The Woolful Podcast

I found out about the Woolful Podcast through an article on the ravelry homepage a couple of months ago. The article featured a blog post by Karen Templer of Fringe Association, discussing sustainability and making your own clothes. It evoked some emotions within me because I felt that making your own clothes wasn’t necessarily synonymous with sustainability, and it got me interested in what Karen had said in her interview on Woolful. I then fell in love with the Woolful podcast.

For those of you who haven’t heard of the Woolful podcast, I would highly recommend it. Subscribe to it on your smartphone using the Podcast Addict app or any other app for listening to podcasts, or listen to the episodes directly on your computer. I like to listen when I’m knitting at home, or taking a long drive by myself.

Ashley Yousling has a dream that she is fulfilling – to live on her own farm and raise sheep, dye yarn, and establish a fiber mill there. She is wisely reaching out to various people with knowledge about farming and about fiber and she shares this knowledge with us in the interviews on Woolful. I love how each person gets to tell their story and I can feel as if I meet the people and see them. Ashley’s husband is a photographer, and the photos on the site are beautiful. I also recommend the video of natural dyeing on the farm also by Ashley.

Ashley Yousling of Woolful with the irresistibly adorable puppies on her farm in Idaho

I’m almost caught up with all the podcast episodes – there are only maybe 3 that I haven’t listened to. My favorite episode is Episode 16: Vermont fiber farming and milling, Shetland sheep and overcoming fear. I love Michael Hampton’s story and candor about his fiber mill. I love that he was once an engineer, working in a non farming world and then he decided to make a change and establish a mill. I love Tammy White of Wing and a Prayer farm – she is one inspiring lady, who basically takes care of maybe 150 animals on the farm on her own. You can tell that she loves the animals and takes good care of them. I love that her animals run to her and love to be petted. Tammy’s instagram feed is full of cute lambs, funny alpacas, cats, dogs, scenery, natural dyeing and more.

When I listen to the Woolful podcast I feel that I want to be there – with the sheep, in the countryside, in the pastures, away from the city and the office. To be with the wool from sheep to mill to spinnery to sweater. In a way, I feel that I am there. I’ve learned about the various types of sheep and what goes into making wool. It has complemented my understanding of the fibers I spin, and has given me so many pointers on where to learn more.

Gotland Sheep

Merino Sheep on White Gum Wool farm, Tasmania. Nan Bray is of the most inspiring farmers I’ve heard about.

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