Fiber Guru Deb Robson in Two New Videos and a Chance to Win Unicorn Fibre Wash!

Tuned In To KDTV's weekly blog invites fiber expert and author Deborah Robson to talk about her experience taping KDTV. A guest on Series 600, Deb's knowledge about natural fibers is unmatched. Watch her segments for tips on cleaning your natural fibers, ways to keep your wool from being too itchy, and how to care for your knitwear and keep your yarn and designs from pilling. Plus, Deb will let you in on some behind-the-scene KDTV secrets! Here's Deb:


I'm not much of a television person. We don't have cable, and didn't weather the so-called digital transition well. So when I was contacted by Jaime Guthals at Interweave to ask if I'd be willing to fly to Cleveland to tape two segments for Knitting Daily TV, I felt like I was being invited to visit a foreign country.

Before you travel to tape the show, there are the required preliminaries.

First, you are told the theme for the season and what your segments will be about (roughly). Then you fill out forms that explain what the informational points in each segment will be; what supplies and materials will be needed, who will supply them, and exactly how they will be used; and again, what the message will be.

Second, you need to cope with the wardrobe requirements. Most important is the shirt or sweater you'll wear, because that's all that really shows in the finished video. Specifications include:

  • color-NOT white, and preferably not red or black; best are jewel tones or pastels; blues can be very good
  • style-button front, so clothes can be changed without messing up makeup and hair (which is done ONCE for the day) and so a lapel mic can be easily attached
  • style-three-quarter-length or long sleeves

Another wardrobe requirement is a manicure, with either clear or French polish.

On Wednesday, I drove to the park-and-ride and caught the shuttle to the airport at 9 a.m. By 9 p.m., I was in Cleveland at the recommended hotel. Via e-mail, I learned when and where I was to show up the next morning: 7 a.m. in the lobby, to catch a ride to the studio with Jaime.

So it was Thursday, 7 a.m., and we headed for the studio, where I got a quick tour and then we all settled into the green room, which really is green. I think it's intended to be calming. It's right next to the studio. It's large enough to have somewhere between 10 and 12 large work tables set up simultaneously, maybe more. We set up our supplies for each segment on big, metal trays (like commercial bakers use) and carried them into the studio when we were called.

I taped one segment with Shay (#612) and one with Eunny (#603), in that order. The segment for 612 is about the wide range of types of wool, and the one for 603 is about the transformation from raw fiber to clean yarn and then to a finished item.

When I moved into the studio with my trays of materials, we set them up on the "real" table and then the producer came along and rearranged them so they'd work better from the cameras' points of view. She talked with us about what the segment was intended to convey. In 5.5 minutes, you have to keep your information extremely focused. We discussed briefly what the sequence of ideas would be, and how we would move the items that would be shown on camera. I was told never to look at the cameras, always at the host. Then we started for real.

We did the lead-in for each segment a couple of times. The first time we began the first segment, I looked at the cameras. It's hard not to be curious about the studio process, including the cameras! It's also sort of weird to just look sideways at the host while the host is looking at a camera to introduce the segment. That was only a few seconds in, though, and on all the subsequent takes I managed to maintain the requested focus of attention.

After we finished the first full taping of the 612 segment, producers conferred in the other room, reviewed parts of it again, and said it was fine but they'd like us to try one more. We did. They said they liked both and will choose the one they like best later. I'm guessing they'll settle on the second version. We had a lot of ideas to cover, and we did it a bit more smoothly on the second take, although there are parts of the first version I might like better. I didn't have a chance to look at any of the stuff we recorded (and that's okay).

Watch Deb's segment with Shay:

With the 603 segment, we did a couple of starts but the first complete run-through was deemed perfect and I was done with my official time in the studio. The rest of my stay involved enjoying the cookies Shay Pendray had baked, packing up, having soup and salad with the whole cast and crew, and getting a ride back to the airport from Jaime.

It was fun. I'd do it again. The hardest part was talking for less than several hours about wool!

Watch Deb's segment with Eunny:

You can learn more about fiber from Deb with her new book The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More than 200 Fiber from Animal to Spun Yarn, available this summer. Or, watch more of Deb on film with her new workshop DVD Handspinning Rare Wools, available now. In this DVD, Deb goes beyond her tips and tricks seen on Knitting Daily TV, and 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 intriguing, and her passion for saving and savoring the basic materials of spinning is palpable.


If you're interested in diving into the world of natural fibers and spinning, we're offering you the opportunity to win a Unicorn Fibre prize pack to get you started. Deb used this innovative fiber care package on her Knitting Daily TV segments, and you can see how they deep clean your fiber without damaging the natural characteristics of the fiber. Simply comment on this blog post for your chance to win 16 ounces of Fibre Wash, Fibre Rinse, and Power Scour–graciously donated by Unicorn Fibre Wash. Tell us what you thought of Deb's segments, about your own exploration in natural fibers, or your favorite fiber to knit with. Maybe you have a clever tip to share for others that spin their own yarn? Tell us your tips and ideas by leaving a comment before noon Mountain Time on Wednesday, March 23, and we'll randomly select a winner of the Unicorn Fibre care package. Good luck!

Watch Deb Robson and other guest experts on Knitting Daily TV, now available on a 4-Disc DVD Collection! Click here to purchase DVDs of this season or previous seasons of Knitting Daily TV.

ABOUT THE SHOW: Knitting Daily TV is an exciting needle crafts how-to program on public television covering everything from knitting and crochet to stitching, felting, and spinning. The show guides viewers in learning to make fun yet smart one-of-a-kind designs using the latest products in yarn and fiber. Download free patterns, meet trendsetting knit and crochet designers, and improve or learn new skills and techniques.

Click here to find the PBS station nearest you airing the program. (You can enter your zip code or click "view all schedules/get listings" to see all the cities that air the show and when.)

Knitting Daily TV is airing on PBS stations nationwide and new markets are being added to the schedule all the time. Each individual public television station chooses when and if to air the program. If it is not airing in your local market, please call, write, or email and let them that know you are a viewer of the station and would like to see Knitting Daily TV. You can help bring Knitting Daily TV to your local PBS Station. Thank you!

Unicorn Fibre This post was sponsored by Unicorn Fibre. For more information on the innovative fiber care you've seen on this post, please visit




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