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Crycket
07-10-2009, 04:47 PM
I just went out in the garden to snip some chives for a salmon ball I was about to make, when I got distracted by my blooming raspberries...

This made me look at my garden in disgust, as really, I haven't bothered to weed it this summer, and it is completely over run with all sorts of weeds....

After some really half assed weeding, I found a strawberry off a plant I really had written off due to the weeds (it was very tasty)

But berried (lol) behind the raspberry bush, was the well overgrown rhubarb plant. Infact it was almost grotesque, with the summers worth of neglect and decent rainfall....

So I cut off the largest too off shoots just cause they were almost taller than I was...

You know...those two main shoots on that rhubarb are very bamboo like in appearance, so I spent a moment or two peeling the fibres back on it...

So here is the the question that has left me pondering...could a decent fibre be made from a rhubarb plant?

Mirl56
07-10-2009, 04:55 PM
As soon as you said it was very bamboo-like, I just KNEW that's where you were going with your thought!!

I have no idea, but what an idea!

bambi
07-10-2009, 11:25 PM
I did a quickie internet search but only could some up with dyes made from rhubarb. It's a thought.

Bambi

tilllie
07-10-2009, 11:35 PM
Thanks for a chuckle!

Crycket
07-11-2009, 08:46 AM
See....I wish I knew more about processing plant material...from what I understand, it is more of a chemical process....

I mean...if you can make yarn from milk....you think a simular to bamboo plant would do it....

sabrinasmom
07-11-2009, 11:26 AM
They have made yarn from corn. They made socks from it too. The socks have a sweet smell to them. I work where socks are made. Maybe that's why I haven't been to eager to knit socks!!

newamy
07-11-2009, 04:23 PM
When bamboo and corn and such are used for yarn they don't spin the actual plant fibers like they do with cotton and flax. It is a chemical process so the bamboo is more like rayon from bamboo. The fiber is created from a natural substance so it is considered semi synthetic. See here about Rayon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayon

knitasha
07-11-2009, 10:59 PM
Buuuuuut --
Flax, hemp, ramie and nettle (the so-called bast fibers) are used right off the plant, without chemical processing. The catch is that you have to dissolve the outer vegetable matter before you can get to the spinnable inner fibers. This involves soaking the plants in stagnant water out of doors until the outer layers literally rot off. It has to be stagnant water because it takes mold and bacteria to do the work.) Then you clean and comb out the fibers and you're ready to spin. (This is called retting, and is as smelly as it sounds.) Can you do this with overgrown rhubarb stalks? Is there fiber inside that red exterior? Put them in a pan of water, hide it behind the raspberries, wait a month, and see what happens.

mathwizard
07-12-2009, 09:25 AM
This should be interesting and maybe a bit smelly,lol. Let us know what you are planning to do.

Crycket
07-12-2009, 11:00 AM
Buuuuuut --
Can you do this with overgrown rhubarb stalks? Is there fiber inside that red exterior? Put them in a pan of water, hide it behind the raspberries, wait a month, and see what happens.

The two main shoots are actually green..not red...they are the shoots that produce the seeds for the plants...and are hollow inside. They are green on the outside, and kinda white on the inside, but peeling them back was interesting..there seemed to be some hearty fibre in there...*shrugs...* right now they are sitting out in the grass, under other weeds I tugged out of the garden...including nettles...*ouch*

Mike
07-12-2009, 01:17 PM
See....I wish I knew more about processing plant material...from what I understand, it is more of a chemical process....

I mean...if you can make yarn from milk....you think a simular to bamboo plant would do it....

The way I was shown at some western park with yucca was you smash the leaves with a rock until there's nothing left but fibers.
Of course this was making rope, not yarn so it would probably be quite rough.

knitasha
07-12-2009, 05:59 PM
Heh. The only rhubarb I've ever seen was at the grocery store or in a pie. Green stalks with something fiberish inside? I'd be very, very tempted to try....

albertpollard
07-17-2009, 09:39 PM
Hmmm, Knitters minds can be as twisted as their stitches...

Crycket
07-18-2009, 09:33 AM
lol...it is so true....

I should actually go look at it again...since I left it rotting in the back yard...