A basket case

Over at Postcard from Nantucket a couple of days a go, kjwinston told us about a visit to Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum

It brought back memories of my one and only attempt at basket weaving. It involved long strands of cane, buckets of water, old towels and newspapers on the floor to catch the drips. In other words, my hands were wet all the time we worked. The long strands of basket cane needed to be soaked to make them pliable, otherwise they would crack and not work.

Wet hands are not good for my bad circulation, they go cold and my fingers stiffen up. ­čśŽ But, once started, the stubborn Annie in me would not let it get the better of me and I was determined to continue. Before you ask, wearing rubber gloves is no help, sure just walking past the freezer…. Brrr!, my hands go blue.

Our inspiration was based on a Gondola basket. Anyone remember them?

gondola basket

gondola basket

We just made the base shape with the curved handle and made a fabric bag to fill the space. I used a Bawneen tweed (think winter white) and worked a Celtic pattern on each side. I lined the bag in emerald green taffeta. The pattern was worked in a different colour way on each side. The upper edges had a channel of elastic and the snap fastener was added for closure.

I searched through all the old albums of photographs (not scanned on to disc) but only one rather blurry photo survives. The basket was worn into the ground long ago.

Rather blurred image of my basket with Celtic pattern detail

Rather blurred image of my basket with Celtic pattern detail

Detail is not clear in the photo, but it will give you the idea!

Close up of blurry basket!

Close up of blurry basket!