African Market Baskets

We are now offering handcrafted Bolga baskets woven by remarkable artisans in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Each basket is a one-of-a-kind treasure.

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Proceeds from the sale of these baskets helps to provide healthcare, education and financial support to over 1,000 African villagers and their children.

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African Market Baskets™ is a division of The Overseas Connection, Ltd., located in Boulder, Colorado.  Founder and CEO, Steve Karowe has been importing from Africa since 1991.  Since 2004, he has worked directly with artisans in Bolgatanga.  Steve Karowe also formed Every Basket Helps™, a non-profit organization created to help manage humanitarian projects in the villages of Ghana.  African Market Baskets™ donates 10% of its profits to Every Basket Helps™.

Steve travels to Africa to meet with the weavers regularly and to oversee Every Basket Helps™ projects which include:

  • Providing basic school supplies for the weavers’ children annually
  • Organizing and funding health care for the weavers and their families annually
  • Funding and building a community weaving center that serves two villages and over 400 weavers (2009)

The Story

Basket weaving has helped bring much needed income to the villages surrounding Bolgatanga, Ghana. The traditional skill which has been handed down from generation to generation provides employment to approximately 10,000 people, mostly women. An average of two baskets a week can be woven by a woman who also has household chores, firewood collection, water collection, washing and the care of her children to tend to each day.

Starting a basket Elephant Grass Weaving

Using locally-grown straw, the women create art.  View a gallery of images showing women weaving and the process from natural grass to finished basket.  This gallery shows how the grass is transformed, colored and then woven into a basket.

Baskets to Market Baskets to Market Baskets to Market

Bolgatanga and its surrounding villages are the largest producers of straw baskets in the country. Known as the crafts center of northern Ghana, Bolgatanga has a large central market where artists sell their work every third day.  See a gallery of images showing the transportation of baskets to market.

Health Care Registration

African Market Baskets™ is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.

Fair Trade Federation

Right now, we have the African Market Baskets in The Farm Store.  They make great yarn baskets, or stashing most anything!  I’ve got one in my bedroom that holds socks, and yes, a cat from time to time as well!

We do not yet offer them online.  Seems they sell so fast, I can’t get them listed!

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Thanks to all of you who help support the weavers by buying African Market Baskets.

FREE Pattern – Alpaca Rug Yarn Purses

Finally, I have written down the pattern, and yardage for purses made from our Suri Alpaca Rug Yarn.  Using a big crochet hook, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can make one of these purses.  Choose one of the three sizes, or any size you want to make a purse.

Alpaca Rug Yarn Purses with Strap

IMG_1065 Medium Rug Yarn Purse with Strap Large Alpaca Rug Purse

Here’s the pattern:

HOOK

US Size S

MATERIALS

Small Purse with Strap (6″ x 2.5″ x 7″) – 25 yards Medium Purse with Strap (12″ x 3.5″ x 10″) – 55 yards Large Bag with Strap (20″ x 12″ x5″) – 115 yards

If you’re lucky, you can reach down inside a bump of rug yarn and find the end. Working from the center keeps the bump from rolling and the yarn is much easier to work with this way.

Center Pull Alpaca Rug Yarn

DIRECTIONS

Make foundation chain of 7 for Small Purse, 10 for Medium Purse, and 15 for Large Bag.

Turn and sc in 2nd chain from hook. Sc around chain increasing one stitch at each end.

2nd Round—Continue to sc around in front loops only.

Crocheting in Front Loops Only

3rd Round—Continue to sc around.

4th and following Rounds—Continue to sc around until desired height is reached.  Medium Purse has 9 rounds, Large Purse has 10 rounds.

Slip stitch into top of last sc from previous round.

Cut yarn and weave in end.

STRAP

Chain stitch to desired length.  Pull through stitch on each side of bag.  Knot.  Weave in ends.  Stitch for reinforcement.

Alpaca Rug Yarn Purse with Handle

Medium Rug Yarn Purse with Handle

Medium Purse/Bag with Handles  (11″ x  6″ x 10.5″) – 60 yards

To make this purse follow the pattern above until Round 7.

8th Round  Sc in next 5 sts, ch 6, skip next 6 sts, sc in next 5 sts, ch 6, skip next 6 sts, sc in next 5 sts. Join.

9th Round   Sc in next 5 sts, 6 sc under the ch 6 sp. Sc in next 5 sts, 6 sc under the ch 6 sp, sc in next 5 sts.  Join and finish off.

Weave in ends.

Click Image to Purchase Alpaca Rug Yarn

Super Bulky Suri Alpaca Yarn

 For a FREE Rug Crochet Pattern, click here.



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