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Sunday, November 27, 2011

I Am Now Officially a Basket Case....

No progress on fixing the links from one page to another. I did find that, if you start at the beginning or the end and keep pushing older posts or newer posts at the bottom of each page you can navigate that way. But if you go to a month in the archives, it still only leaves you the choice of "home". So....You will still have to follow the instructions in yesterday's blog. Bah Humbug!!!

On to more important things...Iris http://itsalwayssunnyinminiland.blogspot.com/ asked about two specific basket styles that I haven't shown before. The first one was the ecru basket to the left of this photo. Both of these baskets were woven at about the same time....Very early in my wicker career. It started out as a sewing basket on legs, but somewhere along the line, I broke the legs off. So it is now just a sewing basket. I noticed that I am going to have to replace the tassle. It started out as bright red to match the silk interior of the basket. The other one is some of my first hand dyed thread. I used Dark Green Rit dye on that.

Anyway, they are just wicker baskets done on Woodsies bases.

If you want to dye thread for weaving, here's the process. First, in order to insure an even dye job, you have to unwind the whole ball of thread and put it into a loose hank. You have to tie it loosely in about four spots to keep it from tangling. Follow the instructions on the package and leave it in the dye pot until it is a shade darker than you want the finished thread. It will dry lighter.

Then you have to reverse the process and wind the thread back into a ball of some kind, so that it doesn't tangle while you are working. I am thankful for the niddy noddy and the ball winder that I found in the thrift shops every time I do this. The niddy noddy makes for unwinding the thread and putting it into a skein very easy. The ball winder puts it back where it started much faster. Those two tools make it much easier than doing either process by hand.

I threw this one in for good measure. A friend of mine made the egg basket years ago by using hardware cloth (wire screening). She simply cut an x shape and folded up the sides. Then she put a wire handle on top. By the way, the eggs are small white beans.

Iris was particularly interested in this one. It is a bent wood Shaker style basket. I cam up with making these out of the infamous Japanese calendar wood. I haven't put it on the blog before because I don't particularly like making them. When I first started doing them, back in the 80s, everything country was in style and they sold like hotcakes. The only trouble is, they are messy and smelly to make. I soaked the sticks in ammonia for a day or two so that they would be flexible. Then I would bend them, glue them together, and let them dry another couple of days. I lined each one and put angel lace between the lining and the outside of the basket. Then I hand painted the outside of each basket to match the lining....Lots of work for the price that I got at the time. This is the only one that I have left.

Tessie finds it handy to carry around bits and bobs of sewing stuff. I do think that I will easily resist the urge to make more though.

I am off to knit more socks now.

See you tomorrow.

9 comments:

Browny said...

I love your wicker. I'm just learning myself, I think you said you use crochet thread to do you wicker work and wax the thread as you go. I'm just wondering what size thread you use and also how you wax your thread and what with. Hope you don't mind the interrogation. Amie

Caseymini said...

Amie, the thread in the baskets is #20 and #30 respectively. For the furniture, I would recommend starting with #10. I use the bee's wax cakes that they sell at bead stores and other craft stores, to wax it.

Browny said...

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Nina said...

Casey, instead of ammonia (I almost typed pneumonia! LOL) would rubbing alcohol work to soften the wood and make it bendable? I don't know much about the type of wood you mentioned but I know it makes basswood flexible. Of course, rubbing alcohol stinks too, but not as bad as ammonia.

Caseymini said...

Nina, you could try it, but ammonia has traditionally used to make bent wood items. I use the alcohol to clean dried paint out of brushes...I know that works!

Lataina said...

Wow, Casey thank you so much for all the info! A few days ago I saw something that made me think how would I go about dying thread. I'll have to remember the niddy noddy (what a funny name) info. I really like the two in the first pic. That green one is another nice one! I'm not sure my skills are there yet. For some reason they don't acquire the shape I have pictured in my mind....LOL. I have made a few more since my first attempt I posted on my blog, but have a long way to go. =) What can I say about the shaker one. LOVE IT! It does sound like a lot of steps but I really like the look of the final product. Thank you so much for explaining how you made it. I haven't seen those Japanese calendars since I was a kid. Do you think I can do the same with those $1 placemats from Michaels? Or are they too thick?

Caseymini said...

Iris, the place mats are way to heavy. The calendars are paper thin, but wood. Usually I keep an eye out at yard sales and thrift shops and I have friends watch for them too. You could do something similar with poster board or bristol board, but they wouldn't be wood. Poster board is what I use for a lot of my slat baskets. It takes Minwax stain pretty well, but they still don't look quite like wood. Good luck with your quest!

Lataina said...

Thanks Casey! I figured as much after pulling them out and taking a peek. Hopefully I'll get lucky at the thrift shop. I like the idea of making them out of wood. About two months ago I found a bunch of little bags of beads for $.25ea at the thrift shop! There is a Re-Store across the street from it, but it's not the same. It would be a jackpot if I were remodeling a home though. I refuse to believe there is only that one shop here!

Cris Bottaro said...

Beautiful baskets all, thanks for the explanation of the dyeing of yarns. kiss on the heart.