Shetland Wools: A Breed for All Reasons with Deborah Robson

About Shetland Wools: A Breed for All Reasons with Deborah Robson

The stuff of lace shawls that can be drawn through a wedding ring and of Fair Isle colorwork and more, Shetland wool represents many stories of humans in relationship with sheep through thousands of years. Shetland wool has been described as “a wool of uncommon softness and fineness” and as “scratchy,” and has been classified as an exceptionally fine wool; a double-coated representative of primitive wools; a “Down wool”; and more.

Might it be all of these? If that’s the case, what do the various Shetlands have in common, and how do we determine how to find and use the wool to produce results that please us? With samples of fleeces in our hands, we’ll begin to untangle the history, variety, and contradictions of this most amazing and versatile breed.

Please Note: Deb Robson requests that students wear masks during their class time with her due to some personal health concerns she has.

Materials, Equipment, and Supplies the Student Must Bring to Class

- Spinning wheel or spindle
- Fiber-prep tools of choice (combs, carders, flicker, or any other OR dog-grooming combs or slickers; I will have some of these to share as well)
- The ability to wind a small center-pull ball and ply from it (or skill at Andean plying—which I can teach on site—or a lazy kate and extra bobbins)
- Notepad and pen or pencil
- Optional: Sampling tools as convenient, like knitting needles, crochet hooks, or Weave-It or similar extra-simple loom (some people have time to sample in class; others do not)
- Optional: Tape and/or hole-punch, for keeping track of fiber samples and yarns (I will have some of each for sharing

Materials Fee (to be paid directly to the instructor) and Kit Description

$50 - includes enough fiber for class and then some further experimentation at home—approximately 6 samples (about 150g), full-color printed handouts, sturdy record cards.



Skill Level

Suitable for (almost) all—Advanced beginner spinner, able to independently spin singles and make a two-ply yarn; experience in preparing fibers for spinning is useful but by no means essential. My classes can start people out in fiber prep.

There are no classes scheduled at this time.

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The class will meet on Wednesday, May 1, from 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, for a total of 6 hours of instruction.

Class Location

Howard County Arts Council – Classroom 9

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM EDT
Shetland Wools: A Breed for All Reasons with Deborah Robson
Deb Robson

How It Works

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Deb Robson

    Deborah Robson is a fiber generalist who specializes in spinning, knitting, and weaving, although she experiments with all aspects of textiles. She is the fiber author of The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook and of The Field Guide to Fleece, in collaboration with livestock expert Carol Ekarius. For fourteen years she worked at Interweave Press, editing both books and Spin-Off magazine. She has a DVD set now available from Long Thread Media and a class on wool types available to premium members at, has done several guest appearances on KDTV, and is writing focused fiber-topic monographs.

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About Lessonface, PBC

Lessonface's mission is to help students achieve their goals while treating teachers equitably. Since 2012, we've hosted more than 30,000 students and 2,000 teachers for over 500,000 music, language, and arts lessons and classes online. We are thrilled to be facilitating the online registration for the in person Fiber Arts Seminars for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

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