Seize the Wool. Last day at Black Sheep Gathering (aka BSG). What an amazing experience!
Complete sensory overload
and high on wool fumes.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, one may wear wool at least 9 months of the year. Imagine that.
At BSG, there is every kind of yarn you may imagine for sale, fibers of all kinds in all preparations (or none,) carders, combs, hackles and other fiber processing tools, drop and support spindles, spinning wheels, looms, knitting needles, and too much else to even begin to list!
Here is one of a few fascinating gadgets I’d love to acquire by Ken Larson of Pedro’s–his Flying Shaft Rug & Tapestry Loom. You may fly through great projects–warp in 15 minutes, huge shed for ultra chunky/heavy yarn–imagine weaving a rug in just a few hours, on a quiet, relaxing afternoon. It sure would burn a humongous hole in my out-of-control yarn stash. Haaahaa…wouldn’t that be sweet!
I find the world to be an amazing place…even the not-so-fun parts, like rolling larger piece of wet felt. But, wait…problem solved…if you only have this magical Roller Felting Machine, again, by Pedro. Not only will it save time and my arms, I won’t have to worry about carpal tunnel, sore joints, vertigo physical challenges that may keep me from playing with this fiber art endeavor…ooooh, land of possibility…
Wish I have gone back to see the finished felt piece (in about 1.5 hours) by sparkling Eve and the young fiber enthusiast. Here you will see some already finished art felt by Eve. Like what you see here? The witting and entertaining artist will travel to you and give a up-close-and-personal demonstration.
I am inspired…by one of my favorite new vendors, Tylar Merrill of Thimbleberry Felt Designs.
It was a joy perusing delectable yarns, fibers and other wonderful items. It’s nice to know I can do more perusing of Tylar’s masterpieces when I return home as some of her vividly colorful 3-dimensional felted folk art and clothing are available at Tumalo’s new gallery. She also will be at my favorite quilt show SOQS in July.
The colors were amazing but I refrained from being out of control. Below are some of Wooly Walkers‘ design work of art. (Una Walker–a member of Designing weavers–in a red cardi.)
Following is a discontinued spinning wheel–Louet S90–handpainted by inventive Diane Cutler of Spinning Stripes. Sometimes, I wonder why companies stop offering what people want and really need. This is one awesome traveler a spinner should have, a real score if you see an used one being offered!
It’s always a pleasant visit with Diane, one of my creative explorers. ♥
I came. I saw. I ate mainly at the Saturday Potluck dinner.
Other times, I skipped meals altogether–there was NO TIME to eat! Three days of sheep show, fleece show, vendors, classes, spinning, fiber, animals, and spending time with friends who share my passion–it was terrific fun meeting local Ravelers and out-of-towners, especially one that too is obsessed with jazzknitting.
I can’t believe I finally met and chatted with the one-and-only knitting guru and designer Eugen Beugler. It was one of the most pleasant conversations I’ve had in a week. He spoke eloquently and with true conviction and passion. During the 30 minutes, it felt like talking to an old friend as we laughed, joked, and enjoyed a good conversation on knitting lace, cables, and designing baby blankets–with him pulling out his work in progress to share. He was so personable, down-to-earth, full of life, and energetic. Do I dare to think I would be designing when I am over 80? Now…only wish I were moving to Eugene and be hanging out with him over the Knit Shop all the time!
Can you believe I however missed the BINGO game altogether…mainly due to me working the information booth during most of my free time? (Pictured below–left to right–are Jo from Springfield and Nadine from Tigard, OR.)
No complaint. I was in great companies.
If April would have me back, I’ll be sure to sign up for that next year. :D
Next year, I’ll join the BINGO game too–even to be one of the SQUARES–to win one of the awesome prizes! (Look, here, at–April and her sister Jessica–how much fun it is to volunteer at the Information Booth!)
Next to the shopping, my favorite part of the fiber gathering was Fiber Art judging and exhibit. In most fairs, this is done quietly behind the scenes. At Black Sheep Gathering, it is a public affair. Many of you fiber enthusiasts know Melda Montgomery well, either through Fiberworks and Pacific Basin School of Textile Arts (both in Berkeley, California,) McMinnville Art Center, or Woodland Woolworks.
I learned so much about wool and yarn from the judge’s explanations while she talked about the sheep origins and breeding, the qualities and structures of various types of wool and their uses.
I got to see so many beautiful arty creations and gained a real appreciation for the necessity of choosing a yarn suited to each particular project. (Shown below represents only a small fraction of entries submitted and judged.)
Last night was the infamous Spinner’s Lead in show ring, (below pictured on the left is Laura aka Spindrift, one of many contestants in her own gorgeous handspun, handknit)
M.C. by Trish for the entertaining event.
No doubt it was enjoyed by the overwhelming, enthusiastic crowd…even though it made it a late night for many of us started at 8:00 p.m.
A lot of fun.
People walk through the show pen wearing something they’ve spun, knit, felted, or in some way crafted into clothing while leading the breed of sheep that the wool came from.
Next is my friend Shirley modeling her handspun, handknit ensemble out of her spinner’s lead prize from two years ago. Fancy that!
There is a lot of gorgeous creativity.
Some were very funny.
I was too entertained to remember to take more photographs! Bad ‘ol me. But, this blew my mind.
Check out his story in detail. An a-m-a-z-i-n-g lad.
Contender of the Spinner’s Lead is also this year’s winner of the Black Sheep Cup in the Fiber Art Division–my most admired felted jacket in her Jacob wool by Shannon Phifer of Kenleigh Acres Farm.
Last year (or the year before?) they also had a costume show with Shetlands dressed up. Makes for a fun evening. (Showcased below is one of this year’s Sheep-to-Shawl winners– a ravishing shawl worn by Laura aka Tinkertots.)
Comparing to fellow spinners/ravelers, I don’t have a stash to take home, other than a couple packs of hand-blown glass beads by a Portland artist. A very good reason…for I’m saving up for something huge in the near future.
My main goal for the show was to take a jazzknitting class, catch up with friends, and give back to a wonderful community that have enriched my life over the past few years.
That’s a wrap for the blissful weekend. (Here are first and second parts of the hightlights.)
I will be spending most days wandering about, spinning, knitting, felting, creating…(sorry I don’t recall the venture for these lovely bags.)
and oooooooh, crocheting. Another awesome meet of a new friend, Heather Lightbody–the cool, hip, originative brain behind Girl with a Hook.
Sheesh…it’s getting very late and I’m heading off to bead with visions of sheep and goats in my head…I can’t help it. I like sheep and fiber. I like the way they feel. I like the way they smell…I like the pretty things that I make out of them.
Seize the day. Hope you all enjoy the show!
Thank you all so much, the organizers for another wonderful event and to all the lovely spinners, knitters, weavers, crocheters, woodturners, needle-felters, and hook-rug artists for creating that magical sense of community! Next year…I will try to camp out and hubby won’t be traveling then!
Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!
(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)