Before: the handle is slipping out of the rim.
A few years ago I made a market basket from reeds. A friend volunteered to teach me and several others how to do this and I made several baskets that I use on a fairly regular basis. My thought is that it is a handy skill to know. My market basket has seen lots of use in the garden for harvesting- but over the past year the handle has been slipping out of the basket, to the point of being about an inch and a half from where it was originally placed. I've 'let it slide' for the summer but recently I took a good look at it and realized that the wooden handle insert (to make the handle stiffer and stronger) was about to slide completely out of the rim. If that had happened I don't know if I would have been able to get it back in. I soaked the entire basket in water for several days to get the reed pliable enough to work with so it didn't crack because I had to disassemble almost the entire handle to make the repairs.
Reed bits spinning off every which way...
Once disassembled I had to try to simultaneously reinsert the handle through the woven basket and slide the reed handle pieces back into place. Then I had to rewrap it with the smaller reed to secure it. I had forgotten how sore working with reed makes my hands. It seems to draw the moisture out of your skin and it is rough enough that my fingertips hurt. But the results were well worth it:
Hopefully this will last me for many more years to come. It is far from a basket that I could buy- this was the first one I ever made so it is full of mistakes and unevenness. I know many of those 'normal' people out there would have just thrown this away and bought a new one. I'm so glad I'm not normal!!! I also have another HUGE basket that I picked up from the top of a dumpster when all the college students were moving out at the end of the spring. We have many dumpster finds throughout the house. One man's trash is another's treasure. Maybe this makes up for the pricey slippers for the boys last week.