The Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene is like all Eugene events: carefully planned to achieve a loosely coordinated feel, with lots to learn in classes and demonstrations, tons of vendors from all over the country, barns full of fiber animals, and very marginal food and amenities. People come from all over. There are tent campers who take their chances with the Oregon weather, lots and lots of RVs and trailers, many day trippers and a few who actually stay in a hotel for the event.
The wool show is amazing; an entire exhibit hall full of fleeces from every kind of fleece-producing animal. All are judged over two days, and finally, when the judging ends, after a break, you are allowed to go in and feel them, smell them, and decide which ones you want to buy. Of course if you actually expect to get the fleeces you want, you will need to be first in line. The line begins to form early in the day, so that finally, about an hour after the judging ends, the sale can begin. Pandemonium ensues when the doors are finally opened. I wonder how many times people have nearly come to blows when someone snatched ‘their’ fleece before they could grab it. It’s a lot like black Friday! I can’t stand it, and don’t need fleeces anyway. But the fiber junkies of the West are out in force at the Black Sheep Gathering.
This year the fiber arts show had a lot of weaving along with felting, knitting and spinning projects.
We were excited about Dianne’s champion ribbon, because she carefully spun wool from our sheep [Roberta] to make the warp for the project. We were amazed that the natural colored Romney was going to be the warp since it would not be seen. But Dianne believed it was the perfect fiber for her warp and she found a way to keep some warp visible by having the lovely silver-gray fringe.
Roberta the sheep lives on through this piece.