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Deb Robson and Tussah

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« Knitting on Vivian sweater is moving forward again | Main | Book: Secret Science Alliance by Eleanor Davis and friends »

May 31, 2010


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Yikes. Sounds just like software development...


Does it help to know that I am intrigued and really looking forward to owning and using such a resource?
(don't feel like you have to reply to that...you have enough to do!)
Kudos to you!

Meg Caulmare

Good afternoon, Deborah,

I'm grateful you took on this task because only you and Rita Buchanan could've done it justice. I've been anxiously waiting for this volume since Clara Parkes mentioned it in her recent Book of Wool. Think of us as the people with water cups along the marathon route. We REALLY want you to finish.

Best wishes,



Is it too late to request a bit of flipbook-animation in the margins? I suggest front-to-back could be long draw drafting and back-to-front carding and shaping a rolag. The photography hasn't been done yet, right? There's still time.


Congratulations on having come so far! Blessings on your recovery! OX

Deb Robson

Thanks, Meg M!

Youre right, Marcia. Ill see if we can get those flipbook ideas incorporated into the margins. However, Im not entirely sure there will *be* any margins: too many words! They may have to run the ends of the lines right into the gutters and off the outside edges as well. I know the designer finished sample pages last week, but I have no idea when (or if) Ill get to see them.

And Meg C, thanks for your faith in the thought that I could do this job justice. Rita is a much better spinner and significantly more methodical and probably would have been too smart to have gotten roped into the job, so, well, well have to put up with me. And I *really* appreciate the water cups along the marathon route!

Yes, Valerie, it helps a lot to know you are intrigued and looking forward to the book. It wont be perfect, but it will be as darn good as this amount of intensive and passionate work can make it.

Caroline, I think it probably is like software development, from what Ive heard of that world. I think there might be better money in computers, though. . . .

Time to go move some Dorset Down and Cotswold from the 3rd to the 4th rinse bath (its been through 1st and 2nd rinses, 1st and 2nd washes; this is quite clean and almost ready for the centrifuge, also known as spin-only cycle of the washing machine, and the drying rack).


Very much looking forward to this book!!! Bon Courage.

Diana Troldahl

Amazing! I can foresee this book being a definitive source for decades to come.
I also love your daughter's statement "for certain values of satisfying"


I am cheering you along as you race the endurance route along miles 97-100 and on to the marathon. Good luck! You are doing something which will be a valuable resource!

Lynne S of Oz

You said: Time to go move some Dorset Down and Cotswold from the 3rd to the 4th rinse bath

*blush* blame me for the DD! It just sounded like you reallllly wanted to get your hands on some, so I found you a supplier, even though it has made more work for you. *blush* Voldemort sounds like one helluva big project, and I hope to get my cotton pickin' hands on a copy of the book come this time next year.

Deb Robson

Thanks, Joanne . . . including for your help at previous times.

And Lynne, YES, I really, really, really wanted to include Dorset Down: for many reasons, among them that very early in my spinning career I bought two Dorset Down fleeces from a couple of young girls who kept sheep as pets (and lawn mowers) because they were allergic to dogs and cats. And Dorset Down is a classic. To put this book into print without the breed would have felt like a small failure. From which you have (thank you) saved me.

Polled Dorset and Horned Dorset, two other breeds, were easier to come by . . . and most people, when I went hunting Dorset Down fleece, didnt know there was a difference. The easiest way to tell them apart is that Polled and Horned Dorsets are white-faced sheep, and Dorset Downs have brown faces . . . not the same at all, in the world of sheep.


I'm so looking forward to this fabulous resource, and I really, really appreciate the work, effort, and just life that you've put into it. Imagine me holding out cups of water and chocolate/stimulant of choice as you charge past me at speed, trailing skeins, rolags and tops behind you.....


I am currently re-reading Harry Potter as my relief from thesis book...



Sounds less like a footrace and more like climbing Everest with a backpack full of rocks - while someone behind you kept slipping in more rocks...
I've been watching what you've shown us of the process with fascination. Can't wait to see the product.

Diane in Oregon

Wow - an incredible journey! And now I'm very much looking forward to your book :-). How many patterns will it have?

Deb Robson

Thanks, Diane! Actually, *no* patterns (I would run screaming right now at the prospect of doing, or even just editing, patterns as well {grin}). Were PACKING it with fiber information. There are 97 gazillion patterns in the world, and not enough about the fibers themselves.

Ive just seen preliminary page designs (I think Ive mentioned that the manuscript has been written and edited). Its going to be *beautiful*.

Rose White

Dear Deborah -- is there any chance that there will be a website devoted to the book? I have access to equipment that would let me take high-resolution microscopic photographs of wool fibers, but they really need to be seen on a website, not printed in a book. I'd been meaning to approach Clara Parkes to let her know that I was thinking of taking something like this on, perhaps to supplement her Book of Wool. But this project is in progress, and you have *way* more breeds -- I think it would be utterly fascinating to get to show the differences between the breeds' wool at a microscopic level somewhere.

My sweetie works on the NASA/CMU/Google project gigapan.org; this year they have started working hard on microscopic photography. I showed him a non-felting wool and then a bit of merino, and he said, "Would knitters (etc.) be interested in these pictures if you took them? You can borrow my rig."

I don't mean to bother you, or give *you* another marathon, or sound like a nut -- but I have just this month been thinking about how I could assemble a zillion or so breeds of wool to photograph, and how I could connect that with a better known project so that mine wouldn't just get lost in the ether. If you think this would be any fun at all, and that your publisher might let it go up on a related website, please let me know what you think.

Or tell me to go yell at marathoners to run faster.... :/

Deb Robson

Rose, if you can get us micrographs we would LOVE them and thats reason enough for a website devoted to the book. We had, of course, been kicking around ideas about a website--but that was way back before the book project grew and took over our brains completely.

I have old microscopic photographs; I have found a few scattered microphotographs that are more recent; and I have yearned to figure out how (difficult) to put a camera on my microscope (picked up on Craigs List and Im just learning how to use it). So I am THRILLED at this idea!

Claras delightful book has a different focus. Were going far more technical, and yes, many more breeds, so I think this is a super fit for us.

Example: I am completely swamped with additional tasks for the book, and I dont think I sound in the least bothered by your offer {grin}.

Deborah Robson

By the way, I really appreciate the encouragement (and virtual dark chocolate!). I've been off at my college reunion, and talking knitting and rare breeds of wools while there. Lots of interest. Lots of ideas for blog posts. Lots of e-mails from the publisher as we move toward design-and-photography phase on the book.

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