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A "Pandula" is a flower which blooms only in one's imagination.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another Pine needle basket!

January 11, 2011

This one only took me 3 days.  

The center is my own hand cut and hand drilled slice of an Aspen tree branch.  It is an odd center, it is totally white, I see absolutely no grain to the wood, strange.  The base is 6 in. across and it flares to 8 in. total.  I used Russet #10 mercerized cotton thread doubled, and Copper mist #3 mercerized cotton single strand, for the threads.  I drag each piece of thread repeatedly across a piece of wax before threading and sewing.  (I use cotton because I have it in abundance.)  I used a random mix of green and brown pine needles.  The ones that are green were dried in the dark under my bed to preserve their color.  They will, of course eventually turn brown very slowly (especially if direct sunlight is avoided).  

I used the V stitch for most of the body, and for the first time the Fern stitch as a trim and decoration.  I concentrated on technique and consistency of the stitches.  Both of these stitches were chose because I wanted a very firm basket.  It seems the more legs on the stitches the firmer the basket. 

 I wrapped the little handles also.  When the basket was complete I popped it into the microwave for 45 seconds to melt the wax off of the thread as it tends to look chalky if I don't.  It was just enough wax to make this basket hold its form without any kind of wobble or sloppiness at all.

I have not done any baskets in almost a year, so these two have been like relearning the techniques.  I have very nice tools and such in storage, but had to use what was on hand as I couldn't get to them.  I always just try to keep in mind that most of the arts/crafts we do today, were originally done hundreds of years ago without the modern conveniences we have access to.

Even though I absolutely love the blue and green basket, this one is probably my best to date.  The stitches are remarkably symmetrical (very difficult for me as I am certainly no seamstress) and very firm.  

I am keeping this one!  I am even thinking of somehow incorporating a small pin cushion into it.

A little update...this one was gifted to Kraftymax's hubby for his birthday.  I think they make great places for anyone to empty out their pockets at the end of the day.  He seemed adequately impressed with the fact that it is made from pine needles.  Happy Birthday Daddy K.

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