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Cheekah (Water Pot Holder)

Participants in Spliterati-01 (the first international ply-splitting conference, held in Bampton, England in 2001) were asked if they could provide anything to help dress Camellia, the half-scale model camel that was the Spliterati mascot. I didn't have time to do anything elaborate, so I decided to make a small cheekah. This is a string bag used to carry a water pot - see "The Techniques of Ply-Split Braiding" (p193 & plate 112). At the exhibition, mine held a cola can as it hung from Camellia - traditional bag, modern refreshment.

The type of cheekah I chose is made from a single cord plus a drawstring. This is only possible because there are few splittings, widely spaced; otherwise the unplying of the cord caused by the splittings would become a problem.

The cheekah is started by making many identical loops long enough to go from bottom to top, then the free end is led through itself and all the other loops including the blind end of the cord. The free end then goes round in a spiral as it is split by the loops. When a large enough base is formed, the end is knotted and tucked inside.

The body of the cheekah is formed by making linked twinings using each loop as a unit, and staggering the linkings on succeeding rounds. By the time the top of the bag is reached, the unplying caused by the splittings has forced the excess twist up into the loose loops. It is easy to run a drawstring through the loops to secure the bag.

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2004-2006 --- last updated 17th November 2006.