Pine Needle Basketry by June Erickson 2018 - Salmon Arm Arts Centre
1 - INDEX 1. Acknowledgements 2. General information on pine needle basketry 3. Tools and supplies required for basket making 4. Tips for Neater Looking Baskets 5. Preparation of Pine Needles and Raffia 6. (Learning) The Stitches (including double button hole stitch) 7. Pine Needle Basket Assembly 8. Teneriffes 9. Photos of Completed Baskets
2 - 1. Acknowledgements June Erickson – Author Daryl Hoover – Basket Photography Sid Hoover – Basketry Stitch Photography Catherine Auten – demonstrating stitching techniques for photos My Basketry teacher, Mrs.
Marg Churchill, of Yuma, Arizona. 2. Pine Needle Basketry While holidaying in Yuma, Arizona, I met a lady who taught her pine needle basketry skills to the “snowbirds” (as we were called) who migrated there to enjoy the warmer winter climate. We started with simple shapes using the basic wheat stitch then she encouraged us to add our own ideas regarding shapes and designs then adding decorative stitching as we learned them. It is an inexpensive hobby and was used as therapy in hospitals such as the sanatoriums during the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic. Treatment of TB consisted of much rest plus interesting hobbies of a non-physical nature of which there were many.
Pine needle basketry was taught at the Kamloops sanatorium using local pine needles. They were similar to #17 and #18 in this CD.
My first attempt at basketry was in Yuma in 1985 resulting in basket #4. I found it tedious at first but after completing two baskets I was “hooked”. Most of the baskets made during the first few years were given to family and a few were sold privately. Then a gift shop in Salmon Arm, BC sold them for me and it became quite a profitable hobby. The smaller baskets were made form local ponderosa pine needles which were 8 - 10 inches long. The longleaf pine needles from the USA have 12 - 15 inch needles and are great for larger baskets. I would encourage you to try both types. You can find suppliers of longleaf pine needles on the internet at quite reasonable rates.
I would suggest that you start with the wheat stitch, experimenting with various shapes and sizes then add other stitches that appeal to you. An attractive mix of stitches certainly adds to the value of a basket, as does a variety of knobs and handles.
So, have fun with it! I hope you enjoy this hobby as much as I have. Note: All instructions are given for right-handed people who will work counter-clockwise with pine needles pointing left. Left handed people will work in the opposite direction (clockwise) with pine needles pointing right.
- - 3 - 3. Tools and Supplies Required for Basket Making 1. Ponderosa pine needle 17.8cm – 30cm (7 - 11”) long gathered in the fall (September and October) when they have freshly fallen. Tie in loose bundles and store in a dry place. 2. Longleaf pine needles from the southern States or Mexico are so much easier to use for larger baskets when you have advanced to that stage. Check internet for suppliers. 3. Raffia – from Madagascar – available at most craft stores
- KF Majunga or Classic Silk brand is best
- Do not buy Raffia from the Philippines – it shreds and breaks 4. #18 Chenille stitching needles - they have a big eye for easier threading and are 5 cm long 5. A thimble that fits snugly on your middle finger. You will learn to use it, especially when working on bigger baskets.
6. Embroidery scissors - for clipping raffia ends and trimming pine needle ends. 7. Small needle-nose pliers – for pulling needle through difficult places. 8. Ruler – for measuring to keep work even and to make lid rims fit the basket. 9. Glue: E6000 (available at most craft stores) is clear, dries fast and holds well. It does not show, making it great for gluing on knobs such as cones, seed pods, acorns, wooden beads, polished stones, etc, 10. 18 gauge copper wire for handle support and for making teneriffes. 11. Metal pan (or the sink will do) for soaking pine needles 12. Tongs for swishing the needles through hot water to pick up the melted pitch – this gives them darker, shinier look.
13. Collection of cones, seed pods, acorns, wooden beads, polished stones, etc, that can be used for knobs on lids 14. Brown floral tape for “hiding” copper wire in basket and handles 15. 0.5 cm ) drinking straw 1 cm long to use as a gauge for holding pine needles, ensuring the rope of needles remains constant in thickness. 16. Shellac and methyl hydrate (denatured alcohol – not rubbing alcohol). Mix equal parts. Give finished basket a light coat to preserve the stitching, give it a matte or light sheen and help tighten up loose areas which may occur when basket dries. Mix only the amount you intend to use as you cannot keep it.
However, methyl hydrate which was used to clean brushes can be reused to clean other brushes later on – just keep it in a separate bottle. You may prefer to use spray cans of clear or matte shellac. If you brush or spray only the outside of a basket, the inside will retain some of the pine scent especially when using Ponderosa pine needles.
4 - 4. Tips for Neater Looking Baskets 1. One side of pine needle is smooth and shiny; the other side dull and rough. Keep the smooth side turned to the most visible part of basket, eg, inside for a bowl, outside for a basket. 2. When adding pine needles, try not to have any blunt ends showing by inserting blunt end in center of coil. When tapering for finishing edge of basket, trim cut end to a point. 3. Maintain uniform coil thickness by using a ¼” diameter X ½” long piece of drinking straw around coil. Thickness will vary between large and tiny baskets and according to its intended use.
Raffia from Madagascar is stronger than that from the Philippines. I find “Classic Silk” or KF Majunga are the best brand names. For small to medium baskets, split raffia into 1/8” widths (a little wider for large baskets). Determine which way it may fray and thread appropriate end on needle. It usually has a darker colour. 5. For a more attractive basket use narrow raffia (twisting it if necessary) with stitches evenly spaced and well defined. Pull raffia tight (with fingers, not needle); make a firm stitch.
6. To make the wheat stitch look the same on both sides, poke needle through center of “V” at back and came out (at an angle) through center of “V” in front. This method holds true for most stitches. 7. Sometimes it is best to finish off a section of basket (say the lower third) before changing to another stitch to avoid the spiral effect of coiling. Another interesting detail is to put a complete round of wrap stitch, heavy fern stitch or sheath ends on top of this section, then do the remainder with swirl chain stitch. The value of a basket is often determined by an interesting combination of stitches.
8. Dyed pine needles (especially darker brown or green) make a nice trim. Also dyed raffia can be used but the natural color is most popular. 9. Knobs can be cones (especially from mugo pine), seed pods, nuts, crocheted raffia loop, ½” curtain ring with double buttonhole stitch or 5 - 7 sheath ends bound together. However, the woven pine needle and raffia knob is best but more difficult. 10.The surest way to make a lip that fits your basket is to find the circumference of the basket opening by multiplying the diameter by 22/7 (pi) eg, If D = 2.5 x 22/7 (pi) = 7.85 cm circumference.
Take 6 - 8 damp pine needles, wrap raffia around them for almost 20 cm (8”).
Anchor raffia. With straight pins, attach coil inside edge of basket. Remove again, adding or subtracting the amount needed for a good fit. Stitch circle together and add 2 rows of wheat stitch then pin lip to lid, checking that it still fits inside basket. With heavier or stronger raffia, blind stitch rim to lid using angle stitch which is described in the section of stitches.
5 - 5. Preparation of Needles and Raffia Preparation of Pine Needles Ponderosa needles at least 7” long, brown; picked in fall. Bundle loosely (if damp) and store in paper bag or box in dry place. Or, obtain longleaf pine needles from USA. Prepare the same way as for ponderosa needles. When ready to use, break off sheath end. Soak needles in hot tap water for one-half hour. Then drain and pour boiling water on them (in pan or sink) and soak for 2 - 3 minutes, or until they darken. Do only the amount you will use in 5 days to prevent mildew. Place in plastic bag. Keep dampened needles in fridge when not using.
Green needles may be use for trim but do not retain their deep colour. They turn light or yellowy-green with age. They may be dyed when dry (Rit or Tintex) to make them permanently green. Brown needles can be made darker also.
Preparation of Raffia Wind a strand of raffia around your hand, then place in cottage cheese container of warm water. Repeat with more strands. Do only small amounts as they tend to darken in only a few days. Soak 5 minutes. Drain then press excess moisture out with dish cloth. When using, split raffia into desired widths (about 0.5 to 1 cm) with your sewing needle. Thread from dark end of raffia. Fine or weak pieces of raffia can be saved for weaving teneriffes page 55. Wrap around a piece of cardboard or styrofoam to prevent tangling. 6. The Stitches Slant Chain Stitch With outside of basket facing you, bring needle and raffia from inside of basket to outside piercing the raffia stitch in the previous row.
Place raffia over pine needle coil and poke sewing needle through to pierce the raffia in the next stitch in previous row. Several rounds will bring out an attractive pattern of chains which you can also see in Baskets #5, 11, 14, 16 and 23.
Straight Wheat Stitch Start by doing one round of overcast stitch about 1.5 cm apart. Next round: stitch from back to front over rope of pine needles, piercing the overcast stitch in previous row. Then take a second stitch again going from back to front over the rope of needles into the same hole. Move left to next stitch and repeat the two steps until round is completed. The wheat stitch you have created has one vertical leg (first stitch) and one slant leg (leaning toward the left). Repeat these two steps for the number of rounds required.
6 - Slight Variation of the Straight Wheat Stitch My basketry teacher demonstrated her method of doing the straight wheat stitch which I have used ever since (almost 30 years!) We did not have basketry books to begin with and I did not realize until recently that there were other methods.
The main difference is, instead of piercing the raffia “leg” in the previous round as outlined in the method above, she put the sewing needle through the center of “V” at the back and angled it slightly to go through the center of “V” in the front. Repeat this stitch through the same Vs. again and then move left to the next pair of Vs. The first one creates the “leg” of the stitch and the second the slant part. It is easier to poke a needle through a V then to pierce the raffia leg. With failing eyesight and fingers that tremble, I can attest to that! As well, the patterns of stitches are very much the same front and back.
I have added this method for the benefit of those who have difficulty with the first method due to eyesight, arthritic hands or for the young who may not be adept at using a needle. Refer to the Stitches section for “How to” pictures. Slant Wheat Stitch Instead of going through the vertical leg or center of Vs as in the straight wheat stitch, pierce the left “leg” to make the wheat stitch offset to the left. Go over pine needle rope through same hole in the left leg again, then move to the left and repeat the piercing of that left leg. Continue to end of round. After several rounds, you will have created an interesting slant stitch.
Check Basket #6 and the four “how to” pictures in the Stitch section. Fern Stitch (Top Row for Finishing) Begin with a straight wheat stitch for one round. Then reverse and do a back stitch over the entire round, giving the wheat stitch an extra leg which makes it a fern stitch. Also see lower part of Basket #16 and lower half of Basket #19.
7 - Popcorn Stitch (Another variation of the wheat stitch and fern stitch) Add a few more stitches on each side of the fern's center stitch. This stitch is a little overpowering and bulky so it is best spread out – not too close together. Suggested uses: Instead of a complete wraparound, do a popcorn stitch in every other stitch. You may want to do a second round with the popcorn stitch alternating with the spaces in the first round. Wrap Stitch This is often done as a complete round to separate two types of stitches as in Basket #16 or to finish off a lid edge as in Basket #19. Various patterns can be created such as on Baskets #15, 17 and 18.
Be sure to figure out your pattern according to the number of stitches if changing the size and number of stitches for any of these baskets.
8 - Diamond Stitch Do a round of overcast stitches then reverse and do the back stitch to complete the round. These two stitches form a round of Vs. Do a second round the same as the first making inverted Vs to form diamonds, and the two rounds of Vs will make a complete round of diamonds. This stitch was used at the top edge of Basket #16 and the top 2 - 3 cm of Basket #25. Ti Stitch Using 1 cm wide raffia, stitch 4 times around previous row and present rope of pine needles as shown in How-To Pictures 1 - 3.
Then bring needle and raffia around these stitches 2 - 4 times as shown in How To Pictures 3, 4 and 5 then pull raffia tightly. This gives it a bow-tie effect. See Basket #25 as an example of grouping Ti stitches.
9 - Button Hole & Double Button Hole Stitch This is done around wire shapes called teneriffes and will be dealt with in that section. The loops formed on the inside of the ring are meant for teneriffe weavings. The loops formed on the outside of the ring are used for stitching pine needles to continue forming the basket.
10 - Overcast Stitch This stitch is done mainly when attaching pine needles to a knot or wrap & roll beginning. Bring needle (with raffia) through knot from back to front around pine needles. Then do more stitches close together until pine needles are securely attached to the knot.
Then switch to a more decorative stitch. Angle or Invisible Stitch This stitch is used mainly for attaching the rim to a lid. Each stitch takes only a tiny “bite” on the lid then goes through the rim at an angle, followed by a tiny “bite” on bottom of rim and another wide angle through rim and lid. If you could see the raffia stitching, it would look like a series of M’s. This stitch is also used to anchor the beginning of each new raffia and when ending each raffia (hiding the raffia amongst the already stitched pine needles). I’ve also referred to this stitch as “blind stitching” or “herringbone stitch” which is similar.
11 - Masonite or Wooden Basket Bases and Patterns for Baskets #1, #2, #3, #10 Masonite or wooden bases are useful when you are a beginner as it is much easier to learn and practice stitches on the sides without having the bottom to do as well – that can come later. As shown in this picture, a 2” (5 cm) disk has 16 holes made with a 5/64 drill bit and a drill press. You can obtain a larger number of them from companies that make large spools onto which to wind electrical wire as they have no use for the disks. Veneer is more attractive for larger baskets (such as #17 or #18 as well as the clock (#33) or vases (#3, #10).
Holes should be fairly close together and close to outer edge (1 cm apart) because when you have stitched the first round which covers up the edge of the base, the stitches on top of first row will be a little further apart.
Discs shown above and in the photos are somewhat smaller than actual size. Diameter of larger disc should be 7.5 cm (3”) and smaller one should be 5 cm (2”). Any size or shape (especially veneer) makes an attractive basket base and lid. See #17 or #18 and clock #33. Any shape makes attractive bases, ie, round, oval, kidney shaped, etc. Holes should be fairly close together (1 cm apart) because when you have stitched one round to cover up the cut edge of the base, it makes them a bit further apart.
12 - 7. Pine Needle Basket Assembly #1 Small Lidded Basket with Masonite Bottom Diameter: 7 cm Height: 5 cm Masonite discs are used on vase type baskets for stability and on other small baskets when first learning the stitches.
Masonite discs are easier to learn on, then progress to woven bases. The Masonite disk should be 5 cm (2”) diameter for these instructions and have 16 small holes around edge with a 5/64 drill bit. Prepare pine needles by removing sheath end then soaking them in hot water until they are pliable and have turned browner. Some need water to be almost boiling. Towel off excess water and keep sealed in a plastic bag. Then take a few strands of raffia, soaking them in warm water until no dryness remains in them. Store in a lidded plastic container. Take one strand and split it into ¼” or ½ cm widths.
Thread onto #18 chenille needle. Tie a square knot in one of the disk holes keeping knot on outside edge of disk. Knots are only used on the wooden or Masonite discs as it is otherwise difficult to anchor raffia.
Lay 4-5 pine needles on outside edge and start wheat stitching in each hole twice, from front to back, until you have done a complete round. This round should hide the knot. Then guide your rope of pine needles to go on top of first round. In this round, you put your needle (from back to front) through the middle of each V twice (refer to Stitches Section). This also makes the pattern the same on both sides of the basket. This is called the straight wheat stitch. As well, you will add more pine needles by putting the blunt end into the “rope” to keep the rope a uniform size using a drinking straw `guide` to help keep the `rope`` uniform.
Do a total of 10- 12 rounds making sure the sides of the basket are equal in height (about 3.5 cm). Stitch raffia “invisibly” a couple of times to secure. Do this invisible stitching whenever ending a raffia or starting a new one by stitching through at least 2 rounds, taking very tiny stitches (See Herringbone Stitch in Stitch section).
Lid Tie a knot in 3-4 pine needles (blunt end) and stitch raffia around the knot for several rounds. When knot is secure, clip off blunt ends then wrap attached needles and stitch around knot using overcast stitch. When work is 2 cm, guide the rope upwards doing the wheat stitch and making a hollow in the center of lid about 1 cm deep. Then flatten out for 1 cm before working downward until work measure 5 cm; then outward to make an interesting shape to lid. When work measures 6.5 cm in diameter, clip the pine needles to a point (staggered) and bind off with final stitches.
Rim # 10 directions from “Neater Looking Baskets” on page 4 after the Stitches segment.
Measure diameter of basket opening. Then following formula and directions for “Neater Looking Baskets, #10”, wrap a rope of pine needles with raffia to fit the open circumference (pin in place and adjust as necessary). Follow directions for rim and how to stitch it to basket lid. Glue a pine cone or nut in the center of the lid for a decorative knob. Store remaining dampened pine needles in plastic bag and dampened raffia (in plastic container) in the fridge to keep from molding. They will keep a week in fridge. Dry them out when not using for a while.
13 - Basket #2 – Alder cones on lid Diameter: 6.5 cm Height: 5.5 cm (plus cones) Begin same as for #1 (using wheat stitch) and changing shape as desired. I tried to make the lid fit over the basket with limited success so I added an inner rim to fit the basket. The lid is flat on top with three alder cones glued to it. To start centers of basket bottoms using a knot, teneriffe, or wrap & roll beginning and oblong base. 1. Knot Beginning Tie a knot at the blunt end of 4 - 5 pine needles. With needle and (1/8” to ¼”) raffia do overcast stitch around the knot till it is secure. Cut off blunt ends then wrap needles around knot and stitch (overcast) for several rounds.
Then switch to wheat stitch and continue till base is desired size, adding pine needles when necessary.
2. Teneriffe Center: Do double buttonhole stitch around a small curtain or copper ring (See Teneriffe Section) utilizing the loops of outer buttonhole stitches to attach 2 - 3 pine needles to the outside of the teneriffe plus another round or two then change to wheat stitch, adding pine needles as necessary to gradually have a rope (or coil) the thickness of a pencil. Continue until base size is reached. This would be a good time to do the weaving inside the teneriffe ring. 3. Oblong Base To start an oblong base, wrap 3 pine needles with raffia, about 5 cm or to desired length. Secure the end with a stitch.
Fold pine needles back on the wrapped section and stitch around many times until desired oblong base is reached. Now you can use the stitch of your choice.
14 - #3 Vase Height: 10 cm Using a 5 cm Masonite disc with 16 holes do wheat stitch as in previous two baskets but changing shape to make it look more vase-like. Fill with dried flowers, pussy willows, grains, etc, whatever appeals to you. #4 Pine Needle and Raffia Base (not Masonite) Lidded Basket (Wheat stitch, heavier raffia) Diameter: 12 cm Sides: 5 cm Lid: 11 cm, 1.5 cm deep) This was my very first basket, done in1985. Base is 21 stitches using heavier raffia and wheat stitch. Start with knot beginning.
Lid – slightly “domed” Make a rim as directed in `Neater Baskets` #10 and stitch in place.
My teacher suggested putting something "whimsical" on for a knob so I chose an acorn, eucalyptus pod (both with eyes) and 3 small alder cones. #5 Urn Shape Diameter: 7 cm Height: 6 cm Do a knot beginning. When securely stitched, snip the blunt ends off. With pine needles and raffia do 14 wheat stitches for 5 cm diameter. Slant upward for 1.5 cm, do one round of fern stitch. Then switch to chain stitch making 3 chains coming out of arms of each fern stitch (this is only 1 more arm than the previous wheat stitch making a total of 28 chains). Shape basket as shown in picture making a narrow neck, then bringing the lip outwards for 1.5 cm (wheat stitch) and turning the edge under to finish the “urn” look.
Note: I have used pottery shapes to get ideas for different looking baskets.
6 Lidded Basket Diameter: 6.5 cm Height: 6.5 cm Base is same as #5 except using 16 wheat stitches and work base to 6 cm. Turn upwards, switch to slant wheat stitch for 4 cm. Then straight wheat stitch for 2-3 rounds, backstitching on last round, making it a fern stitch for a neater and firmer basket edge. Lid – start with knot beginning and do slant wheat stitch on 16 stitches, creating a “dome” then leveling out at lid's edge. Finish the last round with a fern stitch (back stitch on wheat stitch). Do a double button hole stitch around a 1.5 cm curtain ring. Stitch it to top of lid to serve as a knob.
15 - #7 Curly-Handled Basket with two 1.5 cm Teneriffes Finished Size: 10 cm x 8.5 cm x 3 cm Handle Height 9.5 cm Do double buttonhole stitch on the 1.5 cm rings, add 8 spokes and a “hub” woven in center. Stitch the rings together, then 3 pine needles using the loops created by the buttonhole stitch and overcast stitch around the 2 ring oval. Repeat overcast stitch for 2nd round then switch to wheat stitch (24 stitches). When work measure 9.5 cm x 8 cm start turning sides upward. Sides should be about 2.5 cm. Stop stitching at a point where you would like to insert the handle.
Handle: Cut 35.5 cm (14”) of 18 gauge copper wire (or other wire that is soft and easily shaped).
Bend it into an S shape. Wrap the first 5 cm with brown floral tape and poke it into the existing needles trying to hide the brown floral tape. Then wrap the wire and 3 pine needles with raffia to within 5 cm of end. Start stitching the coil with existing pine needles and raffia and adding more needles as necessary (3 pine needles is about right on each side of the coil). Start wheat stitching about 1.5 cm apart. Assess whether this is the right length for the handle and adjust if necessary. Anchor and stitch in place at the opposite side of basket, tapering wire and needles. With 3 more pine needles, stitch them along with the wrapped wire and needles on the opposite side of the row of pine needles, starting where the other brown wrapped end is (opposite the first).
Stitch wheat stitch putting needle through the same hole it made on the opposite side. When handle is covered, tuck and stitch the pine needle ends in angle where the handle was started.
8 Curly Handled Basket with 1.5 cm Teneriffe Finished Size: 8.5 cm x 3 cm Handle: 7.5 cm Do buttonhole stitch on the 1.5 cm curtain ring as in #7 with spokes and hub. Stitch 3 pine needles around ring as explained in #7 and do the rest in (20) wheat stitches. The handle is done the same except it does not have to be quite as long as it has the fern stitch on the handle (almost 2 cm apart) and also around the basket rim (1.5 cm apart). Nothing has to be exact. It will not be long before you will be making up your own patterns! #9 Small Two Teneriffe Basket with Handles Finished Size: Basket 9 cm x 8 cm Handle: edge to opposite handle edge 12 cm Work the same as #7 only the curtain rings are only 1 cm.
The 0.5” rings are good, too. Stitch 3 pine needles around the 2 teneriffes using fine raffia and overcast stitch for 2 rounds. Try to put in place 24 evenly spaced stitches then do wheat stitch until the base measures 6.5 X 7.5 cm. Turn sides upward for 2 cm. Using 31 cm (12 – 13 inches) of #20 gauge copper wire, wrap it and 2-3 pine needles with raffia. Fit it on top of basket sides and stitch in place, adjusting length, and extend for handles as shown in picture. Stitch another round of pine needles on outside edge of wrapped round. Stitch Xs or design of your choice in empty handle area.
16 - #10 Footed Goblet Diameter: 6.5 cm at base 4 cm at “neck” 7.5 cm at widest part 5 cm at top opening Start with a 5 cm Masonite disc with 16 holes and raffia tied to one hole. Using 3 pine needles, stitch to edge of disc going through each hole twice. Next round do wheat stitch by going through Vs from back to front. The inside V does not show, so just make sure it comes out on the front V. Shape “foot” inwards for 5 or 6 rounds and diameter of hole is 4 cm; then outwards to 7.5 cm diameter. Do 1 row wrap stitch with dark brown raffia and end that round. Mark with chalk 24 spaces about 1 cm apart.
With brown raffia do 4 more rows in wheat stitch. With natural raffia do wheat stitch with a wrap stitch between every 2nd stitch for 1 round, then wheat stitch for 3 rounds with green alternating wrap on 4th round, 3 - 4 rounds in wheat stitch, then red and natural for 5th round. Do 5 - 6 plain rounds and when top opening reaches 5 cm in diameter, end work.
Using 4 - 5 pine needles, wrap with brown raffia stitching it to the edge of the base – gives it a more stable look. #11 Open Basket Base Diameter: 8 cm Upper Diameter 9 cm Height: 4.5 cm Do base in wheat stitch (20 stitches) and work up side for 1.5 - 2 cm. Then do a complete round of wrap stitch, ending that round. From wrap stitching, work 20 slant chain stitches for 2 cm followed by 1 round of back stitch, ending that round and making a forward stitch over the back stitches for a firmer edge. This is the same as doing the lower half of the diamond stitch. #12 Lidded Basket Using Sheath Ends for Design Diameter: 14 cm Height: 4.5 cm Lid: 3 cm Start bottom with wrapped coil and do 15 wheat stitches for about 5 cm.
Then increase (double) stitches by making a new stitch in each frond = 30 stitches. When base is 11 cm, start rounding up the sides. In the 4th, 6th or 8th round, do the “step ladder” design, sewing in a sheath end in every 6th stitch. If the 3 needles in each sheath make it too thick and bulky, remove 1 or 2 as it becomes noticeable. Do 2 - 3 more round and end work. Lid: Bind 7 - 8 sheath ends together with raffia (leave 2.5 cm or so of needle attached to sheaths for this binding). Use lots of raffia as you need to stitch the pine needles to it. Wrap 2 - 3 pine needles around those attached to the sheaths, stitching in place.
Do wheat stitch (24 stitches) adding sheath ends as in the lower part of basket only every 5th stitch. Do plain for the last 2 cm. When lid measure 14 cm, do back stitch, making a fern stitched edge. Make a rim as per instructions. Inner basket diameter should be about 13 cm. Glue 5 pine cone petals around sheath knob.
17 - #13 Lidded Basket 14 cm base 6 cm height plus lid 2 cm Base: Do 20 wheat stitches for 6 cm. Increase to 40 stitches. Do wheat stitch until base is 13 cm, then start turning up the side until it measure 14 cm. Do 2 rounds of wheat stitch, then do sheath end design by stitching a sheath end into every 4th stitch. Then do a plain row of wheat stitch, another sheath end row, plain row, sheath row (staggered), and plain row. Finish off this section by stitching remaining pine needles down, cutting some shorter as necessary. Do one complete round of wrap stitch and end off.
Do 3 rows of slant chain stitch.
On 4th row do a Ti stitch on rows 3 - 4 (2 Ti and 2 Chain alternating). Continue slant stitch for 3 more round. Then do a back stitch on the last round. Lid: Tie 8 sheath ends together and wrap stems well with damp raffia. Do overcast stitch to attach pine needles to stem and raffia and continue for 4 cm. Wrap narrow edge of 4 cm disc with raffia and bind off. Start 20 - 22 slant chain stitches spaced evenly and work upwards 1 cm and outwards till disc is 7.5 cm. Bind off by trimming and using up needles in coil. Do a complete wrap circle and bind off. Do a Ti stitch at end of each chain stitch then a couple of slant stitch rows and wheat stitch until work measure 14 cm across (or to fit opening of basket).
Make fern stitch around last round.
Make a rim according to directions in #10 section of “Tips for Neater Looking Baskets”. Pin rim to lid and stitch in place. Add a little E6000 glue to underside of sheath knob and if needed, a little around base of sheath knob on top. #14 Lidded Basket Using Wheat, Chain and Wrap Stitches Diameter: 13 cm Height: 6 cm Start base with knot beginning and 15 stitches. Do a wheat stitch for 5 cm then double the stitches by making a new wheat stitch in each “frond” of existing wheat stitches. Total 30 stitches. Work until disc is 11 cm, then bring sides upwards for 2.5 cm. End work. Do a complete heavy wrap stitch round on outer edge and end round.
This round should stand out from the basket sides as a prominent design. Start slant chain stitch opposite each wheat stitch for 7-8 rounds, slanting the basket inward slightly. End work Lid: Select a pine cone for a knob. Make a wrapped circle to fit the pine cone and start 20 slant chain stitches (or whatever number fits). Work 2 cm and bind off. Then do a completely wrapped circle around this disc. Start 20 wheat stitches and work 2.5 - 3 cm to fit to edge of basket. Back stitch on last row to make a fern stitch edge. The wrapped circle should stand out as a complimentary design with the circle on the side of the basket.
Make a rim according to directions given in “Tips for Neater Looking Baskets”, #10. Pin to lid and stitch in place. Glue a pine cone in the dip in centre of the lid. Glue pine cone knob in circle intended for it. Use E6000 glue (available at most craft and fabric stores) as it dries clear you will need very little so there is no build up.
18 - #15 Lidded Basket with Stitched Knob 9 cm disc base Base: Start with 13 chains stitches for about 4 cm then change to wheat stitch to 9 cm. End work and do a complete wrap stitch circle on outer edge of this disc making it about a 10 cm diameter and ending it. Using a coloured thread or straight pins, mark 24 equal sections for stitch placement. Do one round of 24 plain wheat stitch on top of the wrapped round. Then continuing wheat stitch do a wrap between 1st and 2nd stitch, 5th and 6th stitch, 9th and 12th stitch (every 4th stitch). Repeat for next round.
3rd and 4th round: do wrap stitch between 2nd and 3rd stitch, 6th and 7th stitch and so on making a spiral of wrap stitches, following shape of basket as seen in picture until basket is about 9 cm high.
Round off basket shoulder continuing wrap spiral until opening is ~9 cm. Do last round in fern stitch. Lid: The outer and inner lid is shown with #23 and #25 lids. Work a small disc in chain stitch using 12 - 14 stitches depending on how fine your raffia is. At 3.5 cm, turn sides downward for 1 cm and inward until “neck” measure 8 cm around (measure with a string). Start stitching outward with wheat stitch about 1.5 cm, then do a wrapped circle ending circle by joining ends. Divide circle into 24 parts for 24 stitches.
Work 2 cm or amount necessary to fit over basket opening. Measure open area and make a rim for lid to fit basket using Tip #10 in “Tips For Neater Looking Baskets”. Stitch rim to lid invisibly. A light coat of shellac on the exterior plus a little extra on the inner 'neck' of knob ensures firmness.
19 - #16 Lidded Basket with Cone Knob, Wheat, Chain, Fern and Diamond Stitches Base Diameter: 11 cm Height: 11 cm Widest part: 46 cm (18”) Buttonhole Stitch in Teneriffe Section Using a 0.5” curtain ring, do buttonhole stitch around it and add spokes and a hub.
Stitch 3 pine needles around ring and continue 16 wheat stitches for a diameter of 7 cm. Change to fern stitch until diameter measure 11 cm; then continue fern stitch up the side for 3 cm. Do a complete round of wrap stitch, ending work.
Next do slant chain stitch in every center frond plus another between each fern stitch making 32 chain stitches. Shape basket as per pictures working outward and upward for 6 cm. Do another complete wrap round. Then do 2 full rounds of diamond stitch. Lid: Diameter 10 cm; Height 2 cm Start the lid using the knot or wrap and roll method. Make 17 stitches and do a small dome in slant chain stitch 5 - 6 cm, then change to wheat stitch until diameter measure 10 - 10.5 cm. Finish edge with Fern Stitch. Cut the top off a 3.5 - 4 cm pine cone and glue it on the “dome”. This makes a “flat” flower look with a raised center left from removing the upper “petals”.
Another knob that could be substituted would be a short sheath end knob similar to the one in #13, only shorter and add 5 cone petals of suitable size. Do a rim to fit basket opening according to Tip #10 in “Tips for Neater Looking Baskets”. #17 Basket with Oval Veneer Base Base: 15 cm x 10 cm I painted the unfinished side black (base and lid). 32 holes, 0.5” apart are drilled near the edge with a 5/64 drill bit. Work through the holes and cover the veneer edge of the base with pine needles, using wheat stitch except for the wrap stitch design on sides and ends. Sides are ~4.5 cm high. The wrap design is shown clearly in the pictures for you to follow.
Lid: Oval veneer 10.5x5.5 cm with 28 holes, 1 cm apart. This allows for 7 designs and 1 space between each design. 6 more holes need to be drilled at an angle to accommodate the canes for the handles. Bind the center part together with raffia and glue the canes where it comes out on the underside. Work the lid and wrap design until it fits the basket. Doing the rim calculation is a little different on an oval. Add length and width and divide by 2, eg, 15 cm + 11 cm = 26 cm / 2 = 13 cm 3.1416 (Pi) x 13 = 41 cm. Pin, then stitch rim to lid. Use E6000 Glue where needed on handle.
20 - #18 Basket Work this basket the same as #17 and follow wrap stitch, diamond stitch or stitch of your choice.
The dimensions are slightly different but the rim still has a length of ~41 cm. Pin in place and adjust if necessary. Stitch to lid. The handle is done the same as in #17. #19 Lidded Basket with Teneriffe Ring Knob Base Diameter: 8 cm Widest Part: 15 cm Basket Opening 10.5 cm Depth 7.5 cm Lid: 11.5 cm Rim: 10-10.5 cm to fit opening Base: Start with knot or wrap and roll beginning using overcast stitch until secured. Then make 15 wheat stitches equally spread until base measure 8 cm. Then make another stitch in each wheat frond (or leg) doubling the stitches to 30. Work up the side gradually for 2 cm (see picture of basket bottom and sides for shaping), then change to fern stitch as you widen the basket to ~14 cm and ~6 cm higher than base.
Now switch to slant chain stitch and do 6 or 7 more rounds as you decrease the size of the opening to 8 cm. Lid: Start same as for base using 18 wheat stitches. Try to shape it so there is a 3.5 - 4 cm center; then round it upwards using swirl chain stitch, then 2 - 3 rounds of fern stitch until work measures 10.5 cm. Put a separate complete round of wrap stitch on edge. Make the rim as descried in “Tips for Neater Looking Baskets”, pin and stitch to lid. Make a “knob” by doing a double buttonhole stitch on a 2.5 cm or 1” curtain ring, weave a decorative center and stitch firmly to center of lid.
20 Flower Basket Do a 2.5 cm teneriffe with hub and petals for center of basket bottom and two more for decoration in handles. Using wrap stitch start 20 stitches around center teneriffe for 3 - 4 rounds, then work in wheat stitch until base measures 11 cm. Gradually work upward and outward until opening measures 14 - 15 cm. Start handles by cutting two 18” (45 cm) lengths of #18 copper wire, wrapping 3 cm end of each wire with brown floral tape. Poke one wrapped end into existing rope of pine needles, stitch in place on basket edge, then using 2 - 3 pine needles along with the wire, wrap them with raffia to the last 3 cm, securing with stitches to basket edge to balance with the opposite side.
Do not complete this round (around and over the handle) until the 2nd wire has been anchored, wrapped with raffia and fits the configuration of the 1st wrapped one (use hidden stitches to hold the wrapped wires together). Anchor this end to the basket edge then continue stitching pine needles to basket edge and up and along the handle and down to the basket edge again. Now you can complete the round on the opposite side – around the basket edge and up over the handle to the basket edge. Note: If your wheat stitch gets too far apart when doing the bowl part of the basket, switch to fern stitch on last 2 - 3 cm before basket edge.
Fern stitch looks best on basket edges and around the handles. Sew teneriffe on basket openings between handles and do a few “filler” stitches – also known as faggoting in the empty spaces around teneriffes.
21 - #21 Curly Handled Basket 17x15 cm basket opening 5 cm high (sides) One length of #18 copper wire, 43 cm long (or 17”) for handle. Handle should rise about 13.5 cm (5.25”) above base. Do two 1” curtain rings with double buttonhole stitch plus spokes and “hubs” and stitch together. With inside of basket facing you, with raffia and wheat stitch arrange 24 stitches around teneriffes – or more as long as they are equally spaced. Work in wheat stitch until base measures ~14x12 cm. The stitches will be farther apart, mainly at the ends of the 14 cm measurement. I had to start 11 new stitches to fill the gaps in my basket.
Do your increases in the next round as you start the gentle curve upward filling as many gaps as necessary with a new wheat stitch. (There is no definite number of stitches in this basket but aim to have them 1.5 - 2 cm apart (from straight leg to straight leg) by the time you have reached the rim of the basket.
Sides: Work sides upward for 4 cm making sure both sides are equal with the same number of rounds (omit the sheath end round – it is hard to do evenly and fights for attention with the ornate handle). End this last row when the long side of the basket where the handle starts is one row higher than the other long side. Handle: Wrap both ends of wire for 4 cm with brown floral tape. Then put one end into existing pine needle rope and lay the other end on opposite side, making the S curvature. The crotches of the handle should start at the short side of the basket, pass over the 2 teneriffes, finishing the S shape on the other short side.
Stitch existing pine needle rope to wrapped wire using wheat stitch along the top of the S curvature and ending on opposite side. Secure stitching to basket rim. Do the back stitch on this side of handle to make fern stitches. Then with new rope of pine needles, stitch the other side of handle to match the first side, continuing around the rim edge if it needs a little build-up. I was told by my teacher that this type of handle is not in any basketry book; she took credit for the design, but that was 30 years ago or more. Nothing stays the same. We all add our own ideas to the mix.
22 - #22 Fancy Teneriffe Basket Base Diameter: 19 cm Depth: 5 cm Widest Part: 22 cm Lid Diameter: 20.5 cm Rim Diameter: 19 cm Start bottom of basket with knot or wrap & roll method, then make 16 wheat stitches and do the swirl wheat stitch until work measures 11 cm across.
In the next round, increase a wheat stitch between each of the existing stitches making 32 stitches. Do straight wheat stitch for another 5 cm. Work now measures 19 cm or 7.5 “. If desired, do the zigzag stitch where the last stitch increases were done. This can be done on the underside as well. Note: this is not a special stitch. Just catch every other straight stitch and catch the swirl stitches between them.
Do a round or two of fern stitch, then start turning up the side, adding another stitch between each of existing stitches, making 64 stitches. Do chain stitch for 2 cm, then finish rounding out the side with wheat stitch for 3 cm and making an inward lip of 1 cm. End work. Opening across top ~19.5 cm. Lid: Start with 2 cm or .75” teneriffe for knob – do double buttonhole stitch then add spokes and “hub”. Make 16 evenly spaced stitches on edge of teneriffe and using 2 pine needles make a rounded knob with smaller “neck”. Work outward and downward until work measures 9 cm. End work.
Next, make and weave teneriffe following directions given in teneriffe section.
Stitch to lid. This is a lot of work but worth it! You could substitute other decorative stitches like the wrap stitch as seen in #18. Do a complete round of wrap stitch around teneriffe. Then wheat stitch (~48 - 50 stitches ~1 cm apart) for about 7 rounds or until work measures 20.5 cm in diameter. Finish edge with a back stitch. Make rim using directions in “Tips for Neater Looking Baskets”. Pin in place and stitch as invisibly as possible to lid.
23 - #23 Lidded Basket with Formed Knob Base Diameter: 14 cm Depth: 6 cm Widest Part: 18 cm Basket Opening: 15 cm Lid Diameter: 16 cm Rim Diameter: 14 cm Bottom of Basket: start with knot or wrap & roll. Work in 20 wheat stitches to 7 cm diameter. Increase 1 wheat stitch in each frond of existing stitches ending with 40 stitches. Continue until diameter measures 14 cm. Then start with fern stitch rounding the sides up and out to 4 cm depth. Do slant chain stitch while bringing in the “neck” to a 14.5 – 15 cm diameter, then form lip by turning the work up and out using wheat stitch to 18 cm diameter.
End work. Lid: Make a formed knob using 14 fine wheat stitches, making the neck smaller, then outward for ~1 cm. End work. Do a complete wrap stitch circle around this portion. Start 18 stitches on this wrapped circle and do a slant chain stitch for 3.5 cm. Then do 5 rounds of fern stitch. Change back to slant chain stitch, adding an extra stitch between existing stitches and work them for 2 cm. Then do a back stitch to finish and firm up the edge. Do the rim per instructions in “Tips for Neater Looking Baskets” and stitch to lid. #24 Large Flower Basket Between Handles: 8.5” or 21 cm Open Side: 10.5” or 26 cm Height of handle from base: 11” or 28 cm First, do the necessary teneriffes.
You will need 7 - 1” (2.5 cm) wire circles with double button hole stitch, spokes and a “hub” woven in each. Then two hexagon wire (18 gauge copper wire) shapes as the main handle decoration – double button hole stitched, then spokes (6 each side) and weave the flower as in the Christmas tree decoration.
Using one of the prepared circles and quite fine raffia, and starting out with 3 - 4 pine needles, make 20 - 22 stitches around the teneriffe, work in wheat stitch for ~4 cm. Now double the stitches by adding a new wheat stitch to each frond. I find adding stitches at this point easier than starting out with 40 or 44 stitches as that is very crowded. Continue in wheat stitch until work measure 6.5” (16.5 cm). Now, mark off four quadrants with coloured thread and decide which sides will be for the handles and as you continue stitching, bring the handle sides straight up and the other sides bend outward.
This makes for an interesting shape showing off a floral arrangement nicely. Work in this manner until teneriffe sides are about 2.25” (5.5 cm) and the other sides are stretched outward 10.5” (26 cm).
Now, cut 2 copper wires 30” (76 cm) long for the handles. Wrap 5 cm at each end with brown floral tape and insert one end into existing rope of pine needles. Wrap the wire along with 4 - 5 pine needles with damp raffia ending at floral tape. Clip to basket with a clothes pin or straight pins.
24 - On 2nd wire handle, wrap floral tape to each end. Then wrap the wire and 4 - 5 pine needles, anchoring to the side opposite (or to match) where the 1st wire was attached. Leaving a large enough space to accommodate the teneriffes, bring this 2nd wire up to meet the 1st one, using twist ties or pins to keep them symmetrical.
When you are satisfied with their placement, stitch the wrapped wires together, then stitch the teneriffes in place and the wrapped ends. The last step is to stitch 6 - 8 pine needles on each side of the handle including the open side of basket. The handle looks ornate with a wide fern stitch 3 cm apart, but wheat stitch is better on basket edge to continue pattern from the inside. Add a few filler stitches around teneriffes. #25 Large Basket with Woven Knob on Lid Dimensions: Base: 13 cm Widest Part: 15 cm Opening at top: 12 cm Height: 11.5 cm Base: start with a knot beginning or “wrap & roll”.
With quite fine raffia, overcast until center is secure, then chain stitch for a few rounds and finally make 15 wheat stitches evenly spaced. Work until base is ~6 cm then increase to 30 stitches by adding a new stitch to each frond of wheat stitches. Continue with wheat stitch until diameter is 13 cm. Start stitching upward, rounding the edge as you go and starting the sheath end design. Every 2nd round will have 6 sheath ends, 5 stitches apart to form “slanted steps” with a plain row between sheath ends. You may have to remove some pine needles from sheath end to keep the rope of needles equal (same thickness).
Do 2 plain rows and end work. Then do 1 complete round of wrap stitch to separate the 2 patterns.
The Ti Stitch will dominant the next pattern. There will be 6 groupings of 5 stitches and each Ti Stitch requires 2 rows. The picture shows their placement better than words can. Do the slant chain stitch for 3-4 rounds, then incorporate the wrap stitch for the next 4 rounds. (6 “step” patterns in each round). The next pattern is the Diamond Stitch which requires 6 rounds – 2 for each diamond. Mould the last 2 rounds inward a little (12 cm opening). Lid: Knob is made like an upside down small basket. Do a knot beginning. Secure with overcast stitch and clip the excess blunt ends. Do chain stitch for 2 cm, then 14 wheat stitches evenly spaced.
Continue to form the knob and make the “neck” diameter small, 2 - 2.5 cm, then work outward for 1.5 - 2 cm and end work.
Do a complete round of wrap stitch. Make 28 slant chain stitches (2 for each frond of 14 wheat stitches. Work 7 rounds of slant chain stitch. Then do 7 wrap stitches between every 3rd and 4th chain stitch. See 25B Picture. Make the lid rise 1 cm after the round of wrap stitch, while working 7 rounds of chain stitch. Do at least 2 - 3 rounds in Fern stitch to make lid diameter 13 - 13.5 cm – big enough to fit over opening of basket. Make a “lip” or “rim” on the lid to fit basket opening and stitch in place per tips in “Tips for Neater Looking Baskets”.
25 - #26 Fruit Basket Dimensions: Base: ~16.5 cm diameter Depth: 8 cm before handles; 9 cm after handles Top Edge diameter: 27-28 cm Base: start with a knot or wrap & roll beginning.
Do a fine wheat stitch close together until work measures 5 cm diameter. In the next few rounds, increase the stitches to 30. Then do a wrap stitch between stitches 1 & 2, then wheat stitch in the next 4 stitches. That takes care of 6 stitches and if you repeat those 6 stitches you should get 5 groups of 6 stitches in the round. Do 5 rounds like this. Now this isn’t rocket science... just do similar groupings making sure your wrapped stitches get spread around as the wrap adds to the thickness of the pine needle “rope”. Have fun with it, maybe invent a simpler design. When the base is 16.5 cm, start turning up the sides, carrying on with your pattern.
As the stitches get farther apart, add extra stitches to fill in the gaps.
When the depth is 8 cm, prepare the handles. Cut 2 #18 copper wires 24 cm long. Wrap 4 cm ends of each wire with brown floral tape. Insert the wrapped end of 1st wire into existing rope of pine needles and do a raffia wrap of wire with 3 - 4 pine needles to form an extended handle, then stitch it along with pine needles to basket edge. Predetermine the placement of handle and mark where the handle for the opposite side will be. Continue stitching pine needle rope to start of next handle and insert 2nd wire into rope of needles, wrapping the wire and 4 - 5 pine needles and making the handle to match the first one.
Then, continue for 2 more rounds going over the handles and side edges twice to firm them up and using the fern stitch over the handles – and sides as well if you wish and ending at start of first handle. I did not do this, but it would look nice to have a 1” (2.5 cm) and two 0.75” (2 cm) teneriffes in each handle.