The Natural Way

I heard about Sheep and Wool Day at the Vauxhall City Farm via Ravelry, but didn't hold out much hope of making it along, what with it being on a Saturday, K and I both having hayfever and K being allergic to most furry animals and dust, but without having to do anything in the way of arm twisting, he agreed that we could pop in to see what was going on.

We must been there later than Jane was there, as the sheep that we saw being sheared was white, and considerably less than happy to be suddenly naked than one might expect, given the warmth of the day.

If I'd been less hayfevered up (all hail the great God Clarytin for allowing me to get out of the house) I'd have taken my camera with me, but I wasn't so I don't have any actual pictures from the day (0 out of 10, MUST try harder).

I did take some pictures the last time I was there though, with my niece (who was maybe 14 months old at the time and fell soundly asleep in the car, and remained so during the time we were there, only to wake up on the way home - typical!) and took the following photo and posted it to flickr earlier with the intention of including it with this post. Now, having read Jane's post, I wonder if it's the same sheep she saw being shorn? (or maybe Lamby is the straw covered mop top I posted about months ago?)


Sheep aside, I had a great hour there, chatting to spinners (Hi Helena!) and dyers, and getting predictably excited about the potential for using natural dyes rather than the acid dyes I currently use.

After talking for a while I'm still unconvinced I could get away with natural dyeing at home, but they do have a group who meet (and spin, dye and weave) every Saturday and since the bus goes from here to there directly, I plan on doing my best to get there and get involved, not just for the chance to play with dye, but for the chance to learn from people who clearly really know their stuff.

I left with a gift - a cutting of woad seeds.

Woad seeds

Okay, so I'm probably never going to get as far as growing the plants and then using them to dye fibre while in this house, but the idea of a Scot (who was probably descended from Picts, who allegedly used woad to paint themselves when going to war a la Mel Gibson in Braveheart (ish)) growing woad in a flat in Brixton just appealed to me.