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Deb Robson and Tussah

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« Unexpected yarn shop: Warehouse Woolery, Chelan, Washington | Main | 3Ls, 3Cs, and a Cormo sweater »

September 14, 2012


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Gloria Ross

Hi Deb, Sounds like you are going to
have a great class at Beth's. It's got to be fun for you also to explore new material.

There are many ways you could get new material into the world electronically. That would be less rigorous than producing another book. It could be segmented....a series. Lots of fun ways to do it.

Have a great trip. Thanks for sharing the calendar. I, too, love it. Gloria

Deb Robson

You're right, Gloria, that the biggest problem with what to do with new material is how many options there are now. The medium needs to suit the message, and so far I don't know what that message is. I like to make connections, which is the problem with segments. Although there may be segments first and then something that works with the connections, which, of course, are only revealed after the segments have been lying around for a while. . . .

I'm glad you like the calendar! And thanks for your encouragement.

Stephannie Tallent

I was also thinking segments, like individual chapters or newsletters. Like a serialized book. You could also have links on your website for added bonus material -- video clips etc.


Hi, Deb--I'm so looking forward to class this weekend, not just to learn more about these breeds, but also to talk with you about these medium and message issues. It sounds like you are wrestling with some of the same questions I am with respect to my new research on knitters. More soon!


Deb Robson

Sasha, I'm so glad you'll be there! With several trips to Denver lately, I've been catching up on your SpinDoctor podcast. (Driving is when I get to listen to anything: it's a treat.)

Let's talk medium and message, too. I *love* books. For me, they are a way to think about and present information that has not been replaced (even by their electronic forms). But they are also not set up to accommodate sharing of the steps along the way, which can be useful to others before the whole vision has time to come together.

Media like Craftsy (for whom I put together an online class on wool) and Interweave's DVDs (like the rare-wools one) permit us to do entirely different, and equally valuable, types of presentations. The mixing of media (as on Craftsy and Ruzuku) interests me in particular.

And, of course, I still love magazine articles and blog posts. And there are hypertext options, about which I know just enough to be intrigued.

Lots of material to talk about!


I was in a similar situation, with a lot of research I wanted to organize, format, and make available, but certainly no desire to take on physical distribution, or to look for a real publisher. (In my case my information was about nineteenth century Quebec spinning wheel makers - you can see a review, with my name misspelled, in the issue of Spin-Off that just came out.) I used Microsoft Word to create my text and Publisher to make the photo volume, used a free download called PDF Creator to turn them into PDFs, and I distribute it via email with payments by Paypal. Of course my volume is low, but there are probably ways to get document hosting for not too much, and be able to send out download links, the way Ravelry pattern selling works... I would certainly subscribe to a series of PDFs collecting the research you're doing!


As you're putting data into Tinderbox, don't overlook its Timeline display (see here and here) and there's a helpful user-to-user forum if you get stuck (disclosure: I'm a helper there). I'm new to DEVONThink too but have found their u-to-u forum helpful and responsive. For Timelines (on a Mac) also check out BeeDocs' Timeline and Aeon Timeline. I hope that helps with the research…

Deb Robson

Caroline, thanks for the encouragement about doing a series of PDFs of my research. I think that might be do-able, with the logistics. I have the software for preparing all sorts of publications; the distribution and publicity (i.e., letting people know such a thing exists) are my challenges. It might be a sort of collection of "white papers" on breeds and on topics related to sheep. SO FAR, I am not "getting" an overarching organizational principle for the work I'm doing, although I know there *is* one--which, to me, is a sign that I'm engaged in a large work and that I'll need a lot of scraps before I can start envisioning what this project wants to be as a whole. It's like making a patchwork quilt out of real scraps (i.e., leftovers or gleanings from other places). Cut out as many triangles and squares of consistent size as possible from each set of scraps. Then, at some point, spread them out and see what sort(s) of pattern(s) can be formed. Then begin sewing them together, re-evaluating at every step. . . .

Mwra, I really appreciate your chiming in on Tinderbox. I know about the Timeline function, and will head over to look at your links. I am TRULY new to the program, having finally wrested a few days from my schedule (while on vacation with family) to actually start using the program. I've read a lot of The Tinderbox Way, gone through a bunch of tutorials, and browsed around the forum. I am still learning how to put in attributes (i.e., basics). I am only using one linking technique because that's all I've gotten to. I know I will need to figure out how to put in INDEFINITE times (guessed-at, or broadly defined) on a timeline (once I can do a timeline at all). A while ago I downloaded Aeon Timeline, but haven't yet had time to learn it. YES, your leads do help a great deal with the research, because they assure me that it's possible to get these tools to work for me. Right now, learning the software feels like an extra mountain range to climb before I get to the peaks I'm aiming for. Or like being at the point in learning to ride a bike where mostly what I do is fall off and need to take time to wash the gravel out of the scrapes and use up more band-aids. Yet the only reason I'm looking into these tools is that the amount of information I have gathered has far exceeded the capacity of the organizational methods that I used for the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, AND I am now working on making more far-flung connections between topics, which presents a whole new set of challenges.

Thank you ALL for support and encouragement.

Deb Robson

Mwra, BeeDocs Timeline 3D *rocks.*

First I reviewed the timeline info for Tinderbox, which unfortunately has some limitations for BCE dates beyond 2500 BCE, and I will need to go back farther than that.

I went to re-look at Aeon Timeline, and then at BeeDocs' Easy Timeline and Timeline 3D. It immediately became apparent that what I need is 3D: I'd run into a need for additional features within 24 hours of starting to use the (less expensive, of course) Easy version, and for what I want to do the BeeDocs products work much better than Aeon (which would be perfect for other projects, of course).

With luck, I may be using Timeline 3D files for this weekend's teaching. We'll see. I've been putting together what I need in Illustrator graphics, which has been the best solution at hand but has already become cumbersome.

On to fall off my software "bike" a few more times and see if I can balance enough to make it around the block.

Devin Helmen

The class at the spinning loft sounds like so much fun! I hope 2013 brings you back to MN!

Deb Robson

Devin, it would be great to cross paths again before long. 2013 looks like Wisconsin, rather than Minnesota (which I visited twice in 2012!). With roots in Minnesota, I always enjoy having a chance to be there. But it might not be next year. By the way, Wood and Orel are figuring (lightly) into the class at the Spinning Loft.

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