02 April 2011

Let's Make a Basket

We have this great big grass - Vertigo (Pennisetum Purpureum) - that we tried to keep inside over the Winter. Well, some portion of it may or may not still be alive. I'm really not sure. I just keep watering it. Much of the grass, though, dried out and has been falling off. Being constantly harassed by toddler, baby, and cats certainly hasn't helped the thing. Tired of continually picking up blades of grass before said baby could eat them and cleaning them up after said cats did eat them, I ran my hands through the plant and pulled out all the grass that fell out. I ended up with this huge pile of beautifully coloured dried grass, shades up green, blue, purples and creams, I had to do something with it.
I thought I'd try making a basket. I attempted to look up directions, and either there is an amazing lack up basket making tutorials on the internet, or I am just so ignorant that I don't even know how to look them up. Perhaps rational people get to this point and decide to make something else, but I have never claimed to fit into this category, so instead I winged it. 

This is how I made my basket. Be warned, I am definitely not telling you that this is the correct way to make a basket. It is just how I made mine. I am far more familiar with clay, so after giving up on figuring out how one ought to make a basket, I decided to make a really long coil. I started by diving the grass into relatively equal bundles, tied a piece of twine around the thick end of one, and wrapped it around and around in hopes that the grass would quit being everywhere and crazy. And with any luck I would stop being attacked by cats. (I didn't have that much luck.)
 When the bundle started to get narrower I split the ends and inserted the thick end of the next bundle and kept wrapping. Kaia helped hold them together while I wrapped.
 We kept going until we ran out of grass and I tied the end.
I filled a bowl with water and submerged the grass for a handful of seconds to make it more pliable.
Then I tied another piece of twine around the thick end and threaded it through a large embroidery needle. I started coiling the bundle of grass, passing the needle back and forth through the bundle to bind the coils together.
 After I had a spiral large enough to form the bottom of the basket, I started sewing the coils on top of one another instead of next to each other. When I needed more twine I just tied a new piece on and pulled the knot inside the bundle.
 When I got to the tail at the end I laid it across the top and started looping the stitches over and around the tail, passing the needle through the coil underneath.
When I was all done I set it in the sun to dry. Okay, it's not going to be winning any basket beauty contests, and it's a bit wobbly looking, but it's pretty sturdy and I think it is identifiably a basket, so I'll count it as a win. ;)


  1. Gorgeous! I just spent the last month learning how to make baskets using Reed too, lol.

  2. Thank you :D I think my basket has a bit more... er, "character" than you are able to see from one shot, but I am happy with it anyway, especially for being so on the fly. I'm sure your baskets will come out much nicer! They are a lot of fun to make, although it did take longer than I expected. That could have something to do with all my help, though ^_^

  3. Oh, I don't know about "nicer"...they're made from reed so they are "stiffer" though, lol. My baskets are kind of like my chicken coop...not quite square. ;)


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