Welcome to Wild Wool Way


Finding your moment of pause and joy


Welcome to my World of Punch Needle!!  My name is Michelle O Driscoll and I am passionate about punch needle.  I live on our family farm in West Cork and I am a trained Environmental Scientist and have worked in this field for the past 20 years. I discovered punch needle in 2014 while on a crafting trip to the UK, little did I know I stumbled upon something that would change my life.  It is my love for nature, our environment, my cows and the animals on my farm that provide me with the inspiration for my punch needle fibre art.

I was so passionate about the joy and creativity that punch needle brought me, I left everything behind in 2018, followed my heart and travelled to America to train under Amy Oxford, the inventor and Queen of the Oxford Punch Needle to become Ireland’s first Certified Oxford Punch Needle Instructor.  

I understand the frustration you may feel when starting out on this traditional craft with incorrect materials and tools.  I spent many hours sourcing, experimenting, punching, to find good quality, authentic materials that you need for the craft of punch needle with a modern twist and Wild Wool Way was born.  I am a one stop shop for all things punch needle such as monks cloth / fabric, gripper strip frames, Adjustable Lavor Punch needles, the Oxford punch needle, yarn dyed by myself and other artisan dyers in Ireland. A true colour feast for the eye

I organise punch needle retreats and workshops on the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. “Come punch with me on the Wild Wool Way!”  

Check out my shop to get started or to continue on with your punch needle journey.

Professional profile

Having discovered the Oxford Punch Needle while on a trip to Yarndale Festival in Skipton, Yorkshire in 2014. I travel to England regularly to complete workshops in rug making completed workshops in techniques such as punch needle rug hooking, traditional rug hooking, standing wool and quillie’s etc.

In June 2018 I traveled to Vermont in America to train under Amy Oxford, the inventor of the Oxford Punch Needle to become Ireland’s first and to date only Certified Oxford Punch Needle Rug Hooking Instructor.

I am a registered member of the Oxford Punch Needle Instructors Guild, Design Craft Council of Ireland, TIGHR (The International Guildford of Handhooking Rugmakers) and the Cork Textile Network.

What inspires me?

I love being in nature, wild flower and hedgerows provide colour inspiration, morning sunrises and sunsets provided the muted calm colours that blend or real vibrant colours.  I also love observing the animals especially the cows!


All my packaging is recyclable, no plastic and sustainable.  For larger delivery packages no 2 boxes are the same, they are recycled from whatever I have.  I reuse any packaging I recieved giving it another life.

I have been on a journey trying to source 100% Irish Wool, this has been quite a challenge but I am delighted to have found a supply and this will feature more in my work, it will be complemented by Irish Wool mixes.

Wild Wool Way project on climate change

Climate project

This picture is part of a piece that I did during lockdown addressing another global crisis, our climate. Not having the usual access to materials to punch with I challenged myself to find other materials to punch and hook with. I have worked as an Environmental scientist for over 20 years and a lot of that time was working within the waste sector, hence I naturally gravitated towards my bins!! I punched with tissue paper, sleeves from milk cartons, netting from fruit, potato bags, plastic banding, old t-shirts etc and my “CLIMATE SOS, BE THE ONE TO MAKE CHANGE” was born.

Punch Needle Connects and Mindful Practice

Once I started punch needle I knew I had found my thing. I loved working with wool, the smell, the touch, the feel of different textures, the colours that feed my soul and inspire creativity. I love the different textures, styles and colourways that you can create, I loved that it’s like painting with wool. 

I found too that there is a lovely worldwide rug making community. During yarn shows, I have spoken with every man, woman and child who stopped by my stand, I demonstrated how to use the Oxford Punch Needle correctly, then let people try it out for themselves. Punch needle is very easy to pick up, but it takes a lifetime to master!! I found that my Oxford Punch Needle connects me to people, and by the fibres going through our hands, people spoke about the fibres of their lives…. births, deaths, marriages, childhood, school days, old traditions, new traditions. Punch needle connects.

Punch needle is mindfulness in practice. When you are punching you are in the moment, you are focusing on the next stitch, thoughts will naturally come and go but your mind will always come back to you work and focus on the next stitch, you will be in the present and in the moment. In this day and age where there is a lot of pressure and stress with work, parenting and generally running around it is nice to take time out for a bit of self care. Make time for you, make time for craft, make time for punching, it will sooth your soul.

Come punch with me on the Wild Wool Way.

Make time for punch needle, life can be stressful, punch the stress away, it will sooth your soul!

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