Saturday, July 11, 2009

Basket Vacation, part 4: Grapevine

Every once in awhile, my husband comes up with something he thinks I should be able to weave.

This was a bunch of grapevine that was on some trees he cut down. Wow, should I use it or not? What a tote it was to get this back out of the field, across the swinging bridge, all the way up the hill to the weaving tree! I guess I had better use it.

I like grapevine in NC, but in PA, it is different. It dies back in the winter, is best cut in the fall. Again, I am only there in the summer. The young growth is snappy, green, and unusable. The old growth is brittle and not very flexible. The useable pieces are large. The best thing about them is the exfoliating bark, which is a rich milk chocolate color. I collect a bunch of bark every year, and have coiled with it, working on plaiting with it.

But what to do with the vine itself? I have used it for rib basket framework and ribs…but found I had to spin cordage to weave the rest of the basket, as there is nothing flexible enough to use for weavers. I have also used it in large wicker baskets, but they require more material than I was able to collect this year.

So, I made a big random weave garden pod. These are fun to make part of the landscape. I ended up leaving this one for my cousin, and I think she will like it in her natural yard. It is big enough that her children or dog may even like to hide in it! They look especially great when planted next to climbing plants.

This pod also contains some smilax (greenbriar,) Virginia Creeper, honeysuckle, and pieces of Autumn olive I had left over from the other baskets…it is something of a “use up the ends” sort of basket. I worked on it over the course of the week, you probably caught a glimpse of it in day 2’s post.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Pamela, that grapevine pod is toooo cool! How creative you are!