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Handspinning Rare Wools (Video Download)

Now available as a video download, Deborah Robson explores fiber from 38 rare and endangered breeds of sheep from Great Britain and North America.
Standard Definition Video

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In Handspinning Rare Wools, Deborah Robson explores fiber from 38 rare and endangered breeds of sheep from Great Britain and North America. Her knowledge of their history and characteristics is deep, her stories are intriguing, and her passion for saving and savoring the basic materials of our craft is palpable.

In Handspinning Rare Wools, Robson covers the most interesting and vulnerable of:

  • Northern European short-tailed sheep (plus an intriguing mystery breed)
  • Old British breeds introduced in Roman times
  • Rare English longwools
  • Classic English Down breeds
  • Welsh and Border breeds
  • American originals
  • American feral and semi-ferals.

You’ll learn that washing, carding, combing, spinning, and finishing these fibers is a never-ending experiment filled with surprises. You’ll see the unexpected variety – from wool that feels like jute to wool that stretches and bounces back like tiny bungees. You’ll hear stories about specific sheep breeders who have made a difference – a hundred or three hundred years ago.  You’ll have your ideas of fineness and softness and staple length turned on end.


About the Author

Author Bio: Deborah Robson was editor of SpinOff magazine, and a book editor at Interweave, for more than a dozen years. Her publishing company, Nomad Press, is known for spinning and knitting books of uncommon interest in those special topics most publisher will not touch. Her encyclopedic The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook (Storey Books) is due for publication in 2011.

SKU: EP2458

Author/Speaker/Editor: Deborah Robson

Format: Standard Definition Video

Customer Reviews

Wonderful discussion on wools Review by Cherie

I really enjoyed this video and its exploration of sheep wools around the world. Lots of history reviewed and I learned of a few sheep breeds that I hadn't heard of before. The passion from Deborah on preserving these animals is evident in several sections. We as fiber artists do truly have a passion for caring for animals too. Learned ways for using my mini combs through the video too.

(Posted on 6/9/14)

Inspiring, educational and moving Review by Keith Daniels

This video grabbed my attention immediately. I found myself enthralled by the different breeds, the quality of the wool, where they are located, and most importantly that because they are rare they have the potential of becoming extinct. The latter would be just horrible. I also loved the spinning and fiber prep tips that Deb demonstrated for the different breeds and wool quality. Deb's passion for rare breeds is clearly evident. I am looking forward to seeing her speak at Madrona Winter Retreat 2/2012 in Tacoma where I hope to buy a signed copy of her book The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook. I HIGHLY recommend this video to anyone interested in fiber be they spinners, knitters, weavers or even an animal lovers.

(Posted on 1/22/12)

Truly Inspiring Review by Mildred S Yip

I purchased the version of Handspinning Rare Wools. I thoroughly enjoyed watching, listening and learning from this video. Deb Robson truly loves her craft and sheep. I was inspired to purchase samples of rare fleece to try my hand at washing, processing it and spinning the fibers. She has truly educated me and has instilled a special appreciation for these lovely animals. We as a society should take heed not to lose these precious animals as they produce such lovely fibers and textiles. We will lose much if we don't care for them. Ms. Robson I look forward to more of your videos and publishings.

(Posted on 6/27/11)

Handspinning Rare Wools Review by Linda MacDonald

My preference for this was the dvd. Deborah Robson's knowledge of her subject was impressive along with her sincerity in sharing the information. She loves her craft and the sheep which was obvious in the emotional ending of the dvd. So refreshing. Even though I have spun for many years it was a pleasure to listen to her just talk about sheep giving the history of the sheep along with a picture of each breed and show how to process each sample and the yarn it would produce. Friendly, relaxing, just great. I highly recommend this.

(Posted on 3/4/11)