Pondering getting into making baskets again. It's kind of a unique craft, and the baskets turn out so pretty afterwards.
This is a pine needle basket I started and stopped a couple times over several years. You can see where I ran out of certain colors of raffia and had to switch.
I'd like to try using waxed linen as the stitching, because a lot of people use that and it seems to work well. And it comes in lots of colors. I wonder if I could find it at a craft store? I even saw one where the lady had used copper wire to make a really tough basket for daily use.
My problem with raffia is that it eventually dries out and cracks, so the baskets don't seem to last as long. I made my mom one for Christmas a few years ago, and I've noticed that it's started to unravel a little. I think I should have made sure to tie all my new strands in knots, rather than just try to weave it in. (Raffia is actually the fiber from a certain kind of palm tree.)
Here's instructions on how to use a gourd as a base: http://www.americangourdsociety.org/slideshow/pineneedles/print.html
This appeals because my mom has a whole trash bin full of cured gourds, just begging to be used.
And here's a neat blog with nifty baskets and designs. I'm getting ideas from them.