Monday, 4 January 2010

The Long and Winding Woad

Last August, you may recall my tale of growing woad in my vegtable patch, which was chopped up and boiled to make woad dye. You might also recall the subtle but somewhat disappointing results. Never one to overlook an opportunity my friend Jude suggested we split the fabrics between us and our Christmas challenge this year would be to make each others presents from the woad dyed fabric.

By October my pieces of fabric dyed during the summer were no longer subtle but had faded to the colour of sludge. Grey, mucky sludge requiring drastic action. There were still woad plants left in the garden, strong and green and so not to be beaten I decided to try again. This time I decided to try a different reducing agent and so I ordered a package of "Spectralite" thinking this might be more reliable. However while I waited for the spectralite to arrive there was trouble afoot!

DECIMATION!!!
And I know who the culprits were...


The hens having been given free range of the garden spotted the strong green woad plants and decided it was a feast for the taking! With no woad left I felt I was well and truely on a woad to nowhere.

You can run away but I know it was you!
So Art Van Go to the rescue...

And my sludge coloured fabrics were transformed to a lovely blue.


And so finally, a little later than planned (i.e. a little later than Christmas) and with a bit of cheating, I used the woad dyed fabrics to make Jude's Christmas present... a customised peg bag...

With a little message...

designed to hold these rather snazzy pegs!


Meanwhile, Jude tried to cut off her thumb to avoid having to do anything with her woad fabrics. A little drastic but it worked! Fortunately it is getting better.

23 comments:

  1. Sorry but I had to laugh at the hens ;o) Your peg bag will be a hit I'm sure and I love the birdie pegs. Was the indigo difficult to use? I'd like to have a go but I'm not sure about it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So, did your chickens turn blue?


    I love the peg bag. Far more glam than my own knickers, more's the pity!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was going to ask the same question. Did you know it was the chickens, because they laid blue eggs?

    ReplyDelete
  4. what a fun pegbag. a lovely story gina. x

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have never tried indigo dyeing though it is on my long list of things to do. I was told it was a job for doing in the summer because of the fumes. As you have got such a lovely colour blue, I might just buy one of those packs from AVG when I go to Textiles in Focus.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a fun peg bag..... and I just love those pegs!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your peg bag made me smile! And my friend gave me the same pegs for my birthday - I cannot wait for washing line season to begin again!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oooh, that blue fabric turned out fantastically! Soooo pretty! Love the peg bag too - very clever Gina!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gina your woad puns have brightened my morning, as has the knicker peggy bag and frilliness.

    Where are those peggies from though? They're ace!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hee-hee! happy hens :-) I wonder, when the woad comes out the other end... no! I won't go on

    What a fun gift - love those pegs too.

    Celia

    ReplyDelete
  11. Are you eating blue eggs now? Your perseverance paid off well - the latest colours are gorgeous and I love the peg bag and the birdy pegs.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lovely peg bag! And I'm encouraged by the fact that it's obviously ok to cheat x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just a thimbleful.....

    I am sure there is a little poem there somewhere, roads, pants,dyes - but brain is a bit numb! Nice post!

    ReplyDelete
  14. The indigo looks really good well done, I shall have to have a go with woad I gather it is a lighter blue which I like. I love the peg bag.

    Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The back of that peg bag is just fantastic Gina - and I absolutely love the pegs!

    Lucy xxx

    ReplyDelete
  16. The indigo bag is gorgeous Gina! And I love those pegs. Happy new year to you and your family.
    Dot xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow your peg bag is beautiful (so are the pegs) lucky Julie. Jane x

    ReplyDelete
  18. I know that 'innocent hen' look! The peg bag is great fun - and good luck with the next module.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great peg bag!! I do love the birdy pegs too.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Gina, the indigo blue fabrics look stunning.
    I used pre-reduced indigo myself when I did indigo dyeing last week, and did not think it was cheating. It was so great to work with a vat dye, and I'm keen to do more and to learn more. It's a bottomless pit however - there is so much to learn about mordents, lime, lye, etc.

    One of these days I will have success with plants grown in my yard - but so far, all I've gotten is browns and grays.

    Thanks for showing us your woad story. I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Fabulous! but I loved the original colours. I'm planning on growing some dye plants this year, but the chickens will certainly not get garden freedom.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Absolutely love that peg bag! and those pegs are fantastic!!

    I can see why you fell in love with the embroidered tea towel. It's gorgeous. The museum looks like a real treat.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!