Try This: Necktie Basket

Turn silk neckties into a soft basket perfect for storing small items.

| May/June 2006

This indulgently soft basket made of cast-off neckties uses an easy beginner basket-making technique that requires no tools except your nimble fingers. The finished product makes a beautiful addition to a dresser or nightstand and is perfect for eyeglasses, watches and other precious things that need a soft place to land. A larger version could make a choice catnapping spot for a pampered feline.

1. You’ll need about nine men’s neckties for a 12-inch-wide basket. Fold the skinny end of the tie in half lengthwise, loop it into a small circle and stitch in place with a needle and thread.

2. You’ll need about 50 feet of cord or yarn. Cut it into10-foot lengths so it’s easier to pull through as you work. Folding the tie in half lengthwise as you go, coil it around the outside of the circle until you have two complete rounds of material. Now tie your cord onto this doubled circle and loop the cord around and through the circle 12 to 16 times. This binds the two coils of necktie together.

3. As you begin the third round of fabric, thread the cord through the space between the two previous layers of fabric, “sewing” the basket together. Each time, the cord secures the new round of necktie to the previous round and goes between the two cord wraps that tied on that last round. Continue folding the necktie, coiling it around and securing it with cord; this simple, repeated pattern makes the basket.

4. As you move outward, begin angling the rows of necktie slightly upward to shape the basket. The looped cords will get farther away from each other as you work outward, so at the halfway mark, work two cord loops into the space where one usually goes, to double the number of loops. To add new neckties, fold the tie’s fat part into the skinny end of the next tie and secure with a few stitches.

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