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Basket Weaving and More at the Montecito Library

Making Wicker Baskets: Just One Non-Book Thing to Do at This Santa Barbara Public Library Branch

Basket weaving is just the latest activity to find a home at the Montecito Library, where beginners and experienced weavers converge on the third Wednesday of each month.

“We’re a busy little library,” said Tatiana Johnson, who supervises this branch of the Santa Barbara Public Library system and also oversees knitting circles, art talks led by the Museum of Art, poetry groups, a New Yorker magazine group, Italian and German conversation circles, and even a Lego club. “It’s not just books.”

The basket-weaving class is led by an instructor who will guide you through a brand-new project or help you finish an existing one. Needles and raffia are at the ready as are extra materials for those who need them. There is no preregistration required, and it is open to all ages and skill levels, from beginners to lifetime weavers. “We had an 8-year-old who made a really cool wicker basket without any assistance really,” said Johnson. “He was really successful.”

During a recent class, Carpinteria resident Pattie “Pat” Murdy came with her own basket project already in progress. A chaplain with the Vietnam Veterans of America, Murdy is a fan of the library’s programming, so she decided to stick around for basketry after finishing the memoir-writing class earlier that same day. “It’s a great way for people to come together and make something,” said Murdy.

The room that day was absolutely abuzz with enthusiasm and an eagerness to create something out of nothing. “Every day is different. Every day is exciting,” said Johnson. “You might find a great book for them that they’ve been looking for, or you might find a class for them and really make their day that way … [With] the programming that we’re offering, I think we’re connecting the community.”

The Montecito Library is located at 1469 East Valley Road, Montecito. See its activity calendar at

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