Thursday, March 20, 2008
Linen gathers light, holds it and gives it back.
Though the growing season is short in Sweden and Finland, the light is long, and nearly continuous, under summer's midnight sun. I think flax grown in the short summer, long on light makes the fibers long, and the yarn lustrous. I love to weave with this linen.
In the pictures I look at of the oldest houses in Sweden and Finland, I see transparent light filtering handspun, handwoven linen panels, hung at the windows, and from the center ridge beams of the house to the outside wall. The effect is a tented ceiling of soft, light reflecting linen. In their long, dark winters, handwoven blankets and rugs of wool provided necessary warmth on beds and floors, and warm clothing.
But I think linen's effect was more important. I think it uplifted spirits, by amplifying what little light came in, giving back the summer sun it absorbed, and a reason to survive. Because they did survive, I am here weaving in Avalanche.
Robins sang cheerily early this morning in the spruce tree, but a blizzard is coming again tonight!