This tutorial shows how you can weave the amla knot basket ( நெல்லிக்காய் முடிச்சு கூடை).
This basket is tightly woven and sturdier than baskets made with other knots so it can last a very long time.
To weave an amla knot, you will be handling 3 wires at the same time and this can be a little difficult for beginners. So if you are getting ready to weave your very first basket, you should try something that is made with box knot. If you are familiar with basket weaving but amla knot alone intimidates you, this simple and easy to follow tutorial with a lot of useful tips will make it a breeze.
Prerequisite: I have already posted a very detailed tutorial that shows how you can weave this amla knot/ gooseberry knot. Click this link to open that tutorial for amla knot. Please read that tutorial before starting this basket as I have also shown how you can add amla knots to a running wire. To avoid repetition, those things will not be covered below.
To weave the exact same basket that I have made, you will need 40 pieces of wire that are 2.5 meters long.
You will also need running wire for the base as well as the walls of the basket.
Exactly 2 bundles of wire were used up for these 40 pieces and for weaving the base. I had to open a third bundle to weave the walls of the basket. So buy enough wire bundles before starting this project.
Weaving base of amla knot basket
We cut 40 pieces of wire. For each knot, we will use 2 cut pieces of wire. So with 40 pieces of wire, the base will be 20 knots long.
The base of the basket will have a total of 11 lines. The base will have a hexagon shape (4 short sides and 2 long sides).
We will first weave the middle row of the base. All future rows will be added above and below this row.
Middle row of base
Before and after every row in the base, we will usually leave some length of running wire free. In Amla knot, we will do the same for all rows of the base except for the middle row. In middle row of amla knot basket’s base, we will leave just about 5 inches of wire on both sides. The reason we do this is because, we won’t be using those two wires for weaving the wall of the basket.
Let’s get started with the middle row of the base. Leave 5 inches of running wire free and start adding the cut pieces one by one. Like I mentioned above, check the amla knot tutorial (link given above) if you do not know how to do this.
Add all the 40 pieces (20 knots).
Important: After adding each knot, make sure to check if the length of wires above and below the knot are the same. This means that you have placed the knot right in the middle of the cut pieces. If one side is longer than the other, adjust the knot a little.
Once all the knots have been added, cut the running wire after leaving 5 inches of wire.
Both ends of this row will not be used for the walls of the basket. Instead, they will be tucked in on the back side of the base.
This basket’s base will be 11 rows wide so we will add 5 rows above this middle row and 5 rows below this middle row.
Leave 1.25 meters free and start making the second row of the base.
A triangle shaped hole will be created in amla knot basket. Notice how the knots in this row will be placed in between two knots of the previous row. For this, you have to start making knots with the second and third wire. These two wires will be naturally traveling towards each other. So whenever you see wires crossing each other, make a knot.
Continue making knots till the end. As expected, this row will have fewer knots than the previous row.
Once all the knots are added, allow 1.25 meters of running wire free and then cut it off.
Continue adding 4 more lines on this side. All of them will have 1.25 meters of wire on both ends.
Now it is time to add 5 lines of base on the other side of the middle line.
All 10 lines have been added on both sides of the middle row. This base is a good size for a mid sized basket. As you can see, the base has a nice hexagon shape.
Backside of amla knot also looks very beautiful. Here is how your base will look on the backside.
Weaving walls of basket
The walls of the basket are quiet easy. Once you learn
- how to turn corners and
- end one row before starting the next one, you are good to go.
Then all you have to do is repeat this 20 more times or till the basket reaches the height that you want.
When weaving amla knot, a triangle shaped hole is formed whenever the knot is made with wires that travel towards each other. When a knot is made with wires that do not cross each other, a shabby rectangle shaped hole will be formed. This problem will happen only in the first row of the wall of the basket as we will find 6 wires that will be alone without a partner wire that crosses it. You will find these 6 wires at the 6 corners (/ angles/ vertices) of the hexagon shaped base.
To make sure that we have only triangle shaped holes throughout the basket, we have to skip these 6 wires and not include them when making a knot. This is why we started and ended the middle row of the base with a short wire as these two will be skipped anyway. This way we avoided wire wastage.
In the picture below, you can find the base with perfect triangle shaped holes.
This is how the holes will look when the 6 wires are not skipped.
If you are not very particular that all holes in the basket should be triangle shaped, you can go ahead and simply weave around the base just like we do for other baskets. But if you want to weave a perfect basket, then you have follow the suggestion given above.
So before we start the first round around the base, find the lonely wires and make a knot with them as shown below to identify them easily. Instead of knotting, you can also leave 5 inches and cut them off if you want. But if you would prefer to make sure you have chosen the correct wire to skip, then make a knot and cut it off after finishing the first round around the base.
The lonely wire has a knot. It is marked with a white circle in the picture above. As you can see above, all other wires near it have a partner wire that crosses them.
I have marked all 6 wires with a knot.
Let’s get started with the wall of the basket. We need running wire for this. You can use a second color or the same color. You can start anywhere you want.
Leave 5 inches free and start making knots. As usual these knots will be placed between two knots in the previous row. When you reach a corner, you will find a lonely wire without a partner, skip it and make the next knot with wires that travel in such a way that they cross each other naturally. Since we are skipping a wire, you might have to apply more force to place the new knot right next to the previous one.
Ending one row and starting another
We have now ended one row and are about to start the next row. We will do this using the ladder stitch.
As you can see above, there is a gap between the last knot (left side) and the first knot (right side) of this round.
Make the first knot loose as shown below.
Pull the two wires down a few inches and then pull 2 loops up as shown.
Now fold the running wire that is coming out of the last knot and pass it through the two loops.
Pass the two wire ends through the running wire.
Make the knot tight again.
Now pull the running wire tight.
To start the next round, bring the running wire to the correct position. You will have to make it go around one wire as shown by the yellow arrow.
Now you can start round 2 as usual.
Continue round 2.
End and start each row with ladder stitch as shown above. Basket is growing.
When basket has reached desired length, make one additional round and tuck in the excess wire.
When you tuck in the excess wire, pull the additional row so that it gets pulled in.
Amla knot basket is ready.
Important tips for weaving amla knot basket
- The knots have to be made with even tension. The basket will look shabby if some knots are tight and some are too loose.
- This basket requires a lot of wire so get at least 3 bundles ready before you start the project. This is particularly important if you are going to use rare colors that might not be available in the shop at a later date.
- This basket takes time to weave. So don’t get too excited and weave too much and hurt your shoulder.
- This basket is sturdy and can last a long time. So weave a thicker handle for this basket.
- If you are new to basket weaving, try the knot a few times with scrap wire before attempting a big basket.
- Since we are using 3 wires for each knot, it is natural to get confused and make mistakes. Check your work at regular intervals and correct mistakes as soon as they are discovered. If you continue with mistakes, it might be difficult to get the triangle shaped holes and mistakes can be more obvious in single colored baskets.