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Deb Robson and Tussah

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« Teaching workshops about wool at The Spinning Loft | Main | Fresh snow »

January 17, 2011


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I bet it's FANTASTIC! Really looking forward to it. :)

Deb Robson

Thanks, Mike! I think youll enjoy it (based on what I remember the day in the studio was like). I did have a good time. I was truckin through the material, too. Yet not rushed.


It does look interesting!

BTW...I wanted to ask you when you here for the class, but didn't find an opportune moment... I was going to ask if you had worked and been trained in broadcasting.

When I was busy working with wool and you were speaking about that wool, I kept thinking that you had a broadcaster's voice.

L.M. Cunningham

Nice behind-the-scenes tour.

How is Dale? Does she still have that afghan we all contributed squares to when her house burned down? I was thinking about it the other day, when I was sorting stash and came upon the bag of leftovers I knit mine from.

Deborah Robson

Valerie, that's an interesting observation about broadcasting. No, I haven't trained in it. I was fortunate enough to take a wonderful class many years ago called "oral interpretation," which was part of the speech-and-theater program. I loved it. And I think that what I learned there has been useful far beyond anyone's expectations! I just did it for fun.

Linda, Dale does have that afghan. She's doing well now. She was in a bike accident a couple of years ago that scared us all, but she's been diligent with her therapies and life is good again.

Felicity Ford

Well done with the DVD! I am loving the updates here on the progress of your book project and all your work with wool and fibres! It's really nice to get a breakdown of the "behind the scenes" of making an instruction video, because it shows the craft and labour behind those kinds of productions. I bet it turned out great; I loved your presentation at UK Knit Camp.

Laura Sue

I am very much looking forward to this DVD, not to mention your book. Thank you for doing this valuable work.


I'm looking forward to this DVD!


Just wondering?...

Are you familiar with the Portugese
Bordaleira sheep that Kate talks about here:


Oh, thank heaven! Sanity in the midst of my current chaos :-) Can't wait to get my copy...and it IS study material, right?

Deborah Robson

Thanks for cheering me on! Yes, Kris, it's definitely study material.

Valerie, Bordaleiras are hard to find much information on. I'd love to have the time to work more on the breeds from the European continent, although digging up information on them seems to require significant travel! The Bordaleiras aren't in the Oklahoma database, nor is Portugal even included in the European heritage breeds database. The Bordaleiras (as Bordaleira Entre Douro e Minho) is in the UN FAO's Domestic Animal Diversity database, though! http://dad.fao.org/ Without much information, and NO details on wool quality.

Sandi Jones Nemeskay

Just got my DVD yesterday and have finished the first disc...it's wonderful! I love how you explain about the breeds and what makes them unique. I wish my fiber group could get you for a workshop!

Deb Robson

Oh, thank you for the note, Sandi! Im actually watching for the first time myself--just took a break for a cup of tea. Im seeing the things I would have done differently grin. Yet with the help of the Interweave production departments good work--and all those wonderful sheep photos!--Im feeling like it might be okay. I really appreciate your comments.

Deb Robson

By the way, Sandi, so far youve seen more than I have! Im still on the first disc.

KJ Anderson

Just got the DVD last night and watched it from end to end. I have spun about half of the rare breeds you highlighted. I must confess that my hands longed to reach out for the Soay, Herdwick and Santa Cruz. Someday.

Deb Robson

Oh, thanks for letting me know about the DVD! End to end: thats quite a bit of watching {grin}. We filled those two discs (the initial plan was one disc, but as you can see there was way too much to say).

Soay, Herdwick, and Santa Cruz: three of the most intriguing wools, and some of my favorites (as you could tell about at least one of them from the final clip . . . I was asked if I wanted to do a second take, and said no: I could live with it).

Congratulations on experiencing a range of rare wools! Do you know about SpinDoctors breed challenge? At her podcast,http://ow.ly/46Hm2

KJ Anderson

Oh my. I didn't know about SpinDoctor's breed challenge. I'm all over it!

Right now, I've got Tunis, Manx Loagthan, and Falkland on spindles. Portland, Texel, Navajo-Churro, and Montadale are patiently waiting. North Ronaldsay, Hog Island, and Gulf Coast are on the way.

It's funny how things come full-circle. I started spindle spinning about a year ago. I decided to study as many breeds as possible. I found the Save Our Sheep article from a decade ago and, over the past 6 months, have begun searching out and spinning those breeds.

Deb Robson

All right!!!! So glad I mentioned the SpinDoctor contest to you. If youve found Hog Island, you have enough determination to get anything you want grin. Note on Falkland: go for it, but its not a specific breed. Its definitely fantastic wool, but it may be one of several breeds (Polwarth and Corriedale most prevalent).

I love just hearing the names in your list. Lots of good woolly friends there!

Penny Tschantz

Deb, I've recently watched your DVD. I found it moving, educational, and inspiring (in fact, it caused me to order some combs even though I've vowed not to get into fiber prep!). I was especially interested in the section on Navajo Churros, having done some research on their history (as well as having spun, knitted, and felted a bag from three different colors). I wonder whether you're aware of an excellent book, "Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country," by Marsha Weisiger, a history professor at NM State?

Deb Robson

Penny, youll love combs. Im really glad you enjoyed the DVDs!

And on reading your mention of Marsha Weisigers book, I wondered how in the world Id missed a book on Navajo Churro sheep, and then I discovered it came out in 2009. While I generally monitor whats coming out that pertains to sheep (especially the rare ones), concentrating on The Project has limited my ability to keep up with things. So . . . I did miss it. Ive ordered a copy already. Thank you so much for letting me know about it!

I love Gladys Reichards Navajo Shepherd and Weaver, which I read more than thirty-five years ago. (Hmmm. I thought my interest in rare breed sheep started in 1985. I think I only began to *realize* they were rare at that time, although apparently the stage was being set long before.)

Penny Tschantz

Have you seen the Two Grey Hills exhibit at the Wheelwright in Santa Fe? It's worth a trip:


Deb Robson

Oh, wow, Penny, those rugs are available to see again?

I havent seen the exhibit *at* the Wheelwright, but I likely saw many of the pieces in the back room (behind the freezer case) at the Toadlena Trading Post a number of years ago--appropriately hung, because Mark Winter (who owns Toadlena, as well as a number of the tapestries) has made the space into a museum-quality environment. WOW. I also visited a number of weavers with Mark, and have spent time in the rug room at Two Grey Hills Trading Post as well.

Oh, my. Absolutely breathtaking work. How lovely--I get the impression from the website that the two trading posts have come together to amplify what I saw. Pondering schedule and budget. . . .

Penny Tschantz

Yes, I've been to Toadlena, and it's a memorable place. But seeing all those masterpieces together at the Wheelwright, hanging with space around them so that you can really see them, and with biographies of the weavers and commentary on the technique to help the viewer see them in a more informed way--wow! I'm thinking that the exhibit will be traveling after it leaves Santa Fe, if that helps you.

Deb Robson

The difference from the Toadlena exhibit that I saw would be the SPACE--there was good interpretive information with the exhibit when it was hung there--AND another 15+ years worth of weaving and collecting. It would be interesting to see if any of the pieces I saw on the loom are hung there.

It makes no rational sense, but my family and I have been talking about how the heck I might arrange to get to Santa Fe for a quick visit within the month.

Penny Tschantz

Rational??? --go! I went there, all the way from the far end of Tennessee, for a long weekend in January just to see an exhibit of paintings. Not that I do that sort of extravagant thing very often, but sometimes one just has to. "Reason not the need"!

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