The GDx experience is inspired by Bill Gates’ annual Think Week. Each GD employee is given a “Thinking Day” — a day away from work to research a subject they are curious about. This is a rare opportunity for self-care, achieved by exploring something new, without interruption.

This time around, our Designer/Illustrator Megan Tracy tackled basket weaving! 

“As a collector of hobbies, basket weaving has been on my list of things to try out for a long time. I decided to order a kit and give it a shot.

The kit supplied me with a thinner cord, a thicker wicker, and the instructions. Overall, it was very repetitive. A lot of cutting of the wicker and even more weaving.

To start, I cut up eight 16-inch pieces of wicker and two yards of the cord. 

I laid four of these side-by-side and weaved over and under from left to right for six rows.

After this, I laid four more of the same size wicked pieces across the originals in the opposite direction and started to weave around those as well. I continued weaving in a circle for what felt like forever.

Next, I cut up 16 more pieces—seven inches long each. Each of these got squished between all of the current pieces. So, there are now 32 spokes coming out of the base. Then, you guessed it, I continued to weave around all of the pieces to make sure the new ones were secured. This continued for five rounds. Then I had to cut 32 more seven-inch spokes in between each of the 32 already secured spokes. I kept weaving. After a certain point, the rows of cord got more space between them, so each row moved faster. 

To finish off the top, I cut three wicker pieces that got laid across the circumference of the top. I then had to continue with the weaving cord and wrap it around the new top pieces, while weaving it between the existing basket spokes to secure it. 

I didn’t love the end result, but I finished a basket, which was cool! Next time, when I have more time to order supplies and an abundance of patience, I would love to try a traditional basket with flat reed.”

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