MEET THE MAKER – DISCOVER WHO IS BEHIND THE WOOLLEN EARTH
I am Sally and I am the crazy wool lady!
I have always been a creative person, sewing, painting, designing, usually on a large scale. I made couture wedding dresses by hand for 15 years. And then a few years ago I found wool. Wool in its rawest, chunkiest form and instantly fell in love.
THE TRAVELLING LIFE OPENS THE DOOR
While I was living on the road in my caravan with my young family, a friend showed me how to crochet. I had tried crochet with a friend years earlier and hated it! But this time around was a different story. I couldn’t stop! I had no instruction book but I hunted down some cheap yarn in a tiny little store just to keep “wrapping and pulling through,” knitting and knotting, producing my own different stitches.
My parent’s 60th birthdays were approaching and after 40 years of marriage they had just renovated their bedroom for the first time! The cogs in my brain were turning! I would use my new skill and adapt it to my large scale and crochet them a big, beautiful throw in giant wool!
SOURCING THE WOOL
However sourcing the wool was not as easy as I expected. Isn’t Australia known for producing some of the world’s finest wool? Samples came and samples got ditched. I was adamant I wanted to use Australian Wool and after much searching I found it! The finest, softest, squishiest Australian Merino Wool. Once I had my hands on it, I was instantly hooked! (excuse the pun)
Driving back from the farm/mill that day I started crocheting in the passenger seat!! And when I presented the throw to my parents their reaction and everybody else’s was undeniable. As humans, the tactile sense is strong, it’s comforting. And this throw needed to be touched and felt to be believed. My persistence for quality had paid off!
I threw myself into making throws and floor rugs and started doing some local markets. And coming from a background of making wedding dresses, my designs naturally took a turn towards fashion. I started making Statement Scarves that were incredibly warm AND beautiful. Beanies and Ear-warmers soon followed as well as my extremely unique “Hoodie” or all-in-one Hooded Scarf. And as I never learnt to read from a pattern, all my designs are my own; tried on to test, undone and altered until they fit just right!
THE WOOLLY SPREAD
While shops all over Australia stock my products, I still love to bring it all to markets so more people can touch and feel the quality that cannot be felt in a photo online. It also means my customers can choose from the whole colour range. But most of all, I love meeting you all! You are why I keep doing it; I feel so lucky to have such wonderful customers like you, that appreciate the time spent hand-making the particular piece that you have chosen! It’s an honour in this age where so much is bought without much thought and that I get to make something that you treasure.
IT’S A FAMILY THING
As much as I love making and making, the rest of my family is involved too! My boys take great pride and care in individually branding my logo onto the kangaroo leather labels that I stitch onto every product. And my husband hand carves the crochet hooks we sell, as well as the very ones I use to crochet every piece of The Woollen Earth. He’s a keeper!
Feel free to look over at “Upcoming Events” to see where you can find me next!