Becoming Ireland’s first Oxford Punch Needle Instructor.

Front of Chair Pad made with punch needle
Contemplative time – Front of Chair Pad made with punch needle

How did Wild Wool Way come about, and travelling to America to become Ireland’s first Oxford Punch Needle instructor! It all started when myself and my friend went to Yarndale, a festival of yarn and creativity in Skipton, Yorkshire a number of years ago. We were rushing out on day 2 to catch our flight when suddenly something caught our eye!! A UK based rug maker was punching using the Oxford Punch Needle. We were completely mesmerised and that was the start of my punch needle journey.

Since then the love of the punch has brought me to the UK a number of times attending the Reeth Rug Retreat in Yorkshire organised by Cilla Cameron and Heather Ritchie. I undertook numerous workshops exploring different rug making techniques. I have met many interesting and entertaining characters along the way all with the same passion for rug making, crafting and feeling connected with the materials, the present, the past and each other.

I knew I wanted to explore more with the Oxford Punch Needle and one Christmas I thought live is for the living and it’s time to follow my dream. So I booked the Oxford Punch Needle Instructor Certification Course and flights to Vermont and before I knew it I was boarding a plane to Vermont USA in the summer of 2018 to train under Amy Oxford and since then I have become Ireland’s first Certified Oxford Punch Needle Instructor! Cheesy and all as it sounds the film I watched on the way over was “The Greatest Showman”. In all ways this just encapsulated my whole experience, from “million dreams” as brightest colours too were filling my head, to “this is me” and also the fact that I adored the circus in my teenage years, a tale for another day!!

The week in Vermont was live changing, I met 7 other talented, fun filled, creative ladies who all had the same love for the Oxford Punch Needle as I did. Being trained by Amy Oxford was the cherry on top. I look back on that week with great fondness. I came home and Wild Wool Way was born. I wanted to create a space where people could explore punch needle. All those years ago when I started out it was very hard to source the correct materials and sure I made loads of mistakes, I possibly have made all the mistakes in the book but my vision was to create a point of contact where people could order kits to try out punch needle, have a supply of Oxford Punch Needles, monks cloth, frames all you require that you too can get started or simply continue on with your punch needle journey.

Thanks for reading, happy punching!

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