In 1978 my husband and I, along with our two boys age 6 months and 20 months, moved to Vermont from Chicago. In order to supplement our income we decided to raise sheep. At one time we had a flock of 100 at out small farm. They were sold for meat, fleece was made into yarn and skins tanned.
The skins that I used for sewing needed to be cropped and double faced tanned to be useable for clothing.
In 1980, with no formal education in the arts and crafts, and not having sewn before, I decided to make sheepskin products as a hobby. I developed patterns for slippers and mittens in all sizes for babies and adults. Later I added hats, scarfs, headbands, insoles, toys and quilts. One of my first craft fairs was in the Essex High School gym with the Vermont Craft Workers.
I sew all my items by hand with an awl using a waxed nylon thread for durability. The stitch I use does not leave a perforated edge so it does not tear. Since it is a seasonal product, and I am the only one making it, I do not sell on the Internet. All the products that I make are available at the Artisans Gallery in Waitsfield where I work one day a week. I also sell my wares at fall craft fairs including CVU, Vermont Hand Crafters, Barre Craft Show, Richmond Holiday market and occasionally the Craft Producers shows. This small business keeps me busy and happy in my retirement.