Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another Basket....

I've completed my second pine needle basket and I really like it much better than my first...

I used upholstery thread this time which really works well when stitching the basket. It's a lot less visible looking than the thread I used the last time. You use a LOT of thread on something like this, so some of the cooler, more expensive threads that are recommended, like artificial sinew where you split the thread and use a split stitch or other decorative stitch, I'm not ready to use those yet.  I don't know how to do those stitches. Gotta find out how to do them!

I like this thread from Hobby Lobby for stitching my baskets. It's called Artiste, #3 nylon thread, 197 yards, 90% nylon, 10% polyester. It comes in LOTS of cool colors. It's about 3.00 for a spool, but you can use your Hobby Lobby coupon and get it for 40% off or probably find it cheaper other places? The colors caught my eye in Hobby Lobby, so I bought these.

I used three walnut slices--one for the bottom, and two on the sides. I'd like to be able to find walnuts around on the ground, but there don't seem to be any walnut trees around in southern Florida that I can see! I purchased these walnut slices from Prim Pines, a basket supply company. You can buy 12 of them for 6.00. They also sell agate pieces, fossils set in resin, and wood pieces predrilled, lots of choices for basket bottoms.

I'm still learning how to add the walnut pieces, it's hard to hold them in place and stitch around them without the stitches being too obvious. I might use nylon fishing line to anchor them while using the upholstery thread all the way around them the next time I decide to incorporate them into the basket.

I've been collecting pine needles off the ground in Alabama and Florida, but if someone wanted to make these baskets and the long leaf pines are nowhere to be found, you can order those from Prim Pines as well. A large bundle--9" in circumference--of pine needles is 15.00. That would make a small basket a little bit bigger than 6" across in size, I think.  Even though the needles from Prim Pines are 10"-18" which is MUCH LONGER than the ones I've been finding on the ground, I still like getting mine FREE, even if they are only about 7-8" long. Unless I am able to start selling the baskets I make and I wish I could, I'll keep trying to find the needles for free. It's a little late in the year to get any more, the best time to gather them is in the fall, when they first start falling.

The longer the needles stay on the ground, the more chances they are getting damp and will develop mold spores....Ask me how I know that!  :-) The only advantage of using the longer needles is that you need less of them to make a basket!

I've tried soaking them in boiling water for about 30 minutes to kill the spores. But when not using a batch all up, I've found that mold can still develop on the needles after leaving them alone for a week or so. It's best to do very small batches of needles at a time, as far as soaking them briefly, then keeping the ones you are going to use right away in a damp towel. 

This basket is for one of my daughters. I'm going to have to make another one very similar to it for me, I really like the size and how it turned out! 

Until next time.....

1 comment:

  1. Your basket is really beautiful. I love the way the stitches look.

    Remember the woman I told you about who made those pine needle baskets? I think I'm going to see her in the next week or two, and I'll try to remember to ask her about how she kept them mold free and spore free. I know she made a lot of them, and collected her own needles, so she must have been storing them for a while before using them. I'll let you know if I find out anything. :)