Thing-a-Day – January 2 – daylily cordage
Day 2 of the Thing-a-Day Challenge
Materials: dried daylily leaves
Keep it simple!! I am always – ALWAYS – trying to do too much.
I had hoped to make a basket today.
I have some great dried (overwintered) daylily leaves from my garden, easily 10 years old, that have been (again) sitting in my basement waiting to be used. Over the years, I have thrown some chopped up bits into flax paper pulp occasionally (makes a nice particle-board texture), but that will never use this stuff up. “Finally!” I thought, “I will use it to make a basket!”
Here’s the problem: I am not a basket maker. I just have always wanted to make baskets, but I have basically no experience. So, I thought I’d make a really small basket in order to make it in one day. I realize that this is totally doable, but the leaves (which I was smart enough to soak early this morning) are pretty stringy and I didn’t like the way they looked so ragged. Instead, I searched through some basketmaking sites online and decided to make some cordage (simply twisted/plied to make a thicker, stronger cord) to make a more substantial base material for my basket.
A few yards into it I had a revelation: Cordage is a thing, too! I could just make the cordage today and that could be the thing for January 2. Now that I had an excuse to stop, of course, I was determined to finish the basket as well. But the larger point is that making one thing is enough. It doesn’t have to be a finished, perfect thing. It has been fun to feel the soft fiber and smell the hay-like odor of the leaves as I twist the cords. This cordage could be useful for many other projects. I have learned a new (very simple!) technique. I have reused a material that could have gone in the trash (or at best the compost pile). The lesson for today is: “Slow down and enjoy the task at hand, no matter how small.”