A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.


Day Two at Black Sheep Gathering (aka BSG) started off with registering for a jazzknitting class with Ilisha Helfman in the afternoon, six blocks from the fairgrounds.  It was a breeze.

Oddly, I was only one signed up for the class?

As much as I feel bad for Ilisha, I didn’t mind one bit of having the one-on-one four-full-hour personal time, chatting over the joys of incorporating various striped patterns and beads into naturally curling forms and new directions.

As a knitter, I have a strong response to yarn and fiber. They resonate with a kind of musical intensity. I see ’em in high notes, low notes, intense tones, quiet tones, short staccato, sharp strong or subtle contrast…delightful melodies sent into the universe.

I fall in love with ’em easily, yet, have any clear idea or plan what I would do with ’em. Does it happen to you?

Ilisha’s creative art pieces and design thought process provided endless situation where I may draw on what I know as I explore over the coming days.

Each little form I attempt will be a safe haven where I may combine methods, try out concepts, and just let one idea lead to another.

It allows me me to make use of techniques I’ve learned over the years about knitting gathered from books, classes, friends, or the internet.   Thanks for the best afternoon and evening spent at BSG, Ilisha!   I am so “jazzed” to make more playful “music.” 😀

Though I didn’t make it to Mr. Duncan‘s drum carding demonstration, here is his eye-catching Civil War–Beavers Face Ducks–college rivalry, colored batts,

carded in his electric carder.  Dang…most of packages were cropped!  But, you get the picture.  In·gen·ious.

Behind a range of custom built–hand operated/motorized, pretty wide bed–drum carders for processing of fine fiber is my friend Cheryl, long-time booth-mate of Duncan Carders.

She is one heck of a talented spinner, dyer, and lace knitting queen! You can always spot her by her many luscious Anne Hanson lace shawls and wraps, in her glorious handspun,

Each time I meet up with Cheryl at fiber festivals  (more her hand-dyed yarn and roving displayed in her booth, back of the picture.)

I think of my beautiful, colorful, arty friend Lori Lawson (on the left, which I mentioned in my last post.)

Black Sheep Gathering has become the largest yarn/wool/sheep show/market/school of its kind in Pacific Northwest since 1974!  I feel so utterly fortunate to be here in person again this time around.

Each gathering elevates my experience,

provides me abundance of engaging opportunities

to learn new skills.  (Shown below:  Pat Fly on the right teaching sock knitting.)

Below is Judy Taylor of Little House Rugs.  Each time I see her, Judy has some amazing new canvas she is working on,  another one of her custom orders that typically take up to 9 months or more to create.  This one is called something Nursing under the Night Sky?  (Sorry for my poor memory!)  Don’t you just love her intricate patterns, colors, and dazzling effect they create from cramming massive amounts of detail into every square inch? 

If you’re in the market area, all you usually have to do is say Boy, I would really like to learn to spin and probably within 10 minutes, you’ll be sitting in front of a wheel

or drop-spindling, spinning your first yarn.  (Left is Wanda of Jenkins Woodworking showing off one of her baby kuchulus; right photo is Connie of Spindlewood Co and off right Barbara aka diJeannene)

From shearing a large wooly animal called a SHEEP, to putting it on something called a SPINNING WHEEL, or a drop spindle, which then turned it into yarn fiber or decorative items.

Scoping out the merchandise. locker hook rug making demo, or visiting with shepherds.  Old friends, new friends, laughing, coffee, bathroom breaks, sheep and lots of wool to look at and feel!

The pink goat (yep, a 100% genuine goat–no sheep,) colored with organic dyes! I am seriously considering purchasing…the dyes, silly…and dreaming of a pygora too 😀

So much beautiful fiber, accessories, spinning gadgets under one roof!

I wanted to take it all home with me.

As much fun as I have, I do miss hooking up with my wonderful fiber peeps (partners in crime)  i.e. KristinLeAnn, NancyAnnieMoniqueKirsten, Mollie, Mary...   However, I’m ecstatic about meeting Mr. and Mrs. Pocketwheel in the flesh–coolest couple!  (Note to self to ask Jon about the green gem made by their friend in Kirkland area.)

It’s not a huge event so you may usually walk through everything in about an hour or so to get the lay of the land so to speak.

If you find something that looks interesting, take a business card, write on the back the item, and the price.    Spend more time on things you’re particularly interested in.  Compare and know where you saw that handsome skein of handspun to go back to.   Meanwhile, you won’t blow your budget on first few booths you visit!  Be warned:  Blue Moon Fiber Art is a dangerous one to be the first on your list.

Talk to the vendors.  I found everyone so helpful and just absolutely delightful.  Suzie Liles of Eugene Textile Center is definitely a class act and a hoot.  If you don’t have a large fiber support circle in your area, it is really resourceful and fun to talk to people with the same interests here.

If you have the time; look at everything.  You never know what you may find!   Have fun!

It is a pretty easy drive from Bend or Portland.  If you don’t like crowds, I recommend going on Sunday.

You will actually get to talk to vendors then and it is much more relaxed.  Best of all, you may support the local economy too. 😀

There are plenty more to come…the Spinner’s Lead, Fiber Art Division entries, my favorite new vendor and gadgets.  Catch y’all next time.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Comments on: "Inform…Illuminate…Inspire" (5)

  1. Looks like it was a fun and inspirational weekend! Someday I will make it to BSG. This year I was at TNNA, so no BSG for me. I should clone me!

  2. Sarah, knowing that I will never be able to visit this most interesting and exciting show your post with all those lovely pictures is very much appreciated.

  3. Oh, so *that’s* where you went ! Looks like you had a lifetime of fun in a few short days. My girlfriend from Sonoma was there too (Morrie) , you probably crossed paths a few times. I should have gone… maybe next time. There’s always next time. xx

  4. […] a wrap for the blissful weekend.  (Here are first and second parts of the […]

  5. […] Jazz Knitting is great, compelling, and textural fun.  Plus, it kept me in total balance last week with eleven 1st-grader in Tumalo State Park. […]

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