marker in a color different from the rest to indicate the beginning of the round and markers in yet another color to set off the individual motifs of Chart 2.
To ensure that loose ends do not work themselves free during felting, trim the ends of each color to 3”-4” (7.5-10 cm) long and weave them in as you go.
Keep your tension even while working two-color pattern sections and twist the yarns around each other every 2-3 stitches to avoid long floats across the back of the work.