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Deb Robson and Tussah

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November 12, 2009


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Wow, you are such a creative thinker! I'd love to see how this turns out if you try it.


Wow...I was thinking "Rya Knots" when I looked at the locks on the left in the first photo.

Good to know that you're not running out of ideas. We can look forward to future projects!!

Deb Robson

Not only not running out of ideas, Valerie: WAY behind not only on implementing them but even on posting the ones Ive gotten around to completing!

Yes, those locks on the left in the first photo would do rya knots, but what you cant tell in pictures is how actually delicate the structures of these locks are and how silky that lamb fiber is (the mix of undercoat and outercoat, which you can see best in the locks on the right in that same photo--which I teased out a bit). While adult Karakul locks will hold up to some wear in a rya knot and maintain their form, I think these would smudge into obscure softness over not-too-much time. I do have some thoughts, though, about how to use them and keep them safe. . . .

Deb Robson

Caroline, dont hold your breath: Ive got a lot to do before I can get to this, but I certainly do want to try it. And I have all the necessary fiber right here already, including the adult Karakul. I have had *two* ideas I would like to try for ways to lay in the locks (Id use something less precious in my tests).


I think you've already got a sequel on your mind?! Think of something like "creative directions for wool breeds" or something? I'd love a book like that.

I agree with you though, sometimes the locks of wool are perfect and precious on their own and I feel that no yarn I could make would make them as beautiful.

L.M. Cunningham

"Lamb fleeces" are right up there with "well-made semisweet chocolate" on my "yummiest when unadulterated" scale.


I keep locks "too pretty to spin" for use as doll hair, even though I hardly ever reroot anymore.

Glossy longwools in gray look fabulous on my fashion dolls, like Mrs. Wensleydale...

Deborah Robson

Sgt Majorette, I'm imagining a Mrs. Wensleydale, and it's a fine picture in my head, indeed. Yes, sleek longwools are fantastic for doll hair. Karakul would make a pretty interesting-looking hair substitute: possibly for slightly sci-fi characters?

Thanks for the interesting idea, Joanne. In terms of book projects, I am not thinking a millimeter past this particular one. I *am* thinking of things I would like to explore, just for fun.

And Linda, I'm definitely with you on the chocolate and the lamb fleeces. I was thinking of semisweet chocolate as I wrote this--how could you tell?

L.M. Cunningham

LOL -- It's the chocoholic vibe, of course! ;-)

Susan J Tweit

Those are gorgeous fleeces, and I can see those lamb-locks as a whacko mad scientist (or crazed spinner and author?) dolls. What a gift your posts are--I've learned more than I imagined I needed to know about sheep and other fibers.

BTW, are you doing silk in this volume? We have a sculptor friend in Boulder, Jill Powers, who is raising her own silkworms and they're spinning cocoons now....

Deb Robson

Crazed spinner/author dolls. Yep. Thats gotta be it. Although I may use the Cotswold instead. . . . Ive got some great gray Cotswold here. . . .

Silk: yes, scheduled for this volume, although Im not sure how sane that is. I keep trying to trim the work back to the remotely possible, and others who are involved (but not washing wool, and so forth) keep having even grander visions. Time will tell.

Raising silk worms is a LOT of work. Im very impressed that Jill Powers is sponsoring such an effort. Yowee.


Reading your blogs is making me drool with envy! Not only have I no time to spin of late, but haven't even washed last spring's clip of fine llama. Sigh.

I'll just have to continue to live vicariously through your wonderful blog!

Deb Robson

I actually dont have much spinning time myself--just the tidbits and teasers and idea-generators. I have a notebook of things Id like to make that are bigger than my tiny skeins . . . at another point in the cycle of seasons. This is a season for samplng. . . .

Diana Troldahl

My first choice would be to always have a lamb around, but since that isn't practical, maybe I'd frame them while I thought about all the lovely things they could become :-}

Deb Robson

Yes--! Its a good thing adult fleeces are also wonderful, in a different way. I like your framing idea. Shadow box.


Your karakul locks look much ike some of the Navajo churro I've spun. The resulting yarn is beautiful;but, not as memorable as the locks and the entire fleece.

Deb Robson

Ive been spinning Navajo Churro today.Navajo Churro has a lot of options. These are, however, some of the prettiest fleeces Ive ever seen. Im not sure I can capture their beauty with a camera.Such texture and color!

One of the sample sections I have of Navajo Churro is SOOO SOFT! Truly remarkable. Sturdy is good. I also like being surprised. . . .

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