Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eugene Saturday Market Fair Drummers

Saturday Market Fair Drummers
Originally uploaded by DianaH1
These are just some of the performers that entertained us while at the Eugene Market Fair.

For more info about Eugene and The Black Sheep Gathering, See below.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Black Sheep Gathering 2009

My husband and I took our first trip to Eugene, Oregon, to attend the Black Sheep Gathering. W. has been working hard toward getting strong enough go the trip. He has needed a trip to lift his spirits from dealing with his Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma. The 15-hour drive from So. California was a long one but a beautiful one. The scenery was wonderful, especially as we hit Mt. Shasta in all its glory. The greenery didn’t stop as we headed to Eugene.

We stayed in the Broadway Inn, which was located blocks away from Downtown, the University of Oregon, and a short 5-minute drive to the Fairgrounds where Black Sheep Gathering, the Yearly Wool/Sheep Festival was held.

Eugene: Since this was our first time in Oregon, we studied the unique blend of people and atmosphere. We found this city very similar to Santa Barbara in California. It seemed like an informal College town made up of artisans and Hippies strolling about enjoying life as it comes to them. This is a bicycle town and the city has accommodated bicyclists with special lanes for them. Everyone seems to wear sandals, even in the cool weather, which I understand is the fashion trend in Eugene. Streets are narrow in places, lined with trees, which gives it a New England feel. One needs to take care driving in downtown as many are one-way streets and getting around can be confusing. We were glad to have a street map to guide us.

The Sheep at BSG: I was very impressed with the variety of sheep and goats….Shetlands, Romney, Corredales, Merino, Blue Faced Leicester, Jacob, Wesleydales, Teeswater Romadale, CVM, Baby Dolls, Angora Goats and many more. Did you guess there were so many breeds? I have never seen such an assortment in one place before. There were three barns full of animals. I was disappointed there were no Alpacas this year.

The Trade Show: There were so many vendors. Three barns were not enough and some vendors had a spot outside. It was a joy perusing the delectible yarns, fibers and other wonderful items. The colors were amazing but I refrained from purchasing color because I plan to do some dyeing of my own when I return home. I purchased the following:
-Two 8 oz bundles of Mystery Roving in Natural Shades of Browns & blacks from ---Fantasy Fibers. I could not pass up this bargain at $6 a bundle for 8 oz of roving.
-8 oz of White Merino Roving -A Cotton Spinning Kit with assorted cotton roving/raw fibers to experiment with from Woodland Woolworks. This also came with a Takhli supported spindle.
I really wanted to save my money for a fleece or two at the wool show.
But who can leave the BSG without a souvenir T-shirt. Mine was blue.

Events: Sheep to Shawl: There were four groups. Each group had their choice of the fibers and colors to make a shawl. From the wool fiber they carded, spun yarn and weaved it into a shawl in a few hours. Some groups were friendlier than others. It is unfortunate, they were cornered in an area where people had difficulty going to see them. I guess I am spoiled by the Lambstown Festival’s Sheep to Shawl where the guilds participating are interested in educating people on what they are doing. At Lambstown, people are allowed to ask questions without a barrier between them and the participants. The winning shawl by the Silverado Spinners was very lovely and this experienced group seems to have it most together and focused in their efforts.

The Fiber Arts show: The winning item Best in Show was a beautiful knitted lace shawl, well deserved. There was a felted vest with an underwater scene that was also very interesting.

Workshops: I didn’t attend any workshops but there were a few demonstrations at one end of the Trade show.

The Spinning Circle: On Saturday, many came to knit or spin. It grew in number as the day went on. I would have liked to join but I was afraid I would be late to the Wool fleece sale.

Wool Sale: Although Saturday was the official day of the sale of fleeces that were in competition, there were some very nice fleeces that were for sale and not in competition. I purchased a very nice black Romney/Cormo. A half hour before the Official wool sale on Saturday, they let people in to see the fleeces. There were over 100 fleeces to view. I jotted down a few that I wanted, just in case my first choice was snatched before I got there. They cleared the hall and everyone queued up with a warning of “No fighting, no running” or you will have to go to the end of the line. Actually, it was very civilized, but I wasted no time and headed straight for my first choice, grabbed it and headed for the finish line (the cash register). My prize was a beautifully clean white Corridale fleece with a 5” staple, which is big enough to make about three sweaters worth of yarn.

Food Opportunities: There was only one food vendor on site, which was disappointing but fortunately, we were able to come and go to nearby places. Some of notable mention was The Mission, a Mexican restaurant on Broadway St., and Cornucopia, which was a few blocks from the Fairgrounds. Both had excellent food. There was another place called Dickie Joe’s Diner, on 13th Street. It served Dogs and Burgers and Shakes to die for.

Farmer’s Market: This is a must see in Eugene on Saturday, the Farmer’s Market at 8th and Oak. This is a colorful arts and craft fair at the four corners of the street. There are a variety of musicians playing bluegrass, drumming and meditation music made horns and instruments one would think were homemade.The main theme seemed to be rainbow tie-dyed crafts and hippy style vendors in sandals. I was taken back to the 60s, where flower children roamed the streets, living off their crafts and talents going from place to place wearing backpacks, pushing peace signs in your face.

Husband: I’m glad I had this opportunity to visit Black Sheep Gathering with my husband. For the most part, he did well despite his condition. We consider this time a gift from God and from those who love us, who gifted us generously and prayed for us to enable this trip to happen. We are so humbled and grateful for the painfree moments W. had. Only on the last day of our trip did he feel so uncomfortable, he needed some medication for relief. Although, he seemed to relapse somewhat, it was nice and a blessing to capture an additional memory with him.