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Foraging and basketry tools

Here is my basket making tool kit.  It's minus it's tape measure actually, but never mind! NB:  The basket at the top I didn't make!  I use it to store everything in.  

In the picture there is... a lap board for working on, a cutting board, secateurs (kept sharp at all times), a good knife, cow horn with tallow and sisal in (for greasing my bodkin) and next to that the Little things basket I woved to keep it in.  My lovely weights for holding the basket down while I weave.  (I got the cast iron pot lid from a car boot sale and it's perfect!)  The red snips next to my secateurs are for cleaning up the basket when it's finished and they're brilliant at the job - much better than secateurs.  The bits of bent willow on the chopping board are my handle liners.  I shove them in while I'm weaving to leave a space for the handle bow to go into.

Im working on a basket making tutorial at the moment.  Here's a couple of pictures from it...

This shows how I insert the base sticks using the bodkin to keep the slits open.  It's a great way to put the sticks in without damaging the bark.

Here's a giant base I've been working on today.  

I took my camera today to get some spring shots!  This is Butchers Broom.  Below is the flower of the Butchers Broom.  The buds spring from the middle of the underside of the leaves.  

Below is the Scarlet Elf Cap.  It's all over the woods where I live and it's gorgeous.  Like little precious gems scattered about the place.

I love Celandine, so here it is...

This is my first ever this year ever Blue Bell Bud!!!!!!!

Below is cleavers or sticky willy where I'm from.  At this stage you can pinch off the tips and put them in your salad.  They're scrummy - a bit like Granny Smith apples.  A salad with some of these in, some chickweed, ramsons and anything else you fancy makes you feel almost healthy again!



  1. I've tasted cleavers before. And supposedly the seeds can be roasted into a coffee.

    Those elf caps are cool when they collect water.

    The basket weaving is like walking the spiral labyrinth.

  2. Its so lovely to see the spring plants. The butchers broom is really interesting with its little flowers under the leaves, I have never seen anything like that before.

    Your basket making supplies look like a hardy lot of tools. They sure do make beautiful baskets (well maybe you have a bit to do with that too.... hehe).

  3. Yay for sticky willy! I think it was only when I was studying herbal medicine a few years ago that I realised sticky willy and cleavers were the same thing!

    Lovely basket work - I can almost smell the willow through my monitor!

  4. Bernie, I didn't know you could do that with the seeds! There's so many of them by the middle of summer I'll give that a go.

    Stacey, Those flowers are replaced with bright red berries by the end of the year, the plant is awesome - do you get them over where you are?. Funnily enough the plant makes excellent brooms too. Although there's never been enough of it around for me to want to make one. :)

    Someone once said 'You're only as good as your tools'... hmmmmmm.... :)

    Mara, :) We used to have so many games with sticky willy as kids! How much could you get on someones back without them noticing!!! heeee heeeeee!!!!



  5. Aren't other people's tools lovely? I think it is so important to work with beautiful equipment. I wish we had your scarlet elf cups.

  6. I love your pictures and that tutorial is going to be great!

  7. I particularly like the lap board, jolly useful I expect for preventing you from lacerating your femeral artery and thus bleeding to death before you've finshed your basket!

    I love cafts like this,it must be so satisfying. I used to weave (rugs) but just didn't have the patience for it. Loved the designing but became frustrated with the making!

  8. Lovely set of photos - you are way ahead of us on the spring flower front. I've never seen or heard of the Scarlet Elf Cap before - but I love both the look of it and the name. I wonder whether it's a type of fungus that only grows in certain areas of the coUntry?

  9. We do not have that plant over here. It looks pretty neat though. I think it would be fun to make a broom out of any of the many "broom" plants. Maybe one day, just to see how it works.


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