Meet Pauline - the knitting aficionado behind Pea's Parlour. Based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Pauline is not only busy knitting our beloved winter woolies, but she also works in philanthropy at Taronga Conservation Society
Pauline kindly shared some insight into her work, creativity and more below...
"A craft like knitting is the repetitive search for perfection"
You are one busy lady! As you work at Taronga conservation society, what prompted you to start Pea's Parlour and when did you get going?
I lost my day job back in 2012 and took the summer off to recalibrate and figure out what the heck to do next. I dreamt of working more creatively but I had no clue what that would look like for me or what I was good at. I found this exquisite hand-spun yarn on Etsy and then had to figure out what to do with it (wassup youtube!). I then got a job in New York and really got into knitting there, spending the weekends visiting these incredible yarn stores. I’d turn up to bars to meet friends carrying sacks of wool - I was addicted!
What is the attraction toward knitting? Have you always done it?
A craft like knitting is the repetitive search for perfection. It’s my jam. I see it as a form of meditation and the perfect partner to mask my fidgeting and my difficulty to relax.
Tell us a bit about the yarns you've selected and why you landed on Mohair & Peruvian lambswool
The Peruvian wool I use is like the Rolls Royce of yarns. It’s luxuriously soft but strong, perfectly spun and dyed with low-impact dyes. Wool is one of the best known sustainable fibres - renewable, biodegradable, natural and breathable. I adore using mohair as it’s surprisingly warm for its lightweight nature and can take you through the colder seasons.
The Daydreamer jumper in Fairy Floss & Moss
We would love to know more about what you do at Taronga conservation society. Can you tell us more about your role and how you ended up there?
I work in philanthropy, bringing a fantastic family of donors close to Taronga’s lesser known conservation programs - from treating injured turtles at our wildlife hospital, to setting up recovery programs for Australia’s wildlife severely impacted from the horrid summer of bushfires to funding work in Kenya to reduce human-wildlife conflict.
I have worked with not-for-profits for 15 years - from Greenpeace to New York food charities. Super rewarding work!
What are your hopes and goals for your conservation work?
Huge question! Obviously opening more people up to the value of nature - there is so much we take for granted and so much we are losing that we don’t even know about. It’s a shame Donald Trump takes up so much media space, which could be used for more useful topics...
If big business and government honoured and prioritised nature and the immense benefits it provides, including economic, rather than dealing later with the consequences of climate change and habitat destruction, well… wouldn’t we be living in a different world?
How have the pandemic and recent world changes affected you and your work? How are you taking care of yourself during this time?
There’s getting my head around adjusting to less privileges of travel and exploration and even visiting my family. I’m thinking about all the people and places I may not see again which freaks me out but I’m trying not to dwell on it. More immediately, I adore having more time to myself - my knitting and self-care hours have increased - more yoga, more walks, more time with my husband and dog. But yep, I feel a bit displaced in my head.
Any artists you can share with us whose work inspires you?
Hélène Delmaire - her portraits of women you can never really see but feel you can understand. Stunning and clever..
Laura Jones - a dear friend, brilliantly talented painter and fellow colour addict.
Times New Romance - incredible embroidery artist Sheena Liam.
What's on your playlist at the moment?
African music is on high rotation. This week:
Orchestra Baobab - old school Senegalese band
Gordon Koang - from South Sudan