How to make a gathering basket

This project is an excerpt from Willow – A Guide to Growing and Harvesting by Jenny Crisp, published by Jacqui Small at £20.00, available from

This basket begins with four round templates that meet and make the handle. The large templates form the base on which the basket sits firmly on a surface and the small templates create the opening for the handle. For my basket I added six ribs, but if you wanted to make a basket with a greater volume you could add more ribs. I have seen some very old photographs of groups of ladies chatting in a French market while proudly holding some very large, stunning versions of this basket. Everybody’s grandmother had one of these in the 1940s and ’50s, and they were carried to town to hold the grocery shopping. You see them a lot in antiques shops, and they carry fond memories for many of us. I have called mine a Gathering Basket, as it’s the perfect size for the keen vegetable gardener to harvest enough for a family feast.


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