Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pine Needle Baskets

A friend in Florida makes absolutely gorgeous pine needle baskets. Here is the one she gave to me:

Isn't it gorgeous?! The pine needles in Florida are Jurassic-sized and are everywhere. A lot of of folks use them as mulch. So I picked up a handful to bring home and try to make my own basket. I watched a little bit when my friend was making them but didn't have much personal instruction and didn't try it while I was there, so I just kinda winged it.

First I poured boiling water on the needles and let them sit a couple of hours and then laid them out on a towel to dry a bit.




Then I just started making a spiral. The blue thing is a little piece of soda straw to keep the needle bundle a uniform size. My friend had a metal gauge but I didn't know where to get one so I improvised...Thank you Culver's!

I sewed it with some artificial sinew that I got at Michael's craft store. After the bottom was as big as I wanted it I started coiling up the sides. I only brought a few spills home so I decided to make a little change holder for my dresser.

When I got almost as tall as I wanted it to be, I added beads to one coil and then finished off the top by tapering the bundle size down to just a few needles and then back stitching Xs back around the top.

I'm pretty happy with it, especially since I didn't really know what I was doing. Now I have a useful, pretty reminder of our wonderful trip to Florida!

15 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I cannot BELIEVE you've never done that before, and had no instructions! It looks perfect, and I have no idea how you did it. I will just sit here in awe.

Oh, and keep it on a high surface. Such beauty should not become a dog chew-toy.

Kitty Mommy said...

What a lovely basket! I am so impressed!

Cindy G said...

Holy Cow!, like Michelle I can't believe that was your first attempt. Just gorgeous. Dayum, I'm just knocked out at the gorgeousness of it.

YarnThrower said...

WOW -- I took a class on how to make pine needle baskets several years ago, and my basket ended up being a really odd shape -- it would make you laugh. Yours is so awesome, and what a great souvenere (which I can't spell). You are amazing to just put that together like that, and LOVE the beads!

Thanks for the funny joke in my comments!! My kids will get a kick out of it when I lay it on them at dinner tonight :-)

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

Holy s#O*#!! Wherecome you by this talent? And also, Holy s*$%! Those are the biggest pine needles I've ever seen. I can't believe I've been to Florida and didn't notice that. P.S. Please plan my next vacation or just give me your old itinerary. I'm sure it can be reused.

Lisa/knitnzu said...

That's georgeous! Just GEORGEOUS!!!!! Very clever w/ the straw bit there. The beads are a great addition! And your stitching up the sides makes a great pattern too.

Sus said...

OMG!!!! That is the most impressive attempt to "wing it" I've ever seen in my life. Brilliant!!!

Also, thanks for the joke! I'll be telling that one for awhile! :)

Deborah said...

Wow, that is awesome!! We have tons of those needles on the property here. Now I just have to try this!!! I can't believe you have never made one before...it looks fantastic!!

Elizabeth said...

That is EFFING AMAZING! I'm very impressed. You are a seriously talented woman.

Doyle said...

Holy Crap that looks great!

Mo said...

Well done! Your basket is beautiful!

Mum said...

May I just say that you continue to amaze me!

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

You're virtually making us virtually swear virtually. Even the work verifier is doing it. shifis!

MadCityMike said...

Fantastic Molly Bee!

DPUTiger said...

Holy crap, that thing is fantastic! Yes, I'm behind :-)