I attended Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon this past June with my friend, Larraine. What an experience.
I have heard great things about the wool judging by Judith MacKenzie that she does at this event and I was able to catch a few minutes of her in action. Amazing!
The crazy part of Black Sheep Gathering, the fleece-crazed folks that waited in line to buy a fleece or ten once the judging was completed. It seemed like forever we stood in that line on a hot, windy day, waiting to be let in. We chatted with many folks from far away places. Always a lovely experience to meet others with the same passion. Larraine had no desire to purchase a fleece and probably found it quite funny to be able to be an on-looker at all the people running around.
Finally, the doors opened and the crowd rushed forward to get those ribbon winning fleeces. I would compare this to Black Friday when the newest 60 inch t.v. is available for $100 to the first five persons in the door. Can you say CRAZY?
I did manage to get one fleece, a lovely little Wensleydale X, in a natural black. Upriver Wool Company had entered it into the fleece competition and I believe had won a ribbon for it. I was lucky to snatch it up before those crazed-eyed fiber folks swooped in and took it out of my arms. Trust me, there was a possibility of that happening.
The sheen and the color are amazing and I have plans to comb it to spin for a sweater. After I finish my California Red, of course.
This is the fleece after washing.
I think a Wool Breed Study will be in order for the next post.