Sunday, March 27, 2005

One Stitch At A Time...

Click on photo to enlarge
Peggy works on a pine-needle bowl at 8:00 this morning which reminds me that I need to go out and collect needles from the yard today because we are running low with all the basketry going on lately.
The first step is collecting the needles off the ground, and then we bring a large pot of water to a boil, turn off the heat and add the pine-needles, letting them sit for 1/2 an hour to soften them up.
Then we'll strip the caps off the ends and the needles will be ready for use.
We use hemp twine for stitching and wax it with beeswax first. Posted by Hello

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the pine needles woven when wet, Peggy?
If I got the book could I teach myself, or is it better to watch someone? Just how difficult is honest!

3:36 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Jim bought Judy M. Mallow's book 'Pine-Needle Basketry' (there's a link to it at this blog) and he picked it right up from the book.
I watched him and used the book for reference.
We soak the pine needles to make them pliable enough to work with. You don't want them soaking wet, but when dry they're brittle and will break.
As far as difficulty goes, if you can knit something as beautiful as the sweater you showed us, you'll have no trouble with this.
I thought it would be really difficult, but it's really just sewing, and once I got going it was quite simple.

We loved the pictures of your wonderful New Zealand farm and we'll get back to you in an e-mail soon.


4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Peggy.
I am a person who has many tried many crafts...and have all the bits and pieces hoarded in various cupboards to prove it! I am guarded about starting something new, but this really interests me. Something quite different!
I'll give it some serious thought.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL! Kiwi. I am guilty of that myself. I try everything and finish very little. Maybe when the kids are gone I will get soe thing finished. Those baskets are so neat.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiwi and Kendra,
Thanks for the comments, I am enjoying this basket-making and I find it truly amazing to make something so useful and beautiful from pine-needles that constantly fall on our yard. Most people in Big Bear rake the needles up and send them to the landfill. I'm constantly going around the neighborhood raking up people's yards and driveways bringing the needles home to our place. Aside from the baskets, we use them to cover the pathways throughout our habitat.
They provide a nice soft cushion just like you're walking in the deep forest.
The needles also prevent erosion and build soil as they decompose.
I learned how to make it say "peggy said".

7:27 PM  
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