Thursday, July 28, 2016

Basketweaving: Part Three

YES. We left off with Rit Dye. Behold:

I think the red was called Scarlet. The dark purple was called Black and also "Azkaban" or something which is rad.

The red came out better than I hoped. The black came out pretty much like I expected, which was more of a dark purple, because you're never going to get a real black out of that stuff. :(

After my house and body were completely covered in dye, I dragged out the beginner patterns again and made this:

That's a vertebra on the handle. One particularly delightful house guest asked me, "Do you want the bucket of bones I have in my car?" I think we all know the answer to that question. [Incidentally, if you want this basket, feel free to purchase it in the Dr. Craftenstein Etsy shop. SQUEEEE]

In the meantime I had also ordered this book:

in which I found the pattern for this next basket, as seen in the bottom left corner of the book cover:

But I can't leave well enough alone so I collaged a dead tree on the front. [ETSY, SQUEEE]

Using that amazing red reed and another pattern out of the new book, I made this basket to hold the husband's vast collection of sacks of dried beans:

I have to admit I'm kind of proud of that one. But it would not be nearly as impressive without the vibrant red color. Imagine it in natural reed col...ZZzzzzzzzzzz... OH SORRY I FELL ASLEEP.

So to celebrate my achievement, and also mark the birth of the Glorious Beccula, I made this:

Please note that my hands are now permanently red and black at the same time. Like a fancy coal miner.

I filled the basket with lovely tree clippings from my yard and delivered it to her doorstep.

Happy Birthday, Beccula!! Do not fail me ever again. Consider yourself warned.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Basket Weaving: Part Two

Previously on "Basket Weaving": I'm sure we can all agree that I sufficiently conquered the Beginning Basketry patterns in the kit found at It was time to branch out on my own!

I started by dyeing some of the reed with this:

I used half the package and I'm not sure how much reed I tossed in the bucket. But it came out looking kind of just weathered and faded instead of like a deep Country Gray or whatever. Which is totally fine, and I thought that the bleached gray kind of suited the pile of vertebrae I've had lying around. So I made this:

[Please ignore my hideous claw-hand. The lighting was awesome -- sacrifices had to be made.] Obviously I don't know what I'm doing with spacing yet. The bottom looks good though:

But up top, two sides are tightly woven, two sides are not. And I failed to toss the lashing into the dye bucket, so it is still natural colored.

Wow, my hand looks like it's wearing pantyhose. No wonder Madonna wears gloves all the time. D:

I lashed the vertebrae onto the sides after I worked the edges. And here you can get a better view of my shitty side spacing.

All in all I do like the basket, but clearly I need more practice. AND PLEASE BELIEVE I AM GETTING IT. Wet reed flying all over the house, coils of dry reed piled all over the floor, because I DEFINITELY NEEDED ANOTHER MESSY WET HOBBY.

Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of a couple of other baskets I finished, so I will be back later with Part Three: Rit Dye & More Bones.

Now I've Discovered Basket Weaving: Part One

Here's what happened:

First Beccula revealed that she had taken a basket weaving class, provoking my jealousy. Then Kq separately announced that she was in the process of weaving a fence around her herb garden to keep her enormous horse-dogs from trampling it into the ground. Weaving a fence?!?

With this, I suddenly realized that I had fallen way behind in the Weaving Wars. I demanded that Beccula immediately teach me how to weave baskets. Then I dove into youtube to plumb the instructional videos, and found many helpful tutorials from the Basket Master. She makes it look easy! Why was I not doing this already??

In desperation and rage, I shouted at Beccula, "I'M LOSING THE WEAVING WAR!! I MUST BEGIN IMMEDIATELY!!" and on her recommendation I went to and placed an order for this Internet Special Basket Kit. "AND WITH THIS I WILL MAKE BASKETS!!" I shrieked.

While I waited for my order to arrive, I kept digging into youtube and found a hippie that made a bowl out of vines. I grabbed a beer and headed out into the yard.

Behold the first bowl in my new line of Blair Witch Home Goods, brought to you by Shock Top.

Finally my order arrived! I jumped right into the first basket and worked my way through all the patterns. I think these are in order:

(That hairy yarn band was my idea, I can't blame them.)

The Melon Basket doesn't sit flat, due to my uneven ribs. I'm going to try soaking and reshaping it. Which probably will not help.

Incidentally, this is how the reed looks when you release it from its restraints:

Not the least bit nerve-wracking, am I right?

Totally user friendly.

The husband asked what on earth the "Ear of Corn" basket could possibly be used for. Duh, obviously it's for this:

But JB has no use for it at all.

I'm gonna cut this off here because there's way more where that came from....

Stay Tuned For Part 2 -- And Maybe Part 3, Who Knows?