Sunday, June 24, 2007

Black Sheep Gathering

This weekend was the Black Sheep Gathering, one of the largest fiber festivals on the West Coast of the US. There were many local wool producers and yarn manufacturers, mostly mom and pop outfits that depend on the BSG for displaying and selling their products. Some of the vendors were folks who are more nationally known for their products, like Interlacements Yarns, Skaska Designs, Blue Moon Fibers, and Fricke. It was a treasure trove of goodies up for sale so it was hard to walk by the tables and feel and admire and walk away empty handed. But I did take pictures. At least a couple. Some didn't come out. Baby needs a new camera. Oh well.
One of the vendor halls.More fiber.

Fiber on the hoof being removed.

I visited the sheep barn and was greeted with the smells of farm animals having been in one place for a few days. Some of the sheep were pretty placid but others were letting their displeasure be known. The baritone baas from the merinos and lincolns competed with the alto bleats from Shetlands. The sheep above are Jacobs; below is a Shetland. I was sniffed, snurfled, and snorted, but since I didn't smell familiar I was generally ignored. At least I wasn't nibbled. I don't think I'm good for sheep.

After a couple of hours of fondling and taking notes, I headed off to class for learning how to ply yarn. I have books on spinning, but I really like the hands-on teaching and live visual aids that a class on spinning offers. Goody Baynes rode along for the class.

Laura Cunningham taught the class with aplomb and was able to get plied yarns out of us. Mine actually came out fairly well, not too overplied.

We didn't get time to practice Navajo plying but we did see it demonstrated and got a nice chunk of fiber to practice on. We in the class dubbed it Oregon Country Fair for its many colors.

I didn't come away entirely empty handed. I couldn't walk away from this wool/mohair blend called Vine Maple from Ferndale Fiber.

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