I’m a bit anxious about our attempt to grow a garment. There is no lack of interest or enthusiasm but there is a lack of good quality flax. It’s been growing OK but there are many hazards involved in raising plants in public spaces – dogs, foxes, people, weather and weeds. Even though the flax grows quickly, unless someone is on hand to look after it, it can get swallowed up by (in a recent case) bindweed. This weakens and stunts the plant and I’m kicking myself for not checking the plots and making sure they were weeded. Last weekend I went to Daubeney Fields to pull up the crop there. Once again, it was a bright day in a beautiful spot by the river. It took us about an hour to pull the crop up, but it was a bit thin. Other harvests (notably at Saint Elizabeth’s School in Bethnal Green) have been great, so I can hope that our growers out there have been more careful nurturers than me. I have learnt my lesson.
The good news is that, via Twitter and a recent dye workshop, we have recruited some spinners – both experienced and novice. We have also been offered a spinning wheel by a very kind donor so we’ll just have to do it again next year.