Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Days 7 and 8: Homeward Bound

We had a very smooth two-day trip home from Black Sheep Gathering. We stopped at Hendrick's Park in Eugene before leaving town. A few Rhododendrons were still in bloom, and the park was very green and lush. While we were at Hendrick's Park, we saw a peahen hopping through the grass with her babies in tow.


Mt. Shasta was breathtaking on the way home as well. The Pacific Northwest native and geologist in me has been missing the splendor of the Cascade Mountain Range since I have moved to southern California in 2001. This is evidenced by the large number of Mt. Shasta pictures that I took on this trip.

Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta

Lori and I enjoyed driving through the agriculture in the Central Valley of California. We especially were taken with all of the sunflowers that were blooming. There were literally hundreds of acres of sunflowers along the side of the road. I imagine that the impressionist painters would have been thrilled by such a scene.


Now that we are home it is time to get back to spinning, knitting, and washing fleeces.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Days 4, 5 & 6: Black Sheep Gathering

Though we were very busy in the booth for most of the gathering, I did have a chance to walk around to the other booths during the Black Sheep Gathering. I had such a great time talking to spinners and knitters about their projects, and admiring at all of the beautiful handmade bling that they were wearing.

I also had a great time walking through the barns and checking out all of the wonderful sheep and goats on display. I found them to be quite photogenic. The following photos show a Wensleydale sheep, Jacob sheep, Bluefaced Leicester sheep, and baby Angora goats, respectively.

Wensleydale sheep

Jacob Sheep

Bluefaced Leicester Sheep

Baby Angora Goats

On Saturday night, Lori, Karen, Margie and I went to the "Spinner's Lead" competition. Each spinner was sporting their handspun and knitted/crocheted/felted garments while leading a sheep, goat, or bunny. When possible, the garment was constructed from the fiber of the animal they were leading. I have never seen anything like this before, and I found the entire event to be quite a hoot! Trish from Tanglewood Fiber Creations was the MC. Here is a snippet that highlights the goings-on at this event.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 3: Set up for Black Sheep Gathering

Lori and I took a morning walk, had a quick lunch, and then headed to the Lane County Fairgrounds to set up our booth. We worked for several hours, and in the end we were very pleased with how our booth looked. These photos show the evolution of the booth space from start to finish.

Booth view

Booth view


Booth view

Booth view

Booth view

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 2: Ashland to Eugene, OR

This morning we went to a cute little yarn shop in Ashland (Websters - before hitting the north road again. We also stopped by a handmade soap shop (Emz Blendz - where I purchased two bars of soap and a lip balm. The entire shop smelled like herbs and it was difficult to pick just two bars.

Ashland is famous for its Shakespeare festival, and for its Lithia water, which is dispensed in a special fountain downtown. The water is said to contain "sodium, calcium, iron, bicarbonate, and other healthful minerals." We did notice a couple of people filling up their water bottles in this fountain. Lori and I opted not to sample the water, in part because of its strong sulfur odor.

Lithia Water

Next to the Lithia water fountain, there was another fountain, which presumably contains non-Lithia water. I think this may be the most regal water fountain that I have seen.

Ashland, Oregon

We made it to Eugene this afternoon. The weather is fantastic! Lori and I went for an afternoon walk to one of the local yarn shops (Soft Horizons Fibre). Now we are settling in for some evening knitting.

Eugene view

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 1: OC to Ashland, OR

We made it all the way to Ashland, Oregon today thanks to our early start and Lori's excellent driving. We really enjoyed the scenery, especially Mt. Shasta.

Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta

We ate dinner at a charming vegetarian place in Ashland called Pangea. The food really hit the spot.We are back in our room now and are about to enjoy some knitting.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering Here We Come!

I went to Lori's ( and today to drop off my yarns and rovings in preparation for our early morning departure tomorrow.  We are both really excited for the trip!  I was in awe of all of the beautiful yarns and spinning fibers that she dyed for the Black Sheep Gathering.  Her work is amazing!

Last evening I finished knitting a Baby Surprise Jacket (a la Elizabeth Zimmermann) using six colorways of my organic merino yarn (sea grass, midnight, dusk, pink clouds, geode, and cherry blossom) and two colorways of my handspun yarn (calypso and tourmaline).  I finished the jacket with three pale pink thumbprint buttons handcrafted by my friend, Barbara.  We will have the BSJ on display in our booth at the Black Sheep Gathering.

Hope to see you there!


EZ Baby Surprise Jacket

Friday, June 12, 2009

5 Days and Counting

The main purpose of this post is to test my mobile blogging capacities. I won't be bringing my laptop to the Black Sheep Gathering, so I will have to rely on my cell phone and iPod touch. I hope it works!

So far today I have skeined 5 pounds of yarn. This evening I will finish up the labeling on the last of the yarns and rovings. Yay!

Friday, June 5, 2009

More Dyeing for Black Sheep Gathering

I have been spending each afternoon playing with dye and fiber in preparation for the Black Sheep Gathering (June 19-21 in Eugene, Oregon).  Here is a quick snapshot of some of the recent bluefaced leicester rovings.

BFL rovings

The colorways are Olympia, Glass Beach, and Mediterranean (from left to right).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering

Over the past month I have been busy dyeing up some yarns and rovings for the Black Sheep Gathering.  I am delighted to be joining my friend Lori Lawson ( and in her booth this year.  We will be in booths 49 and 50.  We hope to see you at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene, Oregon June 19th - 21st!

I will be bringing an assortment of my handpainted rovings in lovely fiber blends including bluefaced leicester and alpaca/merino/tussah silk.  I will also be bringing my organic superfine merino wool and organic cotton/bamboo yarns in a number of new colorways.  Here is a sample of some of my recent handpaints:

Acres of rovings

One of the other things that I have been busily working on is a bootie pattern that calls for handspun yarn.  We will be selling this pattern and others in our booth, and we will also have some kits that include the bootie pattern and some of Lori's beautiful handspun yarn.  Here is a teaser:

Handspun baby bootie

If you aren't able to make it to BSG this year, I will restocking my Etsy shop ( with lots of new colorways shortly after we return from Eugene.