Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nanette's last stop

I am in the Bordeaux region. It is absoulutely stunning country. It is the region I feel most at home in since arriving. Having said that, there have been welcoming villages, inns and people all along the trip. But Bordeaux is to behold! Mile after mile of farmland where it is planting time for many crops. Beautiful stone homes and chateaus dot the hillsides. The population is sparse to the amount of land with small villages that accomodate the residents rather than travelers. It is peaceful and agricultural.

The past two days we have all been learning about Woad (Isatis Tinctoria), the European blue. Woad is a plant, native to Europe and belongs to the family of cabbage, broccolli and rape seed.

It has been my first time dyeing with woad and I must say the blue shades we obtained are spectacular.

We are being wined and dined by Kate Hill at her lovely farm on a river.

There are chickens pecking about with a big handsome rooster.Baby chicks are hatching as well as ducks. Recently Kate aquuired two ewes, about 6 months old now.

For the final fling....who am I learning how to dye Woad with? And what breed of sheep does Kate Hill own?

Previous winners welcome....and thank you for traveling along with me! Back to the states tomorrow. Au revoir!


  1. Are you learning to dye Woad with Denise and Lambert? I bet that's wrong. You're learning with Michele Wipplinger! As for the sheep breed I need to think on it. :-)

  2. Oh gosh, I don't know where you are, but where ever it is, I'm wishing I was there too.
    The woad dying looks absolutely stunning. Can hardly wait to see what you do with it fiber wise when you get back. Can I put in an order now???;-)
    Happy rest of your trip and safe returns.

  3. On the sheep. I've spent a while scouring the net. They look kind of like Ujumquin sheep based on the facial markings and white fleece- but they are from China. Or Brillenscaf (spectacle sheep) from Germany. I"m at a loss. Can't wait to find out!

  4. Manise! You are a pretty good detective! I studied with Denise Lambert of
    It was a blue explosion and I am now a believer of Woad as a natural blue dye from nature!

    As for the sheep breed....that was a tough one. They are Caussenard du Lot. Primarily raised for meat thay are indigenous to France and specific to the Lot region. We traveled along the Lot River on our way to the Pech-Merle caves, where we saw ancient wall drawings in the caves dating back 10,000 years. The land along the Lot River was from a picture book!

    Thank you all for joining in the fun and I will be sending out small gifts from France to the winners, Ed and Manise, this week!

  5. Oh wow! How exciting. Sounds like you had such a lovely time- lucky you! I figured the sheep must have been for milk or meat. Their fleece doesn't look too usable. What is that bald patch on their necks? Hope you've shaken off your jet lag.

  6. I actually spent some time checking out their fleece and always there is a use! these are lambs so they felt a bit softer but at the very least they'd make sturdy sock yarn or outerwear!

    The reason their necks are shaved is because they are fishing through the woven wire fence for greener grass! I bought a CVM ewe in 2002 that had that "look" and I debated not buying her. Imagine! And today she is Bea, mom to Austin!

  7. Interesting. And lol at them leaning into greener pastures! I saw the tracking info in my e-mail. Thank you!