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No. 59 (June 1967)
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How to Make
a Rourou
or Food Basket

To make a rourou or kono, four blades of flax are needed. The sides and midriff are stripped to make an even width. Use the four double pieces (no wider than 1£½ inches) joined together at the bottom. The size of the rourou depends on the width of the flax. Do not use the strips too wide.

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No longer than 2″

To begin weaving, place the first piece on an angle to the right, and bend the top strip back over to the left.

The second piece is placed to the right of the first and the top strip bent back over it to lie parallel with the strip to the left.

Place the third piece to the right of the others and bend the top strip back over one and under one.

The fourth piece is placed to the right of the others and the top strip bent back over one, under one and over one. There will now be four strips to the left and four to the right.

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The edge of the basket is formed by bending the right hand strips under and plaiting them to the left until there is only one piece to the right.

(a)

Begin with the bottom right strip and bend it under one, over one and under one.

(b)

The next strip bends under one and over one.

(c)

The third strip bends under one. There will now be seven strips to the left and one to the right. The surface of the flax is changed as it is bent to make the edge.

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(a)

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(b)

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(c)

When there are seven strips to the left and one to the right a corner will be made. The corners are woven from the outside of the basket and it is important NOT to alter the surface of the flax when making a corner.

With the left hand, and working from the left, flick the first strip up, the second back, the third up, and the fourth back. The next strip (fifth) is placed through these four to form the corner.

Still use the left hand to flick the four strips into position and place the next strip through.

Use the above method to plait the third strip through the four pieces so that there will now be three strips to the left and five to the right. Tighten the plait so that there are no gaps. This completes a corner.

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Repeat the ‘edge turning’ process shown on the previous page until there are seven strips to the left and one to the right.

Repeat the process for making a corner so that at the completion of it there will be three strips to the left and five to the right. You will have completed two corners.

Continue in the same way until FIVE corners have been made. The first one fits inside the fifth. If the flax is not long enough, four corners will do, but the finishing is easier with five corners.

To finish the basket, weave the ends in on the outside, starting with the piece nearest the middle of the bottom. Each flax strip will correspond with another piece in the weave. They need only to be caught under one piece to be anchored firmly. Trim the loose ends to complete the foodbasket.