Updated: Nov 29, 2019
Thank you so much for coming to the workshop hosted by Bozeman’s Alliance Francais’ fearless and intrepid leader; Brigitte Morris! These instructions pick up where the wand (Fuseau) handout leaves off.
As you recall, we began weaving around and around the caged flower heads. Over one, under one…
When you approach the mid way point, stop weaving, bring the short ribbon out opposite where you stopped with the long ribbon.
Where those two ribbons emerge, choose either two stems there near each ribbon and twist them or three and braid them. Use the end of the short ribbon to hold one side, knotting it around the twisted/braided stems until you can join the other side to it mid way.
Keep twisting/braiding until you gauge a well shaped bow for the basket handle has been reached. Take a moment and score (pinch) the handle stems so they bend out from the flower heads. And once they are all twisted/braided and temporarily tied at the top, gently form them into the handle by squeezing and bending them between thumb and finger. Use the end of the short ribbon to temporarily join them (intertwine the loose ends) at the top of the handle. Don’t tie it so tight you can’t undo it in a minute…
Now, cut the remaining stems 1/4″ above the last round of ribbon. If you cut them on an angle it makes a nice contrast cut. Be very careful not to cut the stems off that are to be your handle. And don’t cut them too close to the last round of weaving, they may slip out once it all dries.
All that is left to do is loop the long ribbon up one side, untie the short ribbon that temporarily holds the handle together, join the intertwined stems at the top with a couple extra loops of the long ribbon, and continue looping down to meet the short ribbon. Tie both in a square knot, then a bow, and voila!
Remember, be creative, experiment. You can finish it off any way you see fit. Some in class finished by making a bow in the basket’s center between the two handle sets and it was darling! I have also brought the ribbon up from each side and made a bow in the center of the handle. I have also tied half hitches every half inch or so, leaving the twist/braid of stems visible.