Friday, July 12, 2013

Growing Flax

I finished my first home-spun project, a scarf made of wool from Alfred, my English Angora. I sent it to Peru with my daughter and can't find the picture we took before she left.

However, I have another fun fiber project I'm working on. Growing flax.

It's hard to see the little blue flower buds on top, but there are a couple there.

This is a  special flax that is grown for the fiber in the stem of the plant. I only have a few plants this year, but plan to collect the seeds and grow more next year. I'll have just enough stems to play with though.

The process of spinning flax into linen seems involved to me. I can't picture how you can ever get enough flax that is ready to spin into a piece of fabric. Evidently there are several steps that involve breaking down the fibers in the stem into something soft enough to be carded and spun. Sounds like alot of work and I don't know that I'll ever do enough to make anything, but I'm fascinated with different fibers.

What's funny is that I tell people I'm growing flax, and of course they assume I'm growing it for the seeds. That's a pretty reasonable assumption, especially since most people don't think about fiber coming from the stem of this plant. I didn't.

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