Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Woad-Dyed Crewel Yarn Give-Away!


Amazon Books

Following up on the last couple days’ of posts on the dyeing of wool with woad, it’s time for a little give-away! Thanks to Andie of Renaissance Dyeing, we’re giving away TWO sets of woad-dyed wool (the woad range, pictured below). That is, two people will win the range! Pretty nice, eh? In order to have a chance at winning, read on and follow the directions!

Woad-dyed Crewel Wool

To enter the give-away for this pack of woad-dyed crewel wool, please (pretty please!) do the following:

1. Leave a comment below. Your comment must be left on the website, on this post. If you aren’t sure where to leave the comment, click this link and it will take you right to the comment area.

2. In your comment, you’ll just have to entertain me! Answer this question:

Woad you or woad you not? … Would you ever consider dyeing your own threads with woad, or do you prefer to buy your threads in their finished state? If you woad not, why not? What would avert you from dyeing your own threads with woad?

3. Please make sure to leave your name with your comment – either in the “name” area of the comment form or in the body of your comment. If you have a somewhat common name, you might want to add an initial or location, so there’s no confusion.

4. Leave your comment by Monday, October 3, 5:00 am US Central Time. I’ll announce the winners (via random draw) on Monday morning. The winners will need to contact me with their mailing addresses.

That’s it – really pretty simple. It boils down to answering the question above in the comment form below before Monday morning. Whew!

I’m really looking forward to reading your answers to the question! It’s a question I’ve half-way struggled with for a while now – and I’ll tell you my answer when I post the winners.

Have a terrific day!

(Monday, Oct 3: This Give-away is Now Closed!)


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(467) Comments

  1. Dear Mary,
    To answer your question: I definitely woad not! I think it might be fun, but I’d rather buy the specific colour I need and let others worry about how to obtain it. I have enough problems choosing from a range: humming and haaing before deciding. But getting a little bunch of lovely wool sounds very attractive to me.
    As always, I thank you for your so very interesting newsletter which I look forward to every day.

  2. Woad is me but I’m not sure I’m up for the careful steps that are involved with woad dyeing. I am often distracted by the muse of the moment! Alas, it might be worth trying just once. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?? I can’t blow anything up can I or glue anything shut???

  3. While I’ve done a lot of dyeing in the past, my current lifepath requires me to move every two to three years. This means any stockpiles get tossed. I also live in government housing, and the maintenance staff doesn’t like the idea of “chemicals” about.

  4. Ha! This question made me laugh. Would I consider it? I’d consider anything and everything embroidery related. I want to do it all! In my wildest dreams I imaging myself growing flax keeping shhep and raising silk worms. Harvesting their bounties and dying them every colour that nature can produce. Then spinning and weaving to produce my own range of threads and fabrics while still having the time and soft, clean hands to embroider with.

    I’d love to do a natural dye workshop but in reality I will probably go on buying (or hopefully winning) my threads and fabric. 😀

  5. Dear Mary.
    I have never dyed my one threads.
    Becouse I have never learnd it.
    That is why I Buy it in their finished state.
    I love your mails every day and learn a lot from you.
    Thank you very much.
    Greetings from Truus from the Netherlands.

  6. Personally I “woad not” dye my own threads with woad. This is a personal choice as I have been very unsuccessful with dyeing threads of any kind – so rather reluctant to try again.

    Denise Thomas

  7. Personally I woad not dye my own threads. I have been very unsuccessful with dye of any kind – so rather reluctant to try again.

  8. First, I want to say your site is spectacular – full of information, wonderfully detailed stitches, and patterns! As I am new to this site and relatively new to embroidery, I don’t think that I would explore the woad way of dying at this point (according to the video, it seems like a SMELLY job – thank goodness for modern technology). Very fascinating and was impressed how the color changed so dramitically. I also want to say that I love your new needle case class. If offered again, I would be interested in joining (the one with the bird on the cover). Thanks for providing a very informative site.

  9. WOAD Definately not. Hi there, i WOAD definately not try and dye, i did it once and tried to dye a shirt, the concequences was that the red shirt made EVERY THING PINK, including my husbands white work shirts. Clearly i am dangerous when you let me loose with DYLON dye with INSTRUCTIONS imagine what a disaster i would be trying to do it from scatch,cutting up the plants, soaking them, remebering not to let the dye drip in the bucket. I hope this give a clear picture as to WOAD not.

    Regards Leonie

  10. First, I want to say your site is spectacular – full of information, wonderfully detailed stitches, and patterns! As I am new to this site and relatively new to embroidery, I don’t think that I would explore the woad way of dying at this point (according to the video, it seems like a SMELLY job – thank goodness for modern technology). Very fascinating and was impressed how the color changed so dramitically. I also want to say that I love your new needle case class. If offered again, I would be interested in joining (the one with the bird on the cover). Thanks for providing a very informative site.

  11. Hola, después de ver los artículos que has publicado estos días, te agradezco el sorteo y me gustaría mucho ganar estas lanas. Respuesta a tu pregunta: sí he pensado alguna vez en teñir mis propios hilos pero creo que debe ser mucho trabajo y mucho ensuciar para un resultado… sorpresa. Me gustaría teñir toda una gama de color como sería desde un rojo muy intenso hasta un casi blanco para poder bordar unas preciosas flores con un matiz de color muy cuidado. Tal vez algún día lo haga.
    Gracias de nuevo y por favor, sigue obsequiándonos con tus artículos. Un abrazo. Jacquelin B. (España)

  12. Yes, to dye my own threads has always appealed. I’d love to. I love the natural colours. I’m an autumn by birth, colouring and, dare I say , temper. The woad blues are ‘autumnly’ fitting. Inky storm to windy light cloud colours.
    But…woad is me! The woad under the harrows knows…and all that sort of thing! My health doesn’t permit me to go beyond my current endeavours.
    Oh, but there’s such a wonderful variety of colours and tones to buy, and win. Good luck every one and thanks muchly Mary and Andie.
    Cheers, Kath from Oz

  13. Well I have yet to woad my threads and yarns, but I have indigo-ed them in the past! I am a spinner so I usually either dye my fiber before or after spinning, unless I want to work with white or natural coloured fleeces of course! Woad has been on my to-do list for a while now. Mmmm working with Renaissance woad threads would be a lovely incitement to finally get out those dye pots again which have been calling to me for some time now! 🙂

  14. I woad not. Mostly because I do not have a place to do so. I’m interested enough to try it as I am an 18th century reenactor and would love the experience of hand-dying. It allows me to better communicate the experience with the public. But I would likely only do a single batch as my interests lie outside dyeing.

  15. Woad I? Of course! What fun, to make blue wool, and hands and floors and walls. Hmmm, maybe I woadn’t. Buying it seems like the sensible, if less fun, answer.

  16. I definitely would do my own dyeing with woad. The fact that I do not have room where I currently live would make that impossible, but I always read all I can on dyeing. Keep up the good work!! Thank you Moggi

  17. I woad LOVE to dye with woad–I woad also love to travel to France to learn how to woad! I think woad makes the loveliest shades of blue–thanks for the opportunity!

  18. I would woad! I’d love to woad–never done it though I’ve hoped to. What has stopped me from “woading” is that I cannot legally plant the invasive stuff in my state and have not been allowed to collect from places where the stuff grows on its own. Darn!

    I’ve dyed with indigo which I hear is very similar and like the process and results a lot. Though this giveaway woad be woad-dyed fibers, not woad dye to test myself, it would be great to compare woad results with my indigo! Indigo color builds up with repeated dips so a range of graduated blue shades from light to very dark is possible, all softened and natural, not assertive royal or electric blues–but not pastel, either. I love it! There is so much character in the colors produced by natural dyes, it’s always a wonder to me that ordinary plants–weeds, things you DON’T want to grow–can make such treats.

    I woad love to finally be able to play with woad-dyed fibers, and woolen crewel threads woad be a real treat!

    Thanks very much to Renaissance Dyeing and Mary Corbet for offering these threads to one lucky person!

    1. Leave a comment below.
    2. In your comment, you’ll just have to entertain me! Woad you or woad you not? … Would you ever consider dyeing your own threads with woad, or do you prefer to buy your threads in their finished state? If you woad not, why not? What would avert you from dyeing your own threads with woad?
    3. Please make sure to leave your name
    4. Leave your comment by Monday, October 3, 5:00 am US Central Time.

  19. In truth I had not considered dyeing my own fibers. The process to attain light and age-fast colors seemed too much for casual attack. I did not think I had the time/space/equipment to do it. But I am reconsidering, based on your posts. Thank you for the inspiration and education! -k.

  20. Hm, interesting question. My husband and I like trying different things – like tapping our maple trees to show the kids how it’s done, and trying (unsuccessfully) to tan deer hides. Since my daughter spins, it would be fun to try dying some wool she’s spun. Since I have a long ago and far, far away chemistry background, watching the color change as the wool is pulled from the vat would be intriguing. The process, without the urine, is a fairly basic chemical reaction. Problem is, if I like doing this, where would it end!!!!!

  21. I had to seriously think about this. In a perfect world, when I had lots of time, no other commitments etc. I would use woad. However, I don’t live in a perfect world. I don’t have a lot of time to do needlework and the time I do have I would rather spend it on actually sewing (i.e. creating a piece of work) rather than doing prep work (i.e. dyeing wool with woad.)

  22. Would I! I have dyed my own fibers and it was very revealing. I finally understood the relationship between the colors and the feel of the fibers. Quite a learning experience.

  23. I’ve been toying with the idea of dyeing my own threads and ribbons so I’d consider dyeing them with woad too although I would be doing cottons and silks. I’m not sure if woad would work on those.

  24. I woad not hand dye my own wool! To messy, chemicals and I already have three to many hobbies another one woad be to much!!!

    Thanks for another fabulous give-away!!

    Jean B
    Summerfield NC

  25. I woad certainly like to try dyeing my own wool for embroidery in a group situation like a class or guild – fun! I woad probably have to purchase it too though since I am a threadaholic.
    Barb S., NC, USA

  26. Hi Mary,
    I woad not. As much as I like knowing how to do things, I think I like more appreciating the skill, patience and care that others bring to creating something beautiful. Those yarns are a work of art and the love and care that went in to their making can only enhance the object created with them. Laura, VA Beach

  27. I woad love to do my own woading, but I think the Home Association woedn’t like it very much.. Beauuuutiful blues, by the way!

  28. Woad I ever! I have often thought I would love to have a sheep farm, and do everything from start to finish. Of course, there would be a lot to learn, but if I could retire early, I woad love to learn. Lots of work I’m sure, and woad need lots of practice to get it right. It is one of my lofty dreams! Thanks Mary; I always enjoy your writings every morning with my tea!

  29. Hi Mary,
    I prefer to buy my thread and my roving (I’m also a hand spinner) already dyed for several reasons but the most important one is because it keeps the lovely folks who do that work employed. If I want to enjoy my craft and pass it along by teaching others then there has to be a support structure underneath all of us 🙂 If there’s a market then these talented folks who supply us will still be around. On a personal note I would rather explore and develop my existing skill set and allow the fiber producers to have an outlet for theirs. I decided that for sure after taking a dyeing class!
    Love your work by the way and greatly appreciate all you do for us out here in the “world”.
    My best,
    Vickie in Va.

  30. i like teh woad colored blues, i really do. i woad never dye them myself though. i don’t think my nose woad stand the smell of sewage that long. i did enjoy seeing it turn from yellow to blue.

  31. I love the idea of dyeing my own wool, but I know I’d never do it. I have so little time to stitch as is is, that dyeing myself would take away from that time. We’re just lucky there are people like Andie to do the job for us. Thank you both for a wonderful giveaway.

  32. I woad not, and why woad I when there is such beautiful thread available to us?! I love dyed threads and appreciate all the hard woark for our woanderful addiction! What a woanderful woarld!!

  33. Dear Mary,

    Since “talking” to you acouple of days ago I have been entertained in my head with the ancient ditty ” Woad to scare your foemen – boil it to a brilliant blue and——” it is just humming along in there all day !!! Thank you for your reply, and for bringing back memories with woad to this ancient Britain.

    I have never come across Renaissance wool, I always use Appletons and have been surprised you do not like it. I love the woad blues you have shown and woad love to have them – I have used natural dyes for many things in the past but never for wool for crewel, prefering being able to choose a range of values, such as the woad ones you have pictured.

    I woad not try the dyeing myself,I don’t think I woad be able to produce the lovely range of blues – blue is my favourite colour, so I woad be so delighted to be lucky enough to win the woad samples.

    The work you are showing us now is beautiful, looking forward to it’s progress and it is the colours that are a special delight.

    Thanks for your news letter – makes my day.


  34. These are some of my very favorite colors and yes I woad love to win! I woad love to dye my yarn too if I had the necessary woad! This sounds like so much fun getting to play at my age with water and color LOL! 🙂 Thanks Mary for this wonderful series I have enjoyed them all and woad just love some Renaissance yarn to get me started.

  35. I woad prefer to have my threads dyed before I touch them, as I woad be quite a klutz and woad tend to dye myself with more color on myself than the threads woad have.

  36. While I find it fascinating to learn about the various ways of dyeing threads (and fabrics), I’m a long ways from even thinking about doing the dyeing myself, especially since such lovely threads are now readily available to purchase. As for dyeing with woad, I wouldn’t even know where to find the raw materials! It would be fun to watch someone else do this.

  37. I can really appreciate the process for dyeing the yarn and I love this beautiful color range produced from the woad plant. Thanks for all this information as I am very interested in learning how this process works. I use the little time I have to stitch and love and appreciate the fact that someone else enjoys the process to produce such beautiful colors for all of us to choose from. Thanks for the giveaway and I woad really love to win!
    Mary Ann

  38. I would definitely be interested in dying wool. In fact, some years ago, I bought a few of the other materials used for dying like cutch but I’ve needed a push to get me going. Maybe this is it!!

  39. I woad not! I’ve done a class on dying your own
    threads and found it interesting and fun, but I’d really rather stich than dye!

  40. Mary I would consider dyeing wool with woad, and have done so with other types of natural products that will take graduated colours, such as vegetables like beets; fruits with tones of red to green, but must admit that it is very difficult to dye silkribbon in graduated shades and get the depth of the true shade, so I use silk dyes for dyeing silk. I have never dyed wool, but have dyed silk floss, threads, and cotton threads.

  41. To Woad or Not To Woad? That is the question. Whether it tis nobler..uhh…dont’ remember the rest. But I can say that Nay! I would not woad.
    I could not, would not, woad.
    I would not woad on a road.
    I could not woad if you paid me in toads. It’s stinky and slimy and not for me.
    I prefer to buy my wools for a pretty penny.
    I’d take some woad if it’s passed on for free, with a great big “Thanks!” to woaders from sea to shining sea.

    Loved the video on woaders and awful jobs. Yuck! Something so stinky should turn out so beautiful. Amazing.

    Brenda, Wilmington, Ohio

  42. I woad consider dyeing my fibers with woad. I think natural dyes are better to use for the envirorment. The range of color that woad gave the threads are just beautiful. As a new embroiderier and Crazy Quilter I would love to add these threads to my stash.

  43. Woad I or Woad I not that is the question and I Woad not because of the time it takes to Woad. I watched the video dyeing process and thought”no thanks” to Woad!
    I prefer, however, to have the finished product so I can “create”!

  44. I “woad” not dye my own primarily because of the smell. I probably would if it were less noxious and I had more time on my hands but at this point I’d rather spend my time stitching! 🙂

  45. what beautiful colorways in this wool, it would be a pleasure to work I’m sure, and I have a pattern that would look so pretty done this way,…but in answer to your question…No,I wouldn’t want to dye my own, I have read some about the process, and have no desire to take on dyeing of any kind, especially one this complicated…I’m an instant gratification type girl, like my threads already done so that I can just pick them up and start working….I guess I’m just to lazy…but I would love to win this set…thanks for the opportunity….RebeccaK.

  46. Wow! Would I ever love a chance at dyeing my own thread/yarn with woad! I saw Tony Robinson’s episode, too. That was so interesting. The fact that it smelled like cabbage cooking wouldn’t deter me from trying it. Picky royalty & aristocrats – their noses just too sensative/refined to the smell,they made the dyers live as far away as possible. I’d love to see the material change color when the air hit it! That would be too cool! Thanks for this chance, Mary.

  47. I definitely woad NOT! I already do stinky things in my house, like rendering fat and making soap, and while my husband and boys love the end result, the stink of rendering fat sends them howling into the woods to go take up with some innocent deer! I don’t need to add to my list of stinky jobs. The result, though, oh! That is some lovely stuff! I normally cross stitch and hardanger, but I may have to veer off the beaten path for this lovely wool!

  48. I would love to try dyeing my own threads. Unfortunately, time is an issue. There are so many things that I do that take a long time, that I can’t see when I’d be able to do this. I consider myself priviled that I can, once in a while, spend long hours working with the beautiful threads that others have lovingly dyed for me to use.

  49. I woad love to! I’d love to see just how stinky it really is and I’d love to watch it change colors! I have visions of lovely shades of blue wool (ah, the way real wool feels!) on a creamy yellow background!

  50. I woad so consider dyeing my own. I’d also consider spinning my own and then dyeing it. After taking a class with Phillipa Turnbull I found out that Appleton uses Shetland Wool. It’s a common breed here in the states too and I even have some in my stash to spin.


  51. I very much admire artists …. they do the sacrafice and the hard work and I get to enjoy there creations…. I try, I really do… I sew… I quilt….I cook….and I read and researh amazing people who create beauty…..T Woad not have the talent and persistance required to produce the beautiful blue colors….. I woad love having them in my environment….
    Carolyn September 29 2011 Tennessee

  52. I woad love to try dyeing my own wool, but I don’t think I woad get good enough results to want to use the wool 😉
    Pam in IL

  53. Oh my God, no! I would not woad! Why? I do’nt want to dash into such an adventure, especially when there are people who make it and do it well better than I would. I too, prefer to buy ready-made and to indulge myself in by serving me.

    Diane from Montréal in Québec

    (Hope my message is comprehensible, as I am not very good in written english.)

  54. The colors of those wools are so yummy… but I have to say I woad not dye them myself! The process looks intriguing but I’m sure I would find a way to mess it up… 🙂 And I split the time I have in so many directions as it is with all my various needlework pursuits, that adding more to my work list would topple me like a Jenga tower! That’s why I say “no” whenever anyone asks me about crochet or knitting. Those are two skillsets I’ve failed to learn on purpose, because I don’t want to take more time away from everything else I’m doing. 🙂

    But oh, such beautiful colors! So wonderful to see that an unassuming plant can create such variety. 😀

  55. Woad not at this time as time is pretty slim working full time. I have often thought I might give it a try sometime in the future though, especially when the pollen in lilies stain my fingers! Would love to win!

  56. To Woad or not to Woad that is the question! The dyeing of wool in yester-year using the Woad was no form of playing. To Woad was truly a means of making a living.
    Today the mus, the fus and clothespin nose just doesn’t seem like playing. One could obtain Woad-dyed wool with just a click away and that is a form of playing. To stich and stich is dear to me and that is a given; but to Woad and Woad will time away and that is not a given.

  57. As much as I love the thought of taking my hobbies almost as far as I can, I think I would not attempt dying of any sort. I’ve thought about this for embroidery and sewing. I have friends who are knitters and now are into spinning and dying. It’s just too much for me.

    As a seamstress, I have taken it even further by learning how to embroider to really make my creations pop and have that individual part that makes it truly mine. I have even started using knotting shuttles to knot thread to couch. I really do enjoy embroidery — even when I’m unable to sew a stitch for clothing, I still enjoy my embroidery projects and start a new one before I can even finish the last one it seems! I never expected to be into embroidery as it is, but I’m glad I gave it a try.

    But taking it as far as dying my own threads (or even fabrics, like some of my other sewing friends)? I just can’t. I see too much time taken up. I see a big mess (my sewing and embroidery projects already take up too much space). I see things taking me longer than they already do (and I already take way too long to embroider and sew).

    While I love the concept, and know I would be fascinated about the whole process… I think I’ll leave that to those already doing it and just support them by buying their products 🙂

  58. I have a really poor sense of color and having a set like that would be really helpful and I could pluck up the courage to try my hand at Crewel embroidery. I look forward to reading your blog everyday.

  59. I woad only consider dyeing threads as a one time workshop. Otherwise, I woad just buy them. If I were a spinner, I might have a different attitude about this. Them I think I woad want to dye my own wool. They are such beautiful blues. But, not being a spinner, I will let the experts get those wonderful shades for me to use in my stitching.

  60. Woad I consider dyeing my own since time couldn’t be a factor: I woad say it woad be the mess I woad create that woad prevent me. This intimidates me thinking of dyeing my kitchen in the process but it may be fun to see a speckled kitchen woadn’t it. They say you can tell the Character of a person by the mess they make and what a Character I am. I woad much rather make mess with items ready already finished and ready to What little time woad be left woad leave me threadless.

  61. Dear Mary,
    Woad is me; I am not sure if I would consider dying at all. I still have nightmares about wearing tie dyed t-shirts, underwear and nighties! But the yarn is beautiful and if I won, I woad be so happy to use it in a project! No longer woad I woan, woad is me.


  62. I woad, if I could. If the wood around my house contained woad, I woad definitely use it. However, with my luck the woad I would find might not be woad at all and the woad could make me wish I woadn’t have tried it at all.

  63. i have been investigating dyeing with plants lately, but so far that’s as far as i’ve gone. the blues from woad are beautiful tho…so who knows – guess time and energy are holding me back?

    i do enjoy your newsletters; your embroidery work is beautiful and inspiring.

  64. Hi,
    No i never did that just because i haven’t so much space available at home to work like that. But i really wanted to! when sometimes i couldn’t get my desired colour of thread.

  65. I definitely woad love to dye with Woad!! I always liked indigo, but when I saw the Woad dyed wool, I swooned! Woad dyed yarn sparkles.

    I’ve dyed wool, but the process of the dyed item changing color when exposed to oxygen is magic! I’d love to give it a try.

    That said, I’d also purchase Woad dyed yarns to save time for my many projects. The over-dying could be time consuming.

  66. I would only consider dying with woad if it were part of a class or I was helping someone else who had already done it. I find it fascinating, but I’d rather work with the finished product than make it!

  67. Yes I woad, Mary! Thanks to your woaderful idea, I can’t stop thinking about it. I woad spin the yarn, too. Oh, woad is me, for I must get ready for work and all I woad to do, is stitch! 🙂

  68. I woad try it, but I think I’d experiment with knitting wool first, as I’m less picky about what colors I get there than I am in embroidery.

  69. I’ve thought about dying with woad, but not from my own garden. I live in one of those states where it’s illegal to cultivate dyer’s woad due to how noxious it is to the local rangeland. The only effective way to get rid of it is pulling it out by hand, so land owners can be very receptive to volunteers coming to pull out their woad plants. Not only could I get as much dyer’s woad as I please, but I’d be helping my community and environment.

  70. Oh,,,woad is me! Someday, I would like to try woad. I love the idea of creating something so beautiful! You woad have to really love fiber arts to want to do it…and I do. I already searched my yard for the plant. I have an impressive amount of dandelions!…hmmm. maybe that would make yellow dye..:)

  71. How much woad woad a woad chuck woad if a woad chuck could chuck woad?

    I woad chuck a truck load of woad embroidery if I only could win this woad load of beautiful wool!

    Oh, dear! Sigh

  72. Oh Woad is Me – can’t think about dying anything right now as I am training a 9 week old puppy – just being able to stitch is a challenge. But she will learn, that stitching is a priority!!!! Great giveaway – thanks!!

  73. Blue is my favorite color, but I don’t think I have the patience to dye my own threads with woad. Sounds like an intense and lengthy process, but I sure enjoyed reading about it. And thank goodness there are people who are willing and able to do it; the threads are so lovely.
    And blue is my favorite color…did I already say that?

  74. Renaissance Dying has such lovely yarns and threads, and I would be thrilled to win some. I very much admire my SCA friends who dye using historically correct methods. But for me, no. I am happy to let others deal with the messy process. And I will happily embroider, knit, and weave with their lovely products.

  75. Any dyeing I have done has always been unintentional, like turning my husband’s pristine white underwear a delicate shade of pink in the washing machine. Plus I’ve seen the Tony Robinson show about dyeing and I have an adorable Shih Tzu prone to bladder infections so I really don’t want any more stale pee about the house, so I have to vote I woad not!

    Lisa in Stirling, ON

  76. The thought of dyeing my own threads terrifies me! I think I’d end up being the dyed one – not the threads. So, I’m definitely in the “buy them already dyed” category. Maybe in my next life …

    Don’t leave me BLUE – hope I win the threads!

  77. I have dyed ribbon before and it was quite fun – but this woad process sounds a little more technical, so I think I won’t be doing that. Then there is the noxious weed part…
    But seeing all those colors emerge – what a joy!

  78. Hi Marymentor:

    I “woad” love to do my own dying but clearly, living in a Senior facility have nowhere to do so. This is why I love your website because I can learn and learn and learn even if I can’t always do do do. This wool would really work well on the pastoral scene I’m doing so I’m crossing my fingers and toes to win !
    Thanks for your continuing tutelage 🙂

    Judy in Pittsburgh

  79. I would love to dye … but it seems like dyeing takes away from the time to stitch! Plus in my one bedroom apartment, I don’t want to take the room to have pots and drying areas, etc. So … I would love to win pre-dyed materials!

  80. Mary-
    I woad not dye — there isn’t time but I woad love those beautiful threads
    I’m on the yellowbrick woad toward retirement and maybe then there woud be time for such fun — but it is a long and winding woad. Christie

  81. I actually have dyed with woad before. It was a really fun project. What’s keeping me from doing it again are my kids (4 under the age of 8 with a set of toddler twins.) I’ve done indigo vats as well, and having them around with little people just is a recipe for disaster. One day, when they’re bigger, I want to get back to doing again. I live in one of those areas where woad is a noxious plant and is not allowed to be grown, but its sure easy to gather, so its just taunting me.

  82. I woad love to have these woad dyed yarns, but really really don’t want to dye the woad. My nose doesn’t work as well as it used to, but I think I might still gag on the woad smell. Thanks for the give-away.


  83. Hi Mary, Just recently discovered Needle’n Thread! What a wonderful resource you provide for all of us self-taught stitchers of the world.

    I woad dye if woad I had. Actually time is pretty short these days but I am certain I’ll have a go at dyeing one of these days, years…

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  84. Mary, the colours of the woad dyed yarn is beautiful. The process is facinating but not for me. I hate having my hands stained! Thanks for posting the wonderful videos and information.

    Cheers, Linda Adam
    Ontario, Canada

  85. It has been a long time plan of mine to try to dye with woad.

    I wanted to grow it, harvest it, and then dye with it. Then I found out it is against the law to plant it in my area. Still debating about trying to find a “wild” patch and nurture it.

  86. As a medieval recreationist I loooove the idea of getting threads like these! That said as cool as I find them I probably wouldn’t dye them myself – it’s a neat idea but I have so many projects already, I’d never get around to it. One of those things that I don’t need to do myself since other people will sell me the results. 🙂

  87. Woad I? Woad that I could?
    Space, time, and Mr Grumpy would see that as Not “For Better”, but definitely “For Worse”

    Of course I would dye far too much yarn and start loads of projects but end up with not enough to finish the task and be unable to recapture the dye shade and so there would be more….

    In short I woad if I could but I can’t. Renaissance Dying know what they are doing – I’d trust them to get the shades perfect!!
    Thank you for the kind deal.

  88. Yes, I woad dye blue eggs and ham –
    These blues are lovely, Sam I Am!
    I woad not dye it in the house,
    I woad not dye it with a mouse.
    I like blue eggs and ham, you see,
    But the smell is far too foul for me.

    If I woad dye a color card,
    I must go dye it in the yard.
    If I woad dye it in the sink,
    I’d be in trouble from the stink.
    My husband put his foot down, so –
    To the back yard stinky things must go.

  89. Eventually I’d like to give it a try, smell and all, but that will have to wait until I no longer live in an attached apartment with no proper outdoor space to set up long-term. Also, I suppose it would help if I waited until I didn’t have a toddler AND a baby in the house, who can’t really fend for themselves for long periods of time while Mommy is dipping wool.

    I’ve just bought a spinning wheel, and I’m spinning up my first undyed wool (which is lovely and lots of fun), and I’ve been thinking about the possibilities of dying my yarns (or the wool before spinning). For now I’ll have to stick to non-toxic food dyes, but if I had my druthers I’d lean toward experimentation with natural dyes rather than chemical, and a garden that could supply me with my dyes.

  90. I totally woad, but only if someone could come and help me! I’ve only ever done Kool-Aid dyeing. My 11yo daughter woad LOVE to try it out, she would drag me along. And I don’t seem to have any time for stitching anyway just now. I have a lovely smocked dress in the works and it’s taking forever!

  91. I woad! Actually, I woad do both. I’m learning how to spin and dye my own thread. It’s slow going (only because I’m still not good at the hand spinning part) but I’m looking forward to trying the woad dyeing. I had been told that woad wasn’t allowed to be grown in the US at all, but after reading the article here, I did some research and I found that I *am* able grow it in Texas. Yay!

  92. To woad or not to woad THAT is the question!! I woad not be likely to dye fibers myself as I don’t have access to any woad at the moment and prefer to purchase my threads in their finished state. A bit lazy I know, but what I prefer for now. Yes, I would consider trying to dye my own….perhaps at my next retreat!! I hope to win as I have a project in process that contains a lot of blue wool and I would love to create some flowers, etc with this thread! Wish me luck!! Leslie

  93. When such lovely wool is available there seems like there is not any reason to do it myself. It is a wonderful treat however to find out the history of the colors.

  94. Its one of those things I’ve always rather wanted to do, but never quite got around to. I got as far as buying a Woad plant and planting it in my garden, but it didn’t “take”.

    Maybe when I move…..

    Great tip about the Rit, though, I would have done it the old fashioned way.

  95. Hi Mary,
    I’ve been thinking about you, your “small tapestry project of the lady and unicorn and woad dying. I’m currently reading Tracy Chevalier’s “The Lady and the Unicorn” which is a fictional story of the creation of the unicorn tapestries. One of the more unsavory characters is the Woad dyer who is disliked because of the repulsive smell of woad that has permeated his body and precedes his arrival. So I don’t think woad dying is for me. The book is entertaining and depicts the process of tapestry production from painting to drawing to the actual weaving of the tapestries.

  96. At this time I woad not dye my own threads. It is interesting and I have read many articles about dying but it always comes back to time. Having the time to do it. It;s in my mind, soooo maybe someday.

  97. To wode or not to wode: that is the questions: Whether tis nobler to let Renaissance Dyeing suffer the blue hands of fortune,

    Or to endure blue arms in the sea of blue…….

    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
    And thus the the native hue of blue,

    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought – and my desire of lovely wode blue threads adorning my linen in all it’s glory. –

    Shakespeare’s Hamlet Act 3 as interpreted by Paula Guisinger

  98. Yes I would definitely use woad to dye yarns. My daughter and I love to see the beautiful colors emerge from the dye baths.
    You also feel a feeling of accomplishment.
    Love it.
    Luella Dusek

  99. I woad try at least once to try to dye my own with woad because blue is my and has always been my favorite colour.
    Thanks for GIVEAWAY
    Audrey D
    Northern California

  100. I would consider dyeing with woad, but I currently don’t have the space in my apartment to do so! I’m hoping when we’ve moved to somewhere larger, I’ll have more crafting space – and therefore some dyespace!

  101. I wuv woud. Weally, I do. I would dye for woud.

    Wait. Where in the world would the woud weside? Wwen would I dye woud? So: no space, no time, no woud.


  102. I “woad” if I “coad” dye my own threads. It would be fun to try. I have never tried to dye threads or fabric. Retirement is going to be so busy with all the “stitchy” things I can do:)

  103. I would adore having some of the woad-dyed wool. I have had in mind for years a project I want to stitch, a set of curtains for my dining room. I have collected a fair amount of Medici which is lovely wool yarn to stitch them with, but not nearly enough. Now, as you know, Medici is not available, at least only leftovers that some distributors have. I’d enjoy seeing how this wool compares. As to woad I or not dye my own wool – having no sheep available and not really liking the idea of blue hands, it would be ever so much nicer to simply have some of the woad-dyed wool dropped in my lap serendipitously. Sorry, I guess I’m not much good at entertaining. Just saying…

  104. I would woad!! Love trying new stuff, besides where we live, I wouldn’t be able to buy the woad dyed yarn if I wanted to. My husband sometimes thinks I’m crazy, as I always try and learn to do new stuff. Infact, since we grown our own cotton, I have been trying to locate a spinning wheel. So, see, that would be the best reason to woad.

  105. I woad try growing
    This agricultural pest;
    Those glorious blues
    Doth it’s worth attest.

    I woad try mixing
    A kettle-full of “mess”.
    Fermenting and stinking;
    and staining my dress.

    Just for the pleasure
    of stitching up such stuff;
    And watching my neighbors
    move away, in a huff.

  106. I woad love to try to dye my own wool. 🙂 woad also like to know if we can buy the plant here in the states so I could have it in my garden to experiment with other materials for other craft projects. I would love to hear more about other plants that can be used in this same manner.I woad love to win these beautifully dyed threads 🙂

  107. I would love to witness the process but, don’t think I’d
    dye my own. I’m afraid I would ruin the vat with drips and Peeing on yarn would not go over well with
    my mate.
    It makes me appreciate those beautiful colors even more!

  108. Mary, I love your blog and website! I woad love to have the wool threads. As for using woad to dye with–I probably never will. I have done some easy dyeing with heat fix dyes. That is the way for me to work. Fast and easy.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  109. I’ve really enjoyed reading all of the comments. I’ve dyed fabrics and threads with onion skins, rust, turmeric and saffron, but any time there’s been an indigo pot within driving distance, I haven’t been able to get there. I love the blues of indigo and woad and would love to try dyeing with either. I was quite fascinated by woad when I learned my ancestors used to dye themselves with it–I wonder if it could be used like henna for tattoos. Years ago I investigated woad and learned we don’t have enough sun in our small yard to successfully grow it. I still may give it a try. I’ve recently been looking again at buying processed woad (ready to dye with) to try. And I’d love to be entered in your drawing.

  110. I don’t think I’ll ever start dyeing with woad… I don’t have enough time NOW to do the projects I’d like to! But I HAVE bought wool from Renaissance dyeworks, and it’s lovely!

  111. I absolutely woad (haha) give dyeing with woad a shot! I have done some natural dyeing before and woad sounds really exciting, much more vibrant than alot of the colors one can achieve with natural dyes or at least with my limited skill set. I’ would like to see if it grows in the NYC area and if so give a shot foraging for some.

  112. I woad love to try this but buying pure wool is not in my budget.I have dyed material with beet juice,aspargus water and also blueberry juice,if it leaves a colored water I dye a small piece to see.Would love to win this wool as I’m trying needle painting now on a piece of crewel with leaves and flowers.On a funny note,one time I wanted to save the juice and my boys drank the beet juice and said I didn’t put in enough sugar!

  113. Hi! I’m fascinated by the processes of medieval/Renaissance textile dying, but largely unable to participate in it myself. I live in a small apartment that’s set into the ground such that my “balcony” is really just a concrete cube with 5-foot walls. I have enough sill space for a few kitchen herbs, but growing anything is a struggle. I’d love to get elbows deep in dying, but it’s just not a realistic goal right now.

  114. Hi Mary,

    I enjoy trying things at least once, but given the *smell* that was described during the woad-dying videos the other day, I have to say that I probably “woad” not. If I could travel and participate in a woad-dying demonstration or something, I might be coerced into participating, but I have a problem with nasty smells – I’m not sure I could do it.

    Would love to win some that are already dyed and have reached their brilliant state of pretty blue already 🙂

  115. Good morning Mary,

    Thank you for the give away. If I have extra time I would spend it on stitching and leave the dyeing to another, its great though to learn about the process.
    Maria VF

  116. Hello,

    I defiantly woad love to try dyeing my own yarn with woad. I studied textiles at uni and had a great time learning to dye fabrics and yarns. Never tried with woad though, just indigo!

    Love the blog!


  117. Hello–Am loving your website and the blues are gorgeous and would be much appreciated! Keep up the good work. I don’t know how you get so much done…

  118. Dawn again. from Springfield OH I woad not because 1) I think (and my husband agrees) I have too many hobbies and B) it woad just be too messy.

  119. I woad not dye my own for one simple reason–clutziness. The thought of dye, fabric, kitchen, me gives me the chills. Make mine easy–just show me where to buy it.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  120. Mary,
    Woad me not! I couldn’t take the smell! And besides that…the time. I would rather spend the time working on a project. The Woad range of wool from Renaissance Dying is beautiful.

    Thanks for your website and emails. I learn so much and look forward to it everyday.


  121. Well Mary, when I was a teenager, I helped my Mom put up beets from the garden. For the next three or four weeks, I walked around with beet colored hands – up to my wrists. I spent alot of time with my hands in my pockets. That’s exactly what would happen if I tried to dye anything. Don’t say that I should wear gloves because, one way or another, I WOULD dye my hands. I’m just funny that way (and somewhat of a turkey). 🙂

    I would LOVE to win these threads and I thank you for the opportunity!


  122. Hi Mary, I would only take the trouble to dye my own thread/yarn if needlework was my primary employment rather than a relaxing hobby . It’s a fascinating subject and it would be wonderful to be able to offer clients finished needlework using thread dyed by the needle artist. I think of it as being just like an artist mixing colors for a painting in order to capture and express a unique vision. I would love to use this yarn for a crewel project. Thank you for yet another great giveaway!

    Susie H in Minnesota

  123. Mary- I woad Love to try dying with woad. I did natural dying of wool in college and enjoyed it so much. The thought of getting color out of plants that are around me is so satisfying. The blue is gorgeous, too. I plan to get myself an outdoor propane burner to use for dying. Thank you! -Cindy

  124. I would probably not dye my own wool with woad – but that’s only because I have very little experience with dyeing.

    Thanks for the give away!

  125. Mary,
    I woad probably not attempt to dye thread with woad because I lack space, time, and equipment. I would probably make a blue-dyed disaster of the process anyway!

  126. Hi. First of all I recently stumbled onto your website and I love it! There are not enough places to talk about embroidery free-handand crewel. I would attempt to dye my wool with woad because I love threads, silks, wools, and any kind of material. I like to do my projects from start to finish as much as possible and am intrigued by the way tasks were completed without the use of mass production techniques. One day I would like to get a spinning wheel to try and spin cotton. Wouldn’t that be cool?

  127. I woad not, mostly because I don’t know a thing about it and my learning curve would be huge! But I can appreciate great yarn! I wouldn’t mind participating in a woad-dying demonstration, though.
    Love your blog!

  128. I would not try to dye my own threads with woad. It’s not that the idea isn’t tempting. It is very tempting! But I have so many projects in various stages of completion and so many more that I want to do, I have to be selective about what new things I take on. While it sounds like it would be fun, if the choice is between being able to do that and being able to say work on learning goldwork, I’d rather leave the dyeing to the professionals.

  129. Hi Mary! After watching the YouTube videos on woad dyeing, I think this is best left to professionals or a group dye-in. One of the local spinners/weavers guilds has done the indigo vat in the past so maybe this is something they would take on–& an event to which I would beg an invitation! My EGA chapter sponsors a dyeing day every year with synthetic dyes. I’ve gotten good results & have used the items, linen, threads & silk ribbon, for various projects. I would also point out that old fashioned tea dyeing can be fun & tasty–different teas resulting in different colors. Subtle, elegant results. So put me down as a “woad not” without the supervision of experts!

  130. What a lovely give-away. And what clever – very clever responses your give-away has inspired!
    Although I am very interested in natural dyes – the process and results, I would prefer to dye fabrics rather than the potentially tangly threads and yarns. After watching the very fun, informative, interesting videos posted yesterday and learning about the ostracizing of woad dyers due to the smell, no I probably would not dye my own threads using woad (especially when we have the competent folks at Renaissance Dyeing doing it for us).

  131. To woad or not to woad………..hmmmm, will give this a miss as the specialist dyers are experienced and dedicated, even to accepting blue hands! I feel they deserve our support so I plan to order some of the Renaissance range from them. Would love to do some Chinese pottery designs in the woad range.
    All the best, Gail (Burlington, ON)

  132. First the entertainment:

    Woad dark, woad light,
    A lovely blue to stitch so bright;
    Water pale to deep midnight,
    That’s the woad I wish tonight.

    or if you’re feeling Hobbitish:

    The woad goes ever on and on
    Out from the pot where it began…

    In answer to your question, I would like to try dyeing with woad. I just started learning dyeing this year with acid dyes so I have to spend some more time there. But it’s on the list for sure. There’s something so satisfying about getting the EXACT colour you want.

  133. What a wonderful opprotunity to try out something new. I woad not try dying my own wool as for a start, I live in Africa and woad not where to find woad here. I only have a very small kitchen and would not relish the mess I am sure I woad make.
    Granny Pam

  134. As much as I like challenges, I have to say that I woad not dye my own. The biggest reason why not is that I know someone else already does it better than I could. I just like to stitch with it. Another reason is that I just don’t have time or space to set up a dying area. I would think for something like this there would need to be a dedicated space and time. I barely have time to stitch as it is.

    Thanks, Mary, for the fun question and opportunity to win some of that beautiful blue, (my favorite color), wool thread.

  135. Hi Mary! I’ve toyed with the idea of doing more than tea and tie dying, but unfortunately, I just don’t have the extra $$ to waste incase the project goes south on me. I appreciate the give-a-way, “woadn’t” it be nice to win such lovely yarn? You bet!

  136. Well, Mary, I have to say that I woad NOT dye with woad. Although I found it fascinating, and enjoyed the video clips so much I watched them twice, I was discouraged at the discription of the odor created by the process. I live too close to my neighbors! And although it’s a lovely shade of blue,the idea of it becoming the color of my perspiration put me off the idea completely! So I’m crossing my non-blue fingers and hoping I’m chosen!
    Thanks and Happy Stitching!

  137. Oh, my woad! Woadn’t it be woaderful to win the woad dyed yarn? I woad certainly put it to good use. I have the perfect project for it!

    Love your woadsite!!

  138. Mary, I woad NOT dye my own fibers! I love fibers, colors and textures…and I have all kinds! I think I would have to find a new home if I said I wanted to try dyeing fibers. I have a tendency to go overboard with anything I try. Therefore, I have enough (so says the DH) but the colors are delicious!

    Cathy from MI

  139. I totally woad! I love dyeing silk ribbon its very addicting. So dyeing wool with weeds sounds like fun. Now I just need a bigger workroom.

  140. I might woad once, but since indigo doesn’t require a mordant, some of which are toxic, I think I would indigo for my blues instead.

  141. Hi Mary,

    Thanks for the opportunity of the give away. I woad not dye my own yarn because I could never get it to look as good as what is available commericially.

    I love hand dyed yarn, floss and fabric for unique looking projects.

    Jan B. in Florida

  142. I am absolutely in the camp of buying the wool already dyed with woad. The reason is simple its the climate – someone kindly gave me woad seeds some time ago but they refused to germinate! and although I have done some natural dyeing in 2009.I think its a task better done outside and the climate in Scotland recently has just not been co-operating with my aspirations….

  143. After reading how people in the Renaissance era dyed fabric using woad, and watching the video, I am truly inspired now to try that on my own! I have been thinking where in my yard to plant the woad—hhhhhhhhmmmmm-perhaps the side yard, or maybe I’ll set aside the back area! When I watched the video, I was so enthralled with how the minute the wool was exposed to the air, it started turning blue! The people of that time MUST have thought it magical, especially when they saw it happen the first time! I wonder who the first person to discover the properties of woad was and I would have loved to see their reaction!

  144. What I Woadn’t give to win the Woad Dyed thread contest! I mean I Woad just Dye to run my fingers through the luxuriously Woadiful threads of My Blue Heaven! So in a perfect world I Woad have an artist studio with dyeing vats and hanging/drying lines.

    It Woadn’t Madder Sumach to me
    If I could Weld the color in cloth or yarn
    as the Woad
    Woad be my color charm to keep me health-ee

    Of course I Woad Glastum have a raised garden behind my studio to grow my Woad and to harvest the first year and gather the winged seeds the second year.
    Vicki S in Denver

  145. I would absolutely love to try dying wool with woad. Don’t know if you have seen the recent movied Arthur (about King Arthur) The Druids dyed their bodies with woad, and, in fact, were referred to as “woads.” I am really drawn to the direct shades of blue which appear on your web site. I am going to do a little research, to determine if the plant grows wild in Western Pennsylvania.

  146. I am fascinated at how nature does things so perfectly. Do you know about the purple dye so valued in the Holy Land centuries ago and for which one of the first Christians after Jesus was crucified was a woman by the name of Lydia who was a dealer in purple. The reason it was so prized was because it took thousands of snails to make a small amount of this dye extracted from the oil in the snail and only found along the shores of the Dead Sea. The freshly dyed cloth was exposed to the sun and the length of exposure determined the colour being indigo, red or purple. This plant is kinder isn’t it than harvesting snails and yes, I would buy the threads but leave the dying to experts like Lydia. Thank you for giving us so much to learn on your website. Alice Hughes, British Columbia

  147. I woad not. I love to work with wool (knit, crochet, stitch, hairpin lace etc) but not confident of dying. The blues are fabulous!

  148. I definitely would like to try dyeing with woad! It looks like fun, and afterward I’d have a pretty new fiber to use in my stitching. This was a great topic, Mary.

  149. I found the video’s working with woad very interesting. I don’t think that we have the plant here but it would be very interesting to pull some wool out of a vat and see it change in the air from white to blue. But seeing the reaction to the smells it would have the be a very windy day, with the wind in the opposite direction for me to try it..but then there is still the curiosity factor.

  150. I surely woadn’t try it myself. Although, woadn’t blue fingers look great for Halloween? I woad much rather buy some woaderful colors of yarn from somewoad else. Adrienne Gaudette

  151. Yes, I like to dye my yarn and yes I like to buy it in a very nice color (if it’s the one I had in mind or one that tickle my fantasy). I bought some indigo woad powder in Egypt some years ago and I hope to find the perfect moment to experiment with it soon. Thank you for this great giveaway.

  152. I do like to buy my fibers/wool already dyed because I’m just not sure of the process.
    I have tye-dyed shirts before so I suppose it’s not too different, right?

  153. Oh, I definitely woad. I woad have no hesitation about dyeing my own woad yarn. I woad love to get my hands on some woad wool and woad love it forever, I woad, I woad. I am sure I could (and woad) make something beautiful with it, if I woad only have the opportunity.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    from na almost nonexistent town in SW Indiana

  154. I would definitely support the artisan who makes such beautiful wool by purchasing it from them. Don’t see me dying my own anytime in the near future as I’m at my busyness capacity!
    This is so beautiful!!

  155. I love naturally-dyed yarns. I do embroidery for medieval costume. I actually have some woad I’d like to use to dye embroidery and weaving yarn.

    I have a stash of Renaissance Dyeing’s yarns already 🙂

  156. I woad not because….as much as I think it would be fun [I remember the fun tie dying T-shirts in school] I also remember when I thought it woad be fun to combine all the ends of lipsticks I had once. I got a bain marie going, an apron on and out came…the ugliest color you ever saw! I have a feeling I would manage to do the same again. I’m too impatient!
    Thanks – Audrey

  157. While it woad be fun to give it a try, I doubt I would do it more than once. With Rennaisance Dyeing making such nice yarn available online, I woad almost certainly just buy theirs so I’d have more time for working on my crewel projects. 🙂

  158. Dyeing sounds intriguing, but, I’ve sort of taken a vow to avoid starting crafts that just produce materials for other crafts. I already have a huge stash of stuff for projects, and I don’t want to start a stash to make things that will then go into something else.

    So far, it’s working.

  159. I might try it! I have a friend who runs dye workshops here in New Mexico. I’ll have to ask him if Woad would grow here in the desert. He has lived and dyed (oh that is bad) all over the world.

    For now I would just like to have the beautiful blue threads.

    Elaine in Las Cruces NM

  160. I shared your ‘woad’ link on The Quilt Show website forum and rec’d this comment from a British quilter… Just have to share with you and your readers! As for me, I’d not dye my own as I’d rather just USE it, but I’ve already had way wayyyy too much fun with your link for any one person! ha

    “The Woad Ode”

    Written by William Hope-Jones
    Music by Men of Harlech
    Lyrics by William Hope-Jones
    Published 1921, The Hackney Scout Songbook
    Language English
    Recorded by Joe Hickerson

    The Woad Ode is a humorous song, set to the tune of Men of Harlech. It recounts the ancient British tradition of fighting naked in woad dye, but is not intended as a history lesson. It first became popular in 1920s as a song in the British Boy Scouts[1] and first appeared in The Hackney Scout Song Book (Stacy & Son Ltd, 1921). The author was William Hope-Jones, a housemaster at Eton,[2] who wrote it some time before 1914, as he sang it at a College dinner at that time. “Ho Jo” appears in the M.R. James’ ghost story Wailing Well (1928), in which a group of masters take the Eton Scout Troop on an ill-fated camping expedition.

    What’s the use of wearing braces?
    Spats and hats and boots with laces?
    Vests and pants you buy in places
    Down on Brompton Road?
    What’s the use of shirts of cotton?
    Studs that always get forgotten?
    These affairs are simply rotten,
    Better far is woad.
    Woad’s the stuff to show men.
    Woad to scare your foemen.
    Boil it to a brilliant hue
    And rub it on your back and your abdomen.
    Ancient Briton ne’er did hit on
    Anything as good as woad to fit on
    Neck or knees or where you sit on.
    Tailors you be blowed!!
    Romans came across the channel
    All dressed up in tin and flannel
    Half a pint of woad per man’ll
    Clothe us more than these.
    Saxons you can waste your stitches
    Building beds for bugs in britches
    We have woad to clothe us which is
    Not a nest for fleas
    Romans keep your armours.
    Saxons your pyjamas.
    Hairy coats were made for goats,
    Gorillas, yaks, retriever dogs and llamas.
    March on Snowdon with your woad on,
    Never mind if you get rained or snowed on
    Never want a button sewed on.
    Go it Ancient Bs!!


  161. I love the shades of blue that woad produces, and I’ve tried my hand at dyeing my own threads, but the woad process is a little beyond me right now. I’d love to try, though!

  162. I would love to dye my own threads with woad. I am very new to crewel embroidery (just in the beginning stages of learning…), but I am an early-modern historian with a keen interest in textiles, and wool-processing traditions, and love to try new things. My mother is a punch-needle rug hooker and dyes much of her own wool: it is a fascinating process to watch– a real art in itself. We live across the country from each other now, which limits our mother-daughter activities mostly to Christmas celebrations, but I am looking forward to learning from her, some day.
    ~Elizabeth Mary

  163. Woad I the plant, I woad dye the wool blue!

    The past two weeks I dyed 6 yards of wool crepe green. Bravely done, it worked! I obtained the most glorius emerald of greens, and competed a Frontal, Super Frontal and Pulpit fall (sorry – machine applique and machine embroidery – gasp…, as it had to be completed in a week, but it is stunning! Still the stole and veil to complete before this Sunday.)

    Advent fast approaches…. woad is me… that I had a beautiful blue for the next set of paraments:)

  164. Woad? Of course I’ll dye with woad given the chance! Let woad join the ranks of hibiscus flowers, osage orange sawdust, tumeric, black walnuts, jagua fruit from Panama, eucalyptus and other natural sources that I’ve used to dye my woolly threads.

    Give then amount of beer that my dearest husband drinks while we cruise on our sailboat here in the Caribbean, urine won’t even be a problem! I wonder it woad would work to paint temporary tattoos on our skin like the jagua fruit does if it stains hands? This could be fun….

    Thanks for sharing your experience with woad with us all!

    Terry SailingKnitter

  165. I’m definitely in the “woad-not” group! Knowing a little about woad dyeing makes working with the yarn much more enjoyable, but I’ll leave the process itself to the professionals. I also love knowing a bit about the flax-to-linen procedure, but wouldn’t tackle the growing of flax, or the making of fine linen. But I certainly LOVE working with linen and with silk, and with beautifully died wool. Thank you, Mary, for making embroidery ever more enjoyable by filling us in on the history and processes and the many background stories of embroidery and embroiderers.

    -Cindy in Oriole, PA

  166. I would not woad, too much work. I love seeing how things are made–loved the video on pin making–but would rather spend my time stitching.
    Keep up the wonderful posts–I learn so much from them.
    Diana K
    Sioux Falls

  167. This is a tough one. I dyed satin play scarves for my daughter and her friend for Christmas last year. It was a bit tedious and very involved. Plus some of the colors did not come out. I think if a part of a group, like in a class, I woad dye my own cloth. I think it would give me more control!

  168. After reading Marlene’s comment, I would do it but only enough to build a stock for myself. Currently, I “nature” dye (onion skins, tea bags, etc).

  169. That poem by Elisabeth above is wonderful!
    I woad not, although I’d like to try. The neighbours would *most definitely* kill me if I hung dripping hands of dyed wool from the balcony! *grin*

  170. Hello,

    Normally I would not even dream of dying my own wool but this year I have set myself the motto: ‘Try something new’, so we have been eating the strangest things and I have been making foraged liqueurs (sloe and elderberry) just to be less influenced by what the supermarkets say I should like. It has led me to make quince jelly one day and raw food the next. I have presented all with a poker face to my four children (aged 8, 6, 4 and 2) as the most normal thing in the world…and they love it. Just don’t tell them. I would love to try new embroidery techniques and since I saw 17th century embroidery work in Bath (England)I have just yearned to reproduce pieces as closely as possible. My material costs have certainly gone up and this prize would really help. Thank you for your website Mary, it definitely introduces the ‘something different to me’.
    Sandra, Swindon, England

  171. I would love to try dying wool with woad. I am a teacher and think it would be a great experience to share with my students to teach them about life in medieval times as well as chemistry.
    Monica D.

  172. I would love to dye my yarns, I have dyed fabric for my quilts before, however, I now live in a vcery small home and have no room to dye anything. I love the shades of blue you have posted. Thanks for the chance to win these lovelies. Velia

  173. I woad love to try dying my own yarn and actually have access to jacob sheep and their wool. Just need to learn how to get the raw wool to the finalized yarn state!

  174. I’d certainly Woad! I love learning about anything Fiber-ish from raw materials to finished product! The only thing stopping me from trying it now is the lack of woad plants growing wild near my location!(hint-hint! If anyone has any seeds, I’d like to see about getting some….)

  175. I woad really like to win the woad-dyed yarn. Why? Because I woad never dye any myself – my nose is just too sensitive! But my eyes like the color. If I won it would pacify both nose and eyes!

  176. Isatis tinctoria
    Would be part of my historia,
    If through computer selection
    I win this beautiful collection.
    If not, woad is me, I will be blue,
    But I’ll still be grateful and thankful to you!

    Good luck to all you cutters and dyers out there, from Celtic Cate

  177. Hi Mary, Dyeing woad would be a widdle bit to wooeee on the nose for me, so I’ll be happy with the ready bought ‘stuff’. 🙂

  178. How much woad could a woadchuck chuck if a
    woadchuck could chuck woad? And what is chucking ???
    Oh, my!!! What a lot of work and so easy to make a mistake but oh so beautiful. I woadn’t dye my own yarn. It’s not that I am lazy, it’s that I woad like to spend my time using that gorgeous yarn to make something to cherish.


  179. Hi Mary, how exciting!! When I went to the Renaissance Dyeing website and read the history and techniques on their site I wanted to start dyeing straight away!! Unfortunately I don’t have woad and have 3 children (4 counting hubby!!) and so many projects on the go and so little time! I have bookmarked their site as I love their colours and am gathering threads for a crewel project. I teach a small class of juniors and think that they would love to have the opportunity to experience natural dyeing, so I shall obviously have to make some time and learn these techniques!

  180. Hi Mary.
    What a Woadalicious giveaway.Thank-you and Renaissance Dying.
    To Woad or not to Woad. If I was still living in the country and actually had some woad plants then I would love to have a go. But as we saw on the video, it has quite a pong. I’m sure my city neighbours woadn’t appreciate me woading and toiling on the patio.:)
    Wasnt it fascinating how the wool changed colour so quickly.
    Thanks again for the chance to win such a woadalicious range of colours.
    Phillipa in NZ

  181. I woad if I could. But lacking the raw materials, I´ll settle for the ready-woad variety – beautiful shades of blue!

  182. I already tried to dye my own yarns with plants. But woad ! I visited a workshop this summer, where people actually dyes with woad. The process is very hard, and time consuming. I would love to learn it… However, I really love this blue color !

  183. I woad love to win the woad-dyed wool. The range of colors is heavenly. I woad not attempt to dye my own, as I never heard of the plant and can’t find it in any of my plant books for OK.
    I remember my mother talking about using the berries from mulberry trees to paint and dye with when she was a child. It would be fun to experiment with plants to make dyes, but I can’t get out much because I am mosquito bait!

  184. Hand dying thread though sounds like a fun and great learning experience, I owuldn’t dye my own at this moment in time. Getting quality thread and then getting woad would be very expensive. Then there is always the mess and clean up of doing it yourself. Finished product for me please.

  185. Woad is me! Woad is me! (wringing of hands)
    Oh how I woad like to dye,
    Such pretty blue to match my eyes,
    But alas my knees no longer bend
    Down to the earth for plants to tend.
    I much prefer to sit and stitch, to tat, embroider, feed my itch for to CQ,
    cross-stitch or play, with lovely threads all through the day.
    So please how I woad love to win!
    and so this ode to woad I spin.

    Oh! lovely woad, to you I nod,
    And apologize -my feet have trod
    Upon your leaves all edged in blue
    That colour woad I steal from you.
    Into my pot your leaves woad go
    To bring forth blue whose shade is true.
    And colour threads that I might stitch
    to feed my need-to-embellish itch!
    oh, woad! my thanks to you i say,
    And for good weather I shall pray
    That your green leaves grow large and strong,
    To make such blues for which I long.

  186. I woad love to win these threads! I have never seen woad dyed threads in person, which may sound silly, but I dearly love threads. I woad like to learn to dye my own threads once I retire at the end of this year (then I wouldn’t have to worry if I end up blue with my students!). I have hand-dyed simple DMC floss before and enjoyed it, but never from the plant itself!

  187. I would not dye with woad or any other dye for that matter. I have tried it and it is not for me. I can’t seem to get the colour I want and always end up with a muddy yucky colour. I like being able to see the finished thread or yarn and picking out exactly the colour I want to work with. If I enjoyed dyeing my own threads, I would not dye with woad. Having to do all the chopping and cooking and then enduring the smell would make me stop dyeing completely. As much as I like blue, I don’t want to have with blue hands!

  188. I sure woad try dying my own! My daughter lives in the middle of nowhere country Michigan, and I sent her your posted vids to watch. She emailed immediately afterward that she could grow the woad and when I visit have a dying session! We found several places online that sell the seeds, so . . . in the future it would be fun to give it a try. However, in the present, it would be great to win those lovely colored threads. Thank you and Andie of Renaissance Dyeing for covering this subject. Fascinating.

  189. Mary,
    Alas, I woad not, as I am incredibly clumsey and woad get more woad on me than on the yarn! :)However, blue is my very favorite shade….beautiful!!!

    Have you thought of dying wool with beets? That woad be an interesting color! I certainly have dyed enough of my shirts with those things! 🙂

    Jen in OR

  190. I woad love to win this woad-dyed wool. However, I woad not have the patience to dye it myself. Maybe someday, if any of my six children ever dein to bless me with grandchildren, I might invite them for a week in the summer and we would make dye out of something natural and have fun with it. But right now I do daycare since I have no grandchildren to enjoy, and it is all I can do to send them home without new colorations on their skin or clothing. Thanks for the opportunity to win this beautiful wool!!

  191. To dye or not to dye,
    That is the question.
    Tis better to suffer the slings and arrows of critical friends who know nothing of woad,
    Than to wonder to the end of my days the beauty I “woada” created if I “coada”.

    (A feeble attempt at Shakespeare – guess what I’m trying to say is I would like to try it with the help of an experienced teacher. Thank you Mary and Andie for this wonderful opportunity.)

  192. Oh, I woad indeed be one to dye my own threads, from hairy wool, to firm linen, and even unto the finest silk, in the plant which is called woad. However, where I live in this Golden State, woad is banned as a most noxious weed, so I may woad not. Tis a sad state indeed, as such color I would feign to play with.

    I do hope that someday soon, mayhaps upon the year next should the season be favorable, to grow fine Indigo, mayhaps of the Indian plant, or from my own homelands of Japan, if such can thrive in the hot summers of the central Golden State. It is my wish to play and color my world of fine threads in the fashion of past days of the Renaissance, much like the fine woad wool threads being offered, for which my simplest and most humblest thanks are given unto the storyteller of the woad threads Lady Andie, and of this most excellent Lady Mary, keeper of this internet realm.

    Submitted most humbly on this fine early fall day of the twenty-ninth of September, in the year of our Lord, two thousand and eleven.

    (why yes, I do renaissance faires, and am in the SCA).

  193. Woad she…or woad she not? That is the question…

    Where woad a girl wearn to woad as wonderfully well as the woad-workers woad? I weally, weally want the woad that the woad-workers have already woaded for widdle me.

    The answer is…”Woad she not…”

    Thank you Wennasance Woad Dyers, and Mah-wee!!!

    Carolyn in SoCal

  194. I woad not do my own dyeing it’s just to much of a thing for me..Living in an apartment I’m sure I woad have dye every where not only on me but walls etc..I prefer to walk into a lovely store and look at all the beautiful colours and I can walk out with them all ready made for me and go home and swoon and pet all my beautiful woad colours and then put them into a really nice pattern of choice..Now I have spent less time otherwise I have to take time to dye the wool with the woad colours and that ties me away from my needlework with all the woad colours already done for me…I prefer more time needle working..Thanks for this opportunity to win some of these wonderful woad wools to work with.

  195. I woad not do my own dyeing it’s just to much of a thing for me..Living in an apartment I’m sure I woad have dye every where not only on me but walls etc..I prefer to walk into a lovely store and look at all the beautiful colours and I can walk out with them all ready made for me and go home and swoon and pet all my beautiful woad colours and then put them into a really nice pattern of choice..Now I have spent less time otherwise I have to take time to dye the wool with the woad colours and that takes me away from my needlework with all the woad colours already done for me…I prefer more time needle working..Thanks for this opportunity to win some of these wonderful woad wools to work with.

  196. I woad try. I havent yet because it is my understanding there are restrictions in my region for growing woad, but I would love to try the process and experience out.

  197. Thank you, Andie, for identifying the foreign plants in my garden. I just thought that I had weeds!

    If you can take that humble looking woad plant and turn it into the lovely colors that I saw on your website you are a talented magician. Kudos to you. I woad never attempt to dye wool when you seem to have the process perfected.

    I enjoyed learning the procedure and will have a new respect for the treads that I am using.
    Debbie Brian

  198. I “woad” love to dye wool with woad!! What an informative and inspirational post!! Amazing that such a humble plant like woad can create such divine shades of blue!! Thanks Mary for such a great website! Sarah G.

  199. I would absolutely consider dying my own thread with woad, although for the sake of our neighbors, it might make sense to do it somewhere away from our apartment in Brooklyn, NY! That’s a smell that’s not likely to make you too many friends… 😉

    However the dying process is truly fascinating and I would love to try it out – it also strikes me as a great (supervised) activity for older children, especially because it’s so cool to see the fiber change color as it becomes oxidized once removed from the dye bath.

    It strikes me as a good outdoor camping activity, for urban dwellers. Woad over an open fire!

    I am in the planning stages of creating a cloak inspired by the iron age clothing found in archaeological digs on the British Isles and mainland Europe. A garment inspired by ancient clothing seems like a great place to try out woad-dyed thread, as well as do a little (possibly anachronistic) embroidery!

    I plan to weave my “ancient-inspired” cloak from natural/undyed wool into a subtle plaid pattern. After the cloak itself has been created, I will use thread dyed with woad to embroider the four corners of the garment with designs inspired by Celtic and Germanic knotwork.

    I’m really glad that you posted a link to Renaissance Dying — seems like a great place to get the crewel thread for the embroidery (or a bit of woad to dye my own!). Thanks for the interesting series!

  200. I would consider dyeing with woad, if I knew where to get it and if I had some wool handy. I do dye my own fabric, so this would be a nice addition.

    Mary in Oregon

  201. I woad rather not as I am very impatient and woad rather get to the stitching part imediately or at least drawing the design. I woad be far too messy and woad have the woad all over the woad -be studio and woad create a very woady mess. g to use The woad blue is the most heavenly blue shade and one I woad be loving to use on all woad it I coad projects!

  202. After a short debate, I would say no. Unless perhaps I found woad already growing nearby, I wouldn’t try it. First, it is smelly. Second, it is invasive. Also it would take a lot of trial and error to get the shade and amount I wanted. Why not let the experts do it? I’ll try my hand at the easier plants to dye with. 🙂

  203. I would dye my threads with Woad. I just love seeing new colors of threads. I think it woad be super fun! I love wool threads they can be a bit of a pain sometimes, but the effects are just beautiful! Thanks Mary for offering these.

  204. Woad I? Of course I woad! I’ve dyed wool yarn with package dye when I couldn’t find the color I wanted. I’ve dyed fabric yardage with veggies (mainly onions or beets)or other plant based items just to see how they’d turn out.
    I never thought about the gradation occurring darkest first and fading to lightest. I’ve worked the 10 second to 3 minutes spacing trying to get levels of color, light to dark.

  205. I woad not – I don’t have the space or the gear or the inclination or the time – I woad rather be stitching! 🙂
    P.S. Woad doesn’t grow in New Zealand and I woad not be allowed to import it, I suspect!!

  206. I woad certainly consider dyeing my own as it would be another crafty adventure in the long line of already dabbled in crafty adventures!
    How could you not love those beautiful colours anyway?

  207. To Woad or Not to Woad — THAT is the question! It sounds like a messy proposition that takes up a lot of space (read: I would have to clean an area) — which is not likely to happen! But I would never say “never”. I am fascinated w/ dying and love reading about it and seeing it done. But for now, winning a set of these threads would be WONDERFUL!

  208. No, thank you! I think buying them would be my best option. I don’t believe the woad plant exists in this part of the world, so there is no way I could dye my own yarn.

    Marva in Central America

  209. Oh my – everyone is having such fun with puns! I find natural dyes very intriguing and have always though I might try it some day. But, like Jen above, I am so clumsy and make such an enormous mess whenever I dabble into dyes, I probably *woadn’t* get around to doing this. But those blues are so gorgeous! Yummy!

  210. I have dyed my own threads but not with woad. If I had some to try, I might do it although it seems like quite a process. It does produce some beautiful shades of blue.

  211. Mary,

    I certainly woad dye my own thread and I was delighted to see that Renaissance Dyeing sells woad pigment. Currently I will have to settle with buying my thread “pre-woaded” because I haven’t the space for all of the necessary equipment. Perhaps one day I will get to make my thread from start to finish.

  212. Oh, Mary, I woad love to – but, having tried dyeing with various plant substances, I am not patient enough. Nor do i think the smell woad be welcomed from my neighbors. But I do love these colors and have been wanting to try the Renaissance Dying wools!

  213. Oh, I ‘woad’ love to dye my own, unfortunately small apartment living does not lend itself well to hobbies that take lots of working room and such. Oh well, perhaps in the future 🙂

  214. I love the idea and I’ve read up on it and keep thinking – I am going to do this one day – but lack of time keeps me from doing it! In the meantime, I read other people’s adventures and sigh and hope tht one day I can do it….

  215. Dear Mary,
    I woad DEFINITELY attempt dying my own- it would be such fun. I would get in a full body plastic type suit- put on a mask and gloves, and go for it! We only live once, so why not!?? Of course, if I were to win this beautiful yarn, then I could immediately enjoy the glorious blues and not work so hard. Thank you for all you continue to share everyday.

  216. I woad not dye my crewel wool. The experts can have the honors which gives me more time for stitching.

    I woad like to thank you Mary for the daily inspirations.

  217. yo vivo al sur del mundo”problemas de idioma .no comprendo muy bien
    ,,me encantaria saber como teñir”mis lanas
    encuntro muy apropiados los tonos de pastel
    ,para comenzar seria bueno tenerlos ya teñidos

  218. I definitely would not do it myself but would leave this to specialists or to those who can handle spills and splashes better than me. And I am not very fond of taking chances. When I start a project, I make sure the fibres I will use are of the best quality. And, in the end, if the results are not perfect, I can only blame myself. I am a faithful reader of your newsletter every morning. I think you are the best ! ! !

  219. I woad not consider dyeing my own threads with woad as it woad be pretty woad to take this woad away from the nice folk who need this woad to make a living. I woooove threads and naturally dyed ones are my favorite woad to take

  220. Hello Mary,
    I do not know how to entertain. I dye blue exclusively with woad. Andie ships woad and other natural dyes extract to the U.S.A. The wool I use is from the Navajo-Churro sheep for my colcha stitch (NM Spanish Colonial Embroidery) I buy the raw fleece, wash it comb it and dye it with woad or other colors. I also buy the woad pack for other type of embroidery. Once I grew woad on the property and used fermented urine as a mordant. Yikees!!! On the battlefield, Native American
    would urinate on the wound to wash it off. No MASH unit around!!!
    Dyeing is not difficult. The wool, small quantity, is dyed on the kitchen stove..no finger licking good here..ustensils are used only for dyeing.

    Andie is a wonderful help!!! if I have a question, she always shares her knowledge.
    Woad grows well almost anywhere but in the desert. It is often used as a weed killer of sort because nothing will grow for a while where a woad plant was cultivated. I think that it is true because nothing is growing where the woad was located..of course, we are now trying to survive a terrible drought..only one good rain since last November.
    Woad grows in a beautiful area of France..the ancestral home of my paternal Grandparents.
    Best wishes to all. Whomever wins a Woad pack, my Grandmother will be pleased and smile on you and your embroidery.
    Happy stitching
    Monique in New Mexico

  221. I would rather not dye my own wool. I have found dying fabric/thread to be rather time consuming and difficult with no guarantee of results. I prefer to spend my time embroidering.
    Kathy Holloway

  222. Hi Mary! I woad definately try dyeing with it because unlike the woad dyers from long ago, we have rubber gloves, lol! I’ve tried my hand at using natural plants to dye with, and my most successful dye was using balsam petals. It is a bushy plant with flowers like yellow daisies, and it smells lovely! I love experimenting with all sorts of things:)

  223. Yay! These are so pretty as they are I think I might be reluctant to stitch with them for a while, or at least until I found the perfect project. I absolutely woad dye with woad. I’ve experimented with other natural dyes and think it’s great fun. That said, don’t hold me to when I would actually do this, in the meantime I’d love to win some that has already been dyed.

  224. I’ve dyed yarn before – I’m just not that great at it. I used Kool-Aid, it was fun, but the end project isn’t that great.

    amyknit40 on rav

  225. I would like to experiment with dying my own wool, with woad, as well as other natural dyes. That’s been on my “wanna-do” list for absolutely ages. Some day, I’ll actually pull it together to start dying my own wools and fabrics.

  226. I woad love to try dyeing my own wool. At least once. As clumsy as I am at times, my hands woad not be the tan color they are now.
    It looks beautiful.

  227. Those are beautiful blues…but no, I woad not. My interest lies in the stitching, not in creating the materials. But it was certainly interesting to learn about the process.

  228. Hi Mary, what totally divine shades of blue. If I could dye with woad I think I would but as much as I have searched we just do not have the right plant in Australia. Sadly. I see the things and fabrics dyed by others in Europe and other countries and I dream of someday being able to do the same.
    Thank you for the information as well a sthe giveaway.

  229. I would not dye my own threads to use. A) I have a hard time dying fabric and keeping the color even throughout. B) With my luck, I’d get it evenly dyed, then need more and not be able to match the color. C) Painting and dying my hair already gives my hands funny colors.

  230. Oh yikes, all these woad-be poets and such; I fear I am no competition at all for them.

    As I said yesterday I haven’t done any woad-dyeing which is not to say I woadn’t ever, and actually I think it woad be good to try other types of fibre, eg, silk. I have done indigo dyeing which was fun, and my hand was only blue for about 3 weeks. By the way the person who is ‘mayhapping’ about indigo, indigo grows in the tropics of Indonesia and thereabouts so I don’t think where you are woad be too hot (too dry mayhap, but not too hot), so good luck to you.

    I woad love these blue wools, I covet these blue wools, I yearn for them, even if I don’t actually do much crewel work … yet.

    Thanks to Andie and Mary for organising this great opportunity.

  231. I would love to embroider with wool now that will be possible Mary all because of woad..wow am i excited just to even feel that woad wool.

  232. Ancient Britons never hit on
    Anything as good as Woad to fit on
    Breasts and chests and where you sit on
    One size fits all in Woad.

    Vikings – Saxons keep your armours
    Fur coats were made for goats and llamas
    Ancient Brits don’t wear pyjmas
    We sleep naked in our Woad.

    Tramp up Snowden with our Woad on
    Don’t care if we get rained or blowed on
    We’d march for days along the road on
    Feet just clad in Woad.

    light blue – bright blue – late at night blue
    Colour of eyes after a fight blue
    Always bound to find the right blue
    Every shade of Woad.

    Dark blue for a girl with passion
    Duck egg blue the latest fashion
    Never have a clothing ration
    Just slap on the Woad.

    Atavars look good in blue
    They have no choice they’re blue all through
    But ancient Brits could Woad eschew
    Go out red or green.

    see http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/812-woad-ancient-briton-s-dress-code/ for the rest of the poem

    Mary, given how long it takes to obtain a noxious trade licence from our local council, I think I will leave dying to the experts and just buy the lovely woad dyed threads!

  233. such woad as was petered out to the woadmakers, no wonder they were a blue lot, not only coloured to the bone and stinking like woad only knows what, they woad made to live miles away from others cos of their woadful smell.
    But, woadn’t you know it, the best yarns come from the woarst yokers.

  234. Hi,

    Thanks for your post on Woad dyeing. I have never had any insite on all these dyeing process.

    I would prefer to buy my threads as a ready to use stuff rather than dying it myself. The simple reason being – I dont want both my naughty sons to get a dip in Woad water while trying to dye my threads. :)-

  235. I would love to have a go at dyeing the colour which was used in Medieval tapestries, but I do not want to live outside the town. I would have no-one to talk to about the embroideries I would make with the wool!

  236. At this time, I woad not. I would be scared of what would happen and that it would be difficult to get the supplies. I’m a novice embroiderer so maybe when I have more experience I’ll give it a go.

  237. I might dye my own wool if I retire sometime soon which isn’t likely. I just don’t have as much time as I’d like to stitch and sew which means as much as I like doing it all myself…..I don’t think I want to spare any of my already precious time in dyeing wool when I can purchase it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  238. Hello!

    Would I woad? I never woad, because dyeing is very dirty and expensive. Besides, hand dyeing stranded cotton costs as much as buying the finished one. I love blue, ultramarine, cobalt and every shades of blue. I’m dreaming about crewel wool, which is unavailable in Poland. I would embroider something like a part of Bayeux tapestry if I had a crewel wool.

    Sylvia from Poland

  239. Dyeing is interesting i would love to try anything new and creative. As of now , i would rather not do unless i an really confident with the results . So , if i decided to dye yarn , i woad have to research a lot before attempting.

    thanks for the lovely giveaway …

  240. I woad not dye my own. First off, I can kill any plant. Cactus has been known to die for spite! Then there is the whole dying process. I can guarantee , in addition to the wool, my floor and myself would be dyed. So I’d best stick to buying such treasures as this lovely wool.

  241. The John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina teaches classes on using natural sources for dyeing and I was fascinated to see them at work when I was there. You could always spot the dyeing students at meal times because their hands were all sorts of colors (those of us in the quilting/embroidering class were covered in thread orts, the woodworkers had sawdust in their hair, the blacksmiths were very dirty, and so on). I decided then and there that I would rather stitch with the final product than go through the process of dyeing it. These colors, however, are just beautiful and make my fingers itch to start a crewel project like the Talliaferro Royal Blossoms you’re working on the Stitch-A-Long site. Janet.

  242. Definitely! But I’m not sure that we have Woad in Australia… I really want to try dying wools with gumleaves – I have been told the ranges of green and browns are so beautiful from gumleaf dye! If I could get my hands on some woad, you’d have to hold me back from trying it out!!

  243. Hi Mary,
    Thank you for another wonderful give-a-way. I woad not dye my own threads as I haven’t begun to access all the ready-dyed threads available yet. I am a newbie. It is great you are providing the opportunity to win a quality product once again. I don’t have any wool yet so I would love to experiment with it. Gracias!

  244. I’m dreaming about having a little farm one day with a little farmhouse and some sheep.
    I’m saving these articles for the future, if I ever have my own wool to play with. Until then I just buy the already dyed product from the experts.

  245. Hi Mary,

    I am in the Woad not group. Dying wool falls into the category of “if I start that, I’ll never get to all my stitching”. I have so many projects that are begging to be done – and now I’m tempted by the Essamplaire casket that will be coming up… There’s just not enough time for everything!! The woad threads are gorgeous – and I’m better off to just use them in all their beauty and leave the dying to someone else. As always, thanks for your wonderful website!!

    Janice Uehling

  246. I would woad not in the house
    I would woad not with a mouse.
    Oh the stink gets in my hair.
    Oh the stink get every where.

  247. I love the blues that woad produces but no, I wouldn’t dye with woad in the traditional way, but my mom-in-law who was very environment friendly would have loved the idea. She would when visiting us excuse herself from the dinner table and instead of heading for the bathroom would go out onto the lawn and water it for us! This led to the explanation of why she always had such wonderful lemons on her trees. They had loads of free fertilizer poured onto them.
    Lyn W. Cape Town

  248. Hi Mary!
    Someday I “woad” like to try! But for now I have small children and too many projects that I already can’t get to. Fun to think about though and I’m glad that the threads are available to us so we can use the gorgeous colors!

  249. “To woad or not to woad, that is the question.” Alas I would not dye my own with woad. The reason: My creative time is limited and I focus on the creative expression of stitching and not the dyeing. BUT—I would purchase and would love to have that beautiful collection that you are offering, for blue is my very favorite color. Would make with it a lovely embroidered pillow for my blue and white bedroom.

  250. I am catching up on emails and saw this giveaway! I am torn on my answer….I would probably at this point in life prefer to purchase it. I’m just too busy and know that I don’t have the time to dye it myself! However, being curious and getting ready to watch that video…I am totally interested in natural ways of doing things and how plants benefit us. I am going to look in to it and see if maybe some day this is something I might tackle (although you are scaring me with it being considered a horrid job!!!) thanks for the chance! Nichole

  251. I woad not dye wool. Why, when someone else has perfected the task and the results are terrific. I watched some very interesting videos thru the Renaissance Dyeing site that convinced me not to try woad dyeing.

  252. Before reading your tutorials I would have said no… but it turns out woad makes it look manageable and I always enjoy making a good mess!


  253. I woad not dye wool. It’s one of those things that is interesting to read about, learn about, and then have someone else actually do. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  254. I wouldn’t dye – I haven’t the time, equipment or expertise – but would be happy to buy from someone who has. I love the beautiful rich blues this process produces. Thanks for the chance to win!

  255. I woad not, why because in a 1300 sq ft trailer with no garage there lives: hubby, 2 daughters, 6 dogs (medium large ones)7 cats and me. There is no room to woad and the colors wow so beautiful they make me drool, how messy woad that be.

  256. At this point in my life I would rather buy pre-dyed because I’ living in a tiny apartment in an urban jungle. In the future when I have fiber animals, a yard, and a clothesline I’d love to learn woad dying.

  257. Really, Mary? “It BOILS DOWN to answering the question?” Well, I woad try dying with woad, if woad woad grow in my garden, but I woad probably end up with blue hands and a blue sink, and if it all boiled down too much, I woad really have a mess on my hands! And then there’s the question of to pee or not to pee . . . Guess I woad be better off sticking to the professionals.

  258. At this point in my life I really prefer to buy my threads, especially since I have never done any dying, nor have I had any inclination to do so. What I would really like is to get inside your sewing room and absorb some of your knowledge.And next best would be to win one of your giveaways. Thanks.
    Anne C

  259. Mary – I have just started doing a crewel work course and would love to work with some naturally dyed wools. I have had great fun dyeing fabric in the past but don’t think my husband would take too kindly to having to move outside the city because of the smell, to me having permanently blue hands or to me taking up yet another new hobby so predyed threads woad be the perfect answer.

  260. I woad not dye my own wool, much as I have simply fallen in love with the colour. Sharing a one bedroomed flat with my daughter, labrador dog and a cat, not to mention all my embroidery paraphenalia, does not bode well for a project of woad dying….

  261. Yes I “woad” consider dyeing with woad. I have an interest in dyeing with natural plant products and have a framed piece showing the different plants and fibers used by the Native Americans. These threads would work nicely on my wool applique and crewel projects, not to mention my favorite color is blue. I must also say I would not like to make pins, but I do have my own “pin” money which I will be able to save for another day if I win these threads. Thanks to you and Andie for this wonderful opportunity!

  262. I woad (if I were retired)! I have an herb garden and have played with the idea of dying fabric with dye made from the herbs. This would fit right into that plan for someday maybe. Thanks for the opportunity to win such a neat giveaway.

  263. I woad, I woad dye my own. I have purchased some woad, and am going to do my own woaderful dyeing. As an energetic woman who washes, cards and spins her own wool for knitting, (although, not ALL of it!) this is something new to try. I love the feeling of a finished product that I have done most of the work! Although not an expert embroiderer, I get the job done, and love “almost” every minute of the work! And, a huge thank you for this wonderful website, a great place to learn and share!

  264. In my imaginary life, where I am an imaginary version of myself, I would totally dye my own wool. (From my own sheep, clearly).

    In this life, I am happy to finish projects. Or do laundry.

  265. Oh, I woad! I woad!

    I’m just dying to dye with woad (and could be tempted to paint my face with some of the liquid for a Halloween costume, a la Braveheart, if I could only be sure that the woad woad magically disappear on the morn’ of November 1st!).

  266. I don’t think that I have the patience to dye my own threads. I’m more of a “let’s get going” stitcher. I “woad” love to win a beautiful array of woad-dyed wool. Renaissance has such beautiful materials- I could quickly spend a fortune on their site! I’ve got them bookmarked for later this month when I’ll have some pocket-money!

  267. I woad not try to dye my own yarn. Dying would be trying and I’m not denying that it may be somewhat fun, I just don’t think it woad be for me. I woad, however, love to use what someone else has perfected! Thanks for the chance to enter!!

  268. I woad not/could not dye my wool
    For fear of looking like a fool
    With tangled threads and a box of wine
    I’d return to my senses and shop online

  269. Alas, no I woad not dye my own wool While the idea of having my grandson help me create such beautiful blue magic (and returning him home with blue hands) is alluring, the invasive weed warnings are enough to keep me from woad, as it is not in Pennsylvania yet. Now if we could match up the prospective dyers with the forestry service volunteers working to eliminate this plant from the US, and harvest it for the dyers instead of using pesticides, it woad be a great matchup! I’d stick to stitching with Andie’s heavenly blue shades; I woad stitch bluebirds and indigo buntings.

    I do dye Easter eggs though … not quite the same, is it? Ordinary dry yellow onion skins, saved through winter, make the most beautiful red brown eggs!

    Thank you Mary and Andie for this opportunity!

    Cathy in PA

  270. I woad definitely consider natural dying of my own threads or yarn, but not certain if woad would be the path I’d take. Being somewhat of a stitching newbie, I do prefer to buy threads in their finished state, since it takes dang long enough to get the materials organized, & find enough time and caffeine to work on a project. (:

  271. Oh Woad is me! Definitely me. I love to work with wool and something blue is so beautiful. I love the whole idea of dyeing with woad and using it. So much history there. I have never dyed wool, but know what huge process it is as I have watched others do it (my mom). I’ve done crewel work most of my adult life. I could do so many pretty things with it!

  272. I love Stephanie’s answer – if I could be my imaginary “me” I certainly woad do a lot more of everything from-scratch, including dying my embroidery yarn.
    Homemade bread and laundry are pretty reliable; every thing else waits on job & weather!

  273. I do not woad dye right now, but I would in a second if I had the raw materials 🙂 I love to dye my supplies and see what creative wonders I can come up with

  274. I wouldn’t woad…I am not very skilled at dying and do not have the resources to do so!! So, I would leave it to the professionals!! Thank you!

  275. Until just now, I woad not have known what woad even was! However, indigo is a favorite color! Nevertheless, I woad not dye my own threads just cause I woad not know how! So I want to win a set!
    pupton58 at gmail dot com

  276. Would I woad? Since woad is used by warriors from ancient times and I am a closet warrior at heart (instead of spears I have needles and scissors), absolutely!

  277. I have never died wool and at this stge of my life I do not think I will. BUT I love your colors and it would be very nice to win your contest.

  278. I woad not, could not, if I should
    I should not, could not, if I woad

    Your blog has gotten me loads of trouble
    My project loads’ increased by double!

    You tempt me daily, ideas galore,
    I’ll never catch up! And now there’s more!

    Oh Woad is me, Oh Woad is me
    Woadn’t that blue make a glorious sea?

  279. I’d love to try dyeing. I don’t know that woad would be my very first attempt, though- I’d hate to mess it up. The delayed reaction of the dye hitting air would be fun to watch!

    Thanks for doing so many wonderful giveaways!

  280. Oh, woad is me… I miss my woad plants. They grew, but alas, we had to move before I could use them to dye anything. It has been so long since I’ve been able to play with fibers in any form and I miss it so.

  281. Here at home, I waod not.

    Now if I could had been in France … hmmm, won’t that be delightful … in August at the Workshops in Natural Dyeing 2011, yup I would had said, “Woad I do!”

    I viewed http://www.renaissancedyeing.com/store_woad/
    What beautiful yarn. How neat to see the actual sheep!

    Your woad article and the links mentioning the cottage industry for 100’s of homes and now near the industry came to disappearing lead me to wiki here I learn about woad in France and Germany 16th–17th century. How even one could had been put to death back then for using indigo from India.

    About me: I currently have six needle craft web lenses at Squidoo.com with lots of photos of my own work, lots of comments. My main lens is http://www.squidoo.com/hand-worked-needle-crafts.

    My goals are to get others motivate to try different yarns, different techniques, different stitches, to branch out from kits, try their hand at designing or finding free patterns. I started these six lenses mid August of this year. Viewers are coming back several times so they must like the pages, find them helpful so far and that makes me feel good.

    My current crewel project is the embroidery kit by Elsa Williams called the New Bedford bellpull kit. I recently added to my lens …
    at our local EGA chapter’s monthly meeting I was able to go through a stash brought in by another member and I found 11 hanks of DMC Laine Medicis 100% virgin wool. it’s a slightly heavier (just by a little bit) wool yarn than the Fine D’Aubusson and the Renaissance Dyeing Wool. I’m going to use the DMC Laine Medicis in some blue flowers that I still need to stitch. With including the yarn from the kit I’ll have four difference yarns on this piece and I like the difference in yarn height, width, texture that this brings to the piece.

    Thus, I have had the joy of working with Renaissance Dyeing Wool. The quality, feel and such depth of color. The ones I purchased from Hedgehog are within the golden yellow range and soft green range. It would be wonderful to win a set of the blues.

    I know you get this request a lot, but if you had a chance to look at my lens, photos of my crewel work are right at the top. There is a comment section at the page bottom … I’m humble enough to say to you that it would make me blush in pride if you liked something I did or mentioned on my web lens page and you left a comment on my lens that I could show to my sister and my friends.

    Many thanks to you for the time and thought you put into your website. Noelle Frances

  282. I just saw as my finger clicked the send that I spelled woad, as waod in my first sentence. Please change that if you show the top of my email in your comments. Thanks, Noelle Frances

  283. Hi Mary

    I woad not dye my own. I too would go to the internet and purchase what I needed. I use the Oz dyes for dyeing silk ribbon but that is about it.

    Oh I do remember having a jar of pickled beets and when I took the last ones out I looked at the juice and thought what could I dye with this. I grabbed some silk ribbon, various sizes and they dyed a beautiful shade of pink. Ironed it and was ready to use it. Thats about my dyeing experiences.



  284. Hi Mary,

    Yes, by all means I would woad if I could..but, it is a Class A toxic plant in my state and it is required to be eradicated upon discovery…I am crushed! I hope to use the blue indigo in that case, as I plan to dye all of my wool and threads in the near future….thanks so much for all the great info!

  285. Yes I WOAD love to dye my own yarns and floss!-
    WOAD you like to continue to teach me?
    I think it WOAD be a lot of fun, WOADNENT it?
    Where WOAD I find the yarns needed to dye my own?
    WOAD you have them? I think it WOAD be great.
    How hard is it to find WOAD? WOAD I be able to find it in New England? Does WOAD grow near WOOD?
    If you dyed all your yarns with WOAD you could open a shop called” WOAD in the HOOD” It WOAD be WOADnerful!

  286. Yes I Woad woad. I love dying fabrics and have done so for many years. It woad be great to have my threads match my fabrics woad it not? Thanks for the great job you do and the many lessons I have learned from your vast knowledge!

  287. Allo

    I woad not dye my wool. I have no patience.
    I want win the Renaissance Dyeing prices.
    Thank you Mary. I love your blog. Its an inspiration every day.

  288. Honestly, I had no idea until you did this feature that there was still interest in dying fibres with historical methods, and I am very happy to find out that people like Andie are keeping these dyeing traditions alive 🙂

    On the question of “woad I dye”, LOL, I am glad to support individuals and companies who are interested in pursuing the old methods, including using woad and other flora, by buying pre-finished fibres.

    I think like any art, successful dying is probably due just as much to innate skill as it is hard work, and likely requires much studying!, and since I am not much of a botanist or a gardener, it is not something I can really see myself trying.

    That said, if there were an expert teaching a class on dyeing fibres with flora locally (I don’t think woad grows here, so it would likely be other plants), at a beginner level, I might attend out of blantant curiousity 🙂

    Thank you very much for this great giveaway! The beautiful range of blues is gorgeous!

  289. I woad-not dye my own threads using woad, it seems very messy and smelly, but I certainly enjoyed seeing how it was done. It would be lovely to use those beautiful blues, though in a wildflower panel, or for an herbal wallhanging I have a pattern for. They look yummy! Glenna D

  290. i think i woad like to dye my own funky colored yarn because then it woudn’t be like and yarn on the shop shelf…..woad it! LOL ^_^

  291. Nope, I don’t think I “woud” like to dye my own woad threads! The reason? I think it “woud” be too messy! I’m not into messy, that’s for sure! ALTHOUGH, you “woud” get the very color you were looking for! Yep, I think I’d have to say, NOPE to dying my own Woud threads! 🙂

  292. Eu nunca tentei tingir lãs. Sempre compro o produto pronto. Adoro tons pasteis, os trabalhos ficam lindos.Abraços.

  293. I would like to attempt dying yarn from woad. I enjoy learning new crafts. I’ve had the fun of creating sheets of writing paper from pulp but appreciate that writing paper can be purchased. So yes, I would try dying woad but as with the homemade paper, winning yarn would be better.

    Carol, West Chester Pa

  294. I just found out about woad recently while watching my daughters favorite animated stories:) Being a newbie I would love to try it just because it is something new to learn and it gives me a unique look:)

  295. Hi, Mary. I woad much rather give the business to the people who know how to dye with woad, than attempt it myself. I don’t have enough time to do all the stitching I want, so really don’t need to be tempted to take on another activity that takes more time away from my needle and thread, though I have thought of trying to paint thread. Thanks for the opportunity to win this thread pack. Sandi Hersh

  296. Hi Mary et al,

    I woad not dye my wool simply because I have so many things I love to do now and just want to use the beautiful already dyed threads that are so abundant and available these days. But I’d love to spend an afternoon with someone who was going to do it!

  297. Lots of choc’lates for me to eat,
    Lots of coal makin’ lots of ‘eat.
    Warm face, warm ‘ands, warm feet,
    Aow, WOADEN it be loverly?

    Right now…no mental space to learn a new craft…maybe next year though

    mabbettlorraine at yahoo dot com

    thanks for taking time to have a beautifully written and very informative blog…commentary.

  298. I woad not, could not, dye my wool…

    Can’t remember the rest of the poem :(. I don’t have enough time to stitch, much less dye my own wool or silk or cotton! I woad much prefer to buy it all dyed, especially from sellers with good quality control to have consistent dye lots. I woad love to try this wool as I haven’t embroidered much with wool, having stitched mostly with cotton and silk.

  299. I woad never try to dye with woad. I took a seminar class on using synthetic dyes to color floss in the overdyed style. I was overdyed, but the floss was not. Green freckles, green hair and green hands. Lovely speckled look. But the floss….After that disaster, I will just buy the stuff.
    On a side note, we were on our way to attend a Kaffe Fassett lecture, and one of the ladies in the car was talking about a method of dying her wool. She said it was the most amazing thing, because the wool was white when it came out of the vat and then turned blue. Imagine my shock when the VERY NEXT DAY, your blog was talking about woad. I almost fell outta my chair.
    Thanks for the great give-away!
    Laura in SP

  300. What a wonderful giveaway! The videos in the last post were fascinating, and certainly gives new light to the industry.

    I have considered dying my own threads but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Though I was thinking more of other colors than the noxious smelling woad. It might be an interesting experience to try once or twice, though!

    I love recreating historical fiber arts and such, so this definitely has an appeal. Thank you for this great giveaway! I hope I win!

  301. I woad consider dying my own yarn after I woad have spun it from what woad have been a sheep’s wooly coat. 🙂 I woad use local sources for dyes including gooseberries! That woad make a pretty green!

  302. I woad dye my own yarns with anything, including woad, if I had the time and space. My dream one day is to have a small herd of sheep and to use their wool to make all sorts of dyed yarns.

  303. Yes I woad; in fact a friend has some woad growing in her garden and is going to give me some to grow my own. I have dyed my own threads with procion dyes.

  304. I woad not try to dye my own yarn. There are many gorgeous skeins out there already dyed and waiting for me to knit with them. I’m afraid life is just too short to dye!

  305. Wow interesting question.

    As soon as I saw the article my craft-me got itchy fingers… I also love gardening so it sounds right up my alley, and oh those blues look stunning.
    But I probably won’t. We have enormous problems with noxious weeds from elsewhere in the world – I would just feel too guilty about making the local environment take the risk just so I can geek out.
    However, if its possible to get the materials imported affordably, this will certainly be on the todo list once I’m working again! I love using natural resources instead of synthetics so yay woad 🙂

  306. I’m certain that I already left a comment but reading through all of the other comments (wonderful, amusing comments) I did not see my comment. So as not to miss out on a chance to win I’m leaving another one 🙂

    In my first comment I said that I have fanciful notions of trying everything textile related from growing my own flax, raising silk worms and keeping sheep for the raw materials to learning every technique to use my home spun and dyed threads on my home woven fabrics 😀

    Thank you and Andie for this wonderful give-away.

  307. I love exploring new thing, so I would definitely woad. (althoug I am very new to embroidery)

    I am making my mother-in-law a quilt for christmas (she doesn’t know of course), but I couldn’t find the embroidered fabric that I had in mind. So I thought why not do it my self. I found some beautyfull fabric for the quilt and went searching for some paterns.
    I found your website and love it, all the video’s on how to and the lovely paterns and everything and am realy tempted by the sew allong (love the persian rose).
    So in a short time I am bursting with new ideas and (as always) have far too little time for it all.

    But I would love to win me some woad-dyed crewel yarn and add a new project to my list!

  308. I read the article on dyeing with woad and thought, that would be fun to try. Then I watched the clip from the “Worst Jobs in History”. Tony Robinson convinced me to leave it to the experts. I don’t think I could deal with the smell! Tina from Melbourne.

  309. I do not dye my own wool because it would take me too long and I’m sure the color would not come out how I envision it in my head. I am a rug hooker and I use the wool yarn to finish off my borders of my rugs.

  310. I would love to try dyeing my own but am worried I wouldn’t get the colors that I wanted. It the color isn’t that critical I would give it a go
    Robin D.

  311. I woad love to try my hand at woading. Someones blog recently had a link to some photos from a woad workshop and it looked like so much fun. There were all types of fibers and fabrics hanging everywhere in all shades of blue. Definitely eye candy.

  312. I have picked up too many ‘must do it all the way’ habits in my work already that there is a conservation of energy protection I have put in place — could I explain why I have to do it this way to my husband?. Dyeing my own fails this test.

  313. Woad I ever! I’d spend hours playing with woad wool just for the magic of turning white to blue. I’ve watched Andie spellbound as she prepares bottles in readiness for such alchemy. Allez les bleus!

  314. I sure woad love these woolens… but I don’t think I woad want to try dying my own, gosh I make quite the mess dying my own hair! My husband woad probably give me “that look” if I said I woad want to try something like that! Better left to the professionals!

  315. Yes, I certainly am up to trying the dying process. I have never tried it, but I think it is something that would be fun to learn. I like the idea of using natural products to get a beautiful result. After reading the about the history of it I like it even more.
    Sharon K.

  316. Love to win! I woad not! I think I woad have it everywhere with little grandkids running around all the time. I woad need to let you experts do the work and let me have the fun with the finished product! lol

  317. I woad do like to dye it my own just because I’d like to past my time with a bit of fun and crafting! I don’t want this Bea to be bored!

  318. Woad betide me if I used this plan,t as it has never been introduced to my part of the world and as we have so many introduced “Noxious Woads (Weeds) far be it from me to introduce another. However Indigo is one of my favourite colours and I would love to have a go at dying with woad if i ever had the chance. The colour range you are offering is to dye for and would be fantastic for some Deerfield Embroidery.

  319. I woad definitely love to try and dye my own fibers, but would feel more comfortable trying out a class first so that I wouldn’t totally mess it up, because if it could I would. I woad love to win this beautiful set already done though. Thanks for the giveaway. Love your site.

  320. I would dye my own yarn but never heard of woad until right now.
    I’ll have to find out more about how to!

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    Sue V.

  321. Woad I not allergic to the wool, I woad knit,crochet and stitch all woad the day. Woad I born in another time, I woad dye my wool and woad be content to woad stitching and woad dream of patterns towoad my family would wear. Woad I would make dress with woad wool and hats and coats and would woad wool for christmas and everyone in the land of mine would wear woaded wool outfits to please a king. Woad I not allergic to woad wool

  322. Oh I Woad, I Woad, if I had any woad that is. I Do have woad seeds and have big plans for the spring planting. Such beautiful beautiful blues. And I would like to experiment with “saxon green” by overdyeing with my stash of coreopsis tinctoria. I gathered the coreopsis in Colma, the cemetary city that brags it has more dead residents than live ones. Since my great grandmother from Friesland is buried there, I think the coreopsis has a special memore for me.

  323. I woad not dye my own wool, leave it to the experts.

    Woad be fun to try with the grandson. Might make a good school project. Woad expose him to a little history and how things work. Then again, he might not choose the Rit Run option 🙂

    Carolyn in Virginia

  324. I woad!

    I’ve dyed with kool-aid, I’ve dyed with nasty chemically stuff, I’ve dyed with RIT, I’ve dyed with food coloring, I woad dye with woad! I am, however, dying to get my hands on some of that beautiful woaded wool!

    1. Hi, Rosina – there are several pages of comments, so check through each page. Only the first 99 show up on the first page, unfortunately! I remember reading yours , so I’m sure it’s here somewhere! – MC

  325. I have never dyed my own wool, but the woad colors are so beautiful I am tempted to try it! My favorite color was blue, but now my fav is woad!

  326. Not sure if I woad or woadn’t. It sounds really interesting and useful but then I live in a tiny apartment in an area where things like that aren’t possible to do. If I ever lived in a better place I woad definitely think about doing it.

  327. Ok I still woad, but I woadn’t be planting my own. Woad, delicious woad, is a noxious weed in California. So, the good news is I can join the “woad warriors”, when they wage the woad war in northern california. They root out the weed and I can gleefully carry away the pickings, I hope. Planning an early summer trip to northern california….

  328. Yes woad is me my comment from yesterday seems to have disappeared but I cannot despair for I woad love to have the beautiful yarns. I woad not dye I woad not dye so these woad be lovely to add to me thread box.
    Thanks Mary!!

  329. Hello Mary, I woad not dye wool. I have a love and
    interest in needlework…so it woad take away from that!
    However, we need dyers who woad die for woad too!
    Thank you for your contributions to the needle and thread
    enthusiasts, your work is NOT in vain.

  330. I woad not not dye fibers because my previous ventures tend to leave me too much of a mess and things that seem to become dyed (through no fault of my own). I love the colors this set.

  331. I woad not like to dye my own woad threads. It woad be too much trouble and I would have woad-dyed hands. Woad be tide me! I woad rather win/buy some woad dyed threads. Woadn’t that be better?

  332. I have never woaded anything (except Easter eggs, he he :)), but I love all the hand-crafted things. They have such a good aura!

  333. Woad I? Well of course! I go both ways though! I woad yarn myself and I buy it woaded by someone else! For such pretty blue, who woadn’t? I mean… wouldn’t? 😀

  334. I definately “woad” try dying. I believe the history of natural product dying is so interesting. The practice of dying is ancient and mentioned in multiple places in the Bible. The colors from natural dying can also be surprising at times. Thank you Mary for the blog and sharing your indepth knowledge. I “woad” continue to enjoy.

  335. I had to laugh because stupid me kept thinking everyone was spelling wood wrong I had never heard of woad, but look what I’ve learned in my old age. No I couldn’t possibly dye my own as my space is limited and I’d rather be stitching or punching. I love to decorate clothes with embroidery or punch needle and since we are always in jeans etc.those colors would be perfect. I would love to win a set. They would be put to good use and very soon. Christmas is coming and I would like to embellish some things for granddaughters.

  336. Mary asks if I would woad
    But I am worried I’ll look like a toad
    With her instructions day by day
    I have tried new projects that once were grey
    The colours of this wool go straight to my head
    For I love the blues and I love Needle n’Thread!

  337. I woad not dye my own as I am lazy! Those artists who are doing the woad dying really need our support through us buying their threads. Would love to work with woad dyed yarn as I am doing “blackwork” samplers with a twist…not black thread but one color with many shades, not varigated thread but multiple skeins. Have a very limited budget these days so being gifted with woad dyed pallet would make my day and then some!

  338. I woad be willing to try anything once!!! But I sure like it allready done. I am going to use the woad coloring in my soaps next year so why not on wool thread or who knows what else

  339. Woed you or woad you not?
    The question poised to me
    The colors are to dye for
    But it’s that ‘Knot’ don’t you see

    A white mess or a blue one
    Makes no difference in the end
    For all of it woad tangle up
    With dye from toe to chin

    Hats off to Renaissance Dyeing
    For they’re the ones to see
    The art they have perfected
    Their shop the place for me.

  340. I would not use woad as I had no idea what it was! But now I know and can tell you I still would not use woad because I hate dying! All that mess! But I love wooly fibres of all kinds and would just love to have the offered ones. Thank you very much and I’m crossing my fingers!

  341. Though I have dyed threads and fabric with tea, onion skins, beets and, blueberries (on purpose, not accidentally), I’ve never tried woad and I’m unsure about planting a weed that is so invasive. But more power to those who wish to start a cottage industry.

  342. I woad not dye – living in an apartment almost totally covered in carpet + fumble-fingered me would = a certain disaster!! I love what others do and am happy to support their efforts.

  343. I woad not dye thread because it would probably be a lot of work that for me could get very messy. I prefer the already dyed thread due to the fact that when I find a project, I want to start right then. Maybe, maybe if I would ever dye the thread, then I could fall in love with the process or I might like the end color results so much that I woad dye with woad. I have never heard of woad and I have no idea where to purchase the product. I always up for a challenge.

  344. I’m new to embroidery so I think I’ll stick with already-dyed wool/thread right now, but I can see myself getting into it! I love your website, so much great information for a beginner. I’m learning all the stitches from your videos, so much fun.

  345. I’d love to try dying. thread. I’ve never tried it before, but i also don’t have room for too much experimenting. Whenever I start, and if I can get my hands on some woad, I “woad” definitely try it.

  346. I think I wouldn’t because I don’t know how to do it and I’d be afraid of messing it up 🙂
    Thanks for the chance, I love the blues!
    ap_lemos at yahoo dot com

  347. Hi Mary,

    Love the tutorial on Woad dyeing. I’m an avid
    dyer myself; I’ve been experimenting with
    dyes for a long time, so this tutorial was
    very interesting to me. I’ve used onion skins
    to golden-rod to achieve some colors for fabric
    to yarn, some with success and then some with
    failures. I even dyed some earrings to match
    my Mother of the Bride outfit, my daughter is
    still talking about it; I must say the earrings
    did match.

    It’s amazing that some everyday items including
    weeds can be used for dyes.

    Teri Sanfilippo

  348. I woad not, because pro’s can achieve a far better and consistant result. My passion is the cross stitch instead.
    I once bought a cloth in France with a few stripes of woad coloured threads. I loved it, but gave it to a very good friend of mine.
    Now this is my chance to renew my acquaintance with that beautifull blue colour.

  349. I am dyeing to try coloring my own threads some day. I’m sure it would be woads of fun and very satisfying. It would be a positive way of “having the blues” with feeling blue, though I might turn blue. I’m about to begin a new piece designed by my daughter. She studied textile design in Copenhagen and actually had her design exhibited in the Copenhagen museum, and one of her motifs from the larger design is about to be transformed into a crewel design using different shades of blue. Woadya know! These naturally dyed blue crewel wools “would” be perfection and confection.

  350. I’m sorry to say that I woad not dye, myself. It makes for some lovely colored wool but it’s an invasive plant and I’m not sure I’d want to introduce it to my garden. So I’ll leave the dye-work to someone else and happily buy the yarn from them! Thank you for the giveaway.

  351. I woad love to try dying, just so I could say I’d done it. One of my early childhood memories is of taking my great-aunt’s china biscuit barrel, filling it with various plants from the grass verge and mashing them up with water. So the instinct for natural dying was evidently there.
    That said, in practical terms, I woadn’t risk using home produced yarns in a project that involved a lot of work – just in case…

  352. Although I find the idea of dying with woad very intriguing, I have to put my name in the “no” column. It sounds like a messy, smelly process and I’m just not up to the challenge. I woad, however, love to stitch with that beautiful blue wool!

  353. “Woad you or woad you not? … Would you ever consider dyeing your own threads with woad, or do you prefer to buy your threads in their finished state?” – I definitely would consider dying my own yarn. I have thought about it in past but haven’t tried it out yet. I would try any method/dye including Woad.

  354. I woad love to dye linen fabric and silk floss to stitch a sampler. I recently bought a natural dyeing book to try it out! These blues are beautiful!

  355. I don’t do dyeing, but I felt compelled to pen this little ditty:

    The Toad in the Road with a Big Load of Woad

    A toad in the woad was excited: his favorite color was blue.

    He hopped up and down as he plucked it,
    then home to brew up a dye stew.

    He up and jumped into the bucket, emerging a beatiful hue.

    You’ve never seen anything like it. A blue toad is rare, it is true.


  356. I have dyed fabric, and wool and love the process and woad definitely try dyeing with woad .If i knew where to get it.

  357. Oh what beautiful colors of blue. how i would love to knit something with this wool. My knitting fingers are crossed

  358. I’m just returning to embroidery after many years. I love your website and all the lovely materials that are available. Thank you so much for sharing your site.

  359. I definately woad dye my own thread. Heck I’ve pretty much dyed everything else so why not.The thread pack is so pretty . Thanks for the giveaway and for the chance to win.

  360. The word “woad” makes me laugh as it immediately set off a rhyme in my head! “I would dye woad if a woad chuck would – Ha!” I would love to try dyeing woad just for the experience plus I may make an important discovery of some kind along the way. The only reason for me not to try doing it would be time constraints on a project. Stitching is my passion but I am now discovering that the material and fibers as well as fine stitching techniques make a piece become a “Pro”. Thank you Mary and Rennaissance for the opportunity here. The blues are my favorite colors.

    Missy Palmer Oct 1, 2011

  361. Oops – typo in my earlier comment. I meant to write: “…It would be a positve way of “having the blues” without having the blues.”

    Makes a big difference !

    And I used to be a proofreader! Sheesh.

  362. Woad I or woad I not? Probably not. No matter how pure my intentions would be to dye the thread with woad, I woad spill it and I woad be the one dyed instead of the yarn. Perhaps though I woad look better dyed in woad…..a new fashion trend? I think it is easier on me and anyone that looks my way if I just buy my yarns already woaded.

  363. I am dye-ing to own this yarn! I ‘woad’ love to try this type of dye-ing if I had a place to do it. I am already considering planting the plants to make the dye to dye the wool yarn. I think that I would even like to try raising the sheep to sheer to make the yarn!!

  364. These blue shades are fantastic and I woad love to stitch with them! I woadn’t dye myself though, because I’m a bit of a perfectionist and have a brown thumb besides. I bet you woad like me not to pun anymore though, woadn’t you? 🙂

  365. I would be willing to try but I have a problem with my back so I would have to get someone to help me plant then harvest and dye. It would be easier if I bought it ready to use.

  366. To woad or not to woad, I don’t think I would have the patience to do my own woad, however I wont’ mind if someone else woads for me, so that I can stich up a storm on my crewel with woad. Oh! I woad be so happy if I won. 🙂

  367. well when I think of woad, I think of Mel Gibson (yay an Aussie!!) with woad all over him yelling his war cries with hundreds of Scots behind him, great movie Braveheart. Then I remember reading in the Pop Larkin series, dear old spinsterish Edith, who is playing with woad too.

    I have saved a number of suggestions re dyeing, and as I inadvertantly bought antique white instead of antique ivory, I am going to tea dye that (which isn’t as tricky as woad dyeing), but might need to dye some linen blue for a Christmas ornament fabric (as its quite hard to get coloured linen in LNS’s in Australia and its nice to see in person what you are buying

    cheers to the lucky winner
    Julie in Australia

  368. I woad so enjoy learning to dye with woad – what an adventure it woad be! Alas — it cannot be. I have allergies, asthma, back pain and other health issues which prevent me from indulging this particular creative urge. I will have to content myself with watching the videos,(thank you Mary)! I am very happy and appreciative that there are others who are experimenting with all kinds of dyeing and bringing us threads and fabrics in beautiful and varied hues. I look forward to using Renaissance Dyeing threads at some point. Thank you for the give-away!

  369. Hi Mary,

    I’ve actually tried dying wool with natural dyes both in the fleece and after spinning. Woad sounds a little more complicated than orange milkweed flowers – which dye a lovely pale green – or beets – which is a great but not colorfast red. I probably would not go to the trouble of doing it myself since someone else is willing to do it for me.

    Thanks for the chance at the beautiful range of blue wools.

    Kathy Pennington
    SW Missouri

  370. I probably would fantasize of dyeing my own thread with woad, but would never get around to it. I have too much metalwork to do and too many other pursuits. I would however love to take a short workshop with friends where I might dye with woad one time, just to understand the process and have the experience.

  371. I’ve dyed yarn before, when I was spinning & weaving I had a stainless pot just for that, and a separate place to do it. Now I live in a different place and have only my cooking pots. The loom & wheel are gone as well, unfortunately.

    I woadn’t be able to dye, but I will watch the video and learn. I love the blues. The ancient Britons used woad.

    Please enter my name for the giveaway.

    trilliumcreates AT gmail DOT com

  372. Since Blue is my favorite color I would like t o try dying with woad but since the plant is considered a noxious weed in Utah I won’t be planting any.

  373. Oh the places we would woad.
    Woad in the garden
    woad in sun,
    woad in the den
    woad would be fun.
    Yes, I would woad myself. I would woad some yarn and make a scarf. I could woad some fabric and make a skirt. I love, love the woady blue color. I have used organic materials to dye before and love the gentle colors natural materials give. I have used Indigo and woad would be such a delightful challenge.
    You have given me the idea to go to France for one of Renaissance Dyes workshops. Oh the places we will woad.

  374. Woadn’t it be Nice
    (Sung to the tune “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” by The Beach Boys)

    Woadn’t it be nice if I could dye thread
    Then I woadn’t have to wait so long
    And woadn’t it be nice to stitch a pattern
    In stitches both short and long

    I know professionals might make it better
    But I could try and then I’d knit a sweater!

    Woadn’t it be nice if when I wake up
    In the morning when the mail comes through
    And I received a lovely range of colors
    In a pretty spread of gorgeous blue

    Happy times together I’d be spending
    I wish that every skein was neverending
    Woadn’t it be nice

    Maybe if I think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
    Mary then there wouldn’t be a single thing I couldn’t do
    I could be stitching
    And then I’d be happy

    Woadn’t it be nice

    You know it seems the more I talk about it
    It only makes it worse to live without it
    But lets talk about it
    Woadn’t it be nice

    ~Valerie Justus-Rusconi

  375. I love to dye my own yarn. I am pretty easy on myself so I leave plenty of room for color difference in my pieces. I also enjoy ready yarn especially when the gift is for someone that doesnt really like variations..

  376. Hi Mary,

    I haven’t really tried dyeing. I’m tempted because it’s so fun to play with color, but I’m intimidated by the mess. I also worry about how colorfast something will be.

    But I would love to try some of the beautiful wool in your giveaway. Thanks for another generous giveaway.


  377. Woad is me, I woad not have the patience to dye my own thread. But, I love knowing that the skills and knowledge are kept alive, so we can all appreciate the ingenuity and perseverance of those who came long before us.

  378. I would definitely try out using woad if it was readily available to me. On the other hand, I certainly wouldn’t mind having the threads ready to use! I have dyed my own threads and silk ribbon using mx dyes. I have also dyed wool using a dye that comes from snails and produces an indigo color. That’s interesting because it comes out a different color depending on if it is exposed to the sun or not while wet.

  379. I would like to try woad one day. I was so interesting to read about all the process. And I know, that we have some woad growing in Lithuania. Bur I haven’t found it yet. Maybe one day. Now I am experimenting with other plants.

  380. I prefer to buy my wools already dyed. I love the idea of dying my own but not the reality. Anyway, there are so many really talented people who have the time and dedication to create their own that I don’t really need to.

  381. If I still lived in the country, I definitely ‘woad’ try dyeing. But since I now live in a city condo, I’m sure a fermenting vat of slimy plant material would not make me very popular with the neighbors!

    I have done natural dyeing before and I love being part of the entire process of creating–from spinning the fibers, dyeing them with plants grown in my garden to stitching the finished product. It makes your stitching even more a personal part of you.

  382. Yes, I woad dye my yarn or fabric for that matter with using woad. Blue is my favorite color and woad seems to provide the calming peace of the color blue grandly.

  383. I believe I woad try this if I could get some woad without having to grow my own. I do not have a green thumb (or blue) even with weeds, lol. I don’t think I woad want this weed to take over my yard anyway. I woad stick to Koolaid dyeing or onion skins and beets. The best way to get some woad dyed wool is to enter this giveaway and pray. I woad definitely give anything I won to the ladies of East Texas who woad really appreciate the gift after having their stashes burned to ashes. It seems it woad be the right thing to do.

  384. I was just discussing this at a reatreat this morning. I am intrigued with dying cotton and wool and yes, I would love to give it a try. Those colors are wonderful!

  385. My sister wants to try spinning her own wool and I’ve seen how excited she is about it so I think it would be fun to try to dye my own threads or wool at least once. But because of all the time, supplies, and expertise it would require on a regular basis I don’t think it’s something I’d want to do all the time. The process was pretty cool to learn about so thank you for sharing.

    Melissa H. from Payson, UT

  386. I never would dye with woad;
    I’d rather fill my house with toads
    than dye my yarn when others’ skeins
    are so lovely; I would dye in vain.


  387. Methinks I woad try my hand at dyeing threads, it never occured to me… I dye wool fabric to get the colors I want, why not my threads? Thanks for your blog! Kim H

  388. I woad definitely try using this dye; I’ve even grown this plant in years past. I’ve had an interest in natural dyes for years particularly those used in the Middle Ages. I even wrote my master’s thesis on the medieval dye trade of 15th century Southampton. I woad also recommend the book “The Woad Plant and its Dye” by J.B. Hurry.

  389. I have never really considered dyeing anything before. But, if I had an opportunity I’d give it a shot, just to see if I enjoyed doing it.

  390. Mary, I ‘woad’ not consider dyeing my own threads. Having talked to dyers at local festivals, I recognize that this is an craft that takes much time, effort, experimentation and expense to master, and I applaud those who pursue it. On the other hand, I enjoy stitching with the threads that are produced. I’d love to win some of these threads, and thank you for sharing information – and giveaways – with all of us. Thank you for teaching us so much.

  391. I once tried my hand at onion skin dyeing – what a disaster. Why woad I want to make a mess when the pros do it so well. Its a skill they have worked hard to develop, I truly appreciate the hard work they do, and would gladly pay for(or win) the beautiful spectrum

    Thanks for the opporunity

  392. No I would definitely not as I dont think it will be as good as the commercially prepared one and the same effect will not be achieved.

  393. I just had to come back and finish reading the comments on this one – well done all of you!

    Me – I think I woad not – mess, time (lack of), space (again lack of), invasive plant, and most of all – I need another hobby added to the list of “want to do” like I need blue hands.

  394. I have used natural dyes(onion skin, nandina berries, coffee and tea etc.) to dye Easter eggs, doilies and fabric. I have never dyed my own wool or thread, but am not ruling it out. I love the blue shades!

  395. This is great yarn for crewel embroidery and I would love to get the chance to work with this yarn because I really enjoy embroidery specially rainy days.

  396. I have strong ties to Scotland. I would love to embroider my own design with Jacobean style lines of a thistle surrounded by purple heather with the cliffs grass and ocean behind the thistle
    I would paint the background and embroider the thistle as well as some of the heather and clouds.
    Thinking pillow or shadow box frame.

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