Last Thursday I loaded 9 sheep in the trailer and 5 of us crammed into my pickup with all of our stuff in the back, including my tack box and display racks and boxes of yarn and fiber for the vendor building, and we started for Eugene, Oregon. We met a friend along I-5 and transferred her ewe and ram (Meridian Rocky, originally from me) to my trailer. We made it to Eugene about 6:30 and settled the sheep into the barn.
This was a first visit for my friends to Black Sheep Gathering. I think this is one of my favorite events. Where else can you find sheep (wool sheep at that!) and shopping all under one roof? The atmosphere is laid back and the weather is mild. And I get to visit with friends that I probably won’t see otherwise. In fact one friend was gracious enough to house all 5 of us at her place!
One of the highlights of the weekend is the Spinners Lead contest. In this contest participants show off their handspun or otherwise handmade pieces and bring the sheep or goat with them in the ring. Click to enlarge this thumbnail. This is me modeling my woven sweater and my sheep modeling her braided Jacob wool halter. I must tell the story about this sweater. I wove 2 blankets of handspun yarn and had a little warp left over. I wove that and thought it would make a great sweater. Not enough! I made another warp and wove enough for sleeves. I cut and sewed the pieces of the sweater together but figured that I could finish the knitted ribbing in Oregon. After all, what else was i going to do? And I didn’t have time before I left. When I sat down to work on the sweater I realized that I hadn’t serged the neck edge and lower edge. At the suggestion of a friend, I found a sewing machine store (Eugene Sewing and Vacuum) and asked if I could use a serger. They let me use it and I ended up finishing the sweater with time to spare! I also made a halter for my lamb out of Jacob sliver that I had braided.
I was surprised to be awarded third place in the “Animal Owner” category. My friend, Shannon, won first for her felted vest with Jacob sheep and an apple tree needle-felted on the back. This photo shows all of the Jacob entrants. There is a bagpipe cover, 2 shawls, my sweater, Shannon’s vest, and a felted ring-bearer’s pillow carried by Shannon’s 4-year old son wearing his wedding finery.
The trip was great fun, but the drive home seemed LONG. We got back at 3:30 a.m. I think I’m still catching up on sleep. We came home to smoky conditions. There are fires burning all over California and we can’t even see the hills near Vacaville, let alone the sky.
I am planning on this trip again next year. Anyone up for an adventure?