Woad Goldenrod Fingering

Beautiful Woad Goldenrod wool/mohair heavy fingering weight yarn dyed with Woad, then overdyed with Goldenrod harvested 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

  • Un-mordanted yarn first dyed in a Woad (Isatis tinctoria) Vat
  • The Woad dyed yarn is cured (set) then mordanted
  • Mordanted Woad yarn overdyed in Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) bath

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 Goldenrod 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.

This small, laborious batch starts with the preparation of a Woad Vat. 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 harvest the leaves from the first year growth to use in the dye bath. The result of this first dyeing yields a denim colour a little lighter than the base of blue jeans.

Once the yarn cured for 2 weeks I mordant the yarn and prepared a second dye bath with Goldenrod tops harvested from the meadows on the farm. I strain out the plant parts after simmering a few hours and then dye the Woad skeins in that bath. The yellow from the Goldenrod over the blue of the Woad creates the shades of green and yellow-green  Woad Goldenrod on this yarn. I love the magic of combining natural dyes!

Beauregard, a Shetland x Cormo Wether