Skip to content

Black Sheep Gathering

Where it’s most certainly all about the wool. Black Sheep Gathering at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene Oregon where it has been for the last 21 years since 1989.  The very first gathering was in 1974 and was a yearly potluck for sheep people ( breeders and consumers) to get together meet, share, create community and sell. And you know 36 years later all of us woolly types are still showing up to meet, share, compare notes. commiserate, show our sheep and our fleeces and our yarns and our talents. That small town tightly knit community potluck atmosphere permeates the whole event. Along with a tradition the highest caliber of teachers, breeders, judges, vendors, knitter, spinner, weaver… all fibery type people and critters.

I’ll never forget when I got my letter saying I had finally gotten into to be a vendor after applying for years. (Yes, there is a wait list. ) I was so excited and maybe just a bit nervous. Getting that booth at Black Sheep was one of those defining career moments for me. I felt validated and like maybe I had found a whole lot more of my people.

I remember every single detail about that weekend from setting up to breaking down and those memories still hold true today. 

Black Sheep is a tradition for a whole lot of us in a time where traditions are forgotten, ignored or reinvented.  Growth and change are good and so are traditions, especially time honored ones like BSG, that obviously work.


I have to have serious firm discussions with myself every single gathering about how I don’t have time for a sheep or two or forty. My absolute favorites all the time are the Wensleydale breeds. I just love them. The one in the header pic here almost got me. Then the voice of reason stepped in and all she had to say this time was Sock Summit and then the hysterical laughter ensued.

I escaped the booth a couple of times to listen to Judith MacKenzie judge the fleeces.  I wish I could’ve sat there and listened the whole time or recorded her, so I could play it over again and again. Judith knows so much and imparts her woolly wisdom with such grace and heart. I’ve listened to fleece judging before with really good judges and learned a lot. It’s the heart and soul that Judith brings to her work that adds in the extra something for me.  And… I was lucky enough ( I swear I did not elbow that rancher out of my way.) to purchase 8 of those prize fleeces. I don’t even feel the least bit guilty or like a fleece pig. Nope not at all.

Aren’t they lovely?


As with every show we do it’s all the people that make it so much fun.  Seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  Lovely moments. Like the husband below comfortable enough with who he is to hold his wife’s very purple purse while she shopped in our crowded booth.

imageimageimageimageimageimage image

We usually notice a knit trend or two and this time surprisingly enough ( it is June after all) it is still the lovely February Lady. She certainly has some wicked staying power, this one does.


I got sock flashed a good deal which just never ever gets old I love it so much.  Also very interesting to explain to a nonknitter.  This recently happened at Whole Foods while I was in line paying and the checker just could not get over it.  A story for another time.

All in all a really wonderful Gathering. So good to see so many familiar lovely faces. As always thank you for your support and knitterly goodness.

I usually don’t purchase much at shows. That time thing again. I certainly made up for it this time though. I’ll post those on Friday because I seriously scored some crazy goodness.

I blame the weaving.


The lovely scarf is Daybreak by Stephen West and was knit by Dawn in Pond Scum And Rollingstone Str.

  1. NancyN #

    Thanks for sharing! 

    I never knew that I could drool over a photo of bags of fleece.

    November 30, -0001
  2. When I clicked on the picture of the sheep judging, I swear I heard a “baaa” behind me!

    November 30, -0001
  3. Hazel Smith #

    Do February Lady sweaters ever get old? I wonder if I’ll succumb and make one myself some day. 8 fleeces, Tina? 8 fleeces? The mind boggles. Do you process these yourself or does someone else do it for you? “You’re a better man than I”, Gunga Din.

    November 30, -0001
  4. I love the picture of Yvonne.  One of my favorite shows, thank you for the recap!

    November 30, -0001
  5. Joan #

    I’m in love with the golden/multi shawl or scarf.  Any ideas what it is or to whom it might belong?

    November 30, -0001
  6. linda #

    Loved Black Sheep again this year. I seriously loved the two sheep by the entry way and my friend Janita just smiled at me and shook her head. I do love in the city so the was no way I could purchase some plus I had no idea what kind of sheep they were. Now thanks to the blog I can tell my sister who lives in the country in Washington state. She will laugh and laugh. Thanks.

    November 30, -0001
  7. Alice in the Heartland #

    Iowa Sheep and Wool must be what BSG was like all those years ago. Small intimate and lots of fun. Maybe someday I’ll get to visit the grown up version in Oregon. Loved seeing some friends and your stash enhancement. So glad you got to have some time off for you. Hugs, Alice

    November 30, -0001
  8. You made me weak in the knees!

    glad you had fun!

    November 30, -0001
  9. dawn #

    Oh my gosh!!  I thought you were taking a picture of the shawl, not me too!!


    That pond scum is pretty awesome and so is the Daybreak pattern.

    Thanks for letting me show it off.  It’s one of my most favourite pieces I’ve knit!

    November 30, -0001
  10. Dawn’s shawl is just gorgeous!! Imagine the STR possibilities!!  So glad you had a great time….makes me want to start planning for OFFF!

    November 30, -0001
  11. I love these pictures!  The fleeces, Lisa, and Sivia too!  Please show us some day what becomes fo the fleeces. If you end up dying and knitting them:)

    November 30, -0001
  12. virginia g #

    Thanks for the pictures, almost makes me think I was there. This was the first year in a long time I was unable to go and I really missed seeing all the wonderful fibers and animals. But it would be difficult to explain why I couldn’t be at our grandson’s first birthday, they just wouldn’t understand.

    November 30, -0001

Comments are closed.