When it comes to my writing career, I don't mind making a little bit of money. I've poured in hours and hours and hours of writing time, of critiquing, of slaving over words, of reading about writing, of writing about writing. It's a career, and typically when you work, you get paid for your efforts. It's fair...
But when it comes to my handwork--to knitting, or crocheting, or sewing ridiculous Star Wars-themed napkins, I do it for fun. I do it to relax, to pray, to enter into an activity that both slows my body and stimulates my mind. Same with this new hobby of mine--weaving with pine needles.
(Okay, those photos are mostly about tea. But who doesn't love tea?!!! Notice the trivets and coaster...)
What's fun about the weaving is that not many people do it! So it looks unusual, unique. It's not that hard, really, at least at the level that I'm working, but it's different, and the end products are interesting, useful, earthy...
Many people over these last several months have asked if I might sell the baskets that I'm making. What?!!! No! I'm just a beginner. Selling them seems preposterous. Half of what I make is lopsided! I don't gather the needles from my backyard, soak them, sew them, to earn money. It's about the learning--the journey--doing something new.
My mom has a friend who is an absolute kick. She is a very accomplished woman, verbose, opinionated, cultured. She travels a lot. Somehow she got a hold of one of my first little baskets, and just thought they were the most amazing things. She said they should be under glass at the Smithsonian. Ha! I made several small baskets and sent them her way around Christmas time, saying all I wanted in return was for my daughter to have lunch with her. Instead I ended up with a $100 bill stuffed into my little orange backpack (plus she hosted my daughter for lunch :)). And she thought that wasn't even enough...
Well, I've thought this through. I don't want the pressure of selling anything. I want to weave when I feel like weaving. I'd like to experiment, when I feel like experimenting... But it's obvious that there are a few people out there who wouldn't mind having a basket, or a trivet, or a coaster or two made from the pine needles that drip all year long from our massive Canary Island Pine. I'm super happy to share, so here's the deal.
I am going to start a running list of folks who'd like a pine needle something. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll put you on the list, and I'll send you a finished woven something, when and if I make one! No pressure on me. You all are the first to hear, so send in your name. I'll wait and post this to other forums in a day or two, waiting until those of you, who might be interested, have responded...
And in return, once you receive the package, I'd love for you to donate something to our church's building fund. We are raising money to build our church temple (right now we worship out of our fellowship hall), and it'd be pretty cool if some of that money came from the prayerful work I do when I'm weaving pine needles, stich after stich.
In your email, please let me know these things:
As for payment. I'll let you decide. I really don't care if you send in $5 or $500. I don't! I really don't. I'll leave that part up to you. But just to give you an idea--it takes me about two hours to weave a coaster or a very teeny basket, and it takes about 20 hours to weave a super large trivet... I'm happy to work for a buck an hour. If you don't believe me, then you don't yet know me...
When you email me with your info, in return I'll send you information on how to care for a pine needle basket/coaster/trivet, etc (not that there's really anything to say--just don't give it to your puppy, cause he'll eat it, like mine did...) and I'll let you know how to mail a check or make a donation to our church's building fund.
What do you think? Does this seem like it'll work? I'm up for revising every word of this if you have better ideas. In the meantime, here are some pine needle weavings that I've done--that might help describe size, threads, shapes, etc.
Cheers, friends! Please ask questions, or make other awesome remarks in the comments below.
The image above is a large, flat pine needle weaving that spans a little more than 12 inches across. It is sewn with a brown hemp thread.
Above left is the same large flat weaving as the top photo. And above right is a small v-shaped basket with brown hemp thread, and a trivet with beige and brown variegated hemp thread--plus some pine needles and the beginning of something new... This trivet, and the trivet shown way up top in the tea photos that is made with a deep blue upholstery thread, are about eight inches across.
These two crazies... Above left is a flat weaving, and I simply experimented all the way through. I wove in lavender stems, grass stalks, japanese maple twigs, and bright pink mohair, using upholstery thread. Had fun with that one. Above right is a basket. These photos can be so decieving. It's one of the larger baskets I've made, about 8-9 inches across the brim, and rising maybe 4 inches, using lots of bright colored hemp thread.
In the basket above left, I used a light brown upholstery thread, it is v-shaped, and is probably 2-3 inches high and 4 inches across the brim. Above right are three coasters (all about 4 1/2 inches across), one small basket, and one trivet. All the trivets I make are between 7 1/2 to 8 inches across. All the thread used on the above right photo is hemp thread--lime green, light blue, and brown.
Above left--four little coasters (about 4 1/2 inches across), all for a friend. Black hemp thread with colored centers. I like the way they turned out. Above right--the white hemp is awful, but I was trying to make a little globe shape, and it worked! I've made about four now, of various sizes... The rim of this basket is green, only because I used green needles instead of brown. They will eventually turn to brown...
Above--a coaster that decided to turn into a little shallow tray, and a little basket. These were some of my first weavings. Hemp thread...
Various sizes, all flat. Wow, my stitching is so much better now! Also from more than a year ago. All hemp thread.
Published: February 7, 2016 | Filed under: You