SCHUYLKILL HAVEN — “It’s basically a hobby that got way out of hand.”
Lorraine Felker, of the Lewistown Valley, has been weaving baskets ever since she took a class 23 years ago, and she’s bringing her own classes back to the Walk in Art Center two years after the height of the pandemic.
“It’s such a traditional thing,” she said about making Easter baskets, which are made from reed — the inside of the rattan vine. She made baskets for all of her children and grandchildren. Her children, who are now in their 30s and 40s, still have their handmade baskets from when they were little.
The return of Easter basket classes has been so well received by participants that additional classes are being added.
Felker credits the surge in interest to people’s “anxiousness to get out and do things,” as more and more face-to-face classes return.
“I have my very first basket at home. I won’t let anybody see it because it was not good,” she said.
Although they seem fragile, Felker stressed that the baskets are durable, practical and long-lasting with proper care.
The baskets have uses that stretch far beyond Easter.
Felker uses her creations as shopping bags, bread baskets, letter holders and general storage. Baskets even have a place on Pennsylvania farms, where they can be used to collect eggs or carry crops.
The skill of basket weaving is also transferable to other disciplines. Felker sees the skills and patterns of basket weaving carry over to her knitting, loom weaving and felting.
“I am creating something out of nothing, which is just so satisfying,” Felker said.