Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Uhh, I'd just like to clear something up. Folks seemed to think that when I said "wrecked" I meant I was plastered. Blotto. Pissed. You know, drunk...at Black Sheep Gathering...

That's not true! I was wrecked as in run-down. I checked and this is indeed a dictionary entry for the word, it's not just me who thinks it means this! There were a lot of folks hanging out with Bacchus at this shindig, and far be it from me to keep anyone from a decent glass of wine at a really good party! However, I was working--and, I'm exhausted. I was afraid to see what alcohol might do to an already dizzy (with fatigue) person.

Here's a photo of my friend Karen and me at dinner in Portland on Sunday night. Karen works for Crafts Americana and is in charge of quilting stuff there. I met her when I did design work for Knit Picks. This is the best photo of them all, and Karen is very pretty! I look wiped out and that's about how I felt, although we had a lovely time with Karen and her family. Then I left the nice hotel room in Portland at 9 AM yesterday, and didn't get back to my house until 11:30 PM. Even if you erase the time change, that's 12 and a half hours of travel. The professor and I counted another statistic. In May and June I have been on 17 flights. He's been on 21. No wonder why I'm tired! The highlight of my day has been doing laundry. Thank goodness I am not travelling again for a few weeks.
I don't have photos of Black Sheep yet, because that would require getting them developed, and I think I'm not up to driving or even walking up the street just now. Instead, I'll share a random photo of fleece with you, and mention the wool show I saw there in Eugene.

LAAAA! (Imagine your favorite song of worship or Jimi Hendrix here) It was like going to the symphony. The judging was like attending the church of wool, no kidding. Judith MacKenzie McCuin did the judging. People sat in a semi-oval of chairs, listening, spinning, knitting, and gasping at fleece. At the end of each class judged, we were all invited to go up and touch the fleeces and see for ourselves what we thought about each one. It was the highest quality wool show I've ever seen. I know I said this in the last entry, but I need to get it out of my system. Wow.

My new spindle from Crown Mountain Farms looks about like this. It is made out of Ebony Mun and weighs about 2.5 oz. This goes against what most people want now in a spindle, I mean, what's in fashion, but I like to spin thicker yarns and I like weight in a spindle, so I love it.

I can't offer a full report on BSG, mainly because I know I couldn't do it justice right now, but it was different than any other show I've been to. I was able to just purchase Blue Moon sock yarn without any line at all! I even got mill ends and a discounted price. I bought Gotland fiber for the first time. I saw the new American Teeswater, Gotland, and Wensleydale breeds in person, from the farms who were doing the first crosses with imported UK seamen. (I know that's misspelled, but it's easier this way and you know exactly what I mean...self-censoring at its best)

One last thing I should mention. The Black Sheep Gathering, and the introduction of "colored" flocks in the USA, were brought about by many people through the years, but Morris Culver was instrumental. He was the first to import colored Romney rams to the USA after World War II. He judged fleeces at the Tennessee State Fair a couple of years ago, and we were lucky enough to meet him. He was a pioneer in this field, the field of celebrating black sheep...and after 50+ years of celebrating black sheep, he passed away this year. Read more about him at the American Romney website. Take a moment to think about a great man who brought the US some of the amazing color diversity we have in sheep's wool today.

Psst! Hey you. There. Yah, that's you! Leave a comment, wouldja? I can tell you're reading because of that map over there, but I never hear from you. Tell me what you're up to? What you like reading about? Huh? OK? :) Thanks.


Blogger Denise said...

(okay, okay, I'll comment!)

I knew what you meant when you said you were wrecked! Of course, I also saw you several times over the weekend and knew you weren't tossing back chardonnay for breakfast.

I'm back at work and trying to catch up here at the home office (blog? what blog?). No more fun side trips for me this summer I'm afraid.

It was lovely meeting you and the professor in Eugene! (I wish I'd thought to take a picture of both of you at some point.) Hopefully the next time we meet you will be on a less arduous schedule.
take care!

June 27, 2007 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

Wah... BMFA yarn in the flesh. I can only try to imagine it. I'll get to see fleece at Woolfest, but I lay odds they're not as good as those at BSG. At least I'm not going to be tempted. Wait, didn't I think that about spinning?

Have a good rest, because I'm sure you'll need it!

June 27, 2007 at 4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK I can't stop laughing at the idea of wensleydale sheep being crossed with sailors.....

June 27, 2007 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Knowing you, barely but yet still knowing you, I knew what you meant by wrecked. You weren't wasted, well, I guess you were wasted. You weren't inebriated, but then again maybe you were. Not with drink but with wool. :) Sounds like a wonderful time. And it seems to me if I want to plan on going to a great fiber fest Black Sheep is the one to attend.

June 27, 2007 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Romi said...

I'm so glad you had a great time! And I never thought you meant you were drunk. I just thought you were dead tired!

Take care. :)

June 27, 2007 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This year was my first black sheep gathering. I had an amazing time. I should have contacted you before to meet you, I figured you'd be super busy though. I didn't make it to the fleece hall until saturday afternoon and it was pretty empty. I'm bummed I missed the judging. I did see some sheep judging. All very interesting. There are some very generous people that attend. Very giving with the years of knowledge. Are you coming out for Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival (OFF)?

June 27, 2007 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Hi Lorajean! Welcome!
Even on Sunday morning, I saw some stellar fleeces at the wool show hall. I cruised around looking every single day, even though I KNEW I couldn't buy any! I would love to meet you--no show is ever too busy for me when it comes to meeting a new friend. Unfortunately, I won't be at OFF because it is so very expensive to hop across the country. Instead, I am trying to cover shows that make sense geographically. Just a few in each part of the country...but I will be at Taos for my next western adventure.

June 27, 2007 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger vanessa said...

love your turkish spindle.
and i wish oh wish i could sit and listen to judith judge fleeces :-)

June 27, 2007 at 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you are home safe and sound, I so wish that I could have met you in person, but I know that I will someday!

June 27, 2007 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger annmarie said...

Wow. What a spring and summer you've been having, Joanne! I've been enjoying reading all your notes from the road. :) And it was fun seeing your picture on Glassnut!

June 28, 2007 at 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see this post about Black Sheep. I've been saying it's the bomb for years. couldn't go this year because of family issues and also we're going on a two week road trip in about ten days, so I wanted to stay home and save the money. We're going to Targhee country, and maybe a fleece will find its way home to me...

The best part about BSG fleece judging is that each fleece is judged as it is, not as it "should" be. That is, a fleece isn't judged less because it is uncoated, it's just noted that it's an uncoated fleece and so will have different characteristics than a coated one. Love. it.

June 28, 2007 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Angelika said...

I am only 2 hours from Eugene. And was hoping to go. Last minute emergency kept my home. Next year for sure!! Loved your description and it sure sounds like I'm missing something great!

Angelika (AKD member)

June 29, 2007 at 9:53 AM  

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