A friend from Canberra, Donna, came to stay recently, and having heard that I’d been trying out basket weaving brought me an armful of New Zealand flax from her garden.
I’d done a bit of research on how to prepare it, mostly late at night when I couldn’t get to sleep. But when I went to find the instructions again the internet wouldn’t cooperate, so I had to do it all by memory.
I’m rather impressed with my memory (which is something I never thought I’d say) because I remembered them pretty well! There was a certain amount of just doing what felt right, as well. An hour or so of fiddling later, using pegs to hold things in place temporarily, we had these:
Donna’s is on the left, mine is on the right.
It was much faster to weave a basket this way than use the coiling method. However, you waste a lot of the leaves in getting pieces of an even width and length. I’ve kept the longer offcuts, which I’ll dry and then see if I can shred and use them for coiling.
A friend has offered me some flax she wants to remove from her garden. I have a spot I think it will suit. If all goes well, maybe in a year or two I’ll have my own supply.