Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cedar Bark Basket Ta-Dah!

Up early and off I drove over hill and dale in the snow... through Boring, Oregon.. I saw a Boring couple go into a Boring store and some Boring children go into the Boring School. :-)  My Cedar Bark Basket class began at 9 am, there were 5 students.  The instructor was delightful and gave us each a printed instruction sheet.  She told us how she harvested bark from red and white cedar trees and showed us each how to take a thick strip of cedar and split it into 2 pieces and how to trim it into even 1/2 inch strips for our baskets.  Here is the base of my basket.
This is her basket next to the instruction sheet. 
This is what the inner bark looks like before it's cut into workable strips.
Here are 2 of the strips that I split and myself. 
And 4 of them I cut and trimmed. 
A larger photo of the beginning. 
Two of my classmates hard at work. 
After you have the base woven, you take waxed linen or hemp and plait it around the woven part - this holds your base in place as you turn the cedar strips up to continue weaving. 
This is the hardest part.. getting the first two strips going up the side.  Kind of like wrestling a wiggly snake.   
Here is our instructor checking our work. 
You do the bottom two rows and then twine 2 rows of waxed linen to hold things into place.  Two rows of cedar bark and then we did a 3 ply of Sweet Grass in the center. 
Two more rows of cedar and another two rows of triple twined Sweet Grass...  
 Almost to the top!
At the top is 2 rows of waxed linen and one row of triple plied Sweet Grass - then you bend the cedar down and sew them down inside with the waxed linen and end it with a decorative zig zag of the waxed linen which further holds down the cedar strips inside and makes the basket more secure.
Here are all 5 of the student baskets with the instructors lidded basket on top.  We were not able to finish our lids before the class ended, but got a good start on them. I finished weaving the lid of my basket when I got home last evening.
Here is my basket with the finished lid! :-)
Here's another shot.  I'm so happy with it and proud of it -- it was a lot of work but it was worth it.  Have you ever woven a basket?  It's really neat!  I'm planning to take other basket classes there at the Damascus Fiber Arts School!
When I awoke this morning the world was white with snow.  I had a Portland Women's Forum meeting and decided that since the roads were pretty good I would not cancel it.  But it sure was pretty!
Pretty red barn in the snow.   
Our cozy little farmhouse.
The barn. 
Another exciting thing happened yesterday while I was at the basket class.  My spinning instructor called and she had come into the possession with a huge bunch of spinning and yarn things from a storage unit that had been left unpaid - and knowing I like Alpaca to spin she offered some to me a few weeks ago which I gladly offered to take.  Finding that I was there at the school she brought two big bags of Alpaca and gave it to me!  I asked her what colors and she said ALL COLORS.. I openend them last night after I got home and was delighted to see this pretty white and reddish alpaca....
A huge bunch of chocolate brown Alpaca.... 
Some yummy creamy white Alpaca... 
And two bags of beautiful shiny black Alpaca..  
I thought of my fellow blogger and friend Lucy from Lucy In The Sky blog - as she was given a huge lot of raw Alpaca fiber too.. my entire dining table is covered with bags of Alpaca! Yikes!  LOL!!  OK, now I'm going to relax for a while.. life has been non-stop lately. Thanks for visiting and I adore your comments!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. Oh my!! That it a dream to spin? Your basket it awesome!

  2. Very cool. What a fun day and class. I can't wait to see all that alpaca spun up. It's going to be fabulous. And by the way, you are having more snow than us out there this winter. It's been crazy, yesterday was 60, but not so today.

  3. Teresa, i loved seeing all the steps to the basket making. I have never done this. Your basket turned out superb! What will you do with the guess is some spinning! You are one busy creative lady.
    Relax and enjoy,

  4. TERESA!!! I am so excited for you!!! What a thrill to get to take such wonderful classes. I would have been right there beside if I lived near you, you know that!!! Your basket is beautiful!! I have always loved baskets, all types, and have them all over my house. The craftmanship is amazing. And what fun to have been given all of that nice Alpaca to spin into beautiful yarn!! I can't wait to see what you do with it!

  5. Your basket turned out really good - I'm sure you'll get hooked (probably not the right word for weaving lol). I was into basket making when my girls were in junior primary school and I used to make dolly carry cots for all their friends, using that plastic covered cane - covered masonite base. Also made myself a couple of shopping baskets and a waste paper bin. It was lots of fun.

    Your pictures of the snow look magical.

  6. I checked several times today knowing you said you would post pictures of your basket soon...and your *wonder*full* post was so worth waiting for!!! Even though you had to drive through *Boring* to get to the basket weaving class every part of your post was interesting, and beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your creative efforts with us. You continue to inspire me. <3

  7. Oh Boy oh boy! I love this post, those baskets are so beautiful. Very inspiring. I am delighted with your Alpaca haul it looks gorgeous. I find the quirky things we have in common hilarious. Now we both have a huge Alpaca haul! It is going to be great to share what we eventually manage to do with it all. I don't feel so alone now! United in Cyber Sisterhood. :) They do say don't they 'Be careful what you wish for!' Now we just need to get you some more Chickie Babies! XXX

  8. Amazing!Your basket is truly beautiful and what a treat to be able to see the various stages in pics before the final result. Can't wait to see what you do with the Alpaca, Teresa. You truly are an inspiration. Have a good rest, you certainly deserve it. :)

    ps Have you done anything with the wonderful handspun yarn in your header?

  9. Your basket is perfect, you must be so proud! How interesting to see the making-of step by step. I love the pictures of the red barn and the farmhouse with the surrounding trees in the snow, how cosy! Can't wait to see what you'll do with all that Alpaca :-) xxxx

  10. What a great basket! It looks fantastic. And I love your alpaca haul! Especially that red and white, looks beautiful. Hey, you could make some big cedar bark baskets to store your alpaca fibre in!!

  11. Great work there Teresa, you are right to be proud of your lovely basket. When I was at primary school we used to do some weaving and make lovely trays. My dear Aunt used one I made her for many, many years. Hand made is best isn't it. What pretty pictures of the snow but I am hoping our spring weather here in the UK will continue and winter has gone for this year. Have a great weekend...relax and enjoy ;0)
    Jane x

  12. Had really been looking forward to this post and you DID NOT disappoint me! Your basket is totally awesome--love, love, love it! One of my ancestors was a basket maker for awhile, so it was really fun to see all the the steps that go into making one!
    LOVE your snow; loved our snow and loved the snow a friend and I saw today on a trip we made! I know, I am a little crazy about snow:)
    Blessings, Aimee
    PS: Your alpaca fiber is wonderful--I am going to have to visit an alpaca farm soon!

  13. I too was looking forward to seeing the results of your basket weaving class and your project looks wonderful! If I ever tried anything like that it wouldn't look nearly as neat. Do you have any plans for your little basket yet? I would say you could use it to store some of your fiber fun, but seeing how much fluff you received, I'd say you need something a smidge larger! That is a lot of raw alpaca! I'm sure that will keep you busy for some time. Enjoy!

  14. Teresa, your basket is so cool! I'd love to take a class like that. Also, I can't wait to see what you do with all of that alpaca!


  15. Your basket is beautiful Teresa..I do enjoy visiting and seeing what you have been up to each week!....Well done, I love it....Ooh, I am looking at all that beautiful Alpaca too...lucky you...It's my most favourite yarn!
    Your farmhouse looks so beautiful in the snow.....
    Keep warm and have a lovely weekend,
    Susan ♥

  16. Matt and I are loving the box you made! We're very jealous of all the great classes you can take where you live. I'm very very envious of the spinning class as well, would love to have my own spinning wheel one day! I was looking on some youtube videos and it looks so much fun! I'm sure it takes a lot of time to really get good at it, but I'm sure I would have the patience!
    And OMG. I LOVE alpaca! I just finished knitting an enormous shawl made out of fingering weight alpaca. I've made more projects with alpaca and it's one of my favorite yarns, so so soft! How crazy awesome that you have so much of it, what a dream!!! Lovely blog post again, your pictures are beautiful! I see you know how to work your DSLR very well! Have a lovely weekend!!!
    Dennis (and Matt says hi!)

  17. I love the basket. I haven't ever tried to make one. I do hope you will post about spinning all of this Alpaca!

  18. Hi Teresa, I love your baseket and was really interested in reading about how you made it. It looks great. You will be busy with your spinning. I've enjoyed seeing your spinning and also Lucy In the Sky and when I heard that my LYS was running a one day spinning workshop I signed up immediately! I'm looking forward to learning how its all done - you get your own drop spindle I think to take home (first thing is to learn what one of them is lol!) Have a great weekend ((hugss)) Joanna xx


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