Dreaming of Shetland is a very special e-book that Donna Druchunas thought up as a dream-funder for Deborah Robson to do research into Shetland sheep and Shetland wool. I happened to be present when Donna had her epiphany, so I got involved, too. Then, of course I volunteered Bill Berk to do the photography, and Sarah Jaworowicz to do the book design, because I can’t do anything anymore without them. Donna did her part to expand the team by bringing in Susan Santos to do charts and all sorts of other things – Susan is amazing. It has been a wild ride, as the list of design contributors grew quickly. Deb Robson’s importance to knitting, publishing, fiber, and every sort of fiber journalism is renowned, and she is greatly beloved. Everyone who heard of the project wanted to help, so the number of projects kept growing.
Keep in mind that NONE of these people have a stake in this, other than helping Deb. Every single penny raised is going to support her directly, and her research. It is really hard for “outsiders” to understand how much the fiber community loves and respects Deb Robson. When non-knitter types wonder why we are all doing this, I explain that she is to knitting as Betty White is to TV. It seems an odd comparison to me, because Deb is nothing like Betty White, (although they are both adorable) but it seems to make people nod their heads and understand.
Although the goal has always been to help Deb, the project has already brought a lot to the team. We have learned from each other, leaned on each other, and grown quite close, although we are scattered all over the continental US (except me and Bill, of course). I’m a bit sad to see our collaboration ending, although I know that we will keep in touch, and take care of details of sale and distribution as they come up. We are all committed to doing every bit of work on the book so that Deb can concentrate on her research.
The designers sent all of the projects to me, for photography, so I got to see them before anybody, which was a great deal of fun. They are so beautiful, and I know that knitters are going to love making them, and anyone would love having them. We gave everyone a really short deadline, because we wanted the project to raise money for Deb as soon as possible. The result was many small patterns that are fun and quick to knit. There are a few challenging patterns, and some great surprises that honor Shetland in significant ways. Designers put a lot of thought into the subject of the research, so there is a lot of Shetland wool and Shetland influence.
We will be releasing the ebook in sections, so that people will be able to concentrate on a few pieces at a time. The first section is a preview, with a dedication, a letter from Deb explaining her work, and a few patterns. Then, every few weeks another section will be released, with a small feature and several patterns. The order will be listed in the Table of Contents, so you will know what is coming. By releasing the content over time, we can continue to add things as they come up. The team is really looking forward to sharing this with everyone and seeing what happens next. It has been so hard to keep it all under wraps! We hope you love the ebook as much as we do.
Pre-order now on the website, www.dreamingofshetland.com, for $20. This is the best deal in knitterdom, hands down. There are 35 patterns, people, aside from other content, which includes finding out how truly interesting and important Shetland sheep are, from Deb herself. So, check out the above link, spread the word, and be part of something truly amazing!
Photos of Deb Robson by Robin Morse and Judy Fort Brenneman