3. Long leaf pine needles with caps still attached
Single Needle Pine Needle Coiling on Hard Shell Gourd
1. Soak Pine needles in boiling hot water for 30 minutes. Wrap in towel and let set overnight. Pine needles will remain moist and pliable for three to four days. Desired moistness of needles depends on personal preference. However, if the needles are too wet the stitches will become loose when needles dry. Moist to dry needles secured with a firm stitch will create a firm coil.
2. Pierce holes in rim of gourd approximately 3/8 inch from rim edge and 3/8 inch apart. (Use your "little" finger for a guide). Wider spacing (width of index finger) is required for insertion of two needles. These instructions are for the insertion for one needle per stitch.
3. Thread artificial sinew through needle. Select the front of your piece, then select a starting place 1/4 a turn back to the left. Tie a starting knot by inserting the needle from the outside through a hole and pulling the thread to the inside; bring the threads up near the end of your thread and tie a knot. Position the knot on the inside of the gourd.
4. Begin coiling by holding a pine needle against the rim between two holes and stitching a stitch across the fascicle (cap) and into the next hole. This will create a diagonal stitch across the fascicle.
Moving from right to left, continue around the rim adding a pine needle each time you make a stitch. Place each needle below the previous needle and with the needles angled upward slightly to create a smooth coil.
5. When you reach the beginning of the first coil, begin the second coil by placing the needle on top of and even with the first pine needle. You will insert the sewing needle into the same hole of the first stitch.
Continue to stitch into the hole for three to four stitches until the coil builds enough to allow you to insert the sewing needle between the pine needles of the coil and secure it to the coil. To lock the stitch and create uniformity, insert the needle on the left side of the stitch that preceded it on the coil below.
6. When you run out of thread, make a loop knot by inserting the needle back under the stitch and pulling the knot snuggly to the back side of the coil. Then insert the needle back through the coil toward the front, being careful to go between the needles rather than piercing a needle. Cut the end thread close to the pine needle coil and if visible tuck in with the tip of the sewing needle.
Begin the next stitch by tying the thread to the next stitch in the coil beneath and pull the knot through to the inside between the two coils to the right of the stitch. Take the second stitch by coming over the coil, crossing over the added pine needle and inserting the needle over (to the left) of the stitch of the coil beneath it.
7. When your coil reaches its starting point, you will have two rows of pine needles placed
completely around the rim. Continue to stitch as previously without adding pine needles,
rolling the coil toward the inside. As you continue this process, the number of needles will thin and you will continue to make stitches securing the ending coil toward the inside until you run out of needles.
Tie off the thread pulling the knot to the inside and securing the end by pulling your thread to the front side of the coil, coming between pine needles. Snip off this end thread close to the coil and tuck any thread that is visible. Tuck or snip any pine needles that look untidy.