Making Podcast Woolful Podcast

Episode 21: Flying Fibers – Heritage breeds, Amish pastures, English roots and Building family legacy

May 12, 2015

I’m very excited to share the twentieth episode of the Woolful podcast. Today we get to meet two special women, a mother and daughter team who have created a fiber farm and shop in Lancaster Pennsylvania, Jeri Robinson-Lawrence and Irina Lawrence.


Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Knitterly, a very special yarn shop created by Shelli Westcott, based in Petaluma California and online at I am always so amazed at the well curated selection of yarns, fibers and classes Shelli works so hard to provide all us fiber enthusiasts. Make sure to visit when in Petaluma and online at


Fiber folk: I first met Jeri when she emailed me last Fall before the podcast even began. I was intrigued by the heritage breed sheep she and her daughter were raising and their efforts in creating awareness about these wonderful breeds and their wool. Their passion around education and breed preservation is a great thing, but even more great than that is their dedication to doing what they do, in whatever capacity they can. You can find Jeri and Irina at and on Instagram @flyingfibers.






Man on the street: For this week’s “Man on the Street” I asked the question, “How has your family been involved or interested in your fiber interests? For example, have they joined you at fiber festivals or knit your designs or dyed or began knitting/weaving/crocheting, etc.” We had some great answers from Melissa @hey_lday_hey, Nikki @woolenviolets, Kirsten @littlepennycress and Amber @dapperewe!

Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway, is Colleen Davis! You’ve won a Westknits e-book of your choice and a Wiksten Tank pattern from Have Company. Congratulations!

The giveaway this week is sponsored by Flying Fibers, and we’re giving away two skeins of some very special, Wensleydale yarn. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below.


This week we had a few exciting updates in the Woolful Mercantile, with the addition of some new yarns, in particular a fingering weight Cormo and Organic cotton blend. We’ve also released the Summer quarter Natural Dye Club which features this same fingering weight Cormo and Organic cotton yarn. We have updated project kits, including cabinfour’s Pure shawl project kit that comes with 3 skeins of Ravine, a Targhee – Columbia – Ramboulliet and Alpaca blend in Aran weight. We’ll also be updating our cabinfour Nordic Wind shawl project kits later next month when we get the next batch of Greenbow Farm’s Icelandic Lopi yarn…I know you all have been waiting and excited for this, and we’re very excited too! This Summer and Fall we’re expanding our online shop and I’ve been busy meeting with different farmers and producers as we get ready to bring some very special yarns your way. Thank you for all your support thus far of our little venture.

I apologize to everyone who’s been attempting to listen to the podcast via iTunes or Stitcher for the past few episodes and weren’t able to. We had some security issues with the site a month back and due to our enhanced security measures we didn’t realize iTunes and Stitcher had not been able to access our feed. It’s since been fixed and you can now access each episode.


Music by Jónsi.


Transcription coming soon!

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  • Reply Monica May 12, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Your podcasts have been such a great escape now that I have returned to an ever-boring desk-job…thank you for that! And I’d LOVE to win some yarn!

  • Reply Beth J May 12, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Really enjoy your podcast I listen while my grandson naps and I knit
    Thank you
    Yarn looks yummy

  • Reply Meg May 12, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Fantastic, as always! I love listening to your podcast during my lunch break at work. Sometimes a little fiber talk is just enough to get me through a long day!

  • Reply Meagan May 12, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Another interesting podcast, about to tune in now! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Tonya May 12, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Can’t wait to get a quiet moment to listen! Yeah, some more Vermonters.

  • Reply Patty Gnass May 12, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I would love to knit with some Wenleydale yarn.

  • Reply jonatha May 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    love the locks. i would knit them into the edge of a shawl or felt into a project. thank you for making this possible in our fiber world.

  • Reply Savannagal May 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve never knit with Wensleydale yarn. I’d love to give it a try. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Reply Renee May 12, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Love Wensleydale and the efforts these wonderful women are putting into their farm.

  • Reply Brittany May 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I’m always so inspired after listening to the podcast. It was so cool to hear from someone who has built a flock even without land of her own.

  • Reply Heather May 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I’d love to try Wensleydale!

  • Reply Charlene Scott May 12, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Ah! I’ll be happy to be able to get the podcast and stick it on my iPod only because i can’t seem to backup our very well on the web version. Love all the guests on your cast, thanks for doing this!

  • Reply Jennie Clark May 12, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I loved this topic and its focus on breed specific wools. My mom and I listen together, and she’d love her own skein of Wensleydale since I just bought some at Md Sheep and Wool.

  • Reply Charlotte Clark May 12, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you for another excellent podcast! I appreciate the variety of topics, and was pleased to see the possibilities that can be available through boarding.

  • Reply Traci May 12, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Having a great Tuesday night. Catching up on some sewing and the last two podcasts! Wish I could reach through the screen and squish that fleece/fiber/yarn. Man I need to learn to spin. Maybe I’ll just knit instead.

  • Reply Kate May 12, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Great episode! I love hearing the different journeys people take to get where they are and this one was wonderful! Thanks Jeri for sharing 🙂 love their yarns, will definitely be purchasing some in the future!

  • Reply Naomi May 12, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I always look forward to your podcasts.

  • Reply Kate M May 12, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I gasped and felt chills run down my spine when I started listening to this podcast! Wensleydale sheep!! I adore them, greatly, and have dreams of raising a flock of my own.

    You see, my husband is a Metcalf – a clan that goes back into the 9th century in North Yorkshire, specifically in Wensleydale, where Wensleydale sheep obviously originated. We both have talked so many times about eventually starting a herd of our own, both out of my love for the wool that they produce and for our love of the place that gave them their name.

    Thanks so much again for a wonderful podcast. It is a highlight of my podcast week!

  • Reply Joyce May 12, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I’ve been listening to your podcast during my commutes home and still have many episodes to catch up on! Looking forward to each and every one of them 🙂

    • Reply Katri May 12, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      This yarn is lovely! Thank you so much for sharing these stories with us via the podcast. As many said, listening has become a mini fiber escape when ever I find the time. Thank you, Ashley!!

  • Reply Rain May 12, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Dear me! Just when you thought sheep couldn’t get any more adorable…Wensleydale, I’m smitten! Would love to knit with some of their curly locks!

  • Reply Kristoph May 12, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    As a materials engineer, it’s great hearing about breed specific wools and their properties. Would also love to hear more about different plant fibers used in spinning, weaving and knitting.

  • Reply Kristi_sweetkm May 12, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Your guests are so varied, I’m thrilled hear of more great fiber producers in my area. I will definitely seek out Flying Fibers during our summer travels!

  • Reply Roz May 12, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    And again I want to race out and buy some sheep, what interesting people, and so knowledgeable, thanks Ashley for this podcast

  • Reply Emily Boyd May 12, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    I love discovering new fiber artists through your podcast. Filling my instagram feed with yarn-y goodness is my favorite.

  • Reply Katie May 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    I just had a little nerd fantasy of eating Wensleydale cheese thine knitting the yarn and watching Wallace and Grommit. I need help. And yarn.

    RavId/Instagram NDAKKatie

  • Reply Kimbuktu7 May 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I enjoyed listening to this mother-daughter team, especially about the Wensleydale sheep and their efforts to preserve the breed here in the U. S.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win some of their wonderful wool.

  • Reply Cathy B May 12, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    I would love to try out this yarn.

  • Reply Torill S. May 12, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks for all the inspiration. Would love to try out this yarn!

  • Reply Charlotte May 13, 2015 at 1:30 am

    Love a Wensleydale:) Looking forward to listening.

  • Reply Bente Simone May 13, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Love your podcast. A nice pause in a busy week.

  • Reply nobutterfly May 13, 2015 at 2:41 am

    Great episode! Love the picture of those sheep

  • Reply asteride May 13, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Thank you for the giveaway! This yarn is new for me and is good to know something more about it.

  • Reply Emmaline Long May 13, 2015 at 8:22 am

    This has been my absolute favorite episode! Listening to this mother-daughter team reminds me so much of the Lincoln Longwool flock my dad and I have. So awesome to hear them talk about breed preservation! They spoke about many of the same struggles that the Lincoln breed is having currently.

    This episode made my day! Thank you!

  • Reply Cat B May 13, 2015 at 8:40 am

    I just re-started weaving and would love to add heritage breed wool to my work! What a wonderful flock!

  • Reply Katey May 13, 2015 at 9:17 am

    This episode made me smile because it reminds me of me and MY mom. 🙂 It’s so great to see young people seriously interested in farming and fiber arts.

  • Reply Anna May 13, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Great podcast this week! I’ve only started listening recently and have been making my way through all the episodes. Inspiring stuff!

  • Reply Elaine May 13, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I love that all of this knowledge is being passed to the next generation and that the younger generation is willing to learn and is interested in all of this. I would love to win! Thank you for all of this information every podcast.

  • Reply Erin May 13, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Inspiring as always! Would love the chance to try out the Wensleydale!

  • Reply Katy M May 13, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve never tried Wensleydale wool – I’d love to give it a go, thanks for the chance to win x

  • Reply Elaine May 13, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Such a great story!! Thanks for sharing this one and all the rest with us. I too would like some Wensleydale.

  • Reply Karen May 13, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I feel like I’m always learning new things from your wonderful podcasts. As a handspinner I’d love to try spinning Wensleydale…… to check out Flying Fibers. 🙂

  • Reply Kim strand May 13, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    One of my greatest enjoyments is listening to your podcasts and living vicariously through them. I’m sooo pleased that you are doing this. I would love to work with this yarn and experience the feel of it moving through my fingers.

  • Reply Kathryn D May 13, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Another fantastic episode. I learned so much. Thank you for doing what you do. You inspire me so much!

  • Reply Nicole J May 13, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    I just started listening to your podcast a few weeks ago. I have enjoyed all of the stories, but Jeri’s story has been my favorite because for her, it started with the love of sheep. So many of us start with knitting/weaving/etc. and work backward. Thank you for sharing Jeri!

  • Reply Susan May 13, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Love learning to able all the different sheep breeds through the podcast — would love to try some Wesleydale yarn. I also appreciate the perspectives of people of different ages/generations that have been profiled on the podcast.

  • Reply Kristan May 13, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you for another lovely bit of inspiration. We would love to have our own farm one day & I found the heritage breeds resistance to diseases to be really interesting!

  • Reply Susan Crosby May 13, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    This was so interesting in so many ways. I’m originally from SE PA and loved hearing about fiber folk from there. I’m heading off to a fiber farm stay this weekend down by Durango, CO. The hosts raise both Wensleydale and Luster (or is it Leceister?) Longwools. How amazing to learn more about these breeds before I go there.

  • Reply Dana May 13, 2015 at 8:55 pm

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

  • Reply Alexandra BG May 14, 2015 at 12:26 am

    I’m not entirely sure how I found out about Wooful, somewhere on the discovery page of instagram I imagine, but I am so happy I did. What a source of inspiration, I’ve been binge listening to the podcast since I discovered it just over a month ago. I’m new to the fibre world, but I feel hooked. I knit my very first sock a few days ago and boy did I learn a lot. It’s a little misshapen, is made with the completely wrong yarn for socks and has some mistakes peppered in, but I learned as I went, scouring the internet for patterns, videos and tips. As I knit I listened to you and all your wonderful guests, it felt as if I was being cheered on by each and everyone of you. I am so excited to really immerse myself in all things fibre, and follow Woolful as it also grows and progresses.

    Thank you.

  • Reply Marguerite Leahy May 14, 2015 at 2:52 am

    What a fantastic pair! Lovely podcast as usual. Am off to look at their website!

  • Reply Barbara May 14, 2015 at 3:13 am

    These sheep are charming to look at! I just want to give them a big hug. I’d love to knit something out of Wensleydale wool.
    Ashley – keep up the great podcasts – so very interesting and informative.

  • Reply Erin May 14, 2015 at 6:08 am

    What a lot of fun those two are – I’d love to hang out with them and their sheep!

  • Reply Kristie Statuto May 14, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Can’t wait to finish work today and grab my knitting and listen to this!

  • Reply hope hawley May 14, 2015 at 7:44 am

    What a nice listen this last episode was. Often I listen to Woolful while walking on a trail that runs the width of Missouri. Of course i only walk a couple miles of it while pushing my daughter in her stroller. The trail is nice and quiet, so I turn the volume all the way up on my phone, gaze at nature, while my mind is painting the picture of the interviewed’s life. It’s quite enjoyable! Thanks for making my walks bad ass 🙂

  • Reply Jill May 14, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I loved hearing how passionate this mother and daughter team are about their work. Very inspirational! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.

  • Reply Kim May 14, 2015 at 8:41 am

    So nice to hear from a mother/daughter team with a shared love of sheep and fiber!

  • Reply Margaret May 14, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I really enjoyed this podcast. Very interesting on the rare breeds of sheep and hearing Irena’s and Jerry’s story.

  • Reply Sandy Blake May 14, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Can’t wait to try their yarn. So interesting!

  • Reply Megan May 14, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Really looking forward to listening to this episode!

  • Reply Stephanie SHoemaker May 14, 2015 at 10:55 am

    As always informative, well put together and a delight to listen to!

  • Reply Abby May 14, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    What a great story and such a fun duo to listen to! I’d love to win.

  • Reply Sara Wolfie May 14, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    What an inspiring mother & daughter team. I loved hearing your story, thank you so much for sharing.

  • Reply Emily G May 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Great episode! I loved hearing their story!

  • Reply Julia May 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks for another wonderful podcast!

    Juliaknit on Ravelry

  • Reply Ines May 14, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Your podcasts are an amazing window to a world I adore. It’s great to get to know the stories behind the people I follow for so long, learning more about wool and it’s people. Thanks for sharing these words.

  • Reply Marielle Milot May 15, 2015 at 2:33 am

    I love how wool can bring families and communities together. Maybe there’s more to the expression ‘close-knit’ family than meets the eye.

  • Reply michelle May 15, 2015 at 3:55 am

    I learn so much from your podcasts — thanks! I went on the website and checked out the wool from the Wensleydales. Now I’m coming up with reasons to justify sending off for some DK . . .

  • Reply Megan May 15, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Loved the podcast, as usual! I haven’t had much time to knit these days with an infant, but your podcast always fills me with inspiration for those few moments I do have with my needles, and has given me so many ideas for projects and fibers I want to explore in the future! Hoping to cast on for the Pure shawl next!

  • Reply ErinJoelle May 15, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Nice to listen to hear how this family is making their dreams come true in unexpected ways.

  • Reply Meredith DiPietro May 15, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Hi- Thank you for this wonderful podcast! It opened my eyes (and ears) to an awesome small business right in my own backyard. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply Jenny Berman May 15, 2015 at 7:19 am

    each week you talk to such interesting and varied people! I love having access to so much of our community thru your careful and loving interviews!

  • Reply Rachel Pendleton May 15, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Thanks for another interesting podcast! I love to hear other folks’ fiber journeys. I used to be in 4-h raising sheep (as well as rabbits and turkeys), so I have some memories of lambing and all that goes into caring for sheep throughout the year.

    Thanks for offering these great giveaways, I’d love to try this yarn!

  • Reply hd May 15, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Loved it and hope to stop by their shop next time in Lancaster! Thanks, Ashley, for this amazing podcast!

  • Reply Christina May 15, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Thank you so much for your podcast! I would love some lovely new yarn to work with :). Thanks!
    P.S. I discovered that I went to high school with Stephen (from your last episode)! Small world. I didn’t know about the knitting club at the time (it was a huge school) — I missed out!

  • Reply Tess May 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you for your wonderwoolful podcast! You have such interesting guests- something for everyone! Would love to have some yarn from their special sheep in my stash!

  • Reply Jenifer May 16, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Your podcasts are both relaxing and exciting. Now I have so many yarns I would love to try! Including this one (hint hint).

  • Reply Rachel May 16, 2015 at 7:29 am

    I stumbled upon your podcast today while knitting and fell in love! Thank you for such a fantastic episode… a road trip is now in order! The Flying Fibers mission really is encouraging.

  • Reply Terri May 16, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I am so sympatico with Jeri! Preserving heritage breeds and sheep diversity… I’ve had the opportunity to visit an Illinois farm with Leicester Longwools and I’m currently spinning some ShetlandxLeicester Longwool fiber from that farm. I’ve also had the chance to knit some Wensleydale. Lovely stuff!

  • Reply Teri May 16, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    I just found you podcast and I LOVE it! So fun to knit while I am listening and become so inspired!

  • Reply Vicki May 17, 2015 at 8:13 am

    I enjoyed hearing how Flying Fibers got going-the stories behind the yarns are so interesting.

  • Reply Emily May 17, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Loving this podcast. Flying Fibers is such an authentic operation. Its powered by love. Thanks For sharing.

  • Reply Dalyn May 18, 2015 at 7:56 am

    I so enjoy your podcast with Flying Fibers. I look forward to the personal journeys shared by your guests. The inspiration and knowledge leaves such a huge impression and has changed how I look at yarn and the world of fiber. Thank you.

  • Reply lauren winter May 18, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    great episode from a new woolful listener – thanks for introducing me to so many wonderful makers through the podcast!

  • Reply Alison Collins May 19, 2015 at 12:29 am

    I so enjoy hearing about different rare breeds…so interesting. Many thanks for bring this exceptional podcast to the fibre world!

  • Reply sophie (kamalalotus on Rav) May 19, 2015 at 2:24 am

    It got me checking pictures of Wensleydale et leicester, and they are very big sheep indeed! Would love to try spinning and knitting with these fibers.

  • Reply Tyna May 19, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Love these podcast! I so love being able to delve my hands in the fiber while my mind is entertained by the makers of such!

  • Reply Estelle May 19, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you Ashley for your always so inspiring podcast, i keep re-listening to each episode as i always hear something i missed previously! All the stories shared have re-ignited my passion for fiber and i feel my creativity is ready to blossom again. Love from a busy mama of toddler twins from beautiful Tasmania x x

  • Reply Yarn and Pointy Sticks | Love Local Yarn January 16, 2016 at 8:31 am

    […] I was fascinated to hear about British Heritage breed being raised by Flying Fibres in the USA in Episode 21. […]

  • Reply Jody Goodrich May 16, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    a very interesting, informative and delightful episode! thouroughly enjoyed knitting along with Shelli & Irina…thanks so much for the chance to win some of their lovely yarn =)

  • Reply Episode 70: Paola Vanzo – Rural Italian heritage, Tibet, Family and mYak – Woolful November 4, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    […] In addition to owning a yarn shop, Jeri and Irina have a flock of rare breed Wensleydale sheep, and endangered Leicester Longwool sheep that they raise on their farm in York County. You can hear their fiber journey in episode 21 . […]

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