Knitting Making Podcast Woolful Podcast

Episode 3: Jacqui Fink & Julia Billings – Local fiber, Natural Dyeing, Dreams and Revelations

December 9, 2014

I’m very excited to share the third episode of the Woolful podcast. Today we get to meet two incredibly talented women, both diverse and coincidently Austrailian, Jacqui Fink of Little Dandelion and Julia Billings of Woollenflower.


Sponsor: This week’s episode is sponsored by StashBot. Buy yarn smarter with Hannah Fettig’s new iOS app StashBot. If you find a yarn you can’t live without, StashBot will help you determine how much you should buy. It will pay for itself again and again as it saves you from purchasing more skeins of yarn than you need. Just as importantly it will keep your stash useful as you will be sure to have enough yarn to knit the projects you would like.  StashBot will soon be available for Android and is also available in print.  For more information head to


Fiber folk 1: Julia is a horticulturalist, experimenter and explorer of natural dyes, and purveyor of all things wool. Her knowledge of plants and natural dyeing was inspiring not only to continue natural dyeing, but around the foraging and identification of plants. You can find her at and on Instagram @woollenflower.


Man on the street: For this week’s “Man on the Street” I asked a couple of fiber enthusiasts to answer the following question, “What is one way knitting or another fiber art has changed your life?” We had some amazing replies from Tiffany (@knittingfarmer) and Sam (@samanthamaylamb)

Fiber folk 2: Over the past few months I’ve heard some amazing stories, but none quite as moving as our next guest Jacqui Fink’s story. A few years ago, Jacqui had a transformational experience that opened doors to her future she never even imagined possible, and all leading to this spectacular thing called unspun wool. You can find her at where she just launched her online shop full of extreme knitting yarn and needles and on Instagram @jacquifink


Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway, sponsored by Monarch Knitting is Allison from You’ve won two skeins of Woolfolk’s Far yarn and the Knop hat pattern! Congratulations!

Our giveaway this week is a little different, but just as special. I spent last week in Idaho at our ranch where we converted an old milking parlor into a dye studio. It was our first time using the studio, and it was a surreal experience to dye with black walnut from our property and watch the beautiful caramel color emerge. Sooooo, this week we’re giving away those 3 skeins of naturally dyed Snoqualmie Valley Yarn created by Tolt Yarn and Wool, and naturally dyed by myself. To enter this giveaway, visit the giveaway post on Instagram @woolful and tag a friend in the comments. You can also enter by leaving a comment on this blog post.


Music by Jónsi.

Transcription of episode:

Download transcription 

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  • Reply Rachel Godfrey December 9, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Stash is such a great concept!

    • Reply Callie December 12, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Such an inspiring blog and now a podcast! Really wonderful to listen to. Been looking forward to listening all week. And it was worth it, wonderful topics and oh so inspiring. Hearing the passion and love for fiber craft is oh so good. Thanks for sharing all you do!! Can’t wait for the next one.

  • Reply Neza December 9, 2014 at 3:27 am

    This podcast is just wonderful. Julia and Jacqui are such warm and lovely ladies, I loved to listen about their work and passion. It makes me very inspired and also emotional as I thought this week for the first time that I am proud to be a knitter! Thank you.

  • Reply Marci December 9, 2014 at 4:37 am

    always look forward to seeing something from woolful in my mailbox! great, entertaining and inspiring stuff – keep up the good work!

  • Reply Andi December 9, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Really enjoyed this podcast. Such interesting conversations happening and lots of learning on my end. What an absolute joy. You have found your calling ,Ashley!
    The naturally dyed Snoqualmie Yarn is gorgeous and will make someone very happy…hopefully me. 🙂

  • Reply Shelley G. December 9, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Naturally dyed yarn is so beautiful! We have a great little company here in Minnesota that dyes using locally-sourced natural materials. The yarn is wonderful! Check out MinnehahaFiberWorks Etsy shop!

  • Reply Megan K. December 9, 2014 at 7:37 am

    I’m just learning to knit and found your podcast from madelinetosh on Instagram. I’m so happy to have your podcasts to listen to as I learn because knowledge is a journey and this journey isn’t solitary.

  • Reply claired December 9, 2014 at 7:59 am

    That is some beautiful wool!

  • Reply kate December 9, 2014 at 8:37 am

    I just found your podcast and loved listening it to it while knitting this morning… your guests have really inspired me to try some different things with all this fibre I have hanging around.

  • Reply Carlene December 9, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I’m learning so much from these conversations. The yarn turned out gorgeously and I’d love to have some wool with such a story behind it. Needles crossed 🙂

  • Reply Gail December 9, 2014 at 8:45 am

    I would be honored to knit something special from your first – of many more to come – died skeins!

  • Reply Beth Hynes December 9, 2014 at 10:04 am

    What a lovely podcast! Such inspiring women 🙂

  • Reply Abby December 9, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Yes please! This has become my new favorite knitting podcast and I love following your work on insta. Wonderful.

  • Reply Janet Goff December 9, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Lovely podcast. Great information and inspiration. And the yarn looks scrumptious! Xo

  • Reply Sara December 9, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Thank you for the hard work and dedication you are putting into these podcasts. I love that this is the direction that knitting, yarn fabrication and dyeing are going. Very exciting!


  • Reply Carol December 9, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Finally got around to checking out your podcast! So glad I did! So lovely and this yarn is so gorgeous!!

  • Reply Samantha December 9, 2014 at 11:26 am

    I’d love to enter the giveaway. 🙂 I’m also @srohrich on instragram

  • Reply Carly Hoffman December 9, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Such a great show! I’m still just as excited about new episodes as I was for the launching! So thoughtfully organized.

    I haven’t been able to knit in about 2 weeks because of school work and upcoming art shows so listening to your podcast is closest thing I have to being able to knit and spin. It makes me feel like I’m not missing out!

  • Reply Emily December 9, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Beautiful podcast 🙂 I am not a knitter but a novice weaver. I just purchased my first floor loom a few months ago and love weaving with wool. I would love the opportunity to work with your naturally dyed wool one day. Thank you for fostering this community of fiber artists!

  • Reply Kathryn December 9, 2014 at 11:36 am

    So thrilled to have a fabulous podcast to listen to while spinning or knitting!

  • Reply Monica December 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Lovely podcast and lovely giveaway. I have been watching the posts on Instagram, and they are just beautiful and inspiring. I tried my hand at dyeing yarn in a class once and it is so addictive. If I’d only live closer, I’d ask for a lesson 🙂

  • Reply Brandy December 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Such gorgeous yarns, love the walnut color! I never had a desire to listen to a podcast before I found your work, it’s so inspiring!!!!

  • Reply ErinJoelle December 9, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I loved hearing Julie’s thoughts on botanical dyeing, and your own walnut-dyed yarn looks wonderful. I assume that these trees were growing on your ranch already- are you planning on planting a dyer’s garden as well? My garden here in New York State consists of native species , and I have been looking into what native plants have other benefits (i,e. food, medicine, dye). It is wonderful how much there is to learn! Best of luck with your future botanical x wool adventures in Idaho!

  • Reply Chelsea Berkompas December 9, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Oh gosh… that yarn is so gorgeous!!!!

  • Reply Naomi December 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    What a wonderful site this is.

  • Reply Kristen December 9, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I spent the afternoon listening to all of your podcasts today while I put a dent in my holiday gift knitting. This has been such a great way to get re-inspired in making and has introduced me to several wonderful and interesting people to follow on instagram! Thanks!

  • Reply Hannah December 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I am so inspired to start dying with foraged items lately!! I would love a blog post about your process. I am obsessed with the pictures you post on instagram. 🙂

  • Reply Camanoah December 9, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Love listening and reading about your journey. Great job.

  • Reply Vanessa December 9, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Had this playing in the background as I was knitting today. Loved it! Have been following Jacqui Fink for awhile and it was so great to hear from & about Julia as well.

  • Reply Dana (DanaRae19 on Ravelry) December 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    The yarn turned out a beautiful colour, thanks for the chance to win. 🙂

  • Reply Sarah December 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Really enjoyed this episode. I’m really excited to look into what I have growing local to me that I can dye with.

  • Reply Audrey December 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve read about people knitting with PVC but never thought about the weight. I learn new things every time and look forward to each podcast. I’ve already replayed the first one. I want to go to Mexico!

  • Reply Kyrie December 9, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I’m not generally a podcast fan but I have found yours so inspiring. And naturally dyed yarn is my favorite!! Thank you.

  • Reply Beachwalker December 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    So enjoy these podcasts and watch in anticipation for the next one up! Thanks so much for giving us wool people such a gift!

  • Reply sarah December 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    i would love to win some naturally dyed yarn!

  • Reply Karen b December 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I’ve enjoyed each podcast episode and I would love to try the snoqualmie valley yarn!

  • Reply Amber December 9, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I’m loving the podcasts and would doubly love some scrumptious naturally dyed yarn!

  • Reply Sara December 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Loving these podcasts! It has been so wonderful being able to listen to all these wonderful fiber folks while weaving and knitting at home.

  • Reply Mary December 9, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you for another great podcast and giveaway. It the the perfect distraction from a crummy afternoon.

  • Reply Carleigh December 9, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Ah, I’d love to start spinning and dying my own yarn. I started carding wool, but never found the time to start spinning. I can only hope it comes as naturally to me as it did to Julia. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the things I would do if I could afford Jacqui Fink’s yarn! I truly love all of the guests you’ve had so far. Thank you.

  • Reply allison December 9, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    This was another fascinating episode. I especially enjoyed hearing about natural dyeing. And–oh my goodness–I am so excited that I won yarn!!!

  • Reply Shana Meier December 9, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    This podcast has been wonderful so far! I can’t wait to hear this week’s episode. Your hand dyed yarn is beautiful! I would be really lucky to win it.

  • Reply Lynda December 9, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I’m new to podcasts. This is very interesting. Thanks.

  • Reply Rebecca K December 9, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    As an Aussie listener, it was such a treat to be able to hear the stories of these two amazing Australian crafters. Jacqui’s stories in particular really stuck with me and have been on my mind all day since listening to the podcast. This has become my favourite podcast series.

  • Reply Ali December 10, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Thank you for a great podcast. It is so lovely to hear from people who are so passionate about their work. It is inspiring and really makes me think about my day job.

  • Reply Janice Hellzen December 10, 2014 at 2:29 am

    I look forward to a new Podcast every week. As a fairly new knitter it really is amazing when you all of a sudden realize that you can’t imagine not knitting. Thank you for such a great blog and the podcasts
    and I would love to win some of your dyed yarn!

  • Reply Kimberley Buergel December 10, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Another wonderful podcast!

  • Reply Lorna December 10, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Great episode this week. You and your guests are so inspiring! Can’t wait for the next podcast.

  • Reply Ady Simmons December 10, 2014 at 7:08 am

    What a great episode! I love the black walnut dyed yarn being given away too. 🙂

  • Reply Jody December 10, 2014 at 7:17 am

    What gorgeous yarn…would love to win! Love the podcast. Thanks for the giveaway!

    JKnits51 on Ravelry

  • Reply Jill December 10, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I am so happy I found you on Instagram! I just started catching up on your podcasts and am in love. Thank you for giving this new mother something to look forward to 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca December 10, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Lovely podcast! So glad I found you and thanks for the chance to win!

  • Reply Fräulein Rucksack December 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I’m new to podcasts and I’m so glad I found you. Even though I can’t remember how.
    Can’t wait to knit with you and more wonderufl people soon again! Thanks!

  • Reply Nicole Hay-Chapman December 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    I’m a ding dong and commented on the last post for the giveaway mentioned in this post! Think I’ve got it figured out now 😉 Thank you for another inspirational post!

  • Reply Nicole December 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    I have some natural dyeing planned for next year. I can’t wait to try it out!

  • Reply Nathalie Hall December 10, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Can’t wait to listen! So wonderful

  • Reply Antonella December 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Another interesting episode. I love how the conversation about yarn can lead to so many other topics (botany, performance art etc.). Can’t wait to listen to the next.

  • Reply Kim K. December 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Awesome podcast, can’t wait for more and I love the hand dyed Snoqualmie yarn!

  • Reply Mary Bensel December 11, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Calm, rich, and intelligent. Thank you for an inspiring episode. I look forward to many more.

  • Reply Charlene December 11, 2014 at 7:09 am

    I just discovered your podcast yesterday and love, love, love it! I’ve been searching for one just like this and I’m so excited to have found you! Everyone has been so interesting and I’m so glad to find resources here in the States and even California where I live. Our dyed yarn is beautiful and thank you for the opportunity to win some.

    P.S. Do you have any plans on starting a group on Ravelry?

  • Reply Shana Meier December 11, 2014 at 7:26 am

    I just listened to this week’s podcast and it was very moving! Thank you for this great episode.

  • Reply Mary December 11, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I have a skein of the Snoqualmie yarn in the natural white but would love to see it dyed

  • Reply Tisha December 11, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I’m enjoying the podcast and I second the request to start a group on Rav!

  • Reply appaloosa13 December 12, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Can’t wait to listen to this episode, it looks super interesting!

    The black walnut yarn sound’s lovely. <3

  • Reply Juliann December 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I am loving your podcast. I am inspired beyond words! Thanks so much.

  • Reply Courtenay December 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Black walnuts make for a beautiful color! I’ve been wanting to knit with something camel colored and this yarn/shade would be perfect. My mother and I share a love of black walnut ice cream, which is a difficult flavor to find these days!

  • Reply Susan December 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    So excited to have discovered this podcast! Just bought a Romney fleece from my local farmer’s market today, looking to revive a long dormant interest in natural dyeing and spinning.

  • Reply nobutterfly December 14, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Lovely podcast. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply lori December 14, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    oh dear ashley, i think you should be called woolfaeiry. you are making magic here. i loved hearing you, julia, jacqui, tiffany and sam. and thank you too hannah! (and my favorite music too). xxx

    please add my name to the giveaway, so special it is.

  • Reply Maria December 15, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Love the podcast and your two guests on this episode! Am truly considering Stashbot App and thank you for a great review! Would love to be added to the giveaway!
    Thank you!

  • Reply Kate W December 15, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Gorgeous yarn! I’m really enjoying the podcast. 🙂

  • Reply Maria December 15, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Your black walnut came out just lovely!! Can’t wait to gather more next fall for dyeing!

  • Reply michaela arroyo December 15, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Love tuning in weekly to your podcast. I feel like i’m learning so much from this knitting community and being exposed to exceptionally beautiful people. Your podcasts are my special time of just me, knitting and tea. Thanks for creating this podcast so i can peacefully sit and learn about others who love to create // make with their hands and from the heart as much as I do. Much love.

  • Reply Kay sutton December 15, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I would love to win your hand dyed yarn! I enjoy your podcast!

  • Reply Beverly Spencer December 15, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Combing a fleece to while listening to your podcast.

  • Reply kristen silvia December 15, 2014 at 9:43 am

    oh my very first podcast to subscribe to! and thanks for the chance to win that gorgeous yarn!

  • Reply Bev S December 15, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Listening to your podcast as I comb a fleece to spin.
    Love your website and this podcast. Thank you for the opportunity to win some of your hand dyed yarn.

  • Reply Karen Tsutsumida December 15, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoy listening to your podcasts. I imagine they are quite a lot of work but keep them coming!!!

  • Reply Jody December 15, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Love the Podcast! Thanks for the giveaway!

    JKnits51 on Ravelry

  • Reply Nikki Solomon December 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Oh, this one is so inspirational! Your hand dyed wool is to dye for!!

  • Reply Kim McClellan December 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I just wanted to thank you for such an inspirational podcast. Throughout each episode I’ve found my mind churning with new ideas. I have really enjoyed the stories of the makers you’ve interviewed- keep up the wonderful work!

  • Reply Azul December 15, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Thanks for finding and doing these great interviews, I really enjoyed the first 2 episodes, particularly the trip to Oaxaca, Gridjunky’s recycling and design, the Tasmanian origin of cormo, and am now halfway through the third episode after your lovely interview with Woollenflower. I grew up near where the snoqualmie yarn was grown, for a time on a small farm with sheep too, where I first learned to knit, spin, weave etc.

  • Reply Annett December 15, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Awesome new podcast, I love to find great new podcast to listen to while I craft. The diversity of your guests is really fun, love how personal these talks are!

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