Thursday, September 11, 2008

pulling the flax

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Manise had asked if the flax I was spinning in the previous post, was the flax I have harvested from my garden. The answer is no. The flax I was spinning came from Belgium. It was lovely! I dream of have such good results with the flax from my garden!

I am still pulling my flax. Pulling it at different intervals is necessary, it is not ripening at once, and I am experimenting and keeping notes. I have been making sheaves of several handfuls, a little larger than a quarter, no bigger than fifty cent sized bundles.

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I tie them together with a farmers knot, using smaller strands of flax.

While pulling, I think of how beautiful these plants are, and I am grateful for the harvest of my small plot. One can only imagine how important a good crop of flax must have been to our ancestors.

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When I have many sheaves, I carry them to the south side of the deck, where they hang to dry.

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The sheaves look beautiful to me when the sun strikes them. Once they are dry like hay, I will ripple the seed heads.

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I finished pulling the flax a few days ago. With the smaller bits that were left in the field, I made a flax maiden.

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She will guard over the retting process (and next years field), and hopefully make sure everything turns out just right! After all this work and time, if the flax is not retted correctly, all will be lost!


The Gingerbread House said...

How wonderful is that! A beautiful lesson with great pictures....
Thanks for the effort,Ginny

Gertieanne said...

I love and look forward to your post, when I see them in my google reader it is the first thing I click on.

Beautiful Maiden


pacalaga said...

Wow! Part of me reads this and thinks, COOL! And part of me reads and thinks, "Thank god for the industrial revolution and linen pants from Lane Bryant." LOL

Tameson said...

Beautiful! Makes me want to plant some. With all this wool I have here, that I can't keep up with yet anyway, I'm better off concentrating on my dye plants.

PS the maiden is beautiful too.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

So much work and to think that it might be for naught. I would be a nervous wreck.

Your flax maiden looks like you, beautiful.

Judy said...

So have you named your flax maiden? The guardian of the retting and future yeilds should have a name.

Anonymous said...

Name the maiden....."Millie"

Sharon said...

Really interesting! I know nothing about flax, I don't think it was probably ever grown here in Australia.

Look forward to seeing posts on the further processing involved.

Valerie said...

What a beautiful, inspiring post! Thank you!

Cathy said...

Amazing amazing amazing.

You know, I come here to be inspired and you have yet to fail.

The flax maiden alone makes my day.

Joanne said...

Cathy is right, your entries are amazing. Go flax maiden go! Make beautiful flax! Ret ret ret! :) (see, a flax cheerleader...) Also, your comments on my blog are always so wonderful and cheering. I owe you an email; I'm just swamped with life right now. I'll rest my eyes over here a little while to celebrate flax with you instead!

Tam said...

The flax maiden is beautiful!

spinpygora said...

This is fascinating! I had, several years ago, wanted to do this whole procedure: from growing my own flax to spinning it. Must be my Irish heritage showing. But work & life got in my way, so I never did do any of this. I'm hoping you continue to document your journey so the rest of us can enjoy it through your wonderful photos and words! Thanks for such great posts.

Linda said...

You have no idea what an inspiration you have been for me. It started with the You Tube great wheel video ... then the triangle loom video... then the blog.. ;o)

I have awarded you the I love your blog award... sincerely meant...

Artis-Anne said...

Oh my what stunning photos and an inspiring post. Thank you, you have made my day

bunches of yarn said...

Happy 5th blogaversary! I'm posting here since I could not find the comment line in your post above.

I've been coming to your blog for over 10 months and have never left a comment.

I really like to hear of your adventures and all your accomplishments. I found you when I was looking for wheels, and was captivated by the music in your walking wheel video. I sometimes play the video just to hear the music.

All this flax will give you lots of fiber. I'm looking forward to seeing the whole process.

flaxspinweav said...

I am flabberghasted that you hang your sheaves of flax just under the south side of the roof, hanging from a suspended rod. That's exactly what I do! LOL

But I would like to learn how to make the flax maiden, too. Did you just make it up or have some instructions to follow.

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