So much string

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Part of our holiday was spent staying with a long standing and treasured friend in a beachside suburb of Sydney.  It was a wonderful time but also an unseasonably cold, wet and windy one, so there was more walking than swimming and more knitting time than I anticipated.  The plants along that coast are just perfect for basketry.  Or in my case, string making.  Here, dianellas growing right by the sea.

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Here, a garden that could not have been planned with more care if landscaped by basket weavers.  For the first time ever, I made string from pandanus leaves, while a bunch of us did a long cliff top walk.  Just glorious! I gave it to one of our lovely companions immediately she commented on it.  First she tried it as a necklace, and then she settled on adding it to her rather gorgeous hat.  Those orange parts are the base of the leaf… she liked them, and clearly they fit with her hat’s colour scheme

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I also made string with cordylines from here and there, picked up on walks, beginning when we were on the Mornington peninsula staying in a place with immensely long leaved cordyline.  I tried twining pieces of shell and coral picked up on the beach into the string (successfully!  I will do that again)… I taught someone else to make string.  I gave string away.  I left string in people’s homes to be found later.  I made string while sitting, chatting and walking.  I came home festooned with string.

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Then one night after we arrived home I was playing guitar and the string was very much in the way.  So I gave away all the looser string on my wrist and now I have just this left as a holiday memento.


Filed under Basketry

14 responses to “So much string

  1. Susan

    Extraordinary. You really are an example of what can be done with what we have in front of us! Have you taught children how to do this?


  2. Would love to know how to make string, any hope of meeting some time I live in Back Valley, just out of Victor Harbor but do get to Adelaide occasionally. India was going to teach me but is so busy.


    • i’m sure we’ve made string together at some point? the instructions are in Second Skin. and if you have the SA Basketweavers book they have instructions also, but written differently. between the two you shouldn’t have trouble working it out 🙂


    • Hello Penny, I highly recommend it if you don’t already know how! India has shared some great resources. If you click the link at the top of the blog marked ‘How To’ you will see I have linked to online tutorials and given a description of how to prepare leaves for making string. How do these resources sound for a start?


  3. i continually bless Nalda Searles who so kindly shared this 20,000 year old craft with me. and i love the idea of you leaving random a trail of string (better than breadcrumbs) along your journey


    • I feel similarly grateful to the tutor from basketry SA who taught me and only wish I could remember her name. I hadn’t really thought of it as a trail of string, but it is! I went to a dear friend’s place yesterday for the first time, and there on the windowsill in the kitchen was some string looped around one of the pretty things she looks at when she washes the dishes. Made by her or made by me, I am not sure, but we’re sharers of the string….


  4. Rebecca

    Oh my! String has not yet entered my repetoire. But it must! It must!


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