Garden basket from my willow!

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Garden basket from my willow!

Postby party_music50 » Jan 31, 2010 8:35 pm

I need time and practice to learn the proper way to handle willow, and I know that I pushed the limits on weaving this "green" (without soaking)! It was a killer on my fingers, hands, arms, neck, and back because I harvested it on Dec. 6 and didn't start weaving until last weekend... yikes, it got STIFF fast!!!

This is my first basket from my homegrown willow! :beer: I planted 4 varieties in April of 2009 and harvested enough to make at least two baskets. This basket is meant to carry my garden tools. The spokes are from the 'Polish Purple' variety -- it was the variety that grew best for me, having the longest, thickest, and straightest withies (stems). It's not the best photo (or basket) but I'm still excited to have made a basket from my own willow. :)

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~~~ Audrey ~~~
“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good”
Dr. Seuss :)
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Garden basket from my willow!

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Re: Garden basket from my willow!

Postby Gardentoad » Feb 01, 2010 9:20 am

Very pretty.
It sure doesn't look like a first attempt!
I'd like to learn how to weave baskets.
We cut down a willow last summer and I searched for ways to use it.
Mine is just mulch now.
Never before have so few with so much promised to take away so much from so many and then laugh their asses off as the so many with so little vote for the so few with so much.

---James Pence
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Re: Garden basket from my willow!

Postby party_music50 » Feb 01, 2010 8:06 pm

Thanks, gardentoad!

I taught myself how to weave using reed and then various other materials. If you want good book recommendations, I can give them. :)
I have tried willow a couple of times in classes with Bonnie Gale, but this is my first basket with my own homegrown willow. Learning how to properly prepare it will be my biggest challenge -- that's something that people "apprentice" for years.

The willow used to weave is salix -- varieties of "pussy willow". IMO, your downed tree is just as valuable as mulch as for a basket! :) I gave the scraps from this weaving to my niece to feed to her rabbits. That's good too. :)
~~~ Audrey ~~~
“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good”
Dr. Seuss :)
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Re: Garden basket from my willow!

Postby caliloo » Feb 02, 2010 6:44 am

That is a great basket! How long did it take? I love the idea that you are making it from home grown and I would love to be able to make things like that. Can they be made from wild grape vines? I dont have a lot fo willow, but the wild grapes are everywhere!

Alexa
Spring - An experience in immortality.
- Henry D. Thoreau
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Re: Garden basket from my willow!

Postby party_music50 » Feb 03, 2010 5:04 am

Thanks, Alexa! I haven't done any weaving with grapevine (yet) but it is possible. So far, the only grapevine I've been able to get is old gnarled dried vines that friends have cut and brought to me. I used what I could from the first pile to make a wreath. :) I haven't tackled the second pile yet because it's really not good for weaving... most of those vines are much too thick and heavily branched and tangled. If you have your own vines, you'll have much more control and can weave directly with fresh cuttings.
~~~ Audrey ~~~
“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good”
Dr. Seuss :)
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Re: Garden basket from my willow!

Postby Linda P » Mar 21, 2010 7:53 am

:cool: :cool: :cool:
Makes my hands hurt to think of it. I'm not a basket weaver, though I've done a few. What a neat idea, to make your own garden basket of homegrown willow.
I've made more grapevine baskets than I care to recall (in the thousands over the craft show years) but they were not exactly woven. You start with making a wreath the diameter you want your basket, and then build on that. I've made them anywhere from 5 or 6 up to about 30 inches across. The handle is made of the larger vines, in proportion to the size of the basket. Start with one sturdy piece poked in to the body of the basket, and then wrap smaller ones around it, securing each one by threading it in to the basket and winding around the first. It takes a minimum of 3 pieces for the handle, many more on a larger basket. You can make a very cute little basket out of just a few vines. Wild grapevines are best for making baskets. They can have tendrils 10 or 12 feet long or more. My favorite time of year to make them was in the late fall, after the leaves had fallen off, but I did them year round. Is there anything as much fun as wading through hip=deep snow, yanking huge vines out of a tree, laying them out in piles and then dragging them back to the van, and trying to load them in? Ah, those were the days.
Linda P
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Re: Garden basket from my willow!

Postby kaylyred » Mar 28, 2010 11:43 am

Wow, that's very pretty! What a great talent to have. I'm sure I would never have the patience, but you do lovely work. :)
~ Karen

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