I'm repeating here what was posted on the 'about us' page but I think it needs to be here as well.
Linen is a pretty amazing fabric.  It's resistant to moths & carpet beetles, resists dirt & stains, has no lint or pilling tendencies, can be dry cleaned, machine washed or steamed and has only moderate initial shrinkage.
It come in natural shades of ivory, ecru, tan or grey but when scoured (washed & bleached) this natural colour will change.  It wrinkles easily but sometimes that is part of it's charm.  Just hang until dry.  If you need to, you iron linen when damp so with clothing it would be best hung up wet then ironed when it's dried a little.

Well, after all that work shown on the previous pages, we can finally get to do something with what we've produced.  We started off with one spinner & weaver - Beatrice.  That number has grown to 3 or 4 at the time of this writing.  Most of these spinners are also spinning wool so the linen production is not consistent but we produce enough to show people at our demonstrations what can be done with the linen thread we have worked so hard at producing.

This beautiful ball of linen thread was spun by Beatrice.  It's sitting on a linen placemat we picked up (a set of four) at a garage sale. Made in Sweden.

2012 Bea's  weaving
 I'm so impressed with this piece of weaving Beatrice is doing. At this time she was our only spinner/weaver.

Beatrice's linen table runner
The linen for the letters was dyed using arbutus bark and embroidered by Beatrice. It was such an exciting thing to see.  We all had a tiny part in the making.

Beatrice's woven linen table runner
Our first beautiful piece of linen cloth. The Flax to Linen table runner.  What a lot of work went into making that and it's just lovely.  Very proud of Beatrice for doing all that.     

2012 06 16 using leftovers
Beatrice made this little mat loom. Great for some of the waste that we can't spin. Stuff the top slot with the flax waste (or anything else - nettles, bamboo, sticks) tamp it down a little and cross the bobbins over each other to the opposite side,  and add more fibre. Great little thing.

2012 08 my first ball of linen
While some of us are weaving others are learning how to spin flax to linen.  Very proud of my first ball of linen yarn. With time I'll get better.

Ken & Beatrice weaving at Dickens Fair
This was our first time at the Dickens Christmas Fair. We were in the hall along one side. Quite a few people were there. We couldn't bring all our loud and messy processing equipment which meant we had time to go look around at all the other great things that are always at a Christmas Craft fair.

2012 12 01 our table at Dickens
These are some of the things we have on our demonstration table at markets and craft fairs. One group of flax stricks shows some of the different colours of flax stricks depending on growth, harvesting and retting - these were the 2010 & 2011 grown flax which was retted in different peoples back yards etc. The dark one was over retted and makes a beautiful silvery gray but apparently over retting can weaken the fibre.
A binder showing some samples of linen paper we made, a picture book of our year with growing and harvesting the flax, a flax cushion, a mat, tinder bundles, etc etc.

Always trying to find uses for the fibre and straw that can't be spun.  The very worst of the years useless by product went for stuffing scarecrows in the fall and chicken beds.  The buckets of little bits of boon made garden paths. It is too acidic to put on the garden and doesn't break down easily.   Got rid of it all anyway.

2012 12 01 Brenda at Dickens
 Having Brenda there spinning linen from the flax on her distaff is a big draw. It's beautiful to watch.

2013 01 my first 2ply

This is two balls of spun tow plied together to make 2 1/2  bobbins of 2ply linen thread.

2013 08 10 from JBM post
Another James Bay Market photo. Beatrice is weaving some linen to make book marks. Very involved pattern. She made 10 or 12 bookmarks to share with the core group and the pattern is amazing.

2013 12 24 linen thread
My latest spun long line thread.  Getting better.

2013 12 24 wash cloths & scarf
I keep crocheting wash cloths because they are quick to do and I can practice different things like plying, dying, weaving, knitting, and getting the edges straight.  Linen makes great wash cloths. The whitest one is a single thread, not dyed but washed and used many times. It is so soft. The more you wash and wear natural  linen the whiter and softer it gets.   The striped item is my first weaving - Oh my - watch those edges!!    The large loopy item on the right is a scarf and was knitted using a large plastic pegged knitting circle.

2013 12 24 different dyes
Trying different natural dyes and mordants.

2013 - Bookmark by Beatrice
Beautiful design. Awesome job.
2013 11 18 plying two colours
The long line linen thread was dyed using the trees from the boulevard in front of my house. Used alum & vinegar, didn't like it,  still not right, more alum - not yet, put some wild rice in a mesh bag and simmered that in the mix. The red from the rice made it more to my liking. Kind of fun mixing in different things like a mad scientist.  Never know what you are going to get.

1 comment:

  1. 2016 - Sorry I've not been keeping up with information for this blog. I'm finding it difficult to use at times but my forgetter is working perfectly.
    We will mostly be at Saanich Peninsula Country Market this year and the Spring and Fall events and Heritage Acres aka: Saanich Historical Artifact Society. Am hoping to add a picture here of a new item that will be on the show and tell table soon.