Making Podcast Woolful Podcast

Episode 78: Emily Chamelin-Hickman – Shearing life, Wool business, Controversy and Targeted grazing

April 26, 2017

Sponsor: Sunday Knits has quickly become one of my new favorite yarns to knit with. Started in 2008 by Carol Sunday, Sunday Knits is a collection of 4 merino and merino blend yarns and beautiful patterns designed by Carol. From the 100% extra-fine Australian merino to the French Angora, all their fibers are humanely sourced and then milled in Italy to Carol’s meticulous and caring specifications. Aside from this yarns obvious qualities, they’re a dream to knit with…so soft yet sturdy and the breadth of colors are beautiful and perfect for color work…I have yet to move beyond swatching, as there are so many great uses for this wholesome yarn. And if you enjoy knitting shawls, make sure to take a look at Carol’s latest patterns, Windfeather and Water Hyacinth, featuring lacework and texture…a little warmth and a lot of style makes these beautiful shawls a wardrobe staple, and an enjoyable knit in any of Sunday Knits’ yarns. You can also find kits for these designs on their website. Visit Sunday Knits at or if you can make a trip to Roscoe, Illinois near the Wisconsin state line, make an appointment to visit Sunday Knits gorgeous studio. You can follow on Instagram @carolsundayknits

Fiber folk: I first met Emily at the 2016 ASI convention, where I was introduced by our mutual friend Brittany Cole Bush. Brittany’s first words were, ‘You need to get to know Emily. She is the most incredible shearer you’ll meet.’ And she was right. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Emily more and watch her journey on Instagram. Her passion and love for sheep, their care and the wool industry is inspiring. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as she tells her story. You can find Emily at and on Instagram @gypsyshearer.

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 every Monday evening. And follow along with their fiber exploration on Facebook, Instagram, the Cowgirl Yarn blog or join their Email list.

Man on the Street: For this week’s “Man on the Street” I asked the question, “What are some of your favorite farm or breed specific yarns these days?”. We had a great reply from Beatrice @threadandladle, mentioning Wing and a Prayer, Hinterland and Lana Plantae

I’m looking for more fiber appreciating folks to join the Man on the Street team…if you’re interested, shoot me an email at

Giveaway: The winner of last weeks episode giveaway is Adrienne Simmons. You’ve won the Constellation Bandana Embroidery project kit and No. 2 FAUNA from Making Magazine. 

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Your Daily Dose of Fiber and they’re giving away a skein of their handspun Alpaca worsted weight yarn. To enter leave a comment on this post. 

Music by Jónsi.

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  • Reply Karen Doherty April 26, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Looking forward to listening! I sheared a sheep once it’s really really hard work.

  • Reply ElaineChicago April 26, 2017 at 5:06 am

    That’s really a labor-intensive job!! Beautiful results from hand shears.

  • Reply Pam April 26, 2017 at 5:10 am

    I am learning so much …thank you!

  • Reply Carrie April 26, 2017 at 5:28 am

    A new episode! Looking forward to giving it a listen. Gorgeous pictures as always!

  • Reply Sunny April 26, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Looking forward to hearing your podcast. The yarn looks yummy

  • Reply Greta Holmstrom April 26, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Absolutely loved this episode. Have always been interested in learning more about shearing and wool classing. This was a great overview and so inspiring.

  • Reply April 26, 2017 at 7:34 am

    loved the show as always
    i just made my first FO youtube video// check it out!

    Is this where we comment to win ALPACA!?!? my favvvv
    my 2017 resolution was to make socks and my first pair were out of gifted alpaca….. not the greatest sock choice but omg i LOVE. who cares if they felt on the bottom?/ they’re worsted weight anyway!

  • Reply Tina Bury April 26, 2017 at 9:43 am

    As always, you help to feed my making soul! A lovely time spent listening while my little fella sleeps in the car, again.

  • Reply Linda April 26, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Just found your podcast from your Instagram post. Thanks for doing this. I’m newish to knitting and the wool world, but loved hearing about this woman’s passion for her work and the animals. Off to go find more episodes. 🙂

  • Reply Shannon Yeaton April 26, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Always excited to hear your new episodes! Thanks for great content we can depend on to be informative and inspiring! Yarn looks divine.

  • Reply Britney DeLeon April 26, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Great listen, love the family background and just down to earth chat about sheep.

  • Reply Stephanie D April 26, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Really like hearing about shearing! This area is totally new to me.

  • Reply Life With The Crew April 26, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I’m sneaking in episodes as naptimes allow – hope I get to listen to the whole show!

  • Reply virginia Sattler-Reimer April 27, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Having only discovered your work here last fall, I have listened to every past podcast. Without anymore old episodes to tide me over between new ones I am now even more thrilled when there is one! Thank you!

  • Reply Joann Russell April 27, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Great episode! We have Shetland sheep who are about to be shared, a small flock. Listening to how Emily schedules made me think of our shearer who has to do the same juggling. As a handspinner, I also appreciate her care and dedication to the wool industry with fiber artists in mind.

  • Reply Emmaline Long April 27, 2017 at 6:45 am

    I’m so glad you finally interviewed Emily! She is amazing to watch, amazing to talk to, amazing to follow! Such an inspiration to other women in the sheep industry. I could only hope to be as cool as she is 😀

  • Reply Morgan April 27, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Can’t wait to listen to what I know will be another great episode. My fiber education started with your podcast and I have become a real wool geek thanks to your amazingly curated podcast.

  • Reply Sindy P April 27, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Another interesting interview, thank you! I really enjoyed it during my walk today.

  • Reply Rain April 27, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Enjoying this episode so much! Thank you for the generous giveaway – alpaca, yum!

  • Reply Nicole Jurek April 27, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Ashley I’m so glad you asked about controversial videos and gave Emily the space to respond. I’ve never heard a response to this question from the sheep industry and I really appreciated what Emily offered.

  • Reply Yasmin April 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Fascinating to hear from the shearers perspective!

  • Reply Arianne April 27, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    This was a fascinating interview. I love that she is such a tough woman!

  • Reply Annette April 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Wow and amazing sums it up! Emily has found her passion and exudes joy when speaking about shearing! Thank you for another great episode.

  • Reply Julia April 27, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    An impressive story of dedication to one’s craft. Much respect!

  • Reply Ines April 27, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    This would be my dream job, in another life 🙂
    It’s a privilege to hear the story of such an impressive journey. Thank you both for sharing.

  • Reply Suzi April 28, 2017 at 4:45 am

    Great episode as usual! Love listening to these while I sew.

  • Reply Natalie April 28, 2017 at 6:49 am

    This was so impressive. I hope to raise my daughter to be a strong, dedicated woman like Emily! Loved hearing her perspective. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Sue April 28, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I love your podcasts and recommended them to a knitting friend who has also become a fan. I am glad that you speak with a wide variety of fiber artists: . Thank you!

  • Reply Cathy B April 28, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Love how the sheep look happy. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Reply Nancy April 28, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Love the podcast. Always brings a smile when it pops up on my list. Thank you!

  • Reply Liz April 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I love the photo spread! The beautiful red hair girl smiling with her heart and holding the sheep is my favorite!!

  • Reply Josh Bobbitt April 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Another fantastic podcast! Thank you for bringing some mellowness to my workday. I would love just a looped track of your spinning wheel, and the music box. Sooooo relaxing!

  • Reply Rosemarie Young April 28, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Amazing as always! 🙂 Thank you!

  • Reply Danielle April 29, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Psyched for the interview — I used to read her (discontinued) blog and wondered what she was up to.

  • Reply Kathy April 29, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Thanks for this interesting interview, Ashley. I enjoyed the Man on the Street comments, also. I’d love to hear an interview of a designer who specializes in patterns for pure alpaca (both types) as to what stitches are best suited to this fiber when it is not blended with wool and/or. I personally puzzle over what is best for pure alpaca when I hear and read so many comments about pure alpaca yarn being “heavy.”

  • Reply Meredith S April 29, 2017 at 7:05 am

    So many great photos. The Alpaca yarn looks yummy and squishy.

  • Reply Rebecca Bandy April 29, 2017 at 7:09 am

    This episode has both my husband and I entranced. Emily sounds amazing! Thank you for finding such wonderful guests.

  • Reply Sarah April 29, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Fascinating to hear about this job, and the physical demands of shearing sheep. Love listening to your podcast.

  • Reply Kezia April 29, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Wow, another strong, inspired and inspiring woman to learn about! Thank you, again.

  • Reply Vivienne April 29, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    This was a great episode. This way of life and type of career is so foreign to me – thank you for sharing Emily’s story and viewpoints on shearing.

  • Reply Alyson April 30, 2017 at 2:50 am

    First time listener here. I really enjoyed this episode, and will be binge listening to old ones now 🙂

  • Reply Susan April 30, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Another very interesting interview for this city gal. Nice to see the return of Man on the Street.

  • Reply Victoria April 30, 2017 at 9:11 am

    This episode was super fansinating and has inspired me to learn more about shearing!

  • Reply Laurel May 1, 2017 at 4:28 am

    Very interesting episode and I learned a lot.

  • Reply Liz Mears May 1, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Thank you for the podcast, it was excellent. Your blog and podcast has helped me to dive into a whole new word of fiber and learn a ton! (It’s so exciting =-D ).

  • Reply Tracy May 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    This is the first episode I’ve listened to, and it was very interesting! Love the pictures and the stories about sheering sheep.

  • Reply dorinalouise May 2, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Wow. This was so amazing. Really, really amazing. I learned so much. Thanks for interviewing Emily, Ashley. It’s so important for community , and for the earth.

  • Reply Tiffany O'Dell May 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Very pleasant listening… and know the work involved. Good luck in all future endeavours and continued shearing!

  • Reply Pat May 4, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Learned a lot. Laughed. Smiled. Enjoyed. I’ll never look at homes on LARGE lots the same way

  • Reply Laura May 5, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I love this! The past few years I’ve been so interested in the wool industry and it so hard to hear the side of the shearer. So interesting, thanks so much for these podcasts 🙂

  • Reply Doreen MacL May 6, 2017 at 12:52 am

    Another very interesting interview and great pictures too. Thanks for the chance.

  • Reply Jen Gardiner May 7, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Another magical episode! Congrats and thank you!!

  • Reply Traci May 8, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    As always, a great story and I always learn something too.

  • Reply Rachel May 9, 2017 at 4:30 am

    I met Emily several years ago after a demo at Maryland Sheep and Wool. She was so kind to my daughter that I think she may have a little shearer in training waiting in the wings.

  • Reply Kim G May 9, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Really appreciate hearing what a typical day is like to be in shearing. I have so much respect for the skill and strength it sounds like it takes to do this work. Something I enjoy pondering even more as I knit these wooly sweaters

  • Reply Bridget May 10, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Hi! I just discovered this podcast and I love it. Thank you so much for sharing all of this wonderful information. I’m able to listen to this episode AND go back through the archives while I work.

  • Reply Stacy May 11, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Thank you. I enjoy your podcast.

  • Reply Ld_wiberg May 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    As always, I enjoyed you, and your guests. Thank you for bring such thoughtful and interesting information to all of out here in “podcast” land.

  • Reply Kate May 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you! Beautiful yarn 🙂

  • Reply Laurie May 15, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Worsted alpaca is pure luxury. Thanks for the chance!

  • Reply Tamara Snell May 16, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Thanks for this giveaway! I really enjoyed this podcast–it was great to hear from someone whose job is shearing sheep, and what all that entails. It’s important to understand what all (all the processes and works) goes into that skein of yarn you’ve bought. Cheers!

  • Reply Leslie S May 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Handspun alpaca – what a luxury to win! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Reply Kimberley Miller May 16, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Your voice and your podcasts are the soothing salve I so desperately need after my stressfillled day job. I listen to them several times each. I live my dream during your podcasts. Thank you!

  • Reply Evey May 16, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I love there alpaca yarn and am so excited!

  • Reply Maude May 16, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks again for an inspiring podcast!

  • Reply Michele Chaney May 16, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    I just discovered this page,

  • Reply Trine Petersen May 17, 2017 at 12:50 am

    Looks amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Francesca May 17, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Another great episode – soothing voices and full hearts.

  • Reply Myriam C. May 17, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Thanks again for this amazing podcast!

  • Reply Loretta May 17, 2017 at 6:21 am

    Hopefully in the next couple days I’ll have a chance to settle in and enjoy this one, but the pictures look fantastic! Love seeing the transformation from shearing!

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