Grow linen yarn sustainably and organically. A book for homesteaders, gardeners, and yarn lovers.
Discover: how to grow flax for fibre • how to adapt growing techniques to your conditions using permaculture techniques • how to create a personalized fibre flax variety • how to process fibre from flax straw • the tools • tips and tricks for working with linen • other uses for flax
Where to get it?
Our kickstarter has ended. Thank you, everyone, for your support. The book will be available for sale once the Kickstarter rewards are fulfilled. Keep watching this thread for updates.
We are not taking waitlists for individuals at this time, however, if you are a retail outlet, we are taking pre-orders (payment due when the book ships) for wholesale customers.
I seriously love this book. Tracy's illustrations are not only beautiful, they are also simple and do a fantastic job of visually explaining what Raven's writing about. I first read this book in it's nascent stages, before there were illustrations. And, while Raven's words do a marvelous job of explaining things, the illustrations add so much. I love Tracy's detailed, uncluttered artistic style that compliments this books so well, both in feel and appearance.
Raven's writing style is a delight to read. It's fun and quirky and so informative. The first time I read this book, I was half asleep, nursing a baby, and it was midnight, and I had no real prior knowledge of flax or linen. I wasn't even that interested in reading about linen. Until I started reading, that is! Her writing style kept me awake and learning and wanting to read more.
She takes something that seems overwhelming and impossible and makes it not only do-able, but also desirable. Before reading this book, I was not really interested in flax/linen, and really had no desire to grow my own, let alone spin it. But, well, now I've read the book, and there's flax seeds on the way, and I think I might just find a patch of soil to grow my own flax! Maybe I'll even get some flax seeds from the grocery store, like Raven suggests, and add them to the other seeds and start my own landrace.
Raven literally takes you from seeds, to growing, to harvesting, to retting to carding and spinning. And, the fact that I can rattle off all those steps without a second thought is a true testiment to how wonderful this book is.
This book is a must-have for:
Anyone the slightest bit interested in fibre arts (like knitting, sewing, weaving). I love to knit and sew, and this book has me wanting to experiment with flax. It's cooler than cotton!
Anyone who wants to be prepared for "The end of the world as we know it." It's a perfect resource to have on hand, "just in case."
Anyone who's interested in history. I LOVE all the historical tidbits she added to this book!
Anyone who just wants an interesting book to read that will also teach you cool stuff
I give this book 9 out of 10 acorns!
HOMEGROWN LINEN Transforming flaxseed into fibre by Raven Ranson is an excellent resource for making the transition from spinning wool to spinning flax.
The terminology used to talk about flax was unfamiliar to me and I am glad Raven gave good definitions of words as she used them, and provided a glossary in the back. Linen has been woven since at least 3500 BC, so there are words for every bit of the process, that once they are explained make perfect sense, but are mildly intimidating to start with as they are unfamiliar.
This book starts with how to grow and harvest your own flax, including a lot of things I found fascinating, like fiber flax and seed flax are the same plant, but historically have been grown differently. I understand now why it was grown differently, and where it would grow best on my property for either seed production or fiber production. Understanding WHY things are done is important to me, and through the whole book not only does she teach what to do, but why it has been done that way, so changes can be made to the process depending on local conditions. Permaculture teaches us to adapt our techniques to local conditions, so I like understanding the reason behind the historical and standard techniques that are taught, so I can adapt it to my own circumstances.
Turning the harvested flax into fiber, and the techniques for working with it to spin it into thread are explained clearly, and all the unfamiliar terminology was quickly not strange anymore. Raven’s extensive experience with fiber processing and spinning shows, as she explains what it feels and looks like when done right, the possible errors, and how to correct them. It’s like taking a class from an excellent instructor, without having to travel to do it! That means a lot to me, a lot of people have good skills, but do not communicate it well in a book, and it frustrates me to read a book and feel I still don’t know how to do it. That is not a problem here, and I expect that anyone who has spun and wove other fibers will be able to spin flax immediately, all you need to know is there.
Another thing I liked was discussion of making paper out of flax, I know linen paper is excellent, and I may make some to try with my artwork. And I admit, I giggled at what NOT to do, I won’t kill a blender now, Raven sacrificed hers so I won’t have to ruin mine.
All in all, an excellent, educational book written by someone who knows their craft well, and illustrated beautifully by Tracy Wandling, and very much worth reading! I’ll be growing flax soon!