My husband made a "shakuhachi" for his instrument building class (it's a recorder-like flute...in the photo he's playing an tenor recorder). Two days before he presented his instrument to the class, he commented that the shakuhachi is traditionally played with a basket over the head, effectively isolating the player from the outside world. He then suggested that a pillow case would be an ok substitute, and I cringed. So, I offered to make him a basket instead.
I have made two baskets in my life (previous to this). Both of them are a modification of a pattern by Elaine Webbeking from the March/April 1994 issue of Handwoven. For my first attempt at this big basket, I used 3.5" wide strips of paper grocery bags. The basket turned out to be too small for the end use.
The second attempt at a big basket was done with 3.5" wide strips of unprinted newsprint. The strips were 1.5x as long as the paper bag strips and we used 8 strips per side. My husband cut and folded all the strips. I didn't have enough hand strength to fold a second basket worth of strips in one day! (It's tiring!) Once the strips were all folded we wove the basket together and viola! One shakuhachi basket ready for use. (And he apparently stole the show when he did his presentation! The basket and instrument are on display this week at Wabash College along with all the other instruments created for the course.)
Here's a shot of the weaving in process. The newsprint does not have as much structural strength as the brown paper bags. The finished basket does stand like a basket should and is able to support its own weight, it's just more floppy than the brown paper bag version.
Here's the brown paper bag version. It's big enough to fit over my head. Right now it is holding the next warp for my loom.
And, last, but not least, the April installment of my quilt project. This square is called "Churn Dash" and I did three variations on the simple pattern--one all green, one all red, and one red & green. This simple nine square block, where each square is made of a maximum of two pieces, went together so much faster than last month's blocks where there were 16 'half-square triangle' squares per block.