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Tricia's Rough Linen August 2016 Newsletter

August 02, 2016

With apple season upon us, it’s time to start baking apple-everything! I love making these Apple Rose Tarts – they make any occasion an occasion.
We got together with these darling little girls to show how it’s done (and to photograph our pinafores in the process).  What fun we had!

Our Charcoal Tea Towel looks so elegant draped over the marble ~

I first discovered Apple Rose Tarts at The Kitchn (Apartment Therapy), and had to try them with local apples. Perfect for a summer party – convenient like cupcakes, but unexpected and far prettier. They pair perfectly with vanilla ice cream or a chilled rosé. 

I wore my Charcoal Pinafore ( I practically live in this thing!) and the girls each wore theirs – the younger in our new St. Barts Blue and the older one in Smooth Natural.

I have my own version of this recipe of course:  No cinnamon, and dark Oxford marmalade as the best preserve for brushing. Make sure to roll the pastry very thin so it cooks through, which also makes more little pies, I'm not silly. 

We have put together a video so you can see how it’s done. Try it yourself, or with your children or grandkids  – the apples are abundant this time of year, and just waiting to be transformed.

It was such a pleasure for me to bake these with the girls, in time for their parents’ anniversary. They loved rolling the pastry, carefully placing the apple slices, and marveled at the beautiful little rose that appeared once the pastries were rolled up. So much fun to see them working so diligently – even the little one got the hang of it with some help from her sister.
If you are new to Rough Linen, let me introduce Daiva – my right-hand-woman. Daiva is from Lithuania, home of our Myriad fabric, and she recently spent some time there visiting family, and doing some sourcing for us.
Here is one of the fields she came across. Isn't there something beautiful about a field of flax?  It looks almost heartbreakingly fragile, and yet the fibre is so strong. Click here to see a gorgeous little video of this very field, blowing in the wind.

See the storm clouds overhead? The flowers close in shade, open only in direct sunshine so Daiva was happy to catch this break in the rain for her shot near Panevezys - welcome back to California!
Flax has been grown and woven in Lithuania for centuries. When we first found the Myriad fabric, we knew it was just the thing for sheer curtains. This airy open-weave is not typical for slubby linen yarns, which is why we love it.

On her travels, Daiva discovered a Linen Museum, located in an old windmill built in 1880.

This small museum explains old traditional techniques of flax cultivation and linen production. Inside the museum Daiva tried out many of the instruments and even had a go at weaving using old Lithuanian looms!

This is dried flax ready for breaking and hackling, to release the fibres. This is the sort of machine a small farm would have had - bigger mills don't look like this. Small weavers would use simple devices without rollers.

These hanks of raw flax in a range of natural colours are ready for spinning. The colour of the fibre depends on the variety of the flax plant, and other factors such as field conditions, or the age of the plant when harvested.

Two of my favorite things in the whole world come together – a lovely bouquet of flax and a free-roaming rooster! And the old millstone repurposed as a planter - slip one of these in your hand luggage...

Next time I’m going with Daiva, it looks so green and peaceful!  We’ll call it ‘research.’ *wink*