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Deb Robson and Tussah

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for the sheep!

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May 20, 2011


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Oh - I have so longed for this post!! Thank you for all the sheep photos - especially that Shetland ram!!

Deborah Robson

Cathy, you would have loved the ram. Glad you liked the sheep photos! I have lots more, but they're even fuzzier than sheep usually are.


Mightn't a 'soft flash', fill or low-light setting of your digi camera have helped?
I've often found that it helps 'stops' the action and eliminates the fuzziness as well as brightening up these low-light, inside outdoor conditions like you were in.
Is your camera fairly new?
I know..I know, because I'm older than you and don't have all of the iSomething toys... just one more piece of today's technology to learn (its controls) but fortunately, the cameras designed in the past few years all have on-screen menus and the few commands we need to create and cover most situations are easy to learn and quickly access with the push of a button.

Deb Robson

The cameras about six years old (is that the past few years?) and I havent found a soft flash setting on it. I have read the d*mn manual, and it hasnt revealed the secrets I need to feel completely comfortable with it.

So the true question here is, ARE you older than I am? I still miss my Minolta rangefinder, purchased in Japan in 1968, with which I could shoot in low-light situations (including concerts) by adjusting the shutter speed and F-stop by instinct and get publishable photos (true, I liked available-light b/w photography best). That camera did finally wear out (cost to fix exceeded my budget) after more than 30 years.

L.M. Cunningham

You can tinker with the PSA540 on manual, but it's still got issues, which is one reason I upgraded to the SX10IS. It has a better built-in flash, and a real hot shoe to let you do more in low light.

And thanks so much for the photos: that Jacob certainly isn't impressed with being held back (I can hear him *baaaa* just by looking at him!), but that Shetland ram is just gorgeous.

Not just the colour, but that so-sweet expression.... (But that colour is fab too!) I would have found it hard not to bring him home either.

Sadly, we don't see Tunis sheep here: when I've met them at MSWF, they've always struck me as being very laid-back. :-)

Deb Robson

Thanks, Linda, for your insights, because you know exactly what Im dealing with. Ive messed around with the manual settings with not-altogether-satisfactory results. I do like that it *has* manual settings, which was part of the reason I bought that model.

The Jacob was funny. No, he didnt want to be held back. He wanted to trot out there and show off.

Tunis impress me, too, as laid back. I spent quite a bit of time in proximity when they were prepping to enter the ring: my location was right at the gate where the sheep and handlers were about to be announced. Some took longer than others. The Tunis hung out there for an extended time and were quite mellow. Four of them, no less!

In the breed-display barn were a couple of Soay--teeny, but I doubt that anyone seriously considered including *them* in the Parade of Breeds. What a handful they would have been, and likely would have gotten loose. Definitely would *not* have liked standing in a nice, neat line once they were in the ring. A small saving grace would have been that as S sheep they would have been late in the progression. Still. Very wise not to even try to get them to play this particular game. They were quite calm back in the barn.

Linda Vining

What a delightful post, Deb! Why wasn't I there? The sheepy pics are a great pleasure - what a charmer of a Shetland ram! I have trouble getting sufficiently adorable pics of my own Shetland ram, because he is SO inky black that his expressive features don't show up well. I am also so glad to see someone (like you) spinning a garment's worth of yarn on a fave drop spindle. I'm using one right now to make samples from my rammie fleece. Knitted up a swatch tonight but ripped it back because I worked too tight to show off the yarn. And it is *killing* me not to have a signed copy of your new book. I am so excited about this, and can hardly wait for the slow boat to arrive with the rest of the print run!

Deb Robson

Hi, Linda V! I wish youd been there, too. One of these days. Well have to figure out how to get you signatures on a coy of the book.

I thought you would enjoy that Shetland ram, and I thought about yours as I was getting to know him. Lighting would be critical in getting your dark fellow well represented in a picture.

Swatching is about making sure things are good with the tension and the yarn. I swatch a *lot*. I enjoy getting to know the materials and choosing the right tools. By the time I get the components right, I can comfortably forge ahead.


I wonder if your spindle isn't a "cousin" of mine, which also came from Noel years ago - is it the PGR one where the shaft screws into the whorl? It's a great one! Thanks for the update on Noel Thurner.

Deb Robson

Yes, Joy, thats the spindle! It was most recently available from Paradise Fibers,http://ow.ly/50i4Z


I am moire convinced than ever to not allow another Maryland pass by without attending. It is on my calendar!

Deb Robson

Good plan, Beth. Youd LOVE it. We can talk about what you would love about it when were at SOAR.


I really enjoyed this post - what a fabulous time you had there.

(I shall have to investigate that vest - very attractive.)


Yay!  I got to meet you, see the presentation, AND won a copy of the book!

Any idea if the rest are really hitting the booksellers this week?  There are some mighty anxious people over on Ravelry wondering - no idea if you would know.

Deborah Robson

Thanks, Freyalyn. I love the vest and have worn it a lot. They substituted a k2/p2 ribbing when they put it in Interweave Knits--it was VERY early in the magazine's history, and there was a staff project sequence involving vests.

Congratulations, Lynn! So glad you won a copy of the book! I am reading the same tea leaves as everyone else about the physical appearance of the rest of the shipping. The only inside news I have is that the publisher has been pressing me and Carol to fill in missing addresses on the list of folks who helped us out in a big way, who will get comp copies. That means they think they will have copies to send those people very soon.

All the online places are still saying they're taking pre-orders. But I'm thinking we're within ten days of release.


May 27th! My Birthday and my pre-ordered copy arrived!!!!! YEA!!!

I love your blog posts and this is definitely one of my favorites! I love them all, but the Shetland is one of my favorites. He would not love my backyard, but I'd love for him to visit. What a great face! I did also love the Scottish blackface too! Glad you got a great seat and even if you have blurry photos, the memory of seeing all those sweet sheepies is a great thing!

Congrats on your book and thanks from your fibery fans!

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