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Deb Robson and Tussah

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for the sheep!

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« I love yaks (and their fiber) | Main | June Hall: someone you'd like to know »

November 24, 2012


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Susan J. Tweit

Wow! What a brilliant idea. I clicked through to Susan's announcement and then spent a happy half-hour reading about Juniper Hill Farm. I love the scholarship to get more women into shearing school especially. Having helped out with lambing (always at two in the morning, always in a blizzard--what's with that?) and shearing earlier in my life, I can say that once you get involved with sheep intimately, they do tend to take hold of your heart. Thanks for the post about this, Deb!

Deb Robson

Isnt it wonderful, Susan T? Susan G has brilliant ideas, indeed, and she carries them through. I know someone who would be a good, young, strong shearing woman, although I have no idea whether shes interested. I know she hasnt thought of it. Theres such a dearth of good shearers. My shearing has been limited to goat. Plain goat, not angora or cashmere. If I were younger, Id be so tempted to work with sheep.


Been trying to find a way to contact you, hope you read your comments. Recently spoke with Dr. Lyle McNeal of Utah State University, he said he knew of a breeder of Panama sheep, if you are interested you can contact him I do have his phone number, he is a good friend, taught me everything I know about sheep.

Deb Robson

Marenscott: Oh, WONDERFUL! Ive been out of touch with Lyle for way too long. Im interested in both the Panamas and reconnecting. Im running out the door right now (not holiday shopping: need plastic wood and strap clamps for the shelf-building project), but will jump over to your blog and see if we can figure out how to get in touch. I dont put my e-mail out in the wild any more than I have to.

Deb Robson

Marenscott, are you on Ravelry? Im DebR.


good to hear from you! Lyle and Nancy are good friends, he helped me so much when I had Southdowns and Icelandics. I am Sheeperson on Ravlery but I don't check there very often if you want to contact me you can on my blog, marenscott.blogspot.com

I sold the sheep four years ago and miss them terribly, Lyle will help me get Cormos when I can get pasture somewhere. Cormos and or Finns, can't decide since I love them all! also I am on Facebook so is Lyle actually. the Mcneals were up in Alaska not to long ago and saw the most adorable musk ox babies, I tried to tell Lyle he could fit one in the back of the car and bring it home to me but he didn't go for it, sigh.


By the way, I ADORE your book and have poured over it at least three times so far, soon I shall have the thing memorized. THe amount of work you put into that thing is staggering, as I am sure you are well aware:) just staggering! and much appreciated.

Deb Robson

Thanks for all the good words, Maren, and for getting in touch. Ive just e-mailed you by way of your blog, and will look for you and Lyle on Facebook. Ive been following his and Nancys work since 1985, and have met them in various places, but not seen them in over a decade, Im sure.

Yeah, the book. SO glad you like it. Thats what makes all the work worthwhile.


I jumped on this when it was first announced and can hardly wait!! What an exciting opportunity. I started following Wovember last November and eagerly look for it every day this November. Your Fleece and Fiber book is great and I've re-read it few times!! Kate Davies Rocks--I have a special binder for her patterns and booklets.

Deb Robson

D, you are very smart and have excellent taste {grin}.

I love what theyre doing at Wovember in raising awareness of wool. I hope they make some sort of catalog of posts--in fact, I think Ill recommend that to them--so that its easy to go back and find them later, from a main page.

Devin Helmen

What an awesome project! I signed up and am so excited! Thanks for pointing this out! Also, I have a Santa Cruz fleece sort of reserved for next spring, whee!

Deb Robson

Devin! So good to hear from you, and youll *love* this endeavor, every minute of it.

Santa Cruz: a serious spinnerly challenge, as you know, but one that can reward the patient and determined with amazing (I mean *amazing*) elasticity. I hope we fiber folk can, over the next few years, support and encourage the shepherds to help the sheep produce the wool I know theyre capable of growing (because I *saw* and *felt* it in the Save the Sheep project, thanks to Nancy Van Tassels terrific contribution).

Devin Helmen

Very excited for both projects, though I am itching to test drive the Santa Cruz in more detail!

Deb Robson

Ill try anything with a wool, seeing what I think will give me the results. SO counterintuitive how I got the Santa Cruz samples for the book to hint at what Id seen in Nancy Van Tassels work. I *combed* the really short fibers and spun them worsted-style from the combs (Louet 2-row minis). The obvious, natural, logical way to have prepared that wool was by carding, which didnt work well at all. It was hard to do, the results were uninspiring, and he yarn ended up cottony and full of neps. Combing (a total experiment, of course) gave me access to the magic I knew was there.


Hello, Typepad or Deb or whomever is there!!
I was trying to be on Debs list and never found out how to sign up. The initial D was already on there but its not me. Im Elaine. Please tell me how to sign up for her newsletters. I have her on my favorites to read her blogs.
Thanks so much.

Deb Robson

This is Deb. Elaine, the commenter name on this and one of the previous messages says D is the person who posted the message. Thus Im confused!

It sounds like I need a list and a newsletter {wry grin}. I recently connected with a virtual assistant who I think should be able to help me figure that stuff out (Im interested, but havent had time), but shes had a family emergency that she needs to be present for; we got started at working together, and then had to pause for a while.

Do you want a newsletter? Should I make a list?

Ill need help to pull it off, so it wont happen immediately. Im struggling right now with balancing the work I want and need to do with ways to connect it to the community. While continuing to meet deadlines.

Devin Helmen

I personally would love a newsletter, Deb!

Deb Robson

Thanks for letting me know, Devin. I keep discovering things that people like you would be interested in, and the blog is a way to share part of that, but definitely not all.


Emily was our shearer in May when we did sheep-to-shawl at Maryland - we were so lucky, she was great and by far the first shearer finished.

Deb Robson

How wonderful!

Im teaching at Maryland next year. MAYBE Ill not be teaching when the sheep-to-shawl shearing takes place, and MAYBE Emily will be shearing again?

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