Monday, 3 June 2013

Baskets


We have always used plastic sewing baskets to carry the dirty clothes to the washing machine. When we first started living together, we would make our trip to the laundromat with a couple of baskets of dirty clothes, some detergent, fabric softener and some kind of reading material to pass the time. I know it is hard to believe, but quite often Louise would prefer silence to me talking.

We grew older and became somewhat more affluent, buying our own washer and dryer so that we didn't have to spend a couple of hours at the laundromat. Louise still had to do the laundry of course, but she could do it in the comfort of her own home. I offered to do the laundry, but so far I have never been taken up on the offer. I suppose that it has something to do with a my more casual attitude to proper cleaning techniques than Louise’s. We had our own machines, but we continued to use the plastic laundry baskets. I think we made a foray into wicker once, but for some reason it didn't last too long. I think because it would snag the delicates.

Of course there are plastic baskets and then there are PLASTIC baskets. Not all plastic is the same. Initially we would have bought the cheaper variety, not being aware of the difference between plastic and PLASTIC, but eventually we learned that although the PLASTIC was more expensive, it was worth the investment in the life of the tub.

We have been together for close to forty years and many laundry baskets have come and gone. Everything has it's life span and laundry baskets are no exception. Plastic laundry baskets tend to develop cracks over time and those cracks just get larger and larger very fast, making the baskets next to useless in no time at all. You then have to go out and buy a new basket or three, because of course you want them to match. A couple of years ago one of the baskets developed a crack. I had just been reading about how the indigenous peoples would make birch bark containers by sewing them together. The article also went on to talk about how you can make boxes by drilling holes and stitching the sides to each other with twine or leather.

I figured if you can sew birch bark and wood together, there should be nothing to stop a guy from sewing the laundry basket back together. I drilled a number of small holes on either side of the crack and using telephone wire, I stitched the two sides together. It turned out to be much stronger than I thought it would be and has lasted to this day. Since then I have used the technique many times and each time I get a little better at it. It almost looks presentable now. I don't particularly care how it looks, just how well the basket performs.


I just had a thought. Tomorrow I think I will try to build a birdhouse by sewing the sides, bottom and roof on. Birds don't care what their house looks like, just as long as it keeps the cats and magpies out. If I actually do make the birdhouse I will put a picture in the blog and only those that have read this blog will know what the hell it is or why I included it.

I have a plastic basket that I use to collect the dandelions, grass and other weeds that pretty much lives outside in all sorts of weather. I noticed that it had developed a few cracks over the winter so I did a little repair work to give it a chance to serve me for another summer before it is put out to pasture in the Calgary City dump. 

Here are some pics of the tools and a progression of the job.







Well, it might not last for the whole summer. It might not last until next week, but at least it will look good when it gets to the garbage dump.

I found one of those Superstore bins that was broken and repaired it by sewing it together, and it is just as strong now as it was when it was new. Well, probably not, but it is plenty strong enough.




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