When processing flax, most of it becomes tow flax - the shorter fibers that stay behind in the hackles when hackling the flax. So you have a lot of this shorter stuff, much of which is quite nice.
Lately, I've been hankering to use my tow flax and have been experimenting with blends. I made a small sample blend of flax, cotton and silk. I carded the fibers and spun it up into a few yards and then knitted a small swatch. It was very nice, but a cat found it during the night and took it off somewhere, probably the basement to its hidey-hole, so I don't have any pictures of that swatch.
I really liked the linen/cotton/silk blend, but decided I wanted to stick to all-plant-based fibers for a project I have in mind. So I tracked down some ramie, which is a bast fiber gotten from a type of nettle. I used my hand cards to make a small sample of a roughly 33/33/33 blend of flax, cotton and ramie. I spun the blend up into a few yards of a 3-ply yarn.
Below you can see the materials and the resultant swatch (click on the pictures to see them larger):
|Tow flax, cotton, ramie, and the blend in a knitted swatch.|
And here is a closer look at the swatch:
|Linen, cotton, ramie blend, approx. 33/33/33.|
The linen/cotton/ramie is also a very nice blend. The project I have in mind for it is the Leksak Lady, found on Ravelry. The pattern calls for worsted weight, which I think would be a bit heavy in this blend, so I'm hoping I can successfully alter the pattern for a thinner gauge of yarn.
I'm planning on dyeing the yarn with natural dyes, possibly goldenrod or tesu or onion skins for a nice golden yellow color.
Anyway, that's how I'm hoping to use the tow flax I have on hand right now. The resulting yarn should be comfy and breathable.