Deb Robsona fiber hero

Deb has quite a soft spot for four-legged folks—here she is with her beloved sheep dog, Ariel, who needed a Doggon Wheels to get around late in her life.

In this season of thankfulness and giving, I'm often overcome with gratitude for the people in our community who work so tirelessly toward the advancement of our craft. In the Winter 2014 issue of Spin-Off, we celebrate a few of these fiber heroes. They are spinners that have dedicated their lives to making it possible for future generations of spinners to continue finding pleasure in the simplicity (and abundance) of making yarn.


One of the fiber heroes worth celebrating is Deborah Robsoneditor emerita of Spin-Off and constant crusader in the effort to preserve rare breeds of sheep. Deb has always been an advocate for the voiceless inhabitants of the earth, and especially the fiber-bearing animals whose very existence is threatened when homogenization is valued over diversity. In her article in the Winter issue of Spin-Off, Deb offers a lively and convincing argument that simply through spinning fleeces from many breeds of sheep, spinners have already had an impact on the survival of these rare breeds of sheep.


Imagine thatspin up a bobbin of Cotswold or Jacob or Romeldale (or any of a host of rare breed fleeces) to do your part in preserving unique breeds of sheep!


A fun side-note: At Spin-Off Autumn Retreat (SOAR) in October more than one spinner was using Deb's latest book coauthored with Carol Ekarius, The Field Guide to Fleece, as a memory book by having friends sign it. It was a true yearbook for spinners! Not only does it make a handy memory book for spinning gatherings, it also easy to stick in your spinning bag (it is only 5 x7 inches) when you're out and about looking at sheep and fiber and wanting to check facts quickly. It is packed with information and photos of fiber, yarn, and sheep. And for those also interested in preserving rare breeds of sheep, it lists the endangered status of each breed.

Happy spinning,

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