Having returned to Minnesota with a good supply of long leaf pine needles, I have been trying out some new techniques. In prior posts, I showed the baskets I made with the Simple Stitch, Wrapped Rows, Ti stitch and incorporating beads. So, here are a few more techniques I have been working on.
Back stitch and vase shaping. I started this project not really knowing what I was actually going to make, I just wanted to try some new stitches. The basket started out with a base of the basic stitch, followed by a row of wrapped needles. I then switched to the Ti stitch. I prefer this stitch because it is faster, easier, and stronger than the basic stitch. After completing the first half of the basket, I decided to make it into a vase shape. This would give me the opportunity to try some contour shaping of the basket. I also decided I would switch to a different stitch. I reasoned that using the Back Stitch would allow me better flexibility in the placement of each row of needles, thus making the shaping easier. The Back Stitch involves doing row of Simple Stitch. Then, once an entire row is completed, the sinew is wrapped the reverse direction around the circle using the same location of the original stitches. This results in what looks like diamonds on the outside of the basket. To finish the basket vase, I did two Wrapped Rows and added a couple metal charms and beads that I had in my craft supplies. I do need more practice in keeping my rows and stitches more evenly placed.
Leather Base and Twisted Rows. This project started with a circle of leather rather than initial rows of wrapped needles. Two matching circles of leather were cut, positioned wrong sides together and holes punched using a leather hole punch. A wrapped row of needles was then stitched to the outer edge of the leather. The weaving then included rows of basic stitch, alternating wrapped stitch sections and a couple rows of Ti stitch. To finish off the basket, I tried out making interlocking rows of wrapped stitches. The first row of an interlocking finish was similar to when beads are place and involved leaving long sections of wrapped needles not connected to the lower row. The second row, however was trickier than I expected. The wrapped needles tended to want to break when I was trying to push the bundle into the gaps of the previous row. I found that if I wrapped the needles in a wet (not just damp) towel over night, then the needles did not break. In this basket, my stitches were more evenly place, but I still need more practice.
V stitch. My final project, I had only one real goal – making the rows and stitches more uniform and even. This project again started with a wrapped row center and a Simple Stitch base. The body of the basket was completed with the V stitch. The V stitch is made by placing two stitches in the same location. One stitch goes diagonal like the simple stitch. The second stitch goes straight up. To finish off the basket, I added some leaf charms and beads. When making this basket, I was successful in creating even rows. I do, however, need more practice on this new stitch.
I am still enjoying this new hobby!