accessories wardrobe

Adirondack Pack Basket + Weaving with Andie Foxglove

While staying in Portland last summer, I noticed an old friend of mine, Andie Foxglove, had started a business, UrbaNomad Weaving Co, selling her handwoven Adirondack pack baskets on Etsy. Basketweaving is a skill I’ve always wanted to learn, and upon realizing she also offered workshops, I quickly sent her a note asking her if she was interested in a skills trade. She had only used her sewing machine a few times, mostly making nests out of thread on the wrong side of her fabric, so she hopped on the opportunity to learn how to sew. She told me the Adirondack pack would take 1-2 days to complete, so I offered her a longer pattern, the Collins Top by In the Folds (a pattern that I’ve made twice before!) as compensation. I wanted to make sure she walked away with several skills and accomplishments, even as a beginner, and she did!

The basket itself is made out of hand-dyed reed; we used the same dye bath for the entire lot of reed, and as each batch came out of the pot, the dye became more and more diluted, creating a subtle ombré effect in the saturation of the dye color. The reeds were then soaked for a short time for easier manipulation before being woven into the basket. Each row of weaving has to be pushed down with your fingertips like you would with a heddle in traditional fibers weaving, so by the end of the couple days of weaving, my fingertips were calloused and sore— but the finished product was entirely worth it! I love having a base knowledge of basketweaving and I love my Adirondack pack basket even more.

The straps were sourced from Oregon Leather Company in Portland. The proprietor does a wonderful job of sharing his knowledge and helping with problem solving. He very graciously cut us new straps of leather when we couldn’t find the color we were looking for and helped us decide on what type and size of rivets to use on the straps. This was also my first project using “hardware”, and not surprisingly, punching holes into leather and hammering hardware was a super cathartic process.

While I don’t have many in-process photos (most of them were taken on my iPhone in the too bright sunshine of Portland summers), here are shots of my end product (taken by Lindsay Beaumont); a beautiful, hand-dyed, hand-woven ombré pack basket with nude leather straps.

Reed and dye sourced by Andie
Leather and rivets from Oregon Leather Company
Buckles from Mill End
Photography by Lindsay Beaumont; see another collab with her here.

Andie will be teaching an Accessory Basket making workshop on the evening of May 11, 2018 at Shout House in Portland. The Accessory Basket looks like a miniature version of the Adirondack Pack Basket sans the straps and hardware, and is a great way to dip your toe into the world of basket weaving. The cost is $49, including all raw materials, and each participant will leave with a small accessories basket and a basic understanding of the weaving process, vernacular, and tools.

I couldn’t recommend Andie more as a teacher; she’s patient, flexible, and enthusiastic in helping you walk away with the basket you want!

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