Handmaker's Factory

Kylie Gusset - TONOFWOOL


Hi Kylie, Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I first started knitting when Brenda, my grandmother of awesome, taught me as more of a babysitting type venture to keep me amused along with how to make bunny shaped pikelets, and we poured over her volumes of (seventies craft goodness bible) golden hands together.
It wasn't until coming back from London to Melbourne in 2001 & feeling at a very loose end that it made sense to knit a few ends together and make something. Enter getting back into knitting, blogging about knitting, writing about knitting for publications proper, there not being enough pink yarn in the world (or at least from Bendigo Woollen Mills) so started learning to dye my own. Starting a yarn based business snowballed from there.


What is Ton of Wool all about and where did the idea come from?

The idea came courtesy of Clara Parkes of Knitter's Review fame & her book "The Knitter's Book Of Wool". She organised for a wool along on Ravelry.com where we learnt about different breeds of sheep and what breeds of wool were best suited to. That's where I learnt about Cormo - and that the breed actually came from the Downie family in Tasmania. My first purchase from them was for a kilo of fleece - since then, the last major purchase was the Ton Of Wool - which is a project to learn and discover how wool manufacturing works locally, and what the demand is like for Cormo in Australia and beyond.

Tell us about the wool you are producing.
For the 2nd TONOFWOOL campaign on Pozible, we're offering something super rare indeed - in that we don't know if we can even create these yarns again, due to the lack of coloured scouring facilities - the last scour (wool cleaning) for coloured wool happened in 2011, which is the one that we jumped on - and there hasn't been one offered by the company since.

There's a choice of six yarns, with the most rare being the black - only 1 in every thousand sheep are black - so it's a piece of rare history to own a hank which may never be repeated.
The wool itself is uber squishy - the 10 ply is great for cabling work & garments, while the 4 ply is more a handle with care accessories and fine work yarn. There are boards on Pinterest with ideas for both:
Cormo 10ply
Cormo 4ply


Why is it so important to you to do this?

It's simply the right thing to do. It's not the easiest thing, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wishes to maintain their sanity. It's the right thing for me.

You are currently campaigning on Pozible.com. How can we get involved?
1. Getting onto Pozible at www.ton.pozible.com and pledging for yarn or a hand with your future crowdfunding.
2. Spruiking, linking, pimping or somehow otherwise supporting www.ton.pozible.com via social media, old media, new media or media yet to be invented!

Where do you see Ton of Wool in 5 years?
That depends. Where is the Australian/ overseas (particularly USA) market & manufacturing going to be in 4 years? Answers to those questions will really determine how things happen, and I'm still working on research in that area. If we're really blue sky dreaming here, I'd love to see Tasmanian wool only leave the island as product - that is, everything in terms of manufacturing, dyeing and making could happen there.


 Thanking ewe for your time!