Woolful Podcast

Episode 84: Sarah Sunshine – A wool love story, natural parenting, wool bedding, and Shepherd’s Dream

September 30, 2017


Sponsor: The Yarn Collective is a new fibre and design company focused on working with the best independent designers to bring you luxurious hand-dyed yarns in a range of inspiring colorways. The Yarn Collective has kicked off the launch with a trio of designers representing the best of modern knitwear design; Melanie Berg, Carol Feller and Bristol Ivy. Carol Feller’s line Bloomsbury DK, a 100% merino, comes in a range of 10 shades, selected by herself based on colors that work well together and enhance each other. “Each story also has neutral shades included which create links between all the colors.” She’s launched the line with 3 patterns; The Dango hat, Lignite Sweater and Russler Shawl, which were all designed to show how the colors were created to mesh together. Visit theyarncollective.com and follow along on Instagram @theyarncollective and make sure to visit loveknitting.com, where you can purchase all The Yarn Collective yarns. 

Fiber folk: There are so many uses for wool outside of clothing and handcrafts, whether it be rugs, blankets, insulation…or my personal favorite, wool bedding. Sarah Sunshine and her mother Eliana Jantz pioneered bringing natural bedding back into our homes and what began in 1984 as a dream, grew into what today is now known as Shepherd’s Dream. I’ve loved hearing the story behind this amazing company and Sarah’s passion for what they do and bring to this community. I hope you’re inspired to look further into bringing more wool into your home, and supporting the producers and makers behind it. You can find Sarah at shepherdsdream.com and on Instagram @shepherdsdream.

Photos by Shepherd’s Dream

Sponsor: Scratch is an innovative new yarn and craft supply shop located in Lebanon, New Hampshire. They’re committed to providing a beautifully curated selection of yarns and supplies for knitters, as well as roving, tools, and kits for needle felters. Their shop also features embroidery, sewing, and select fine art supplies. Scratch operates with the guiding notion that makers are curious and creative, and  should be able to find exciting, high quality materials to work with all in one place.

Scratch is also home to the areas only handcraft focused makerspace–home to a sewing bar, multiple looms, common workspace, a tool library, and more! Explore their full schedule of classes, and weekly Craft Night focused on building the creative community in the Upper Valley. You can find their full selection of yarns, notions and supplies on their new website at scratchmakerspace.com, and on Facebook & Instagram: @scratchmakerspace

Update: Next week on Wednesday you’ll want to tune in for a couple of exciting announcements, including the release of the 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring 12 illustrated sheep breeds and natural dye plants. Make sure to check woolful.com and woolful on Instagram next week for more info. 

Giveaway: The winner of our last episode’s giveaway is Kate. You’ve won a the ICON pattern project kit from Shibui and a copy of Rib Magazine’s Navigate. Congratulations!

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Shepherds Dream and they’re giving away two standard sleep pillows, made with their Premium Eco-Wool batting and the winner can choose between flat, medium or full fills.

And here’s something special for Woolful listeners…from now through the end of the year, use coupon code Woolful5 to receive 5% off all items in the Shepherds Dream shop, except for already discounted items, wood frames and raw materials. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post. 


Music by Jónsi.

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  • Reply Vicki L September 30, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    I’m very intrigued by the wool mattresses. I enjoyed hearing the story of Shepard’s Dream.

  • Reply Rian September 30, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Very excited to listen to this one!

  • Reply Tiffany H September 30, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Wool mattressess are not a topic I am very familiar with but am very intrigued after listening.

  • Reply Ev September 30, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    I have to tell my mother about this company, she is a firm believer in the value of wool in bedding.

  • Reply Sharon September 30, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    What an interesting and innovative enterprise! I’m definitely checking this out! Thanks for the great interview.

  • Reply Hellie October 1, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Very interesting and a great use for fabulously woolly fibre!

  • Reply Shannon Yeaton October 1, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Sounds like a great episode as always!

  • Reply Susan October 1, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Thank you for bringing more attention to wool bedding- not something I was familiar with before!

  • Reply Pat Herkal October 1, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Always interesting, intriguing, educational. Another good tale of good people doing great things.

  • Reply TERRI October 1, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Wool yarn, Wool clothing & accessories, Wool bedding, Wool carpets! I love wool (and cotton) Thank you for a great Podcast Ashley! Good job!

  • Reply Alexa October 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Loved listening to this. I’ve never heard of wool mattresses before but I will have to check it out!

  • Reply Cait October 1, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    This episode was fascinating and I loved listening to it! Thanks Ashley!

  • Reply Elizabeth Moss October 1, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    I always learn something new from each episode of your podcast, Ashley. So interesting to hear about natural wool bedding!

  • Reply Yael sages October 2, 2017 at 3:08 am

    Loved this episode and dreaming of sleeping on wool. It would be a dream come true to win this.

  • Reply Ann October 2, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I love your podcast as it’s always so heartfelt and inspiring.

  • Reply Natalie October 2, 2017 at 8:37 am

    Was literally just shopping for a new, wool pillow and so overwhelmed as to where to start. Perfect timing! Thanks for another rest listen.


  • Reply Lynnsy Deferio October 2, 2017 at 10:57 am

    This was a very interesting episode. I’d love to oneday own something from this company. Thanks for making us aware of them.

  • Reply Amber October 2, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Wool bedding sounds like a dream!

  • Reply Terri October 2, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Oh, there’s always a booth at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool with wool comforters and such… I think it’s a different company but I sure would love to try it!

  • Reply Marybeth OConnell October 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I didn’t even know this was a thing. I am so excited. I am glad they offer wool batting, but they are out of stock 🙁

  • Reply Marina October 2, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    This was fantastic episode!

  • Reply Marianne October 3, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Such a wonderful episode – this is the first time I’ve ever heard of wool bedding.

  • Reply Judy N October 3, 2017 at 2:55 am

    Love the idea of wool mattresses, bedding, etc. Thank you, Ashley, for bringing this topic to the podcast.

  • Reply Maaike October 3, 2017 at 3:01 am

    Lovely story. I sleep under a woolen quilt and would want anything else anymore! Would love to participate in the give away.

    Kind regards

  • Reply Charlene E Scott October 3, 2017 at 4:45 am

    So glad to have a resource for ethically sources and natural bedding materials. I love my linen sheets and would love to add some wool love to my sleep space!

  • Reply Jennifer Ingalls October 3, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I really enjoyed this week’s podcast. It’s got me to thinking about investing more heavily in natural products. Thanks for the thoughtful topic.

  • Reply Ruth Peddinghaus October 3, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Wonderful to hear the background story of this local business. I am going to upgrade my bedding to wool! Love the information

  • Reply Erin October 3, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Wow, now I must own a wool mattress! I had heard they exist, but this was really cool to learn about.

  • Reply Katie October 3, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    I just switched up some of our old pillows – I would love to add two new wool ones to the mix.

  • Reply Laura S October 3, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    I just love listening in to your beautiful podcast! It is just music to the ears and so soothing to hear! I loved seeing your pictures of the putting together of the futons, so cool! Shepherd’s Dream sounds like such a wonderful company, and I loved hearing their story! wool IS such a wonderful material, I would love to have more of it into our house!

  • Reply Carrie October 3, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    As usual, I’m commenting before I’ve listened, but I’m looking forward to another good week! So excited about the wool pillows. I’ve wanted some forever and will have to check out their website. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Cathy S October 3, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    I so enjoy this podcast!! There are so many talented and creative folks among us. And new pillows would be welcome in my home too.

  • Reply Lucille Cangeloso October 3, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I love the idea of natural bedding . This podcast was so eye opening and informative . I’m going to start saying for a wool mattress . I would love to have these pillows in my home

  • Reply Jennifer duff October 3, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    I love this podcast and look forward to listening to this episode tomorrow!
    I’ve been making my way through back episodes when I’m at home as Pocketcasts only goes back to around episode 60 or so.
    I’m so thrilled to have found this and it has made me want to get out and engage more with my local fiber community.

  • Reply Morgan Moss October 4, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Looking forward to learning more about wool bedding. Your podcast has taught me so much already, I can’t even tell you.

  • Reply Arianne October 4, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Sleeping with wool would be so dreamy, in more ways than one. I just love this podcast.

  • Reply Rebecca October 4, 2017 at 8:20 am

    I’m enjoying the podcast so far. Sarah’s comments on new mothers and their desire to protect their babies really resonated. Parenthood brought us to a more natural path for sure!

  • Reply Savannagal October 4, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I would love to have wool bedding. I can’t stand having so many synthetics in my home. I can smell them at times. I haven’t yet tried wool pillows, though I purchased and gave away 6 different pillows while trying to find one that didn’t leave me with a stiff neck. I’m looking forward to checking them out. Thanks for another terrific podcast.

  • Reply Peggy October 4, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Ashley in a world of chaos, it’s always so comforting to spend time knitting and listening to your podcast. Woolful is always a safe place to spend time. The idea of a wool mattress is so intriguing. To be introduced to this family who has a passion for quality for their family as well as ours is just so inspiring. Supporting them will be a privilege. So nice to be given a discount code.

  • Reply Kaarina October 4, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Wool mattresses was a new thing for me, sounds interesting! Thanks again for a info packed episode!

  • Reply Carrie October 4, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Wool bedding does sound like a dream. The older I get the more wisdom I see in saving up for important purchases like these products!

  • Reply Stephanie D'Souza October 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Like some others, I didn’t know that this was a thing! I look forward to supporting the wool bedding industry!

  • Reply sue October 4, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Sign me up for offers and newsletter too. This looks exciting. Good Luck with this new adventure too…

  • Reply Monica October 4, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Loved hearing about wool mattresses and bedding. Thinking of trading in my down comforter for a wool one!

  • Reply Carla Hibbard October 4, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    I had no clue that wool mattresses were a thing, how cool!

  • Reply Lynda October 5, 2017 at 6:44 am

    WOW. I have so much organic and natural in my life but I had no idea that wool mattresses existed. When I buy a new one I will definitely be going to Shepherds Dream. Thank you.

  • Reply Dalyn Huntley October 5, 2017 at 7:18 am

    What an interesting episode. I never really thought about bedding in that way. Needing a new mattress soon. Something to seriously consider.

  • Reply Aural October 5, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for your entertaining and educational podcast! I am definitely going to look into the wool mattress option as the lifetime of up to 60 years is SO much better than the 7 my current mattress is supposed to last.

  • Reply Julia October 5, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Wool bedding sounds wonderful! Thanks for a good podcast.

  • Reply Michele October 6, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I do need so need new pillow-if I won this giveaway I would be in dreamland!! PS congrats Ashley on the merger with Making-I’m looking forward to see and hear what the future holds for this newly merged company!

    • Reply Michele October 6, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Sorry, that’s supposed to read ‘I so need a new pillow’ -my sleepy brain makes too many typos!

  • Reply mimi e October 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    So interesting! I’ve always wanted to make a quilt using wool batting, now I know where to look for materials.

  • Reply ElaineChicago October 7, 2017 at 8:44 am

    How exciting and snuggle would it be to sleep on wool! Great interview and I’m looking forward to learning more.

  • Reply Monica G October 7, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    New world to me. I had no idea about the world of wool in bedding. Super cool.

  • Reply Katerina October 9, 2017 at 12:27 am

    As always love it!

  • Reply Danielle Boots October 9, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Never knew about wool and how important it can be for our sleep. I would love to experience a pillow with wool. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Reply Sandra October 10, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Thank you for going above & beyond in bringing the wonderful world of wool to us! I LLOVED THIS PODCAST.

  • Reply Susan Seward October 10, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Wool mattress!!! So fantastic. Thank you for another great listen!

  • Reply Kerry October 10, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I am so excited about a wool pillow! Will have to check out the toppers too!

  • Reply Nicole Jurek October 10, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    I love learning about the uses of wool beyond yarn. Thank you for another great episode.

  • Reply Ines October 10, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    I remember my grandma telling me about wool mattresses!
    What a great story!

  • Reply virginia Sattler-Reimer October 10, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    This is perfect, we have been in the market for new bedding! Thank you for another fabulous episode!

  • Reply Bowen Gibson October 11, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    There was wool bedding at our AirBnB in Taos this past weekend during the wool festival and it was amazing! I would love to try a wool mattress. I don’t think I have seen one before. Great episode!

  • Reply Debbie G (Fiberfriend) October 12, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    The Shepherds Dream “wool love story” being told by Sarah Sunshine was such an inspiration to listen to… I’m going to start saving right now to get one of those beautiful beds so I can be healthier and happier and live a better life… And I would love to start with the pillows because I struggle every night to try to get comfortable. Thank you so much for this episode!!!

  • Reply Danielley October 13, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Oh!! Wool pillows! How amazing!

  • Reply Cathy B October 14, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Have never used wool bedding but would love to try.

  • Reply Susan October 14, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    I definitely have a need for new pillows and feel inspired to look into wool being — thank you for the information about a unique product.

  • Reply Loretta E October 15, 2017 at 9:52 am

    How amazing to have a Wool-filled bed! It’s definitely a dream of mine!

  • Reply Andrea October 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Wowzers! I am so inspired by the list latest podcast. I am always eager to learn more about wooly people, and while I can never get enough of designers and yarn makers, it is eye opening to hear about the myriad ways that wool is used! Although I try to be conscious in many ways of what I put in and near my body, I admit that my family all sleeps on the typical commercial mattress. As my husband and I near fourteen years of sleeping our our mattress together we are carving hollows into it, even after (occasional not regular rotation). It is time for us to think about a new mattress. This has given me some food for thought. Thanks!

  • Reply Kate October 16, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Great episode! It reaffirms The investment my husband and I made in bedding three years ago!
    Thank you!

  • Reply Nicole October 18, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    I loved listening to this podcast! I am so inspired to save up for more wool bedding!

  • Reply Zeka October 19, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Sleeping on wool? I’m sold! going to start saving for a mattress today 😉

  • Reply Kim October 21, 2017 at 4:14 am

    A little late here but just noticed you have a new podcast up! About to listen to it while doing some early Saturday morning knitting:).

  • Reply Kristin October 21, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Very interesting! I haven’t given wool bedding much thought before. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply Anna October 25, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Thank you so much Ashley for sharing this wonderful source of natural bedding! I’ve been thinking about this for a while and will probably buy a wool mattress when we move and have room for a larger bed. Our toddler will also need a proper bed at some point, and while I am fairly happy with the organic cotton mattress we bought for her crib, wool sounds like an even better option. We recently purchased some fantastic organic cotton pillows and I completely agree with the view that our bedding is a worthwhile investment in our general health and happiness 🙂

  • Reply samantha spigos October 26, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Great episode! I learned so much about wool bedding, a growing interest of mine. Thanks for highlighting such an array of wonderful guests on the podcast.

  • Reply Madeline October 29, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Wow, this was an especially amazing episode. I must check out their website. And congratulations to you for pairing up with Making. Woolful, Making, Shepherd’s Dream all complement each other wonderfully well.

  • Reply Antonella Dalla Torre November 4, 2017 at 1:40 am

    I have a super old wool mattress, that was handed down fromolder generations, and now, I am even more ocninced to hold on to it!

  • Reply Erin Sostock November 5, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    This got me very interested in wool mattresses and bedding. . . Off to do more research

  • Reply Andrea November 6, 2017 at 3:52 am

    All 4 of us have wool filled pillows and we absolutely love them. To me there is no question whether man-made fibres and furnishings can compare to the natural ones. They CANNOT!! We also use a duck down duvet and loads of woollen blankets all year round but especially in winter. When I am sitting on the sofa and knitting I always cover myself with a blanket or two. People joke about the number of woollen blankets in our house. What can I say, I love them and they are as practical as comforting. Now we need to look into natural mattresses, though. Our friends who live in a beautiful yurt have recently made their own mattress – with buckwheat. I am so impressed!

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