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Deb Robson and Tussah

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for the sheep!

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November 04, 2009


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L.M. Cunningham

Reading your post makes me think a lot about the similarities between people and sheep.

Most are quite happy to be part of a flock, being herded from place to place, having their ownership change hands, and likely happy and unconcerned (and/or unknowing) about living an anonymous existence, then disappearing without notice.

And then there are us human Herdwicks.... ;-)

Deb Robson

Thanks for the laugh, from one human Herdwick to another. . . . I have a lovely drawing of a Herdwick on my wall that I got from a young woman named Kelsey Wailes (at Thisteldown Farm), who was selling prints of her work at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival a couple of years ago--as a high-schooler. Id link to her website, but its gone away. She can still be located through Google, but the web link to see her work doesnt seem to exist. Nice Herdwick.

Susan J. Tweit

Cool stuff! (And lots of hard work here that we readers just get to skim over, but you have to do. And do again, and again.) This is going to be an amazing book. And yes, you'll get to the end of the wool before you starve to death or wear your fingers out. You won't be able to do everything you want to do, but you've got to save something for the next book(s) after all....


This was a truely refreshing break from Leaf ID & Statistics...

Deb Robson

Susan, your encouragement is much appreciated. Finishing before I starve to death or wear my fingers out is, indeed, the goal, and nope, I am *not* able to do everything I want to do . . . nothing near it. That went out the window quite a while ago. I just hope I dont make any extreme errors along the way.

Discovering that the worlds expert on sheep, Michael Ryder, was given some mislabeled wool was interesting: its a challenge to keep this stuff straight, especially when its almost infinitely variable. My system for once it gets in the house is fine, but I have already gotten one sample where I wrote the source and said, Are you SURE this is X? For the following reasons, its extremely atypical for the breed, and got back the answer, after a while, Oops. No, its really Y. So we caught that one. . . .

Deb Robson

Im glad you enjoyed it, AnneMarie! Im not sure how much it takes to be a break from stats, but refreshing sounds like something Im glad to have achieved for you.


wow. just wow. We are so much alike-)

Deb Robson

Oh, good, you like what I wrote! It was fun. Took a leap way into the wool.

David Bennett

You may like to see the photo of the Herdwick I took a while ago:


David Bennett

I don't know whether the comment I just made came through but here it is again - it's a link to an article and photo of a Herdwick that I took a little while ago.


Deb Robson

Thanks, David! I found your photo a while ago and have it in my bookmarks. I love the picture, which so clearly shows the unique qualities of a lovely Herdwick, along with the write-up about Beatrix Potters involvement with the sheep and the landscape. Its a terrific page that readers of this post will enjoy a great deal. So glad you added this comment. Thanks, too, for visiting my blog.

Susan J. Tweit


My bet is that youll finish before you starve to death and/or wear your fingers out, and I know that this book will open doors to new income-producing opportunities, along with opportunities to write more about sheep and wool, so the rest of the material wont go unused.

Im not surprised youve gotten mislabled samples, and its interesting that Michael Ryder had that experience too. Not everyone understands why its important to keep track. Good thing you do....

Ive taught my last workshop for this trip and now were on our slow way home from Las Cruces, ETA tomorrow afternoon. Cant wait to be home for a few days!


Stories nurture our connection to place and to each other. They show us where we have been and where we can go. They remind us of how to be human, how to live alongside the other lives that animate this planet. ... When we lose stories, our understanding of the world is less rich, less true.

--Susan J. Tweit,Walking Nature Home: A Lifes Journey, just out from Univ. of Texas Press

P.O. Box 578

Salida, CO 81201

WEB SITE http://susanjtweit.com



I really liked your post and wanted to read all the comments--yet I can't get them to pop up! Is there some setting that's changed here? Maybe I'm comments-impaired?!

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