Looking forward to our Annual Event at Quarr Abbey.
Monday, 6 November 2017
Saturday, 21 October 2017
After steeping the leaves, the small harvest was removed. With the soda ash added I then whisked the dye liquid and allowed it to settle for a few hours.
I then cleaned and washed the pigment by topping up each jar with fresh water a few times.
The pigment dried in flakes and was delicately scrapped off the cling film into a dry storage jar.
As you can imagine I'm absolutely thrilled at being able to make my very own woad powder!!
Even if it is only a small amount from just a small handful of leaves, this year's harvest has been brilliant!
I have another jar with the pigment left in suspension. I may decide to dry this out or again use it to experiment with to compare my home grown, home made
Woad Powder and Woad Suspension.
Friday, 1 September 2017
We took our little dinghy Peewit out for a row and a spot of fishing.
High water on the river Medina. The day was hot and sunny, the river was calm with a very light breeze, a perfect way to relax and enjoy just being afloat once more.
We took the fishing rods, not a hope of catching any fish! but its always an occupation on board which instills calm reflection and becomes very absorbing. I love the way it helps me focus on my surroundings, making me look more closely at the water and sky. Watching the birds and yes even a fish jump out of the water!
Carded fleece naturally dyed with homegrown woad.
If you are on the Island from Tuesday 12th to Saturday 16th September, The Isle of Wight Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers is holding an Exhibition.
I will have some of my hand woven work on show as well as some of my hand knitted and hand woven items will be available to purchase.
Monday, 14 August 2017
I have thoroughly enjoyed being in my garden this Summer creating colour!
My mission was to prepare a fleece to be dyed unspun as well as hand spun so as I could produce my own naturally dyed yarn.
I wanted to be outside and brew all the leaves and bark in large pots over an open fire pit. It feels more down to earth and so much more satisfying to be outdoors making a fire and taking the dye materials from the garden. My sister joined me which made it lots of fun and she is rather good at cooking our lunch on the mini BBQ too ( a link to her blog is on my previous post ).
Now to tell you about my home grown WOAD
Vat Dyeing Method
My woad was my own collected seed, planted, grown in the garden and harvested on the day.
My worry was that if I overheated the leaves they would lose their blue colour properties.
I will certainly continue with my colour making with natural dyes and definitely grow another woad crop next year.
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Skipper and I have just returned from a lovely little holiday in Herefordshire.
We set off on an early ferry from Yarmouth to Lymington so as we could view the "Round the Island Yacht Race" in fact our ferry had to weave it's way through the fleet across the Solent, so we had a great view of the competitors although as it was a breezy morning the large racing yachts had already made it around to The Needles, however there was still a good many yachts to enjoy.
Canoe The Wye
Super day on the river from these folks.
As a little taster, I want to let you know about my "search for colour" I held a Natural Dyeing day in my garden with my sister. Jude has written a super blog post at
I will be blogging more about this day myself and another day coming up after I have harvested my Woad and will let you know how it works!
Thursday, 29 June 2017
An enjoyable task while larger activities are on the go.
I have been washing fleece and spinning plenty of skeins in preparation for some Natural Dyeing.
I lit my new Fire Pit.
So as I could Mordant all the wools ready for my Dyeing of the colours.
It was so much fun being out in the garden slowly working through all the collection of fleece and skeins I had produced over the weeks.
I used Alum for the mordant.
Another small project I'm working on is Hand Painting Silk Hankies. I have chosen colours inspired from the garden. The silk will be handspun on its own as I want it to be delicate and light, so as I can add it to my Saori weaving.
Meanwhile, in the garden I have gathered my woad seeds from last year's crop (to store for next season) and look how well this year's woad plants are doing!
So preparation work is done, now ready to start Dyeing some yarn.
A festival of colour to come!
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
I'm so pleased and chuffed as I retained the "Marleen Upton Cup" for my Weaving!
and came joint 1st in The Novice Cup for my Art Yarn
My Saori Handwoven Asymmetric Light Weight Tunic
( The Novice Cup- new skill learnt)
Shetland fleece with Merino tops,
Hand washed, Hand carded,
Hand painted with Landscape dyes,
Hand spun coiled with a base 4ply yarn,
Producing a novelty thick and thin yarn with Slubs.
I loved making my own art yarn from scratch and I'm really looking forward to using it in my weaving and knitting designs.