A Traditional Wool Basket

Post date: Jun 14, 2012 1:8:45 PM

It is no secret that most artists do not make much money. But one advantage of being an artist is that you can sometimes barter for other artists' work that you could not normally afford. Recently, I bartered some felt for a traditional wool basket from Firefly Farms.

This basket is a traditional design used for drying wool. After the wool has been sheared, it needs to be washed and dried. The feet on this basket hold the bottom off the ground by about five inches and it allows air to circulate more evenly. The added air circulation helps to dry the wool faster. In the past, I have spread out my washed wool on old window screens to dry. That works great. But this basket is much more beautiful. And even if I use it mostly to drag my dyed roving around with me, it is a beautiful addition to my fiber collection!

The woman who made this was very pleased with my trade, apparently, because she made this for me as well.

For those of you who don't know what this is, it is an old ivory piano key onto which she scrimshawed a vine and my initial. On the side of the key, she burned a ruler which is for measuring your wpi (wraps per inch) when spinning wool into yarn. The wpi is a standard measurement used to indicate the weight of yarn (ie. sport, laceweight, fingering, worsted, etc.). This information is very valuable when picking out patterns and needles to be used for a project.

I love beautiful, handmade things. They make a life so enriched!