I had SO much fun with this month's project. I've been dying to try my hand at making these lovely rope bowls for months so TSNEM was just the nudge I needed to get started.
I can't begin to explain just how satisfying these are to make. Once I'd got the hang of it I found that the small / medium sized baskets only took around 20 minutes each to make. There's something very meditative about sewing them, I think it's partly because you're going round and round in circles, and partly because they're so simple that there's really not much thinking involved. So fun, but goodness me - you wouldn't believe how much thread you'll go through - I've never wound so many bobbins in my life!
But the thing that I really loved about sewing these baskets is that it isn't really like sewing at all. To me it feels more like sculpting; the angle that you hold the bowl at, the tension on the rope, the variations between different types of rope all contribute to the shape. No two baskets turn out the same (no matter how hard I try) and when I start I often have no idea what the finished thing is going to look like. It's always lovely surprise to see what comes out the other end.
I made several baskets using coloured thread to add interest and also had a lot of fun experimenting with paint - both painting the finished baskets and painting the rope before sewing - a la Gemma Patford who has a wonderful little instructional video in case you want to have a go at making some of these beauties yourself!
I had enormously high hopes for this huge rope market basket, but despite it taking me hours and hours to sew I couldn't help but be a little disappointed with the end result, it turned out pretty wonky and misshapen. I was all ready to pull it apart and begin again (there must be 30 metres of rope in there!) but actually it's beginning to grow on me and I'm starting to love it despite (or perhaps because of) it's wonkiness.
It would be remiss of me not to mention that making these baskets is insanely addictive! Seriously; do not try this if you're not prepared to go out and buy a giant 250 metre roll of rope once you're finished your first basket! It isn't just me who loves them either - the whole family is obsessed. Hubby was making requests for baskets to prove his bread in, the kids keep nagging me to make more for them / commandeering my finished baskets. I found this one full of Jacob's treasures.
Consider yourself warned!
Have you had a go at making baskets like these? Did you get as addicted as I did? Want to share any top tips or your favourite uses for them?