Perhaps you need a basket for your string. Or your very adorable pears. Or maybe you just need to put your fingers and brain to work on something that isn’t a computer. Whatever the case, consider this my plea to give this very satisfying project a shot.
The beauty of this project lies not only in the beautiful organic basket it produces, but in the simplicity of the materials needed to make it: an embroidery hoop, nine clothespins, and a spool of paper covered floral twine. Plus you!
The technique shown here is the same one Rose used to make her string bag and you might recall the floral wire from the structured macrame basket. Put together they make a beautifully delicate and exceptionally sturdy little basket. The finished vessel is ideal for passing a ball of string through and calling a dispenser, but don’t let that stop you from putting it to use for anything else you might to round up: garlic, or miniature pears, or clothespins in waiting.
If you haven’t been brave enough to try the string bag or macrame basket we made a few years ago, I hope this little basket will give you the boost of confidence to try your hand at something new. It’s little so the basket takes no time to shape up and the process is so simple and satisfying, you won’t be able to stop with one.
For folks who benefit from visuals, Rose has the step-by-step images below and we’re putting together simple videos on Instagram to help nudge you in the right direction. Let us know what you think and show us your finished beauties!
The finished basket makes the perfect dispenser for string or yarn or whatever else you’re trying to keep tidy and accessible, but don’t let that stop you from putting all sorts of other things in it.
Shaped into little round baskets, these become the perfect garlic keepers, clothes pin holders, tiny carryall for tiny pears!
Don’t be afraid to mold the finished basket around any kind of vessel you like. Here, we took a round little basket and pressed it into shape to make the perfect sleeve for a vintage bottle.
Floral Twine String Dispenser
+ One side of an 6-inch embroidery hoop (To make a larger bag you can use a hoop that is wider. If you don’t have an embroidery hoop handy, you can replace the embroidery hoop with a small corrugated cardboard box.)
+ Nine round wooden clothespins for a 6-inch hoop (you might need a few extra if they crack while placing them on the hoop)
+ Paper coated floral twine wire (a few yards should be enough for a small bag)
+ Place the wooden clothes pegs onto the perimeter of the wood circle frame. Place the pegs roughly 1.5 inches apart, and press down firmly making sure each peg fits tightly.
+ To begin, place a 9-inch tail end of the twine through the center of your frame. (This tail will serve as the handle of your bag and will be incorporated into the pattern later.)
+ Wrap the working twine (from the ball) twice around one of the pegs, clockwise. You can wrap the tail end of the string around the bottom of a peg so it doesn’t get in your way.
+ You will then pass the bottom loop over the top loop and off the peg. (Don’t pull too tightly or the tension will be too tight when you begin to weave.) Repeat to the next peg to the right, looping twice (clockwise) and passing the bottom loop over the top and off the peg. Repeat for the remaining pegs until you are back to the first pin with a single loop on it.
+ To begin weaving, you will not loop the string around the peg. Instead, simply bring the string in front of the peg with one loop below it.
+ Pass the bottom loop over the top string and off the peg. Repeat this technique on all the pegs, rotating the loom to the right. (The first rotation is the hardest! But the twine will loosen up significantly on the subsequent rounds. To help with the tension, move the pegs from side to side to loosen the twine as you work.) Weave in the round roughly 12-14 rotations depending on the size you want your bag. The bag will stretch and open significantly once off the frame.
+ Once you reach your desired length, you will begin to cast off. Cast off starting on the same peg that you began weaving (where you can find the tail end). Cut the string, leaving a 9-inch tail.
+ Carefully slip the first loop off the pin and pass the tail end through the loop (from front to back). Repeat for all the loops and pegs.
+ Pull the tail end to cinch the bottom of the bag together.
+ Wrap the tail end through the bottom center loop, evenly, and cut any excess twine.
+ To make a handle, use the tail end of the twine at the start of the bag. Connect it to the opposite side of the bag, weaving it through an available loop. Bring the tail end back over to where it started and secure by wrapping it around the available wire a few times.
+ Shape your bag by pulling it downward and outward, until it forms an organic, roundish shape. If using as a string dispense, place the ball of twine or string into the basket, sending the tail end through the center hole on the bottom. Hang and use!
Thanks to Rose Pearlman for writing this tutorial and photographing the step-by-steps. Rose is an artist, teacher, and textile designer. With a background in fine arts and a love of well designed functional objects, her creations blur the lines between art and craft and pushes the boundaries with non-traditional techniques and materials. Rose teaches monthly rug hooking workshops in and around her home in NYC, and also welcomes commissions for one of a kind constructions in decor and home furnishings. Her work has been featured in fiber magazines, galleries, and numerous online design sites. Her book Modern Rug Hooking is available wherever books are sold. Follow along with her functional craft projects at @art_objects_ She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.
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