When I travel I like to
collect stones or other small hard objects as a reminder of my trip. These stones tell a
story of how and where they were collected. I find it a wonderful way to recall the happy
memories of my experiences and the friends I met along the way. I try to collect a little
something every time I attend a basketry conference or extended workshop. The stone in
this pendant was collected at the National Basketry Conference, Tradition
and Innovation: Basketry Today held October 1999 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I found it
in a little stream running along side the Pi Beta Phi Arrowcraft Shop.
Attending this conference
was a present to myself that had double significance because the conference was such a
pivotal event in American Basketry history and because as a member of Pi Beta Phi myself,
it was a chance to revisit the renowned arts and crafts school that is the major
philanthropic project of Pi Phi. It was a marvelous experience that became possible in
part, because I received a Founders Scholarship from Northeast Basketmakers Guild. The
next time you take a trip, whether it is related to basketmaking or just a vacation with
your family, collect something and make a story stone of your own.
Using the technique of
knotless netting to encapsulate the stone with waxed linen thread in a variety of stitches, you can turn these small objects
into a necklace, pendant or other object. The technique can be expanded and used to
incorporate into your next basket project. Knotless netting is a traditional textile
technique that has a long history. Knotless netting is made of twisted threads with the
strands running through loops made by the previous strand to make meshes, without making
knots. It is also called needle lace and looping. The knotless netting stitches can
be simple or more complex.
- Collected object or small
- Waxed linen thread in two
- Small beads or other
- Wax or polish for stone
Supplies and Tools Needed
- Blunt Tapestry Needle
Procedure - Encapsulate The Stone
- Use the sandpaper to
clean up your stone.
- Rub the stone with wax or
polish and buff.
- Cut a length of waxed
linen several yards long.
- Thread the needle with
the waxed linen thread.
- Tie a slip knot at the
opposite end of the thread, leaving a small ring.
- Begin to stitch loops
into the original ring by going in front of the loop, then over the thread and back
through the newly created loop. Pull the thread so that the loop tightens, but does not
- Continue stitching new
loops around the ring placing your needle to the same side of the stitch each time.
- The number of stitches in
this first row will vary depending on the size of your object.
- Adjust the network of
loops to fit around the base of your object.
- When your loops finish
the first row take your next stitch into the first loop you formed to start a second row.
- Continue in this fashion,
adjusting the tension to conform to the shape of your stone.
Knotless Netting - Basic
- You may vary the stitch
in numerous ways including taking two or three stitches into the same mesh. You could work
several stitches in one mesh and then skip the next.
- You may need to increase the number of meshes to conform
to the shape of your object. Do this by taking two stitches into the same mesh.
Knotless Netting - Double
- In this case I wrapped the thread twice around the loop
forming the mesh before making the next mesh.
- Continue stitching until the entire object is covered,
adjusting the tension of the stitches as you proceed.
- Finish off with a small knot, leaving the ends to tie onto
the neck cord.
Procedure - Make The Neck Cord
- Cut four lengths of waxed linen in two colors to make a cord to hang your Story Stone from.
- The length of the cord will vary according to the intended
finished length, but it is wise to over estimate the length.
- Tie one end of all four ends of the thread together.
- Divide the four threads into two groups with one of each
color in a group.
- Secure the knotted end to something stationary.
- Hold two threads in each hand.
- Twist the two threads together between your fingers
imparting a Z-twist in each group of two threads.
- Once the threads are twisted tightly, reverse the cords from
your right to your left hand, passing the right hand over the left.
- Twist the threads in the separate groups of two threads to
impart additional Z-twist to each group.
- Again pass the cords from your right to your left hand,
passing your right hand over the left.
- Be certain to untangle the loose ends of the threads as you
- Continue this twist and pass step over and over until the
cordage is long enough.
- Tie off the ends of the cord so it does not untwist.
Procedure - Attach The Story Stone To The Neck Cord
- Tie the netted story stone onto the ends of the cordage
leaving short lengths of thread loose at the ends and the cord the length you desire.
- Thread small beads or other embellishments onto the loose
ends and tie them in an overhand knot to secure the beads.
- Trim any extra thread off a short distance beyond the knot.
Story Stone With Beaded
Do you use your
Knotless Netting In Your Work? - log on to the forum and tell us all about
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