Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Black Sheep Gathering 2016

What have I been up to lately? Another fiber festival, of course! On June 25, I was able to attend the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR. The BSG started in 1974 as a way for farmers who raise colored sheep and goats to connect with fiber enthusiasts. Last year, alpacas were added to show. There are many educational opportunities at the festival including workshops in animal husbandry, fiber processing, spinning, dyeing, weaving, felting, knitting, and best of all crochet!  There's also a market where sellers offer roving, yarn, spindles, spinning wheels, and anything else you can think of that a fiber lover might want. I'll let the photos do most of the talking. First, the animals.

An Angora goat who likes to scratch his back with his horn. Look closely, and you'll see wool caught on its tip.

This little gal was tied to the fence all by herself and not one bit happy about it. You could hear her all over the barn.

These guys are really attractive. I have no idea what breed they are. If you know, please post a comment.

There were some beautiful alpacas. I just love their color, and according to the sign, I could have become an alpaca owner that very day! Tempting. So tempting. Good thing I had someone with me who has more restraint than I do. 

The marketplace had anything you could possibly want related to fiber including a felted animal parade.

Of course, there was fibery eye candy everywhere.

These, glass crochet hooks and knitting needles are made by Michael and Sheila Ernst. Seriously? Glass? Yes, and they have a lifetime warranty. 


This booth had wonderful wooden buttons, shawl pins, pendants and earrings. The gentleman is the talented maker of these lovelies, Jeff of WoolyMossRoots.

Here are the buttons I bought.

In another booth, there were buttons of a different sort. I claim the title of Crochet Hussy!

These and other vintage spinning wheels had been restored and were up for sale.

Here's something you don't see at every fiber festival - guanaco fiber from Royal Fibers. The Royal Fibers web site is not current, but was available on the Web Archive and is interesting reading. Guanacos are camelids related to alpacas and llamas. While the latter 2 are domesticated, most guanacos and another South American camelid, the vicuna, are wild. Wild guanacos are captured and sheared for their fiber then released. Their populations have been greatly reduced by over-hunting and grazing activities, and they are considered endangered over most of their range.  According to the Royal Fibers web page, there are a few hundred domesticated guanacos in zoos and private herds in the US. Here's some of roving from the Royal Fibers guanacos. It reminds me of what cotton candy would like like if it came in chocolate and caramel swirl.

Of course, there was a fiber arts competition. The entries included a lot of felted items. Baaaa room dancing, anyone?

Love this cute pig with cow slippers!

A granny square scarf! Great colors.

And a shawl in natural colors.

As five o'clock rolled around, we were ready for a rest and something to drink. Fortunately, I had arranged ahead of time to meet up with Kelly and Marsha of the Two Ewes Fiber Adventures podcast and Ravelry Group. Check out the podcast to see what spinning, dying, knitting, crocheting, bee raising, dog training, and other miscellaneous adventures the Ewes are up to. Then join the fun on the Ravelry group. We had a great time chatting with Marsha and Kelly and some of their other listeners. Snacks and beverages were graciously provided including some awesome ceviche from Kelly's husband Robert. A bit of spinning and knitting was done while we chatted. Ruedy the dog decided to have a nap.

Before leaving, we all gathered for a photo next to Kelly and Robert's vintage trailer.

That's it for Black Sheep Gathering 2016. If you're in the Eugene, OR area next June, it's definitely worth a visit. I'll likely be there again and hope to have another chance to meet up with the Two Ewes and friends!


  1. Those brown and white sheep look like fleecy Guernsey cows! The whole festival looks like a load of fun. Love your button choices too.

  2. Hi! Wasn't BSG fun! Great blog post and photos. The sheep you needed identified are Jacobs.

  3. Great post! I couldn't resist the Wooly Moss Roots buttons either!


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