It Must Be June: Black Sheep Gathering

OnceBlackSheep2015-1 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.

BlackSheep2015-2I 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.

BlackSheep2015-11I 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.

BlackSheep2015-13In 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’sSock 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?!

BlackSheep2015-9I also got the opportunity listen to the ever charming and talented Judith MacKenzie judge hand spinning.  If you ever take a class with Judith, you BlackSheep2015-6won’t be disappointed!

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.)

BlackSheep2015-8Of 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.  🙂

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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19 Responses to It Must Be June: Black Sheep Gathering

  1. Pingback: Smarter Socks | The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

  2. Yup… goats can squeeze through improbable spaces…

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  3. Thank you so much for the help in rearranging the booth… you made it work! 🙂 It was wonderful to meet you… and am so very pleased you like our yarns. I cannot wait until you move to Vancouver… I think this is the beginning of a long and fun friendship.

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  4. Wow, I like that idea. And distance has never stopped us from getting to yarns. We have a “hobby expo” in Pretoria, which is about an hours drive away, but with the train and connecting bus, it is about 20 minutes. I try and go each year. 🙂

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  5. I am always drawn to the goats, but I learned from an alpaca breeder who used to also raise goats that goats are escape artists extraordinaire! It is so nice to be able to meet the animals who provide the fleece and yarn!

    >

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  6. It is always so much fun! We’re going to be moving about a 2-3 hours drive north, so next year I will have to travel longer than the 10 minutes it took me this year! Maybe I will take the train down and bring my bike. Eugene is an easy little city to get around in via bike. 😄 >

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  7. Wow, how I wish that I could also visit such a stunning gathering. I would love it so very much. Looks like you had the most awesome day. 🙂

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  8. Kit Dunsmore says:

    I was at the Estes Park Wool Market here in Colorado last weekend, and like you, I loved getting to see the animals we get our fiber from. My husband and I were so taken by the alpacas we keep joking we should get one as a pet. Probably I should spin the alpaca fiber I bought first… 😉 I love all the things I see and learn about at the wool market. Being able to buy rare breed wools doesn’t hurt either!

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  9. Which one in September? Will it be a local event or larger? I love all sizes of fiber arts related events. 🙂 >

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  10. What a delightful happening!!! It is been years since I went to a wool gathering but finally this September it is going to happen again. I cannot wait…thanks for highten my excitement even more with this great post! xo Johanna

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  11. That might be a lot of fun! We can knit across the nation!

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  12. Trains?! 😀 >

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  13. The ultimate festival tour! I would have to take out a bank loan. I would buy a new car for that!!

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  14. I think it would be fun to get a group together and go visit wool & fiber festivals across a region! 😀 >

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  15. I went to the Estes Park Wool Market last weekend in Colorado. I’m still hugging some of the fiber and yarn that I scored. So much fun. I hope to get to the Black Sheep Gathering too someday. 🙂

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  16. I have always loved ag shows/fairs. I always appreciate the farmer/rancher/etc.’s willingness to share their knowledge & expertise too! >

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  17. fabrickated says:

    What a treat! One of my favourite childhood memories is at an agricultural show where the young kids queued up to suck my fingers.

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  18. When I go tomorrow, it will be sans wallet! >

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  19. Susan says:

    Well, that looked like a BLAST!! So glad you got to go and your pocketbook lived to tell the tale 🙂

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