Once again, Eugene, Oregon welcomes the annual Black Sheep Gathering (June 19-21)! This year it boasts: a 3,000 square foot Spinner’s Circle, a wool & mohair show/sale, goats and goat show ring, alpacas and alpaca show ring, sheep show and show ring, sheep-to-shawl and demos, a huge fiber arts vendor display and a plethora of workshops.
I spent most of today (the opening today) wandering through the gathering. Getting to see (and touch) the animals who give us such wonderful fibers is always fun. It’s hard to resist petting these creatures. Thankfully visitors can pet most of them.
I kept an eye open for sock yarn and, in so doing met Marit Federcell of Las Flores del Altiplano Alpacas. I loved that her fleece and yarns bear the name of the alpacas from which they came! This picture is of Spring Bouquet. I bought sock yarn from Zinnia and Lacey. 🙂 Lacey’s sock yarn is destined for Wei Siew Leong’s Seadragonus. Zinnia’s sock yarn will be going into the post to a certain New Zealand knit designer.
In this picture on the right … from the bottom is yarn from Zinnia, then Lacey, on top of Lacey is a tuft of Zinnia fleece (undyed), and on top of that is a skein of undyed Lacey. They all sit atop Dave Yocon’s “Sock Buddy.” After eying Dave’s amazing woodworking at last year’s Black Sheep Gathering, I told myself that if he were at this year’s – well, it would be a sign (yes, a sign!) that I needed one. So how could I argue with fate?!
This gizmo to the right is an antique sock machine demonstrated by Angora Valley Fibers. (For those of you with a hankering to learn more, AVF restores and sells antique sock machines.)
Of course, I had to take a picture of the what is probably the most macabre hand felting I’d ever seen. Such creativity – by Simply Holly Needlefelting!
The Black Sheep Gathering is always a wonderful three days. Today I ran into friends, lunched next to a lifelong professional weaver who shared warping tips with me, and on my way out bumped into Irina of Blizzard Yarn & Fiber, whom I met at last year’s gathering.
More signs to be seen at Black Sheep: Marit and her husband raise their alpacas in an area North of Vancouver, Washington, and Blizzard Yarn is in Vancouver. And it just so happens Thor and I are looking for a house to buy in Vancouver, Washington. 🙂