Now is the time to do pine-needle work for the summer porch
The fragrant pine needle lends itself almost irresistibly to basketwork. It is firm yet supple, and its soft brown shades seem to invite decoration in gayly colored raffia. For the convenience of the weaver, apparently, the needles come in groups of three, with a sheath holding them together at the base. In lighter baskets, two of these groups are used at a time; in heavier, three or four. They are best sewed by brown raffia in a plain chain stitch. Simply sew the coils together, splitting the stitch on the preceding coil.
If you are fortunate enough to live in the South, you can pick up your pine needles just when they fall from the tree, before they have lost their pliancy and pretty orange color. If you have to send away for them, wrap them overnight in a damp cloth. Do not let them get too damp, however, if you wish your basket to be strong and firm and the shape true.
The vase basket with three handles
Make a disk four inches in diameter to start the vase basket with the handles shown at the left of the upper illustration, turning so that the right side will be in inside of the basket. Flare out so that when the basket has reached a height of one and a quarter inches it has attained a diameter of seven inches. Then turn in very slightly and work up to a height of three and a half inches. The diameter of the opening should then be four inches and finished with a stripe.
The handles are placed equidistant and are three in number. Make a wire triangle with base of one and a half inches and sides of three and a half inches. Pad this with pine needles and wrap with raffia, then work this full of the pine-needle work, working from the outside in.
When it is full, turn over, and, taking the first color you intend to use, make a stitch down the side half way and bring up through the first stitch and down to the points, until you have four long stitches from the base of your triangle to the apex. Fill in the uncovered parts of the triangle in the samq manner with the other colors, until it has the appearance of the photograph. Bend these handles, as indicated, and fasten to the basket with base of triangle at top and apex at the turn.
Flower jar for a pottery spill
Either a pottery spill or a straight tall glass jar may be used to make the flower jar in the center. First, make a ring of wire just the size of the mouth of the spill, pad and wrap with raffia. Now sew on one or two rounds of needles, according to the thickness of the spill, turn straight down, going about one-third the height of the spill, and finish with a stripe.
Make the bottom the same way, starting with a smaller ring. Slip these on the spill and lace together with vertical lines of raffia, trying to use a number of these vertical lines divisible by four. Use some other color of raffia and knot together in groups of four. Take another color and knot together again in groups of four, using two from each previous group. Continue in this manner until three or five colors have been used.