Making Podcast Woolful Podcast

Episode 73: Erika Barratt – Grandmothers, Cirque du Soleil, West Elm and Heirloom dolls

January 10, 2017

Sponsor: Located in Historic Downtown Laramie, Wyoming, Cowgirl Yarn is a fiber-lover’s paradise. Their unique collection of scrumptious yarns, luxurious needles, fashion-forward patterns, one-of-a-kind accessories, and oodles of inspiration provides the ideal home for any and all knitters, crocheters, weavers, and spinners. They are proud to offer a large and exclusive selection of yarns and fibers that are produced in Wyoming. They also represent over 25 brands that are made in the USA as well as stock goods from 6 out of the 7 continents. Enjoy a taste of the world, of the United States, of Wyoming at Cowgirl Yarn. Make sure to visit for a list of their gatherings and classes, including their community gathering everyone Monday evening. And follow along with their fiber exploration on Facebook, Instagram, the Cowgirl Yarn blog or join our Email list.

Fiber folk: Erika Barratt has created a whimsical world from natural fibers and dyes, trimmings, buttons and do-dads. What began as a fiber fascination early in life, bloomed into a beautiful fiber journey that’s lead her to create heirloom dolls, each with their own story. I’ve long admired her attention to detail, use of natural fibers and the playfulness she brings to her work. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I have. You can find Erika at and on Instagram @erika_barratt.


Sponsor: Brooklyn General Store was created in 2002 and is owned and operated by Catherine Clark. Tucked away on a sweet block West of the Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill neighborhoods, Brooklyn General Store is the enchanting fiber and textile emporium we all dream of. Dreams full of wooly goodness, yards and yards of fabric, felt, dyes, patterns, tools, and handmade gifts. A little old and a little new…a classic general store for the maker who loves to make their own everything. With a charming studio, the shop hosts a variety of wonderful classes taught by special folks including Cal Patch, Nguyen Le, Heather Love and many more. With it’s floor to ceiling shelves, old rolling ladders, and old wood floors, it feels as though you’ve stepped into a wooly wonderland…I so wish I lived closer and could adopt this shop as my own lys, but thankfully they have an online shop filled to the brim with all of their fiber and sewing goods and gifts…including their own yarn, Barnwool. So if you’re in the Brooklyn area or just passing through, visit Brooklyn General Store in person and find them online at and on Instagram @brooklyngeneralstore

Giveaway: The winner of last weeks giveaway is Hd. You’ve won the Ossify Mitts kit, featuring Stone Wool Cormo yarn in Tobacco 3 and Twig and Horn stitch markers and Brittany double point needle, congratulations! 

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Erika Barratt and Brooklyn General Store and they’re giving away Erika’s Reindeer doll and two skeins of Brooklyn General’s Barnwool. To enter, leave a comment on this post.

Music by Jónsi.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Claudia Michel January 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Just listened to Episode 73 and am completely inspired. Thanks for this story of creativity and thanks for sparking mine.

    • Reply Rebecca January 20, 2017 at 4:21 am

      I can’t wait to visit Brooklyn General

  • Reply Beth January 10, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    The dolls and deer are beautiful!!! Such fun the various aspects of fiber arts that you interview!

  • Reply Sarah Machado January 10, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I loved when Erika talked about never getting bored with the fiber arts because there’s just so much to learn. I feel the same way!

  • Reply Knittyship January 10, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you so much for introducing us to Erica. What an inspiration her beautiful work is!

  • Reply Kristi January 10, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you for such and interesting and inspiring episode! Erika´s work is so beautiful. And I always love hearing how people´s mothers and grandmothers have influenced their fiber journeys. I have a rag doll that my great grandmother made me and it´s one of the most precious things I have.
    Thanks again for the inspiration! 🙂

  • Reply Tanja January 10, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Such an enchanting episode. I always learn something new when I’m listening to these episodes, and I’m always inspired by them. <3

  • Reply genevieve montoya January 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you for doing this, It is so inspiring to hear the journey stories of all these creative women. A great reminder, when the next step doesn’t feel clear, it is so seldom, if ever, a straight line.

  • Reply Debbie G January 10, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Thank you beyond words for sharing Erica’s journey… She reminds me so much of myself…I sit at home alone every night and knit or spin. Erica is as beautiful inside and out as her dolls are… The reindeer it is one of my favorites because I live in the woods and I’m surrounded by beautiful creatures including my two alpaca boys and many deer… her story has made me smile inside and out 😉

  • Reply Sara Sands January 10, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Loved this episode. Erica’s journey inspires me to keep creating what I love!

  • Reply Laurel January 11, 2017 at 4:23 am

    This is so cool! Her dolls are amazing! Thanks you for sharing her story!

  • Reply virginia Sattler-Reimer January 11, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Another amazing and inspiring episode. I can’t tell you how much these conversations have enriched my life!

  • Reply Kristin January 11, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Her work is so beautiful! I love how original and classy the dolls look. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply Peggy January 11, 2017 at 6:50 am

    The quiet whimsy in Erika’s creations is just delightful!

  • Reply Shana January 11, 2017 at 7:59 am

    I loved hearing about Erika’s fiber explorations. I also went to art school, focusing on fibers and did quite a few of those conceptual fiber art pieces, which still influences me as I try to find a balance between following patterns and freestyling it! Beautiful creations!

  • Reply Rachel January 11, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Just listened to this episode with my 10 year old (Grace) and 3 week old (Annabelle) daughters on a lucky-for-us snow day. Annabelle nursed and slept through it, but Grace and I were inspired and she spent a good bit of time scrolling through Erika’s instagram. Thanks for another wonderful episode!

  • Reply Annette January 11, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Happy New Year!!!
    Another great podcast, thank you. Erikas’s dolls and deer are amazing!

  • Reply Kathy January 11, 2017 at 8:38 am

    I very much enjoyed this interesting interview of Erika. Thanks, Ashley.

  • Reply Katie January 11, 2017 at 9:24 am

    I love your podcast – it’s a treat to go on your guests’ fiber journeys! Erika’s devotion to her craft is wonderful. I love that each of her dolls is such a unique treasure!

  • Reply Tanya January 11, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I was inspired by Erika’s creations when I started my own doll making journey. Thank you so much for this interview to give me a chance to learn more about her!

  • Reply maggie pascoe January 11, 2017 at 9:31 am

    This weeks episode was especially inspiring for me. I recently quit my corporate, soul sucking job to reset and find something more creative and inspiring to pursue. During this time I’ve ended up getting an assistant position at Anthropologie working with their visuals team! To hear Erikas story is encouraging to know where her connections lead her. I also recently fell in love with the Hudson Valley area on two desperate trips this fall. She is living my dream life!

  • Reply Danielley January 11, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Such beautiful dolls!!

  • Reply Rain January 11, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Such a fun story of how passion becomes paid work! Thank you for the happy giveaway!!

  • Reply Maria eb January 11, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Another great podcast, Ashley! Congratulations on your new beautiful baby boy! Here’s hoping!

  • Reply Corrin January 11, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Erika’s Frida doll has me swooning! From one former Anthro employee to another, it is beautiful to see the small, hand-made gestures you are gifting this world. <3

  • Reply Emilie Elizabeth January 11, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    It is always so inspiring to listen to your podcast! I am finishing up a university degree in archaeology and even though I love history I think I would just be much happier working with fiber all the time. So these stories about women who make the jump and get safely to the other side is just so absolutely terrific to listen to. Keep up the good work, my heart always skips a beat when I see you have a new episode up.

  • Reply Margaret January 11, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Another lovely podcast. It’s so nice to discover new and talented makers through listening. Thanks for the chance to win too.

  • Reply Annie January 11, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Loved the episode today, and I’m now a fan of Erika and her work. So inspirational!

  • Reply Elizabeth January 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I follow Erika on Instagram and love her work! She led me to the podcast. I am happy to find it! And randomly, I live 40 minutes from the Cowgirl Yarn store in Wyoming and have been there many times!

  • Reply Yasmin January 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I loved looking at these pictures over and over! Please do publish a book/patterns, I can imagine how fun it would be to make them with my girls! What a dream job! I agree wholeheartedly on having more than enough creativity for a lifetime!

  • Reply Suzi in MI January 11, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    A great episode!

  • Reply Elizabeth B January 11, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    This was one of my favourite episodes. Very inspiring! Love your work Erika. x

  • Reply Carol Hershey January 11, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    This is just beautiful. Inspiring to see how simply perfect creativity can be. I will listen to this one again and again.

  • Reply Michelle January 11, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    This was my first time listening to Woolful and I absolutely loved it. Erika’s story is so inspirational. I’m heading right over to her Instagram page to have a look at her work. So glad I found you!

  • Reply Karen Grauman January 11, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Particularly excited that Erika is considering selling patterns so that we can all share in creAting. The story of her journey is inspiring!

  • Reply Shelly January 11, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    I so enjoy your podcasts! I have been a huge fan of Erika’s dolls…her details are just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing her story with us.

  • Reply Georganne January 12, 2017 at 7:07 am

    So inspiring as always. And Erikas dolls are enchanting!

  • Reply Arianne January 12, 2017 at 8:32 am

    This podcast was delightful. And what a fun giveaway!

  • Reply Kezia Tenenbaum January 12, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Knitting and listening to this podcast, what a pleasure, again. Thanks Ashley!

  • Reply Nicole January 12, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Thanks for another great podcast. I love all the little details that go into making the dolls!

  • Reply Kim Schroeder January 12, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Absolutely beautiful show

  • Reply Nancy January 12, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I love the dolls. You can feel the love in them. The podcast again was great!

  • Reply Rose Young January 13, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Another amazing podcast and giveaway! Thanks for all your hard work!

  • Reply Dana January 13, 2017 at 5:10 am

    As always this episode is inspiring and touches all the aspects of a woman trying to succeed as a creator in our modern world

  • Reply Bridget Perry January 13, 2017 at 6:30 am

    I loved this episode and was so inspired by Erika’s attitude and vision for how she wants to create. I had never heard of her and I’m so glad that you introduced her to me!

  • Reply Susan Seward January 13, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Such a wonderful and sweet voice for the fiber arts world. Thank for the episode and introduction.

  • Reply Judith B January 13, 2017 at 7:54 am

    I enjoyed listening to Erika because you could create a vision of her dolls and know how much she loves the creations. So peaceful to listen to all the creative souls you choose for each episode. Thanks

  • Reply Sandra January 13, 2017 at 10:40 am

    I have been thinking lately about the importance of family & heritage. What fun to hear both her reflections on being blessed by her grandmothers & her desire to create family treasures! Thank you both for sharing your worlds with us ☺️

  • Reply Julia January 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    What a lovely aesthetic. Beautiful work. Thanks!

  • Reply Bri January 13, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    I love Erika’s creative story! It’s funny how moving to different places can change our creative courses. For me, moving to Phoenix made me become even more enthralled with fiber and knitting.

  • Reply Rachel Palfini January 13, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Really enjoyed this episode and seeing all the cute toys!

  • Reply Erin January 14, 2017 at 2:51 am

    What a fun episode! Those dolls are incredible… really something to be proud of, Erika!

  • Reply Julienna Brooks January 14, 2017 at 6:00 am

    This work is so beautiful. Thank you for such an inspiration podcast. I recall making dolls and doll clothes when I learned to sew and knit as a child. Recently, I picked it up again to make a birthday gift for a friends daughter. These dolls are such an inspiration and bring forth such wonderful memories of having special dolls in childhood!

  • Reply Terri January 14, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Wonderful podcast! As a resident of Wyoming, it was wonderful to see Cowgirl Yarns!

  • Reply Laura Fox January 14, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Loved this episode! Woolful is one of my favorite places to visit and hear wonderful and inspiring stories of the fiber community. <3 Reindeer are my favorite symbol of the Christmas season – my tree is crammed full of them! – so I loved hearing they were the creation that fueled Erika's toy-making journey. Such lovely creations to treasure!

  • Reply Jayne Kellogg January 14, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Enjoyed hearing about Erika’s creative journey and her beautiful, delicate looking, keepsake dolls and animals. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Pat Herkal January 14, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    I look forward to each podcast and am never disappointed. Thanks for sharing makers, creative beings and your life in fiber.

  • Reply Dee January 14, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Loved listening. Another great one.

  • Reply Carrie January 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    So glad I visisted the site so I could see the dolls. Love hearing about Erika’s journey and all the amazing work that goes into her creations.

  • Reply Sue Marquette January 14, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Love the episodes and look forward to a new one every few weeks. Thank you for your interviews with inspiring folks.

  • Reply Stacy January 15, 2017 at 3:35 am

    Thank you for a wonderful podcast.

  • Reply Leanne January 15, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I was so inspired. Beautiful work!!!

  • Reply Suzanne January 15, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    It is just magical to see the photos that correspond with things mentioned in the interview. These dolls are a labor of love.

  • Reply Michaela Hitchcock January 15, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Loved this story!

  • Reply Michelle January 15, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Loved hearing her story! Her dolls are incredible!

  • Reply Joanne January 15, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Great interview. I love hearing the baby gurgles too.

  • Reply francesca January 16, 2017 at 2:26 am

    So much fun to hear about this crafting which is so different from what I ususally read and hear about. Thank you for opening up my eyes to dolls 🙂

  • Reply Kim January 16, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Lovely story!

  • Reply Lisa H-L January 16, 2017 at 6:29 am

    As always, an inspiring podcast. Thank you for the opportunity to try Barnwool, it looks lovely as does the whimsical little deer.

  • Reply Vicki Rucker January 16, 2017 at 6:55 am

    You’ve done it again! Inspired me and helped me “settle” and think about a simpler life surrounded by the things I love, doing the things I love to do. Thank you for bringing Erika’s story to us.

  • Reply Cyndi January 16, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Loved the podcast! What beautiful dolls and animals! Thank you!

  • Reply Debra Sewell January 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    Enjoyed hearing Erika’s story! Being a maker is a wonderful gift. : )

  • Reply Lena January 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    How wonderful hearing Erika’s story! I’m a doll maker from Germany and always feel so very inspired by meeting likeminded people all over the world. And how special hearing Jude’s beautiful little voice in the background!

  • Reply Susan Gannon January 16, 2017 at 5:56 pm

    I couldn’t help but think that she sounds like such a lovely and genuine person. Both she and the work are inspiring. Thank you for these conversations. They keep me company whilst knitting and stitching by the fire.

  • Reply Traci January 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Hand sewn dolls were the first hand craft I sold. As a newlywed in a new to me small town it was a great way to meet women I otherwise wouldn’t have. At twenty I finally had Grandmas. That was 30 years ago. I think I should go make some dolls.

  • Reply Debi Rose January 16, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Look your beautiful work and enjoyed hearing your story!

  • Reply Judy January 17, 2017 at 3:11 am

    Another lovely podcast. Erika’s creations are wonderful.

  • Reply Megan Chandra Best January 17, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Love these beautiful things!

  • Reply Dawn January 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Oh these dolls are just darling! Loved getting to know Erika and hear her story. Don’t know what I’d do without these podcasts, Ashley. Thank you! 🙂

  • Reply Ady Grafovna January 18, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Erika was amazing to listen to and I admire her work greatly! What an adorable reindeer!!

  • Reply Egrace January 18, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I am reassured to hear you talk about breaks of time and how much your making has evolved . I am greatful as a new listener to learn of resources on the East Coast too.

  • Reply Kathleen January 18, 2017 at 9:02 am

    This episode has me peering down the rabbit hole of doll making. Erika was great inspiration!

  • Reply Judy Flores January 18, 2017 at 10:05 am

    This was one of my favorite interviews. I love Erika’s work and I feel so he same way she does — I can never get bored because of all the different things fiber and needlework related that I love to explore.

  • Reply Diane January 18, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Mother fascinating podcast. Can’t even express how beautiful Ericas dolls are. Thank you for a chance to win one.

  • Reply Louise Gingery January 19, 2017 at 10:15 am

    A wonderful podcast! Erika’s workmanship is beautiful!

  • Reply Megan Lynch January 19, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    This was so lovely to listen to! I’m now obsessed with Erika’s work – so beautiful & detailed. Also I want to live in her studio.

  • Reply Julia January 19, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Tanks for the chance to win this beautiful prize.

  • Reply joan mckenzie January 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    lovely story! love the dolls – reminds me of long ago days making clothes for my Barbie – sewing and knitting.. hoping for grandchildren to get back to making dolls one day..

  • Reply Tiffany Hantelmann January 19, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Beautiful dolls! and it sounds like I need to take a trip just to see Brooklyn general, that store sounds amazing.

  • Reply Dorothee Mulak January 19, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Very beautiful and inspiring!!!

  • Reply Susan January 19, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    The doll would find a good home with my nice and the doll I sewed here for Christmas… and the yarn would find a good home with me. Thank you all for another general giveaway.

  • Reply Stephanie D January 20, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Those dolls are so lovely! I’m also so inspired by the pictures of the Brooklyn General Store. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go soon.

  • Reply Kim K. January 20, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    What beautiful dolls! Erika has a fascinating story. Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Reply Nancy January 20, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Great episode! Love the dolls!

  • Reply Carrie Proulx January 21, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Ashley, I loved this episode! Erika is a gem and her creations are just delightful down to the smallest detail. I’m inspired! Thank you for another wonderful episode.

  • Reply Connie January 22, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Enjoyed this episode so much. These dolls are beautiful! Loved hearing Erika’s journey. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Emily Boyd January 22, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Listening to Erika’s fiber/textile journey was so inspiring. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Jo January 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Oh thank you thank you thank you! Listening to this episode has sparked a rush of inspiration and optimism about making and making a living from it. I love hearing the stories of how makers get to where they are, and the ups and downs. And thank you for once again introducing me to another amazing maker. xx

  • Reply dana January 22, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Another great episode! Erica is so creative and inspirational!

  • Reply Brenda January 22, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this story with us!

  • Reply Sheena January 23, 2017 at 3:41 am

    Long time listener, first time comment-er. I always love listening to the podcast, it is so soothing but also really interesting. I’m living in Tokyo, so I generally feel very isolated because of the language barrier . I’ve been putting all my extra time into spinning and knitting, and I’ve been learning a lot. Woolful keeps me inspired and interested -and it assures me that I’m not a loony for loving wool so much. Thanks for doing what you do!

    Erica’s designs are charming, maybe someday I will try to make a doll too. 🙂

  • Reply Clare January 23, 2017 at 8:28 am

    What an incredibly inspiring episode! I loved hearing all about Erika’s dolls and it’s even more special to see them in these photos. She is an artist. It was really inspiring to hear her journey too, as I’m on one of my own right now – very encouraging. Thank you for continuing to highlight the work of these amazing makers! I savour every episode.

  • Reply Jennifer Lee January 23, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Inspired once again. I actually googled Erika and found a studio tour on YouTube. What an amazing space!

  • Reply Sylvia Sinclair January 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Love the podcast!

  • Reply Karen W Budnick January 24, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing Erika’s story and her lovely dolls. I’m going to look on YouTube for the studio tour.

  • Reply Liz Alma January 24, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Erika is so talented and her dolls are beautiful.
    Her puppy is super cute too!

  • Reply Melissa F January 24, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    So inspiring and sweet.

  • Reply Alicia January 24, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you! Your voices were so pleasant to listen to.

  • Reply Cathy B January 25, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Very inspiring. Would love to win.

  • Reply arthella posey January 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    so inspiring and reaffirming.

  • Leave a Reply