Did you know that in addition to providing fibre for mats and baskets, cattails are also very nutritious?
I was out at Trout Lake with the kids yesterday... but I don't harvest cattails from Trout Lake. I'm sure that in theory the patches there could spare me a few, but it would create too much of an atmosphere of permissiveness. Kids would see me and think, 'Hey look! I want some of those things too!'
Imagine poor little Trout Lake picked bald of its cattails!
Instead, I know of a nice robust patch in the middle of a highway cloverleaf near where my mom lives. No good for eating, but just fine for fibre.
In the meantime, watch this nice short little video: the middle part of the basket is simple weaving, 'over-one-under-one'; and the technique that the maker is working in the video is called 'twining', in which two or three weavers twist around each other as they pass over and under the posts.