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Basket Essentials

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Member Reviews

A practical book that offers thorough instructions on weaving ribbed baskets. There are plenty of detailed pictures throughout. Basket weaving is a skill and an art, and this book is a good starting point for anyone who is interested in learning how to make baskets for themselves.
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Basket Essentials is a tutorial and technique guide for weaving reed baskets by Lora S. Irish. Due out 1st July 2020 from from Fox Chapel, it's 200 pages and will be available in paperback format.

Fox Chapel are well kn0wn for the quality of their DIY and homestyle publications. This is a worthy entry into that lineup. It's a fine primer with step by step instructions and copious tutorial photographs which are clear and illustrative. The author has an upbeat and casual writing style which is easy to follow.

The introductory chapter includes a survey of styles, terms, and tools with good clear photos of each. Finishing, dyeing/painting, and repair and maintenance round out the intro chapter. The next chapters progress through techniques and weaving, basket shapes and styles, and decorative features to incorporate. The third chapter includes step-by-step instructions for three specific weaving projects: a hip basket, a melon basket with decorative spoke, and a wheel-ear high shoulder melon basket. The tutorials are filled with clear usable photographs and spare no-frills instruction. I have no doubts that a keen beginner could produce a useful basket with access to the tools and supplies enumerated. The book also includes abbreviated tutorials for 12 additional baskets which are all beautiful and functional as well as decorative.

Each tutorial includes an introduction with finished measurements and special features in a header. Tools and supplies are listed bullet style in a sidebar (measurements are given in American standard units). The step by step instructions are numbered sequentially. The book includes an index, but no metric conversions or source links - though a short internet search turned up a plethora of suppliers.

Well written, accessible for beginning to advanced basketweavers, useful, and appealing. Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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Basket Essentials - Rib Basket Weaving: Techniques and Projects for DIY Woven Reed Baskets by Lora S. Irish is a comprehensive DIY book on egg and potato baskets. Over thirty five years ago I made my first basket. It was an egg basket. I took a class at the local community college that provided a wonderful instructor and hand-outs. Once the class was over a book like this would have been extremely helpful. The materials are clearly listed and show step-by-step instructions. What is most appealing about this book is the many and I do mean many instructional photographs. They are clear close-up with several for important steps in the process.

In this time of social distancing this book would be exactly what one would need to learn the technique of basket making. Some might would say a you-tube video would be just as good. However, there is no way it could cover the many aspects of materials, tools, complete instructions from beginning to completed basket. I had an in-person instructor but this book still had some new information. 

Perhaps there are many books available now, I don’t really know. What I do know is that this is an easy to read, easy to follow, colorful instructional book on rib basket making. Discover a satisfying useful new craft today with Basket Essentials. 

The publisher through Net Galley provided a digital ARC. I have voluntarily decided to read and review, giving my personal opinions and thoughts.
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When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are in #COVID19 #socialisolation,  superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. (I have played a "zillion games" of scrabble, done a "zillion crosswords" and I AM BORED!!!)

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Go beyond just following the steps and learn the methods to traditional basket weaving. With 20 classic folk basket patterns and clear step-by-step instructions and photos, you’ll acquire all the proper techniques you need to become an accomplished basket-weaver, from measuring and adding spokes to learning various weaving patterns.

Author Lora Irish is a talented and successful artist of many trades and has been making baskets for 15 years. She has also written several books on woodcarving, pyrography, and craft pattern.

This is a good book to spend some time with now that the world is on lock-down - you could even do some of these patterns with paper as I have seen (small) woven paper baskets all over our favourite Chinese restaurant.  If you have access to reeds and plants you could even do some of these patterns after foraging.  Great instructions, great photos, great book.

I am guessing that athletes on scholarships would love this book because we all know that they take basket weaving to keep up their GPA - perhaps Lori Laughlin should invest in this book for her daughters when/if they ever get back into a college.

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube  Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🚣 🚣 🚣 🚣 (go Olivia! Go Jade! ... snark attack!)
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This wonderful book completely exceeded my expectations. It is full of great instructions and designs, with excellent photos to follow. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. I found this book completely inspiring and highly recommend it!

I received a free digital copy via NetGalley, but the opinions expressed are my own.
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Two rows of baskets line the top of my kitchen cabinets. Many peek from various corners of my house. Proof of how much I love baskets!

Books on how to make baskets also attract me! I love this one because the basket shapes inside are somewhat different from those I usually see. I also like that there are pictorial step by step instructions for each basket. And some are made with a combination of different materials.

If I ever pick up basket weaving instead of just admiring them, this book would be one of those I pick up for know-how.

Thank you Netgalley and Fox Chapel Publishing for the review copy. This is my honest review.
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I really enjoyed "Basket Essentials" very informative. This book really helps if you want to learn a fun hobby.
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I loved this book it is a fantastic resource for those who are looking for basket weaving techniques. It's has step by step full color illustrations, with easy to follow instructions. It covers all the basics and even a beginner can benefit from this book and possibly complete a project. The pictures in the tutorials are very good making it easy to follow along.

Not only is this book full of information about weaving it lists basic tools, materials, terms and easy to follow instruction on making your first basket. The book then moves into advanced techniques for those already skilled in the art form. This a very informative book that is well presented. I highly recommend this book it is truly a gem for beginners and talented weavers alike.

I relieved this book from NetGalley and Fox Chapel Publishing for an honest review.
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I loved this book! I'm always creating and love to make crafts. This is great resource for those who are looking for basket creating techniques. It's a step by step full of colored illustrations, with easy to follow instructions. I recommend this book.
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Rarely do I feel books with “essentials” in the title cover all the basics enough that a complete beginner can pick it up, follow along, and end up with a completed project they are confident in, so I was pleasantly surprised to find BASKET ESSENTIALS really did cover everything.  The pictures are great and easy to follow along, the explanations are not in jargon that would leave a novice confused, and there are conversions to metric measurements throughout should someone need it.  Would definitely recommend!
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I must admit I was a bit dubious about this book, knowing full well the making baskets are not easy, but all my negativity has been expelled. 
Not only is this book full of information about the art, starting  off with the basics of tools, materials, terms and even dyeing. It continues on to the most fabulously illustrated and easy to follow instruction on making your first basket, and continues on to higher  levels of difficulties in the same easy to follow illustrated guides. The baskets are modern and with the addition of  foreign fibre and dyed reed  woven into the item, they look splendid. 
A really informative book with wonderful photographs and written in an easy to read style
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this book is beautifully illustrated. as a beginner I don't think I could successfully use the techniques without hands on coaching - perhaps others may be able to do so.
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This is an excellent step-by-step guide to basket making. The author gives detailed information about every step of the process and then provides plans for a host of beautiful designs. I was really hoping for more plans that use foraged materials from one's own garden or area, especially since many of the basket plans had names for plants we forage or grow (gooseberry, raspberry, etc.). These are just the names of them, and they still tend to use purchased materials. The author does give a little bit of information about all of the wonderful materials that are used in basketmaking in each region of the world/US but then she uses mainly purchased, rather generic materials for her pictures and plans. I would have loved a book that showed how to use invasive plants like kudzu to make a beautiful basket, but I know I'm not a typical modern reader. :) (Note-- there are some great short little youtube videos that teach how you can make simple, fast little baskets from foraged plants you find in the wild for things like foraging wild berries when you don't have a carrier.). All that said, it's a fantastic book that will give you great tools to start basket making.
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