Roosters and Flax

The sun was out again today, and the roosters were looking magnificent.  We have four now which I think is the most we have ever kept.  But they all seem to be getting along, each with its harem.  We do have more hens than usual too so that helps.  This is Big Orange, looking regal with his white tail feathers

This is Little Orange, looking dapper and healthy.

We do not have a name for this one yet.  I believe he is a Columbian Wyandotte.  Any suggestions?

And this is Dirty White Boy (DWB) enjoying the sun with his large harem.

I was thinking about carding wool today, but because the weather is so nice I decided I should choose an outdoor activity.  Consulting my to-do list, I noticed that process flax was on it.  The next step with the flax I grew last summer is to break it.  But I need I brake to do that.  The one I used in my failed attempt to process nettle from 2014 has gone missing.  Likely the wood was repurposed.  So I nicely asked Tom if he could make me a flax brake.  He looked at the photos from this post and started making me one.

He is demonstrating the action of it.

So I pulled out the dried retted flax and the brake and got going.

It was almost miraculous.  I crunched the stalks on the left, and beautiful fiber came out on the right.  It was so amazing. The weather turned a little windy which was good because it helped blow away the debris which is called shives or boon.

While I was doing this, I was feeling somewhat medieval.  Then I got to thinking about my great great grandmother in Northern Sweden and presumably her ancestors doing the exact some thing I was doing (back to the Vikings).  I was also wondering if Alice did some similar here on Jarmin Prairie with nettles. It was wonderful feeling somewhat connected to history.

For all my efforts though, I only got one pound of material.  And there are still woody bits in it so the resulting fiber will be much less.  The next step will be scutching and then comes hackling.  Wish me luck!

P.S. We noticed this tree growing amongst the cedars that were planted by the previous owner.  It has white flowers and an interesting bark with a forked trunk.  We do not know what it is.  Any ideas would be appreciated.

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6 Responses to Roosters and Flax

  1. Jeanne says:

    How about George AKA Gorgeous George, for that beautiful rooster!?! 😀
    I have no idea what that beautiful flowering tree is. I wish I could help.
    The flax project is fascinating! Its quite a bit of work, though.

    • Donna says:

      We have a name for the rooster (before your reply). It’s Rodney. The flax is a lot of work. You can appreciate how much went into the clothes of our ancestors.

  2. Jeanne says:

    Can you get a closer picture of the flowers and the leaves on that tree?

  3. Denise says:

    wow. the flax process is so cool. amazing transformation using the brake!

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