Saturday, January 12, 2013

Exciting flax news!

The plans for the flax processing equipment have now been ordered from so that Martin Borden start making the brake, hackles etc that we will need in the fall.

I just wanted to share with you some more of the advice that Sara von Tresckow gave me about linen.

And keep in mind what I caution weavers beginning to work with linen yarn -
you will never teach linen anything - it needs respect and it requires you
to follow the basic rules of working with it - no tips and tricks. On the
other hand, I have found over many years that linen has taught me a great
deal about accepting those things that we cannot change and still creating
beautiful items with the fiber. I learned to love the fiber in N. Germany
where, as in many other European areas, linen is life - it is part of the
cycle of nature and the seasons - it is not something that needs to be
overanalyzed and tweaked - it is a gift from nature that needs our love and
respect - we need to prepare lovely textiles, launder them carefully, press
them well, make no damaging creases, caress them when we use them - and
NEVER put it in a tumble dryer for any reason
As someone who has woven with linen I can only agree. Linen is a very determined fibre and will do what it does. It isn’t like working with wool. In a battle of wills between the weaver and the linen, the linen always wins!

The exciting news is that the Parks Board have become very keen about the UWF2L (Urban Weaver Flax to Linen) project and have given us a small dedicated piece of land next to McLean field house to grow some on. Cindy, the wonderful gardener (and knitter, basketmaker) in McLean Park is looking forward to growing this new crop too! Thanks to Sharon Kallis, the powerhouse behind UW for being so enthusiastic and taking the project to new heights.

This means that Strathcona locals and visitors will be able to see the plants as they mature and grow and follow the harvesting and processing. Hopefully it will help inform people about the time and work involved to make the clothes they wear and get children keen to try growing some of the lovely blue flowered plants (in the ground or even in pots).

There’s also a possibility of more Parks Board areas being available this year for flax growing – but the PB themselves would be doing the growing. Look out for blue flax flowers in the summer when you’re visiting any park…...

And watch this space for more details!


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