Woad Fingering

Beautiful Woad wool/mohair heavy fingering weight yarn individually dyed with Woad leaves from the garden right here on the farm.

The Yarn

  • 70% Shetland/Cormo Wool
  • 30% Mohair
  • 3 ply heavy fingering
  • ~408 yards/4.4 oz (125 g)

The Natural Dye

  • Freshly harvested leaves are simmered and then strained out to create this base of the Woad (Isatis tinctoria) vat
  • Unmordanted yarn then dyed in the ¬†Vat

Washing

  • Hand wash or gentle machine cycle
  • warm/warm small load
  • inside out in sized delicates bag is good practice (not too loose, not too snug)
  • no bleach
  • dry flat

This is Beauregard, whose fleece forms the base of this Woad fingering weight natural dyed yarn. His mother, Beaulagh, is a Shetland x Cormo Ewe and his father, Chas, is a purebred Shetland Ram who hails from the home of the original North American breed rescue flock of Colonel G.D. Dailley, the first person granted permission to import the rare Shetland Sheep directly from the Shetland Isles to Canada.

Beauregard is a Wether, so his only job is to grow beautiful fleece. His fleece is processed at Wellington Fibres, a short drive from the farm. There it is blended with 30% mohair from the mill’s own her of Angora Goats. It is spun and plied with a good twist into a 3 ply sock yarn.

I dyed these One of a Kind skeins in small individual Woad Vats of variating strengths (weight of leaves compared to weight of skein), giving different finished shades of yarn. Woad is considered a noxious weed in some jurisdictions, but happily not in mine.

Woad is a biennial plant that grows a large rosette and a deep tap root in the first year, then sets seed (zillions) in the second year. I grow it in a confined patch and cut the stems when flowering begins, to prevent setting seed. It’s a wonderful resource because there are few plants that yield a blue dye and this one thrives in my local conditions.

Beauregard, a Shetland x Cormo Wether