Today I've spent a lovely afternoon, in gorgeous sunshine, at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. There was a demonstration from the Hallamshire & District Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers.
Some photos I took, show the plant-dyed wools from North Yorkshire Wool; spinning using wheels (it was like being in the middle of a fairy tale!) and drop spindles; and weavings done with a peg loom, and a back strap loom. It was a fascinating afternoon, and I longed to get my hands and feet on the spinning wheel, and have a go!
Understandably this wasn't encouraged!
I had an interesting conversation with the woman from North Yorkshire Wool, who told me about using Cow Parsley as a dye.
I remembered when I was a child, cow parsley was known as 'mother die', and that if you picked it, your mother would die!
Well, I had the realisation that I'd go the word wrong; it was Mother DYE! Cow parsley is the mother of all dyes! Quite a few other people remember this folk tale from their childhood, so I'm not the only one.
The whole afternoon begins to take on more and more of a fairy tale experience!