Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Well......once again, I'm indebted to another talented friend who gave up an entire day to teach me how to make a pine needle basket.  I gotta admit, my hands are a tad achy tonight....a surprise since I'm accustomed to long hours working with my hands!

 Here's one of Lynn's fabulous baskets....  YUP.....if you have a sharp eye you have already noticed the beautiful blue agate slice in the base.  Does it get any better than this??
 This basket was a feast for the eye featuring black walnut slices embedded into the open woven work design.
Look at the perfection of the stitching....oh my......
Lynn provided excellent and patient guidance but being modest, she gives credit to her first instructor, Judy Mofield Mallow.  This book is very inspiring and instructive.  It's available here, along with all the supplies one needs to create their own masterpiece.  Be sure to visit the gallery to truly get inspired!
Here's a short summary of the process.  First, I was able to select one of the many prepared 'centers' from Lynn's inventory.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I'm crazy about using agate slices in my work....so I was in heaven!
Another possibility to incorporate was a black walnut slice.

 .......or the Betel nut slice which was sandwiched between resin. Twine or other stitching material is threaded through the holes as the pine needles and nut become one. 

The Southern Pine needles were soaked in hot water (to kill any bugs) and to make them more pliable.  Next, the thick ends needed to be stripped from the pine needles.  This little wooden gadget made the job easier....but it was still somewhat time consuming.
 Once the needles were prepared, they were rolled in a towel to keep them moist and straight.
 Now, the fun begins.....   We started with 3 'strands' of pine needle units...often containing 3 individual 'needles'.  Artificial sinew is used to wrap the needles into a coil as it travels through the holes of the resin covered agate slice.  Additional pine needles are slid into the coil after every 2 wraps of the sinew.
 Round and round it goes.....keeping the tension tight is important as is keeping the wrapping stitches uniform around the pine needle coil....all in all it took about 2 1/2 hrs. to get to this point.  But....who's in a hurry?  Well, I like immediate gratification but you can't rush it, especially during the learning process.
Soon I was ready to manipulate the coil vertically and it began to look like a basket!
......Ta Da.....here's my very own Southern Pine Needle Basket which measures a mere 4.5" x 3".  I love it.....        Thank you Lynn for your generosity!


Robbie said...

I am SO impressed!!! You are multi talented aren't you!! This is so cool!! I can imagine how the hands feel...but well worth it.

Jackie said...


The Idaho Beauty said...

I have such an admiration for basket weavers after taking a class on the subject. I too had achy hands and fingers after the full-day class. I love my "tote" basket and still look at it in disbelief I actually made it. I now know it is worth every penny these craftsmen and women ask for their wares.

I've not seen versions incorporating objects such as the agates. Yours came out lovely.