Thursday, June 28, 2012

Black Sheep Gathering - "Part two"

Day two dawned early, as The Shepherd wanted to get over to the fairgrounds by 9:00 to see when the Shetland fleece judging would be. At that point they were running about three hours late - ie - the fleeces that are normally judged at 9:00 in the morning - wouldn't be on the table until around noon! 

She still had all these big white fleeces to judge before she would get to the Shetland fleeces, which were on the faaaarrrr right side of the picture.

I offered to be the sacrificial lamb, so to speak, to sit and watch the judging and keep everyone posted on when the Shetland fleeces were up next.  I had my crochet project and a good book if I got tired of crocheting, so I hung out - 

Part of the hold up was the fact that she was a very "thorough" judge - she took every fleece out of the bag - spread it out and went over it from one end to the other, whereas previous judging I've watched, they kind of "pat around" the top and pull some out from the bottom -

Can you believe that this is ALL one BIG fleece!!! - I mean, that must have been one massive sheep.  And she looked over every square inch of that fleece.....

And as you can see by the look on her face, she didn't like this one at all...


By noon they finally got to the Shetland fleeces.  unfortunately, none of the four fleeces that we took placed in the top 5 - and they didn't show placing for any of the others. 

Most of the fleeces in the room are for sale after the judging.  There were people lined up outside waiting for the judging to finish so they could be first in when the sale started. 

This is our friend Rocky Long - his CVM ram won best ram of breed.

Rocky is also in my spinner guild.

After the fleece judging was over we went back over to the main barns.  The Shepherd to talk to some of the other shepherds about markings - gulmoget  - a color pattern that is dark (black or brown) on top and light (gold or grey) on tummy and legs,  and katmoget (the opposite - light on top and dark on tummy and legs) both markings have sort of a "badger face" marking -

Myself - I had a date with the second barn full of vendors - carefully planning my route so I wouldn't forget anything, I missed getting back to a vendor, from Bellingham - Huckleberry Knits,  She has some gorgeous fiber (her yarn is nice too, but, then, I can make my own yarn) - Oh, well, there's always Christmas..



Another fun event at Black Sheep is the BBQ and the Spinner's Lead.   The BBQ was held indoors in the Wool Pavilion because this little bit of sunshine that happened at about 2:00 was all there was for the day. 

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This band provided the entertainment during the BBQ/potluck dinner on Saturday night. 





I know this picture is blurry, but I just had to show you the ":magnificent" felted hat that the lady who emcees the Spinner's Lead was wearing - yes those are peacock feathers.  What a hat! 



The Spinner's Lead is where people make an item of the fiber of their choice - hand spun is best, from your own sheep is even better. Then they model it, all the while leading a sheep (of their own or borrowed)  This little guy was dyed using organic dyes - he was the hit of the show.

I haven't had time to photograph all my new goodies yet, but I'll get them on here in a day or two.

Our trip home was uneventful -not quite as smooth as the trip down, but not too bad, all things considered.



However, we got some very sad and shocking news this morning - Marshall Craw, the husband of Jackie from Forest Mountain Sheep  collapsed and died of a heart attack on Monday morning after they returned home from Eugene.  This was the first vacation they'd had since their teenagers were born, and they'd had a wonderful weekend. 

Our hearts ache for Jackie and her kids.  They are in our prayers tonight. Please keep them in your thoughts during this difficult time. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Black Sheep Gathering - "Part One"

The 2012 BSG T-Shirt - Pretty cute, huh?  
We left last Thursday a.m. (right after taking The Shepherd's work truck into the repair shop) for Eugene Oregon and the 2012 Black Sheep Gathering.  I was somewhat anxious about our trip - we couldn't find an in-house farm sitter this year however some friends graciously stepped in to take care of the kitties and the sheep so we could take our vacation!  To top it all off, George had come up limping on Tuesday and hid out so my efforts to take him to the V.E.T. were thwarted -  he didn't seem to have any punctures or bleeding, but we weren't sure what we would come back to.  Luckily, he seemed to have just sprained it and it seems to have gotten better on its own (I guess that's why you don't see little bitty kitty crutches....) 

We made it through the Seattle Metro area in record time and stopped in Chehalis to have lunch with my sister, niece and grandnephew.  Flew down the highway - not even too much traffic in the Portland area - amazing!  

 
 Since I wasn't taking my spinning wheel, I decided to see what I could make with this pretty yarn I spun a couple of years ago - The Shepherd gave me the fiber for Christmas - all I can remember was that it was alpaca and cashmere - I think with some superwashed merino blended in or something - it is incredibly soft.

The pattern I'm crocheting for this scarf is called Mosaic Scarf's little sister.  I was afraid that I wouldn't have enough yarn, but I finished with just a few yards left - whew...
















Here is The Shepherd with NW Shetland breeders Jackie Craw Forest Mountain Sheep, Chelan, WA, Donna Schoonover, Schoonover Farms, Sedro Woolley, WA and Michelle McMillen, Boulderneigh Farm, Amity Oregon. 

They were in a serious discussion about some wool samples that The Shepherd had brought with him. 





But lets talk about what is really important here - and that is shopping - hundreds of booths filled with delicious flavors of fiber - Blue Faced Leicester seemed to be a favorite this year.  Plus, I bought another 4 oz. hank of silver baby alpaca so I could work some more on the yarn for my camelid shawl, and some more baby camel to go with the baby camel fiber that I bought last year that I still haven't done anything with...




Fiber Arts Judging
So, I actually had a method to my madness this year.  I walked from the sheep barn through one side of the vendors, through the middle hall, and then sat down and watched the fiber arts judging while I rested my knees.  This skein of yarn, as you can see, unfortunately was disqualified because the maker had tied it all together and it could not be opened up to look at it.  Oops...

She seemed to be pretty good at her judging - listening to her talk definitely gave me things to remember the next time I prepare yarn for competition.


Knees rested, I pressed on through the last vendor barn - No, I didn't buy any of this yarn, but isn't it pretty?



And look who I found?  Marcia Adams, who used to shear our sheep.  She sells her Coopworth wool roving at festivals now and had landed this prime indoor spot at the last minute when someone else had to cancel. 


Yarn and fiber in all kinds of rainbow colors. 









A delight for the senses




Late June in Eugene, more often than not, is in the 80's - 90's - this year not so much.  In fact, I don't think it got much into the 70's - I felt bad for the outdoor vendors- all the tents on the far right on this picture - but, they take their chances and if it is hot out, they definitely have a better deal than in the stifling hot of the barns -





So Friday,  the rains came -

In a day or two I'll tell you about Saturday's events - the Fleece Judging and the Spinner's Lead.



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                                            Enjoy the sights and sounds of the judging ring -

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First day of SUMMER!



 Oh the sweet joy of SUMMER! 


FRESH strawberries right out of the field - warm and fragrant.   


Pretty flowers everywhere you turn - 


Even the shy ones that hide away.

Happy First Summer Day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What we did on a rainy weekend...

 Saturday - rainy and cool. 


First you find a comfy spot  -The top of the clothes dryer thingy might work nicely.


Then you get all snuggled in. 


You might have to dry your furs first...

 Sunday - Rainy and cool AGAIN!

First you wash off your sister's face.



Then you get all snuggly on Mummy's side of the big bed.
Or you stretch out and let the cable box/butt warmer
dry off your furs.  

Ahh, Sunday afternoon.,,, 



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day


This was my Great Grandpa - (on my dad's side)

He was a sea-farer turned farmer.  As a kid, I was always fairly scandalized by the fact that he had an EAR RING!

And then I went to college - all the guys had ear rings.  Oh, no big deal GG.  











This is my grandpa - my dad's dad - he and Grandma lived on the same property that we did - my sisters and I spent many hours at grandma & grandpa's house -

We'd run over and pretty much barge into their house - I don't think I was ever told to knock...

Now, I wonder if they ever had any privacy...



This is my dad as a young man.  He was running the tractor that pulled the threshing machine (we had a wheat farm in North Central Washington)

It's a hard life, but guys are still doing it - so it must be fulfilling. 


I was about 10 years old in this picture.

My dad died when I was 26.  There are so many things I wish I had asked him. 

Oh, well.

Happy Father's Day daddy.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Sunday!

 Hello efurrykitty and everybody!

Bella here with the farm and garden report for the week!

Mummy & The Shepherd went to a neighborhood party yesterday and a lot of the people there seemed to know who I was - they were glad that I was living here on the farm. 

One nice lady surprised Mummy by saying that she had read our blog after coming down to see the lambs in the spring.  She like the stories about the kitties and the sheep! 

Mummy & I thought we'd take you on a little tour of the beautiful gardens here that The Shepherd works so hard on.

This is one of Mummy's favorite plants - it's just a plain old fern, but it is very lush and green.  It is right by the spot where she parks her car when she gets home from The Salt Mines and she calls it her "decompression chamber" 

Pretty pink lupine, don't you think? 


These are two of The Shepherd's prized trees.  He was going to chop down the one on the left because he thought it looked lopsided, but Mummy talked him out of it.  She's really glad he left it.  

The Shepherd is going to separate the bratty sheep babies from their mommies this afternoon.  He is going to put them in the front pasture - I don't like them in there because they chase me when I try to walk out there!  Plus it will probably be noisy! 

This is a Chinese tree peony that is growing in the front yard.



We hope you've enjoyed this little tour of our garden.  We hope you will take a few minutes and say "Hi" !   Have a good week!  

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

In a dither

Hello Evefurry body -

Mummy is in a dither tonight because Georgie hasn't been around since last night.  He didn't come in for breakfast this morning and not for dinner tonight either.

There has also been this awful orange kitty who has come in to our house and made it stinky!  I hope he didn't chase George away!!

Mummy walked around for a long time tonight calling and whistling for him, but he has not showed up.

She is furry worried, and I am too,

Now it is raining out. I hope he comes home soon. 

Gracie

UPDATE - Mummy here - I went out and shook the treat can and called some more after I posted this and he came bounding up the back steps with a look on his face like, "I was just out huntin' - get a life Mom..."  Whew - good to have my little furry friend back home.