Last night I received a text from my friend Summer in California asking whether I planned on attending the annual Black Sheep Gathering (BSG), held in Eugene, Oregon. (It started this morning, Friday, June 24, and runs through Sunday, June 26.) If so, Summer asked, was I willing to buy and send her a Jenkins spindle she had her heart set on? (But of course!)
So 20 minutes after opening time on opening day, there I was in front of the booth displaying the “fine wood tools for fiber artists personally handmade in Scotts Mills, Oregon” by Ed Jenkins. Summer particularly liked two of his designs – Delight and Lark. I selected a Delight spindle (1.02 oz/29g) in Brosimum rubescens (aka Bloodwood). I thought its color and grain lovely, and I hope Summer will too.
Dragging myself away from the beautiful spindles, I had walked only a few feet when my eyes were drawn to Wooly Walkers and the lovely punch needle rug hooking creations of Una Walker. I’ve never hooked a rug in any manner, so I when I saw her sign inviting passerbys to make a small coffee trivet, I immediately sat down. An excellent teacher, Una soon had me punching, using two strands of colorful Romney wools. As we all know, one can never have too many fiber hobbies, so I left her booth not just with my coffee trivet but with a punch needle (by Amy Oxford), several large hanks of Fancy Tier Crafts Heirloom Romney Yarn, an 18″ square piece of Monk’s Cloth and a Morgan 5″ No-Slip Hoop. (As soon as I got home I made another coffee trivet and hope to make another before I go to bed tonight!)
Determined to make my way through BSG’s Marketplace without buying any more yarn, I stopped up short to gaze at (drool over?) the amazing rugs of Bautista Hand Wovens. Franciso (a fourth-generation master weaver) and his wife Laura have over 46 years of weaving between them. And of course I asked; their young children have joined the family weaving tradition!
I loved the blue tones in this churro rug shown here held by Francisco. As I left Francisco’s booth with this rug rolled up and tucked under my arms, I consoled myself I didn’t technically buy any more yarn; I bought a rug.
Besides, our new house will have wood floors throughout, so a rug is actually a necessity, right?
In for the penny, in for the pound (as the saying goes), I stopped to admire the beautiful colors of Melanie Dilworth’s Black Trillium Fiber Studio.
I remembered reading Michele Lee Bernstein’s (aka PDX Knitterati) recent post “Re-introducing: Twin Leaf Crescent,” a shawl pattern she designed to showcase Black Trillium Fibre Studio’s 165 gram five-color gradient set (shown in the above left picture).
I couldn’t resist. I left the Black Trillium booth with another purchase: Melanie’s gradient set in the Tidewater colorway and a copy of Michele’s Twin Leaf Crescent pattern.
Okay, this was a yarn purchase – but only 165g!
I next walked to the other side of the fairgrounds to visit the building where I was sure to be safe (trans: I would make no more purchases): The building housing wool-bearing livestock! This was a spinner’s delight, and I was sure I wouldn’t be tempted to buy fleece!
But, alas, while I didn’t buy a fleece or even any more yarn, I bought another rug – a felted alpaca rug in tones of deep wine from Pura Vida Alpacas.
But at least I didn’t buy any more yarn!
The BSG runs for two more days … But can I stay away?! Should I stay away?!