Pine Needle Basket Demonstration

Pine Needle Basket Demonstration

This is a piece of raffia. The thicker, darker end are the roots of the plant. It comes from Madagascar, Africa. You slide the needle onto the raffia and you hold it down like this and they
should have a bigger hole in here and it threads through easier but that’s what you’re going to use to start your pine needle basket. When I start I take seven bunches of needles – that stands for the seven directions, seven days in a week… That’s also the creators numbers. It’s always good to keep everything in
perspective. The end of the raffia goes right here at the end of the sheath ends and you wrap it tightly. You wrap it on top that little tail piece right here, covering it up The longer you wrap, the longer your oval will be. You take
the tip of the sewing needle, you put it here
at the end of what you’ve wrapped and you bring it
through. When you’ve wrapped it, when you’ve taken a
stitch so it doesn’t unravel you bend the end, you take a stitch. The point of the sewing needle goes right
here through the middle – what you’ve wrapped and you pull it up, but at the end here you don’t wrap anymore well, you don’t WRAP, you RAP. Ya lay the raffia on top and you hold it with
your finger, put the needle to the left and pull it through – that’s all you do! I
like to make my spaces about a half an inch away and I’m piercing the wrapping right here through the
center for one row only. Once you get over here you’re going to have to bend it again. So I’m going to take the sewing needle here, putting it at the
end of what these sheath ends where we started and you’re going to – I like to either pull them up
like this but you have to wrap the end not wrap it but stitch it. And I’ll take about three stitches now: one two and the sewing needle goes in the
same hole here and then here I’m at the end so I can go over – the stitches are
the same on each side and then you just keep sewing around and around and
around but once you get around this first
coil one time, you don’t pierce the middle
anymore. I’ll show you that here. I’m to the point where the pine needles are all the way around what we’ve wrapped so
we’re going to go into the outside edge – do see where that pine needle’s at, or the sewing needle? It’s here on the outside edge. It’s not in
the middle anymore. The third row out stitches into the second
row. Now your stitches, I’m always looking on the back because all your stitches need to be in between each stitch on the back and on the front. Some pine basket makers have a front side and
a back side. We have an inside and an outside as humans so do baskets and I think that both sides count. So I’m putting the stitches now between the ones I had
before. At this point though you have to stop. When you’ve stitched halfway down the length of your pine needles you have to put
some more in. That’s called ‘feeding the tail’. You get
the same amount seven bunches and I like a larger, thicker coil because the basket builds faster. There’s
different ways of doing this you could put this bunch underneath here
like that. You can kinda open it up and feather these out, add them a little bit
like this stitch and add those in at the same time. I like a basket that is textured. Some
people want to take the sheath ends off and they use a plastic straw or section and feed the pine needles
through that straw. I don’t. I can count to seven. I know when I have to add more in. about
halfway down. So it’s six or seven stitches that you can
make with needles as long as this and then
have to feed the tail. Take six or seven stitches and feed the
tail six or seven stitches and feed the tail. So it
just depends on how fast you do this to how long it takes your basket to
build. This is a simple overcast stitch and that’s all you do. As the basket gets bigger, you have to
feed it more often it seems and don’t want to keep feeding it at the same point because it’ll get egg-shaped and get big in one area only so you can go around
here first or feed it before and you’ll stagger where you feed your bunches all the
time. And here’s how you end a piece of raffia because we’ve gone quite a ways.
When the raffia start splitting or breaking and it gets too short, you take the point of the needle and you put it here where it can’t come out. I push mine at an angle through two or three coils. You don’t have to use knots. Pull it real tight and then you can cut this off. Then you have thread your needle again. Some people will wash their raffia and use it very thin. I like mine more rope-like. What you’re going to do is come up to the left – I end mine to the
right and come up to the left. You’re going to pull this
piece of raffia almost to the end and you’re going to hold it like this so it
doesn’t come out and then I make about two stitches like this and then I will take these
out and cut them off… I don’t have my scissors right now but I’d cut it. If you pull
this out will hard and you cut it goes slppp and it kind of sucks back in, you don’t want to see where you began or ended your raffia…and I’m passing this bunch here of sheath ends and I’ll add again. If you only add each time you run out, it will get
thicker and thinner, thicker and thinner. You want the coil to
stay uniform. That’s why you add needles halfway down. And that’s how you start. When your base is and big as you want it you take this tail and you put up here
like that – that’s going to make a side. This will be a very, very small basket. You’re going to sew into the outside top outside edge here, anyway, the stitch is the same but this is a working finger – pine
needles are slick if you don’t hold it in place, you won’t know
where to put your next stitch so it’s also pushing this tale up on top see how it’s pushing their up and then row
by row it starts to go up. Once you get one row
on it, the second row stitches into the first. You don’t go down to the base
again and a lot of people keep doing that and they don’t know…and the
14th row stitches into the 13th row but that’s how you do the sides. The shaping is this – if you continue to put the coil on top every single time you have a cylinder. If you put the
coil to the outside edge each time, you go out and you get a
shallow tray. If you put the top coil to the inside each time, you’re going to form a neck – so you can go out and in and up and make a vase shape or
whatever shape you want.


  • Mollywood54 says:

    Thankyou. Very clear and well explained.

  • AdventureDad says:


  • Tahnia Howie says:

    I'm wondering how to make the base open?…

  • Helen Tucker says:

    Thank you ❤

  • ju052kl says:

    Thank you so much! I have been wanting to try it but never had the courage, with your video I feel more confident. Great video!

  • Laura S. says:

    I can't see what your hands are doing as you talk. Camera needs to be steady and focused on a clear shot of the work, as you explain it. Thanks.

  • Linda S. says:

    The camera angles frequently do not show what is being done. The verbal instructions to "do this," put the needle here like this," are hard to follow. I had watchd three other how-to videos before this one or I would have been completely lost. As it was, I quit watching. The instructor is obviously very knowledgeable, but cannot articulate the instductions.

  • Teri Spadafora says:

    Where do you get the dried long pine needles, the trees around me don’t have such long needles? Also how do you prepare them?

  • cynthia g says:

    Wish you basket Weavers would go a little slower for people that have never done it before and show up close exactly what you're doing. I want to make these so bad but you're the second one that's hard to follow. I will try to continue to watch and figure it out

  • Patty Miles says:

    Wow this is awesome!!! Thank you for taking the time to share your skills and talent with us! Blessings to you!

  • INANNA Shu says:

    Looks very beautiful to dye the pine needles the different colors,but what about the safety of the dye? I know a lot of leather dyes have some serious chemicals in them.Thank you for the video,I have many pine needles 🙂

  • Amanda Cookson says:

    I have watched many tutorials so far today and I like your methodology. I believe I will be using your technique to start my baskets. Thank you for sharing your skills.

  • Mary Wood says:

    Thank you for sharing this!

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