Flax, Flax, Everywhere!


Bleached flax top from Louet North America. Photo: Kate Larson.
One of Kate's current fiber infatuations: handwoven pick-up bands using handspun flax and wool. Photo: Kate Larson.


Do you ever have the experience of seeing something that you would love to learn more about everywhere you look? Flax seems to be following me this summer. While most of my spinning time is spent with wool (I am a shepherd, after all!), flax is a fiber that I would like to spend more time exploring. I've read Stephenie Gaustad's new book, The Practical Spinner's Guide: Cotton, Flax, and Hemp, and a strick of flax is already prepared on my distaff. I've even used some of my handspun flax in woven pick-up bands.



I'm not the only one head over heels for flax right now. Alison Yule hosted a flax-spinning workshop with the Birmingham & District Guild of Spinners, Weavers, and Dyers (England) in July, and students are learning about flax from seed to cloth at Vävstuga just this week. Have you ever taken a flax-spinning workshop?



The Great Flax Experiment has been an ongoing project in Lisburn, Ireland, which is also home to the Irish Linen Centre. They have been growing flax on the market square, and you can watch local farmers pulling (harvesting)the flax plot in a short YouTube video. Check out the museum's Facebook page to see images of the flax plot through the growing season.





And if your interest is as piqued as mine, here are a few more resources:


 Norman Kennedy's Spin Flax and Cotton DVD A Guide to Spinning Flax free eBook Spinning Plant Fiber Kit



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