Black Sheep Gathering - Day 3

Black Sheep Gathering is just Friday through Sunday. There is a lot to pack into a short time. See previous posts for the first day.

Stephany Wilkes talking about Raw Material.

Saturday morning I went to the vendor hall to listen to Stephany Wilkes (Farm Club member and co-Board member of the Fibershed Ag Coop) read from her book, Raw Material. (You can get a signed copy here.) I told her that she should read the audio book version because she is very good and her reading brought tears to my eyes.

Handwoven  v-shawl-Best Weavers award

Checking out the Fiber Arts Competition. Jacob fiber won the day. This is my handspun, handwoven Jacob shawl. I was awarded the Best Weavers Award.

Knitted Jacob shawl

This is a beautiful handspun, knitted shawl of Jacob fiber, knitted by someone that was not part of our contingent, that won the Best Use of Natural Colored Wool. That is the award that Doris won last year for a Jacob shawl.

Handspun knitted sweater at black sheep gathering

Doris, of Farm Club, entered her handspun knit sweater and won a first place.

Clasped warp Jacob scarf

I also won a first on my handspun Jacob clasped warp scarf.

Handspun knitted jacket at black sheep gathering

The biggest honor went to Alison of Farm Club (and the leader of our Sheep to Shawl team) for her handspun, handknit Jacob jacket. That’s the Black Sheep Cup which is presented to one item out of the whole show!

Felted Jacob sheep at Black sheep gathering

How could I not include a felted Jacob sheep working on a Jacob project and sitting on a Jacob rug?

Sheep to shawl display and shawl at black sheep gathering

This is the Sheep to Shawl project and display from the previous day.

Farm Club in sheep barn at black sheep gathering

Back at the barn—it’s nice to have a gathering spot after a busy day of classes and shopping. Notice the sweater that Doris is knitting. More about that later.

Taking selfies with Jacob lambs.

Because we won Champion Ram and Champion Ewe and the Young Flock all of those sheep needed to be present in the ring for the selection of the Supreme Champion and the Black Sheep Cup. While waiting with my Young Flock animals Dona caught me trying to get a sheep selfie.

Doris finishing knit sweater for Spinners Lead

Doris tried on her sweater that was entered in the Spinners Lead competition that evening.

Supremem champion competition at black sheep gathering.

Selection of Supreme Champion Ram and Ewe. This is an impressive line up of so many different kinds of sheep. When we are working with Axle (the ram) we think of him as big—but I guess he’s not so big after all.

Getting ready for Spinners Lead at Black Sheep Gathering.

Speaking of Axle, here he is, ready for the Spinners Lead competition that was held after the annual potluck dinner. I wove his and hers scarves and we both wore them. This is the yarn that I was spinning while on the trip to Idaho and I finished on Monday before this event. I wove the scarves on Wednesday. I’m very pleased with how they turned out.

Spinners Lead competition at Black Sheep Gathering

These are the four Jacob projects, three represented by Farm Club members (and we loaned a sheep to the fourth person—that’s the shawl that won the award above).

Robin in Spinners Lead with Jacob ram.

I wanted to use Axle herebecause the fiber in the scarves is his first shearing. Normally I would not take a Jacob ram in an event like this because they are so difficult to handle. Axle is the exception. He is treated just like the rest of the rams—no special attention, not handled other than initial halter breaking—but what a mellow ram! We had him out on the halter for at least an hour with other people and rams around and he just didn’t care. I hope he keeps this demeanor.

Woolly sheepskin baby shoes

Sunday morning. I had signed up for an all day class in using sheepskins. These are samples of what the instructor makes using Gotland sheepskins. This was an interesting class and I’d like to think that I could create some new products with some of my sheepskins, but realistically I don’t know that I’d ever have time. Also, I recognize that there is a lot of experimentation and practice to create something that I’d be proud to offer for sale.

Loading sheep to go home.

I didn’t stay in the class the whole day because they announced that people who had a 10+ hour drive could load up and leave early. We took the barn display down and loaded up and I was ready to go at 4:00. That was the regular release time but at least we were ready to load sheep by then.

Jacob Ram lamb

This is a cute ram lamb, bide a wee Grove, who came home with me, but moved on to another CA farm.

Jacob ram in trailer.

Axle in his part of the trailer.

Jacob ram in trailer.

I drove to Bend (about 2 hours out of the way) to pick up Windy Acres Zeus.

Jacob sheep in trailer ready to leave Black Sheep Gathering

I love having all the gates in this trailer because it can be configured in so many different ways to accommodate rams, ewe, lambs, etc.

Driving through Oregon in the dark.

This is sunset driving south on Highway 97. I was worried about the long drive home. Not being a caffeinated beverage drinker, the Starbuck’s drink and the Mountain Dew that I drank had me wired and I made it all the way home, arriving about 4:15 a.m. I don’t recommend that as a rule, but it worked for this time.