Welllll, I know this isn’t really about knitting, but I’m getting such a huge kick out of this that I’m posting about it anyway.

When I went to Portugal last year, I had one mission when it came to a personal souvenir. Linen! Oh how I hoped to find some linen. I had these notions that we’d drive through a rural village and I’d find tons of linen all over the place. But as it turns out, apparently you’re supposed to… you know… “research” before you go someplace new! We had a lovely vacation, but we were actually in very urban surroundings for most of our trip. That being said, I did come upon something special in a little shop. A giant ball of hand-spun linen! (Or at least, what I can only assume is hand-spun, given the texture.)

linen

It wasn’t really what I had expected. It’s rather rough and untreated, very much like straw. Since it isn’t spun with any other fibers that I can tell, it is also very fragile and subject to break. I tried once to make Ryan a tie with it on my trusty (by trusty I mean finicky) knitting machine, but that only yielded a narrow piece of fabric that could pretty much stand up by itself. Yeesh!

So I tucked it away until just now, and decided it would be better used on my Ashford rigid heddle loom. Since it’s so fragile, I had no choice but to use crochet cotton in a similar shade for the warp (the vertical threads that act as the base for your weaving), and I used the linen for the weft (the horizontal threads that you weave back and forth). As I wove, I took a moment to pause and reminisce about that most wonderful trip with friends. There is really nothing quite like Portugal. Going back and forth, I remembered having regular cafes in the cobblestone squares. I remembered eating pastries in the morning since North American breakfasts aren’t exactly a thing in Portugal. I remembered the beautiful wedding, the music, the food, and the shopping.

I have decided to make something nifty out of it, so stay tuned for the final product!!!

woven linen