Basket hummingbird nests
Another set of baskets, tiny ones, woven from pampas grass.
They’re rough, but entertaining to make. Who knows, maybe I’ll find nooks in trees and tuck them away for hummingbirds to find. They take about 10 minutes to make.
Take a half-inch wide six-foot long blade of pampas grass:
Strip it into three bands, one rib down the middle and two wings:
Break off three seven-to-eight inch strips. Take the tail of the remaining ribbed band and set the other three strips on top arranging them into a star. You always need an odd number of ribs, here we’ll have seven, which means the tail of the remaining ribbed strip will then be wound around the others to start to form the bottom.
Keep winding until the strip becomes too narrow and weak to use. Wrap it as best you can around the ribs, tucking in where you can. Then take one of the wing bands and begin weaving it following the same pattern, over under, over under. Having an odd number of ribs allows the pattern to never duplicate.
Begin to bend the ribs as you wind. You’ll exhaust the first band and end up using the second until it’s depleted. As you near the end of that strand, wrap it around and tuck it in as you can to self-seal the basket from unwinding.
Then bend over the ribs and tuck them into the wrappings.
As we walk around the neighborhood, various pampas grass mounds, massive, knife sharp things cast off their decaying stalks and blades. I pick a blade, one per walk, and weave as I go.
There are a few good videos on youtube that illustrate this technique. And there are other materials that work too: https://anonymole.com/2018/09/23/baskets-are-easy-and-fun/
It’s silly stupid shit like this that lets my mind blend into white noise. When I’m working with my hands, my brain seems to turn off. Of course, once I get into it and the rhythm of the motions, the whirling starts back up and I’m once again drifting over deserts, seas and forests, or meandering down ancient cities, or forgotten ruins.
[Here’s a two blade basket:]