Wednesday, July 31, 2013
We now have tubes you can use to rett your flax crop - and here's how to use them
We now have a couple of PVC pipes set up ready for anyone to rett their flax crop - thanks Sheska! Here's the link to how she made them and how she used them http://www.instructables.com/id/pvc-pipes-for-retting-flax-plants/.
So far she's the only grow-along who has retted, and from teh processing we did on Monday night it looks like her crop is going to produce better linen fibre than mine. It seems to be finer.
Meanwhile, Sharon has been spending time on Saltspring with someone who has been growing flax for herself for years and who has generously shared her knowledge with us. Seems that sorting your crop before retting is very important. More about how to do that here http://sharonkallis.com/2013/07/30/the-beauty-of-my-community/
Here's what the flax grower (Pat Davidson) had to say .. "sort the donated flax from thick and thin stocks- as retting times are different ( fatter = faster) ". There are lots of photos of Pat's linen weaving and her processing equipment on Sharon's blog, so I recommend you taking a look at what an expert can do!
So Monday night was full of 'firsts'. Three people spun flax on a drop spindle for the first time. For one of them (that's you Judy!) it was the first time they'd ever spun anything at all. Three other people processed flax for the first time in their lives, and Sheska wove a cloth sample with her own home grown, processed and handpun linen.
So three new flax spinners initiated, a new spindler taught, three flax processers produced and a flax grower sees the process through from beginning to end for the first time (and I suspect it was her first time weaving anything too)! Plus, we all learned a lot from seeing the great retting tubes Sheska made and these will get much use after the linen season is over for soaking willow and other basketry materials too.