Making Podcast Woolful Podcast

Episode 25: Mountain Meadow Wool – A bale of wool, Community support, Ranch wools and Learning from your mistakes

June 9, 2015

I’m very excited to share the twenty-fifth episode of the Woolful podcast. Today we get to meet a pair of ladies who have accomplished so much in the past several years and who are behind many incredible yarns you use…Karen Hostetler and Valerie Spanos of Mountain Meadow Wool, a fiber mill and yarn company in Buffalo Wyoming.

stash local

Sponsor: I wanted to thank one of our sponsors for this week’s episode, Stash, a local yarn shop based in Corvallis Oregon. The owner, Sonia was a very early supporter and encourager of the podcast and it’s been so great to get to know her a bit and watch all the positive energy she puts into her shop and fiber community. If you’re in the Corvallis area or just passing through, make sure to visit and you can find more info and a list of classes at And you don’t want to miss a pretty special event coming up, Black Sheep Gathering, a fiber festival in Eugene Oregon June 19-21. Stash will be there with a selection of special yarns and fibers from some of their favorite PNW indie dyers. So make sure to mark this on your calendar and find Sonia and her gang of Stash Enhancers.


Fiber folk: I first came across Mountain Meadow Wool a couple years back when I was researching eco friendly mills and sustainable wool processing. As you’ll hear, they’ve been involved in inventing and developing some pretty amazing processes and equipment that help them process fiber and make yarn in a responsible and sustainable way. They’re both mothers who have tackled this dream of their’s wholeheartedly and worked very hard to create a service and product they can and should be very proud of. You can find Karen and Valerie at and on Instagram @mountainmeadowwool.





Man on the street: For this week’s “Man on the Street” I asked the question, “Have you ever lost your fiber or knitting mojo, what inspires you to pick up your tools again? How do you reignite the spark?? We had some great answers from Kerry, @kerryrobb, Amy @urban_farm_wife, Maria @ninja.chickens, Kirsten @littlepennycress, andLeanne @leannecoppola.

Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway, is Jessie Love! You’ve won 3 skeins of Hinterland yarn from my little shop, the Woolful Mercantile. Congratulations!

The giveaway this week is sponsored by Mountain Meadow Wool, and we’re giving away two skeins of their new yarn Powell, a 4ply worsted weight yarn made of 85% mountain merino and 15% alpaca. Check out this review and project from Courtney of Pink Brutus Knits. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment in the comment section at the bottom of the post page.


Sponsor: I wanted to thank one of our sponsors of this week’s episode, Tin Can Knits. Alexa and Emily have created several endearing collections of modern, clearly written patterns that feature accessories and garments each sized for babies, all the way up to 4XL. I really love their Road Trip and Max and Bodhi’s Wardrobe collections, and hope to make the Fly Away blanket this Fall. They’ll be releasing the final pattern of the Max and Bodhi’s Wardrobe collection on June 11th, so make sure to find this and their other collections on Ravelry and to keep up with all the going ons visit

tin can knits


Music by Jónsi.

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  • Reply mathurine June 9, 2015 at 10:28 am

    !A new one!!! Learning from our mistakes what’s a good subject! Thanks a lot!

    • Reply Dee June 9, 2015 at 11:48 am

      I await every episode eagerly. Thank you so much for doing these these podcasts.

  • Reply susan krisch June 9, 2015 at 10:29 am

    a pleasure to listen to

  • Reply Alisa Cutcher June 9, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Hopefully my comment gets on this time.
    Found out about your podcast via checking out Gridjunky on tumblr….great stuff!

  • Reply Kate Insley June 9, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your podcast! Thanks for all the work you put into it an also for bringing these skilled and awesome fiber artists!

  • Reply Kate Insley June 9, 2015 at 11:26 am

    *fiber artists to the forefront! Living on Maui I don’t have local yarn shops or the like nearby so I love hearing stories of others!

  • Reply Camanoah June 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Loved the podcast and the story of Mountain Meadow. Would love to try their new yarn. I am currently knitting the Alvy sweater out of Beaverslide Dry Goods Dark Natural Gray Heather 100% merino (love it) and would love to try the Mountain Meadow Powell yarn as well. Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  • Reply Paule Trudel-Bellemare June 9, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Love the podcast! This week was super interesting. 🙂

  • Reply Melissa June 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Sounds like another awesome giveaway! And another great podcast…thanks!

  • Reply Victoria June 9, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Ashley, Just wanted to tell you that I love, love, love your podcast. It has inspired me to learn so much more about the fibers I use in my knitting – where they come from & how they are processed. I just returned from my first wool & fiber festival where I learnt to handspin – new obsession!

    I actually have a question for you: In the photo collage after the Fiber Folk paragraph, the photo on the left is a gorgeous shawl/scarf. Would you please tell me the name of the pattern & designer?

    Thanks so much!

  • Reply Marci June 9, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    can’t wait to listen and check out all the wonderful resources and links you are providing!!!

  • Reply Patti June 9, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Loved your podcast just subscribed ! Especially liked the part at the end when you talked about getting your knitting mojo back 🙂

  • Reply Jennie June 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Always a pleasure, Ashley!

  • Reply Charlotte June 9, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    How inspiring! Amazing mill and yarn

  • Reply Naomi June 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Another great podcast

    • Reply kelsey sylvia June 9, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Such an amazing podcast where we once again come away with total inspiration and the encouragement to follow your dreams.i have a woolen blanket where the label reads…us dept.of agriculture…you would mail your wool for processing and would receive cash and or a blanket.thank you for bringing the cream to the surface.

  • Reply Dana June 9, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I so look forward to your podcasts! Thanks for the chance to win. 🙂

  • Reply Gigi June 9, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I have listened to all your podcasts! I would love to win this beautiful yarn.

  • Reply Amy June 9, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    In part because of your podcast, I am more concerned with where my fiber comes from. Thanks for educating. I would love to knit with Mountain Meadow Wool yarn!

  • Reply Alison June 9, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Another fantastic episode. Thanks!

  • Reply Kelsey June 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Thank you for another wonderful episode!

  • Reply Kristin June 9, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Great episode! I really want to try some of their yarn (and spinning fiber). I enjoyed listening to this one while spinning.

  • Reply Kate M June 9, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    The podcast was gorgeous as always, but can we just talk about the photos in this post for a second? Absolutely lovely and so inspiring. 🙂

  • Reply Brittany June 9, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I love all the perspectives that you’ve been able to find/offer on knitting and fiber. It is so empowering to hear from such passionate women business owners too!

  • Reply Claire June 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    After a yucky day at work, so nice to listen to your podcast and be transported to the world of fiber inspiration

  • Reply Rain June 9, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Merino & alpaca! A beautiful blend. Three cheers for Mountain Meadow Wool!!

  • Reply Susan June 9, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    It’s always fascinating to hear about the people and processes behind the yarns — thank you for sharing those stories!

  • Reply cat June 9, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I’m excited to learn about Mountain Meadow Wool!

  • Reply Joyce June 9, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Looking forward to another great podcast!

  • Reply Kristoph June 9, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    It’s great to hear about these very specific blends that really speak to the location the wool is from. I’d love to feel each one and see the location and animals they come from.

  • Reply Sindy P June 10, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Another great episode! I live in Italy and went to Biella recently, where there were many mills, it is sad to see so many closing down. So it is lovely to hear about thriving new busineses elsewhere ! Very inspiring !

  • Reply maggie June 10, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Thanks again for another great fiber story! #woolfuladdict

  • Reply Monica June 10, 2015 at 5:56 am

    can’t wait to listen later today, and this yarn looks beautiful, would LOVE to try it!

  • Reply Alyce connolly June 10, 2015 at 6:59 am

    I love hearing about fiber mills. Such an “insider” topic which I wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to learn about if it weren’t for this podcast.

  • Reply Erin June 10, 2015 at 7:42 am

    I’m a massive Mountain Meadows fan, so this is AWESOME. (: Hope I win!

  • Reply Erin June 10, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Oops – I typed in my email address with a typo – THIS Erin comment is the one with the correct one. D’oh!

  • Reply Britney June 10, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Some day I am going to win a give away. Feeeeeeling lucky. lol

  • Reply Angela June 10, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Wonderful episode! Loved learning more about Mountain Meadow Wool….thanks!

  • Reply Elaine June 10, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Informative as always and seems to make me want to go out there and get some sheep and start my own business. Would love to win!!

  • Reply Alicia June 10, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Fiber mills are so inspiring. I love seeing the machines and people behind the magic!

  • Reply Reb June 10, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Loved hearing from these women and seeing that a LYS carries their work. nice!

  • Reply Anita June 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I have been to the Mountain Meadows mill in Buffalo, Wyoming. They were so generous with their time and we took an informal tour of the mill. It was a wonderful afternoon.

  • Reply Sarah June 10, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Hi, I just wanted to thank you for making these podcasts every week. I learned how to knit about a year ago and only very recently got very into it. Listening to your podcast has helped me discover a lot about myself and what I want out of life. I appreciate the time and effort you put into this production.

  • Reply Katie Emma June 10, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Looking forward to giving this a listen!

  • Reply Neza June 10, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I’m in awe of you women – starting a mill, making yarn! Haring about your experiences is inspiring and also humbling! Thank you!

  • Reply LuisaM June 10, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    In this week’s episode I especially loved the photos on the blog!
    Thank you for another generous giveaway.

  • Reply Patty Gnass June 10, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    It was nice learning about starting up a mill.

  • Reply Anna (meckmama on ravelry) June 10, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Great interview–Love the takeaway that you can learn while doing, “it’s not brain surgery.” That’s a good, inspiring point! I often spend too much time at the research-stage of projects (i.e. the procrastination stage). Thanks to these women for the reminder that throwing yourself into something is the best way to learn. 🙂

  • Reply Katie June 10, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    I love the intros to small mills, and always follow Instagram feeds when you safe them. Woolful is becoming my Page 6 for the knitting and fiber world.

  • Reply Emily Boyd June 10, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I love the instagram fiber community I have discovered through this podcast. Thank you so much for that!

  • Reply D Louise June 10, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Great episode, yummy yarn givraway

  • Reply AE June 10, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Another excellent and inspiring episode! So lovely to hear these women speak of the cooperation and camaraderie within the fiber industry. And also lovely to hear that they built this wonderful and responsible business around their families. Be fearless!

  • Reply Miss Pam June 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Your interviews are the best. I look forward to them. My husband is a regional planner and I hear him talk about feasibility studies and economic development grants. I was really happy to hear that two women had gone through the process and now have a fiber mill!

  • Reply Marina June 10, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Great and inspirational episode! I’m amazed with two women who managed 10 kids between them and the mill business!

  • Reply elizabeth streeter June 11, 2015 at 4:59 am

    loved the podcast wish someone would start something similar in Australia it hurts to see so much wool go off shore and be processed badly. they don’t look at the individual fleece and so many new breeders out there who need their fleece spun up at a reasonable price to make the yarn affordable. go ladies

  • Reply Camille (wizzdumb on Ravelry) June 11, 2015 at 6:42 am

    I would love to see Mountain Meadow in Wyoming. What an inspiring story and I look forward to hearing more and more about them.

  • Reply Terri June 11, 2015 at 7:27 am

    I love that they are doing it eco-friendly, and succeeding!
    I just found out that a farmer friend of ours BURNS his Dorset fleeces because he doesn’t know what to do with them! I passed along a flyer from a mill not too far from his farm. I hope his flock’s wool can get used.

  • Reply Megan June 11, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Listening to your podcast is one of the highlights of my week! Thanks for all you do!

  • Reply Terri June 11, 2015 at 7:56 am

    What a wonderful story of two mothers coming together to follow a common dream. I am inspired. I would love the opportunity to try some of their special yarn. I am terriglo on Ravelry.

  • Reply Emily Horacek June 11, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Thank you so much for another inspiring and entertaining episode. Curling up with my knitting and Woolful is my happy place.

  • Reply Lynne Fallon June 11, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Another inspirational story about the dedication to the wool industry and sustainability. Thank you, Ashley for bringing to us and to Mountain Meadwo wool for all of their hard work.

  • Reply Màiri June 11, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Listening to this on my phone in the garden in sunny Scotland! Dog and hens pottering around me while I crochet… Thanks for another great podcast – it was lovely to hear these courageous, impassioned women’s story of innovation and dedication within the fibre industry. Beautiful x

  • Reply Sara June 11, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Another great podcast about women starting a business they love! Thanks so much for sharing these stories.

  • Reply Karin Marie June 11, 2015 at 11:43 am

    As always,I am loving the Woolful podcast and can’t wait to catch up on the latest episode during my train commute!

  • Reply Lisa H-L June 11, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    What an inspiring story. I would love the opportunity to try their yarn.

  • Reply jennifer June 11, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    another wonderful episode! thanks for the constant inspiration!

  • Reply Tobie June 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    I’ve been enjoying your podcast.

  • Reply Cary June 11, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I honestly look forward to your podcast every week! I’ve been painting the interior of my “she-shed” and re-listening to every episode. I love what you do- please keep up the excellent work!!!

  • Reply Ines June 11, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    What a pleasure listening to a new episode!

  • Reply Kathleen June 12, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Once again, another great episode! I love learning about all the local sources of fiber and yarn to focus on and hearing all the inspirational stories! Thank you.

  • Reply Karin June 12, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Wonderful podcast as usual. I really want to start a fiber mill of my own and it’s so encouraging to hear the stories of those who have successfully done it. This one was great, the financing of it scared the crap out of me. Thanks so much for putting it together and asking the important questions!

  • Reply Andee June 12, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Another wonderful episode! Thank you to my sister Leanne for the shout out!

    • Reply Knitterchow on ravelry June 12, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Thank you for your podcast! I wish I could remember which podcaster gave you a shoutout because I’d like to thank them.

  • Reply craftyone June 12, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I would really like some worsted weight wool yarn.

  • Reply Kim June 12, 2015 at 11:39 am

    sounds like some great yarn, thanks for another great podcast!

  • Reply Bonobo June 12, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I love being introduced to all of these amazing yarn producers, thank you for doing these podcasts and giving them opportunities to tell their stories!

  • Reply asteride June 12, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I find a quiet moment to listen to your podcast. Grab my knitting and relax. Thank you.
    asteride on Ravelry

  • Reply Sarah June 12, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Love the advice to just do it this week 🙂 And I’m on my way now to check out the UFO swap mentioned by one of your men on the street. Awesome idea!

  • Reply Denise Dailey June 12, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Woolful podcasts have become a cherished ritual in my fiber studio – thanks for creating this beautiful way of connection amongst fabulous fiber folk ~ <3

  • Reply Ida June 13, 2015 at 5:17 am

    Can’t wait to give this a listen!

  • Reply Anne June 13, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Another wonderful podcast!! I seem to be hearing a recurring theme among those you interview – just start doing it and ask questions!!

  • Reply Angela Digmann June 13, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Oh my gosh! I just did a project using Mountain Meadow wool this spring (Literary Knits gaiters project). I LOVE their wool! Thanks for getting them and their story on the podcast. So inspiring.

  • Reply Cathy B June 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Eager to see more of Mountain Meadow.

  • Reply Dorie June 13, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Inspiring episode! And now I’d love to visit a spinning mill. You’re really increasing my yarn tourism possibilities!

  • Reply Alex June 13, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    i LOOOOVEED this episode!! hearing all about the mill was so enchanting! can’t wait till you have your very own! xo

  • Reply hd June 14, 2015 at 4:51 am

    Loved the story of the mill so much. Friends, moms, mills, and wool? Yeeeeesss! Thanks for such fantastic knitting and feminist inspiration!

  • Reply Becky June 14, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Such an intelligent podcast! I love listening, especially while sewing or knitting. You ask the questions I want to know and I learn a ton, especially about other yarns and products out on the market, that I wasn’t aware of. Thank you SO MUCH!

  • Reply Jill June 14, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I look forward to a new episode each week! I enjoyed listening to these women. And thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply Carmen N June 14, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    I too love TinCan Knits – such great patterns!

  • Reply Amelia June 15, 2015 at 5:54 am

    10 children between them?? amazing women.

  • Reply Pam S June 15, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I am thoroughly enjoying your podcast. This episode was very interesting, loved how they built their business

  • Reply Kristie Statuto June 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    It’s so wonderful to hear of friends exploring their passions together. Another wonderful podcast!

  • Reply Karen Jones June 15, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Great podcast! I particularly enjoyed the comments on learning to set up a business.

  • Reply Jeri June 15, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    I love learning about fibers I have not had the chance to try yet and hearing about others fiber journeys. Thanks for a great podcast.

  • Reply Emilia Ponti June 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I love this podcast! I’m so inspired to get some sheep and make my own yarn. I have been knitting since I was 7, and just getting back into natural dyes. I had my first child this year and I have been cranking out the baby sweaters and hats and leg warmers. Lace has been the project I was afraid to try, but just diving into a pattern has been so rewarding. Thanks for having the courage and energy to keep it up with the interesting interviews!!

  • Reply Sandra (haveyarnwillfly on Ravelry) June 15, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I loved, loved, loved listening today! Thank you so much for all you’re doing & for all the awesome stories. This yarn is calling to me : )

  • Reply Jo June 15, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Once again I find myself engrossed in your podcast, revelling in the world wide wooly community you’ve made! Thanks again x

  • Reply Jacqueline June 15, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    As always I love the podcast! I learn so much from your interviews. Thank you for your work.

  • Reply bellatricoter on ravelry June 17, 2015 at 3:55 am

    finally have the courage to make the whisper cardi and love love your designs
    hoping to win the prize so i can make something with that special yarn
    thanks for making this possible

  • Reply Lisa June 18, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I enjoy these podcasts so much, and this one was no exception. I am slowly making my way through the older podcasts in the evenings while knitting, and while driving. Thank you so much for making them!

  • Reply Kira June 19, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Every week day I listen to your podcast on my commute to/from work and I have been so inspired to continue my fiber arts journey. Since becoming a mother of 2 under 2, I all but gave up and have now rediscovered thanks to your podcast and the talented fiber artists sharing their stories!

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