CA$ 12,872
pledged of CA$ 9,900pledged of CA$ 9,900 goal
263
backers
5days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 25 2018 11:40 PM UTC +00:00.

RavenBy Raven
First created
RavenBy Raven
First created
CA$ 12,872
pledged of CA$ 9,900pledged of CA$ 9,900 goal
263
backers
5days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 25 2018 11:40 PM UTC +00:00.

About

This Kickstarter is to pre-sell the book, Homegrown Linen: transforming flaxseed into fibre.

But it's more than that. It's also a proof of concept, to discover if people are interested in growing their own yarn sustainably, at home. It's the first in a series of short books that explore permaculture techniques applied to clothing.

Stretch Goal 1: CA$16,000

About this project

Homegrown Linen: Transforming flaxseed into fibre
Homegrown Linen: Transforming flaxseed into fibre

When I wanted to combine my love of yarn with my love of gardening, I looked everywhere for a book that would teach me all the luscious details of growing fibre plants. But there weren't any that focused on growing yarn sustainably and integrating it into a holistic, dare I say permaculture, system. All I could find were snippets here and there, most of them contradicting each other.

linen yarn
linen yarn

I finally concluded that the best way to learn was by growing the plants. I started with flax in the hope of one day holding in my hand my very own linen yarn. But the next obstacle quickly presented itself: in growing flax, I was told with great vehemence, one must only use the correct kind of seed for growing fibre. Regular flax won't do the trick. At the time, there was no fibre flax to be had anywhere. So I waited, I kept looking for that book that would give me the answer. I scoured seed catalogues from all over the world, seeking that golden seed that would solve all my problems. Five years I waited. I got tired of waiting.

growing flax
growing flax

 During this sojourn, I discovered permaculture. Now here's a neat thing, where I can live my life with nature rather than fighting against it - sustainability in its true meaning. Permaculture takes methods from the past, combines it with current knowledge, and allows us to grow food, clothing, and other elements of our daily life without harming the planet we depend upon. Pretty nifty stuff.

growing flax
growing flax

I applied these permaculture tools to flax and began experimenting with landrace plant breeding, different soils, microclimates, and eventually grew my own fibre flax without any fibre flax seed. About this time, seed companies started offering fibre flax again, so I grew that too. I learned through experimenting and observation (another permaculture technique: observe and interact), and I wrote all that I learned in a book.

growing flax
growing flax

This Kickstarter is to see if there is enough interest in growing flax to publish this book. The words are written, many rounds of editing complete, illustrations by artist extraordinaire, Tracy Wandling, are over half finished. I even have my very own ISBN number ready and waiting. All that remains are the finishing touches, and to pay for the printing.

scutching flax & spinning wheel
scutching flax & spinning wheel
creating the book
creating the book

If I'm writing a book about an eco-friendly topic, it only makes sense for every aspect of this book to be ecologically and economically sustainable. So I spent months talking to local printers and finally found one that is carbon-neutral. They helped me select the best paper and printing techniques that match my values. An offset printing run requires a minimum of 1,000 copies. That's a lot of books and a substantial financial investment. How many people are interested in growing flax?

Let's find out together.

What's in the book?

Homegrown Linen is approximately 100 pages, softcover, and perfect bound. There are 12 pages of full-colour images and the rest of the text is augmented with illustrations from the talented Tracy Wandling.

Discover: how to grow flax for fibre • how to adapt growing techniques to your conditions using permaculture techniques • how to create a personalized fibre flax variety • how to process fibre from flax straw • the tools • tips and tricks for working with linen • other uses for flax

Budget:

budget for homegrown linen
budget for homegrown linen

$6,250- printing cost for 1,000 books 
$2,000 - People fees (editors, illustrations, layout, that sort of thing)
$250 - extra reward cost
$500 - comedy, tragedy, or zombie attack buffer
$900 - 10% Kickstarter fees and other payments 
Total: CA$9,900

Timeline:

The goal is to have the editing finished before this Kickstarter ends; the remaining illustrations and layout finished in October; final proof ready in November; and off to the printer in late November early December, with a pre-release date of January, and everything ready to sell in the shops by my birthday in February.

The Rewards

Handwoven towels: If you select this reward, I will weave you a towel from European linen yarn with hand-dyed indigo stripes (hand dyed by me in my garden). They aren't woven yet, but they will look something like this with asymmetrical stripes.  Approximately 20" x 30" (50x75cm) when finished.

handwoven natural and indigo linen towels
handwoven natural and indigo linen towels

The Educator's Kit contains flax fibre, yarn, and fibre flax seed, grown and hand processed by me, all within 25 yards of my house. Plus a copy of the book, written by me, and printed nearby. It doesn't get much more local than that.

Educator's Kit - Flax to Linen
Educator's Kit - Flax to Linen
Learn to Spin reward
Learn to Spin reward

The Learn to Spin Kit contains a drop spindle; a bundle of processed flax that is ready to spin; instructions on how to spin, with or without a spinning wheel; and a copy of Homegrown Linen.

Botanical drawing of flax showing its different parts: leaves, blossoms, stems, and roots. This will be a printable pdf of an original drawing by Tracy Wandling.

Private forums:  

I have a top secret private forum available by invitation only, where I can post sneak peeks into future projects and answer questions about fibre farming. Hosted at permies.com

PDF excerpts:

We have three excerpts from the book available as PDF downloads

  • Flaxen Calendar - a pictorial guide to growing flax
  • Hand carding fast and easy  
  • How to dress a distaff with linen

The Book:

As part of the rewards, we are offering the book, Homegrown Linen: transforming flaxseed into fibre, at a special Kickstarter price. After the Kickstarter, the book will retail for CA$24.

Novelty thanks featuring your most creative name:

A public thank you with the name of your choice posted at permies.com, where we favour perennial discussion.

handspun linen yarn
handspun linen yarn

 About the Author

Raven Ranson lives on Crowing Hen Farm on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where she grows food, animals, and fibre for spinning, all in a natural, sustainable way. She has written about farming and textiles for magazines, and is the author of three blogs - Crowing Hen Blog, Trampled by Geese, and Whole Wheat Pastafarian.

She spends her time working on her farm, growing food, spinning and weaving, and writing about her love of fibre.

Crowing Hen Farm
Crowing Hen Farm
Raven Ranson and flax blossoms
Raven Ranson and flax blossoms

About the Illustrator

Tracy Wandling is a freelance graphic designer and watercolor artist, living on the west coast of British Columbia. Visit www.tracywandling.com to view her paintings and graphic design portfolio. 

Drawings from Homegrown Linen
Drawings from Homegrown Linen
Tracy Wandling and a couple of her paintings
Tracy Wandling and a couple of her paintings

Risks and challenges

There are always risks with any endeavour. To minimise risk, I've done as much as I can before coming to the Kickstarter community for help. The book is written, we are nearing the end of our editing phase, and many of the illustrations are complete.

The most significant obstacle left to overcome is the printing. I chose eco-friendly paper and printing methods, but the price for these are not as stable as standard stock. With the economic and political climate these days, not getting the book to the printer soon enough could mean a substantial increase in costs.

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Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    CA$
    About $8
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.77

    SEED!

    A dollar is like a flax seed. When we plant one seed in fertile soil, by the end of the season, it produces 50 more seeds.

    Thank you for your contribution.

    Includes:
    • PDF excerpt: Flaxen Calendar - a pictorial guide to growing flax
    • Novelty thanks featuring your most creative name
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    8 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $8

    PEEK!

    Ready for a sneak peek, eh? Here are three excerpts from the book Homegrown Linen in convenient PDF format as well as special access to a top-secret private forum

    Includes:
    • PDF excerpt: Flaxen Calendar - a pictorial guide to growing flax
    • PDF excerpt: Hand carding fast and easy
    • PDF excerpt: How to dress a distaff with linen
    • Novelty thanks featuring your most creative name
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
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    4 backers
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    About $8
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 20 or more About $15

    JUST BOOK!

    I just gotta have that book! No thrills. No gimmicks. Just send me the book damn it!

    Includes:
    • Physical copy of the book (CA$24 value)
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 30 or more About $23

    BOOK AND THANKS!

    I've set aside two pages in my book, and if this Kickstarter is funded, I'm going to put the name of your choice on one of those pages.

    Includes:
    • Physical copy of the book (CA$24 value)
    • Name of your choice on the thank you page in the book
    • PDF excerpt: Flaxen Calendar - a pictorial guide to growing flax
    • PDF excerpt: Hand carding fast and easy
    • PDF excerpt: How to dress a distaff with linen
    • Novelty thanks featuring your most creative name
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
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    74 backers
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    About $23
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 55 or more About $42

    THREE BOOKS!

    What's better than one book? Three books!

    An excellent choice for guilds, libraries, and people with friends. You save on shipping by buying three at once!

    Includes:
    • 3 physical copies of the book ($72 value)
    • PDF excerpt: Flaxen Calendar - a pictorial guide to growing flax
    • PDF excerpt: Hand carding fast and easy
    • PDF excerpt: How to dress a distaff with linen
    • Novelty thanks featuring your most creative name
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
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    About $42
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 95 or more About $72

    LEARN TO SPIN FLAX KIT!

    You want to spin flax now, none of this sitting around waiting for seeds to grow.

    This kit includes a drop spindle, 100grams of commercially prepared flax roving (fibre), an illustrated learn to spin guide, and a copy of Homegrown Linen: Transforming Flaxseed into Fibre.

    Includes:
    • Physical copy of the book (CA$24 value)
    • Learn to spin flax into linen kit
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (16 left of 25) 9 backers
    CA$
    About $72
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $76

    EDUCATORS KIT!

    This box kit is for educators, teachers, guilds, shops, and people who like playing with fibre. Includes one copy of the book, some flax fibre, a small length of yarn and other goodies that you can use to learn and teach about flax or set up a display at your local country fair, guild meeting, or yarn shrine.

    Limit 50

    Includes:
    • Physical copy of the book (CA$24 value)
    • fibre sample box with hand processed line fibre and carded tow
    • Novelty thanks featuring your most creative name
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 110 or more About $84

    HITCHHIKER RIDES AGAIN!

    The HITCHHIKER reward was so popular, all the towels went faster than Zaphod Beeblebrox running from The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (that's super-fast).

    By special request, three copies of Homegrown Linen, and a handwoven towel with hand dyed European Linen yarn, woven and dyed by Raven.

    Limit 20

    Includes:
    • 3 physical copies of the book ($72 value)
    • Handwoven Linen Towel (CA$60 value)
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
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    Limited (3 left of 5) 2 backers
    CA$
    About $84
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About $114

    THE POWER OF TEN!

    Shopkeepers rejoice. Ten copies of Homegrown Linen for the wholesale cost.

    Includes:
    • 10 copies of the book at wholesale price (CA$240 value)
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
    • Free Shipping to Canada
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 300 or more About $229

    TEN PLUS!

    Shopkeepers rejoice. Ten copies of Homegrown Linen for the wholesale cost.

    But wait! There's more!

    How would you like your shop's name and contact details in the resource section of the book? That's right, advertizing!

    Perfect choice for yarn stores, homesteading resources, magazines, and seed sources.

    Includes:
    • 10 copies of the book at wholesale price (CA$240 value)
    • special mention of your shop at the back of the book
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
    • Free Shipping to Canada
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  12. All gone!
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 40 or more About $30

    BOOK AND THANKS AND SEEDS!

    Everything in BOOK AND THANKS! and a packet of fibre flax seeds to get you started.

    Just add dirt.

    Includes:
    • Packet of Fibre Flax Seed!
    • Physical copy of the book (CA$24 value)
    • Name of your choice on the thank you page in the book
    • Novelty thanks featuring your most creative name
    • PDF excerpt: Flaxen Calendar - a pictorial guide to growing flax
    • PDF excerpt: How to dress a distaff with linen
    • PDF excerpt: Hand carding fast and easy
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 35 backers
    CA$
    About $30
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  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 75 or more About $57

    HITCHHIKER!

    DON'T PANIC
    Reading about it is not enough for you. Oh no. What you need is your very own handwoven linen towel. I am weaving these special just for you, with European linen yarn in natural and hand-dyed indigo.

    Limit 20

    Includes:
    • Handwoven Linen Towel (CA$60 value)
    • Physical copy of the book (CA$24 value)
    • Novelty thanks featuring your most creative name
    • access to a private forum about growing yarn and future books
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    CA$
    About $57
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