Random Weave
Random weave is an awesome basket weaving technique to learn and one of my favourites.
You can use so many different materials and create all sorts of different shapes.. I mean the control you have over the shape sometimes seems to be minimal but they always turn out beautiful in their wild, bird nest kind of way!
Although there's no specific pattern, there's a beautiful flow when weaving in this style. It's nice the places your mind wanders to when your hands are busy tangling in such a free and intuitive way.

I hope you have all had chance to find yourselves some lovely Brambles this month..
One of the beautiful things about this vine is its abundance but if for whatever reason that's not the case locally for you, here's a list of other materials you can use for this project-

  • Honeysuckle

  • Russian vine

  • Ivy

  • Clematis

  • Wisteria

  • Grapevine

  • Kudzu

  • Virginia creeper

  • Willow and other various hedgerow materials

  • Long roots

  • Jasmine

  • Wire

    Really, any longish fibre with a certain amount of tension will work well :)

What you'll need -

  • Fruit bowl shaped vessel to use as your mould - I've used a singing bowl

  • Twine

  • Secateurs

  • 15-30 pre-soaked Bramble vines

  • A hoop big enough to fit over your fruit bowl.

Instructions -

  • First things first, we need to soak the Bramble vines.
    Carefully place your vines into a bucket and cover them with warm water. Leaving them to rehydrate for 8-12 hours/overnight.

  • When your vines have become nice and pliable again, pour the water off. For the entirety of your time weaving the vines keep the vines either in the bucket or a towel to prevent them from drying out as you're going along.

  • One thing you want to check before starting to weave is that your pre-prepared hoop can easily slide over your mould. You don't want to come to the end of your weaving and find you have you bowl trapped inside!

  • Then, taking your twine, tie a number of lengths from one side of the hoop to the other, this will stop the hoop from sliding off the bowl once we turn it upside down.

  • Now flip it all round so the hoop is underneath like so..

  • Now we're ready to start tangling :)
    Starting with your thicker and longer vines you're going to randomly and gradually weave over the bowl.

    Take the first vine and thread it either around the hoop or a gap in the hoop. Pull it through until it's the middle of the vine that's in contact with the hoop.

  • Bring the loose ends of vine over the top of the bowl and tuck them in and around the hoop on the opposite side.
    Repeat this process until the vine runs out!

  • Slowly, slowly keep adding vines in this way :)
    Tucking them around different places on the rim and when passing another vine, vary either going over or under as you feel.

  • As your weaving away try to guide the vines to fill in the areas that look a bit sparse.

  • Once your basket has got to this point and you structure is feeling nice and solid. Remove the string and pop the bowl out.

  • Carry on weaving away until the weave is as dense as you desire.. You can weave until there are almost no gaps or leave it fairly open, tis up to you.

    Just bear in mind how little the things are that you're planning on keeping inside!

Annnnd Tadaaa!
You have your basket.

At this point you can totally just leave it like it is or you can add other interesting colours and textures.. some nice ways of doing this would be to add -

  • Long bark strips.

  • Cordage

  • Plaited vines/leaves.

  • Feathers

    For creating other shapes..

You can create all sorts of different shapes with random weave. I personally find this easiest to do around a form, at least until you have the basic structure vaguely solid.

For any form in which the opening/mouth of the basket is smaller than the basket itself you're going to need some sort of form that can be removed. For example -

  • A covered balloon

  • Paper mâché

  • A bag of rice

  • Crumbled paper

Using forms that you are able to remove in parts/sections once the structure is nice and solid allows you to create shapes like so..
Anyway happy weaving..
Enjoy this nice simple technique before we move onto the more complex jellyfish tangling :)

Just a note: I have decided next month to focus on Juncus. I had previously mentioned covering hair moss but something didn't feel quite right about that.. It's such a slow growing plant compared to the crazily abundant Juncus so have decided to focus on that instead!
I will still do a small post on its uses but it's won't be the main focus.
I also have a few cordage posts to catch up on.. Now it's been sunny weather I've finally had chance to go get some good photos of the fibres and I shall send them out to you as soon as possible!
Also I would like to know people's thoughts on setting up a members FB page. I feel it could be a great place to communicate.. Annnnd share photos of plants/baskets :) which I love seeing!

Anyhoo :) Hope you're all enjoying this spring sunshine!

Love from this weirdy weaver.