Monday, 21 July 2014

Basket Making at Freshwinds and and Evening Barn Dance

In my last post I told you all about our stay in the Tiny House at Freshwinds camp site.  The reason we had chosen that particular weekend to visit was for the reasons in my title.  James had booked me a place on their basket making workshop for my birthday.  It also just happened to be the same day as their annual barn dance to raise funds for Farm Africa, which we have both heard so much about but had not yet been to, so that would soon be put right.

I love baskets and if I'm honest had never really given it much thought about how they are made.  I was looking forward to learning all about it and can tell you now that I have completed the workshop I will never again look at a basket in the same way.

I was really pleased top discover that Jen from the blog Freshwinds Garden was on the workshop with her sister Paula.  I've followed Jen's blog since our first visit to the camp site so it was lovely to be able to spend some quality time with her and get to know her some more.  She has already blogged all about our workshop, you can read about it here.

I never imagined it being as difficult as it was.  It is very hard on your hands and in years gone by it was a trade for the men, it was thought that women were not strong enough to make baskets (I hate to say it but a part of me can understand why)  After making the base for the basket, I struggled to be able to push the pieces of willow in far enough to ensure a strong basket.  Thankfully John who was running the workshop was on hand to help out when needed.

There were so many different techniques needed to complete just a standard basket, the skill needed really is incredible.  The hardest part for me had to of been the rim of the basket.  I'm glad that came at the end of the day, I would have been really put off if it had of been the beginning.  I can't see it being a craft I will be taking on.  I'm glad I've tried it but I think I can safely say my basket making days are done.  

John was a great teacher, we all ended up with a completed basket.  the great thing with these craft workshops is even though everyone is making the same thing, they always turn out to be slightly different.  Funnily enough the four of us all ended up with the same colour pattern, not intentional, just how it turned out in the end :)

Once the workshop was complete me and James headed into Hastings to grab a bite to eat.  It was then time to head back and set up camp for the night before the barn dance started.  Accommodation was not as luxurious as the previous night, oh no.  We pitched up with a tent in the field with all the orphaned lambs, they seemed very taken with our tent, fortunately we still managed to get a good nights sleep.

I loved the barn dance, a lot more than I thought I would.  Once I got over the initial fear of dancing I actually really enjoyed it.  So much so that I didn't get any photos :(  Jen however managed to get loads so if you want to see more of this.........

Photo taken from Freshwinds Garden blog.

Then pop on over and read her version of things and take a glance at the rest of her photos here.

Back soon.

Gem x x x


  1. I so much agree with how hard this craft is and the diffferent patterns and skills needed. Great blog entry Gemma. See you again soon I hope.

  2. Hi Gem! Here Agnes from Holland again. What a lovely things you've done the last few weeks! And making your own basket,very nice. I'm into chrochet these days especially on my holiday on the island Vlieland.