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Sunday, October 16, 2011

POST 477 -DAY 271 / 14 : MT. PLEASANT - AWANDAW, SO. CAROLINA

Last night's Blog took five hours to create...an enjoyable - tiring - 5 hours; the humidity will not allow my keyboard to operate, so I must use the Minni HP keyboard...hunt & peck system ...frustrating after many hours walking the roadways.

Sights such as the above private entry do help.




A rural BANK building.

A Pub & Grill...a popular way to refer to a restaurant.

US 17 has major construction under way North of CHARLSTON, SOUTH CAROLINA.

Walking thru construction is, I find, unusually dangerous. More than a half-dozen times today, vehicles brushed me completely away from the pavement...guess lots of folks are a bit up tight at the moment.

I hesitate to get started, but I have fully expected - and predicted - the unrest we in the USA ... indeed, the World ... are expressing due to polarization of wealth.

I mention it only inasmuchas it is being reflected in driving attitude, which DOES directly effect my safety out here on the roadways.

Construction of US 17 goes on for many miles...and still, no consideration is being given to a Bike Lane.



As anticipated, US 17 traffic is heavily congested.

WALMART expands Halloween displays.

A home along US 17.

and, another.

Now, this would be nice.

US 17 North of CHARLSTON is advertised by SCDOT as the SWEET GRASS BASKET HIGHWAY. Indeed, dozens of roadside stands stand along US 17...mostly empty at the moment..., but a few are manned showing dozens of elegant intricate Sweet Grass Hand Woven Baskets.

I stopped at two stands; one operated by Elizabeth...the other operated by Arthuree (Her Dad was named Arthur). Neither lady wished to be photographed.

Elizabeth and her two sisters do all the weaving for their baskets. Arthuree does all of her baskets.

Elizabeth's baskets. Sale Price ranges from $25.00 to many HUNDREDS of $$ for a single basket.

Some of Arthuree's selections.

Arthuree prices this creation at $550.00.

Elizabeth gave me a hands-on demonstration. This 6" basket took her 5 hours to weave and was priced at $25.00.

The "Grass" Elizabeth is using in the photograph is Sweet Grass. Sweet Grass is gathered by the men-folk by wading in knee-deep SWAMP waters, where the grass is pulled in bunches from the bottom - the roots remain to grow next year's crop.

The men wear hip boots with special reinforced lining to resist snake bites.

Before ready for weaving, Elizabeth cleans and dries the Sweet Grass two times. The grass is GREEN when gathered and gets it Golden color during the drying process.

Also used in combination with Sweet Grass are very long Pine Needles gathered some 50 miles North of CHARLESTON. Elizabeth is holding a few Pine Needles, which must be kept moist and pliable.

Pine Needles are a near-red color contrasting with the golden Sweet Grass.

A third raw material used in Sweet Grass Baskets is BULRUSH Grass obtained from the local "Low Country" marshes. Bulrush is pictured in the above photograph and below.


BULRUSH. Bulrush is a thicker darker in color grass used to give design highlights to the basket.

The final material used is the new tender leaf shoots from the Palmetto (Palm) Tree. Using a small sharpened and pointed broken spoon handle, the leaf is sliced into thin strips. These strips are the "bindings" used to hold the basket together.


SPIA is parked behind the camera on the bank of AWENDAW Creek.

Perhaps FACEBOOK has changed it's guidelines, but has registered no visits for the previous few Blogs...of course, perhaps there have been no visitors.

In the morning, will continue walking North on US 17...hoping not to be picked off by an irate motorist.

1 comment:

Aimee @ Just Kidding Around Atlanta said...

I really enjoyed the information on how the baskets are made. I have seen them before, but never realized how much work went into making one. Beautiful!

Please be careful - that doesn't look like a good road to walk on!!

I haven't seen you in my FB feed for the past few days, so I've come to your blog instead...not sure if something is going on with them not posting it the past few days?

Aimee