Henry & Roy Clemes Workshop Spotlight!
Henry & Roy Clemes are here to tell you about their "Exploring the Drum Carder" class for 2018! Henry and Roy were also at BSG at 2017 with this same workshop. Their favorite part of teaching at BSG is "seeing the diversity of the students - they come from all over the west coast and from different backgrounds." With all that diversity, they are very conscious of their student's differing experience levels. What do you need to know before attending? "Nothing!" That's the beauty of Exploring the Drum Carder - we explain the what, how, and why of drum carding, and students also get plenty of hands-on experience. New students will gain an understanding of a process that is seemingly a mystery to most fiber artists. Experienced students who already understand the carding process will gain techniques and tips to make their carding more effective and efficient."
Henry and Roy have decades of experience between them. "Henry began working with fiber/textiles in the 1960's as a high school student, and Roy started in the early 1990's when he was in grade school." In fact, these two have spent so much time working together, that they say they are "almost indistinguishable over the phone, even to our family!" Like the sound of their workshop? We do, too! Join them at BSG 2018.
Get All Steamed Up with Debbie Ellis!
This is Debbie's third year teaching for BSG. When asked what she loves most about teaching, she said, "I enjoy sharing [my] knowledge with others and seeing their delight as they unwrap their colorful bundles of fibers and yarns. It is also gratifying to think that perhaps I have helped a person overcome a fear of dyeing by offering a format that makes the process fun, fulfilling, and encouraging, such that she/he will want to explore the process further. In addition, I have absolutely loved the support and assistance given by the workshop staff!"
When preparing for All Steamed Up, Debbie says to remember that "dyeing can open whole new worlds for their fiber activities, and that it need not be intimidating at all." More than anything, she hopes her students will be able to "delight in their results and [gain a] desire to pursue further dye studies, just as I did, from the first workshops that I attended."
So who is All Steamed Up meant for? Debbie says, "An inexperienced person will gain fundamental knowledge and learn good dye practices, with excellent results, and hopefully go home, excited to expand his/her knowledge. An experienced person will learn some interesting techniques for dyeing in a very small space, conserving water, and also a couple other surprises, hopefully!" So, like many BSG workshops, everyone can find something valuable in Debbie's class!
Parting words (for now) from Debbie: "The Pacific Northwest is a mecca for all things fiber, and it's been my good fortune to have learned from the brilliant teachers who reside here. I hope I can help others along these same lines. It is important to give back to this community."
JC Briar is back at BSG 2018!
Rosanne Speaks on BSG Love & Locker Hooking
This year Black Sheep Gathering welcomes back Workshop Instructor Rosanne Anderson of Cheney, Washington! Rosanne is teaching Fabulous and Fun Locker Hooking this year and has taught many years previously. Rosanne says her favorite part of teaching at BSG is both the variety of classes offered and the amazing students. "Plus," she says, "I always learn so much myself!" Rosanne has been working with fiber for over 20 years and the best part is, "When I create something and it actually works out and looks good!" For a little trivia, Rosanne shared that she spent many years in the Army where she not only served, but met her husband as well.
Preparing for Fabulous & Fun Locker Hooking
Rosanne says that the best thing a student can do before taking her course is to be patient with themselves. "Allow [yourself] to go at your own pace, ask questions, and enjoy the experience. You will get the hang of it sooner than you think."
Goals for Her Workshop
Rosanne hopes that her students will "leave class with an appreciation of their own talent and their wonderful creation. Locker Hooking goes pretty [quickly] and it's so easy to see your progress." She also says that "whether you're newer to fiber craft or well experienced, what you'll take away from this class is an appreciation for how quickly your stash will begin to disappear! Locker Hooking demands lots of yarn, so if you're a 'collector' you will appreciate the wonderful creativity of Locker Hooking and how quickly you'll need to
replace that stash."
Final Thoughts, for Now
"Congratulations to all of you who are attending BSG. I think you'll find, as I did, that this is one of the best shows and really a lot of fun. You MUST stay for the entire weekend in order to experience it fully. I've been know to wander around the vendors, fleeces, and animals way more than several times. It's a wonderful time for us fibery people!"
Interested in attending a BSG Class/Workshop? Check out the main site for more details. Registration will open in April and close the beginning of June. As always, last minute spots may open up so always check the workshops table during BSG to see if a spot becomes available.
I'm Judie Overbeek from Kalispell, Montana. I've been traveling to BSG [Black Sheep Gathering] for over 12 years to teach various spinning and dye classes. It's without a doubt my favorite place to teach for many reasons. Learners at BSG bring so much information with them that teaching is really fun, more of a dialog about whatever topic we're studying than a standard classroom setting. I enjoy the energy and enthusiasm of these learners, their curiosity, eagerness to discover new techniques and their delight in helping each other.
My journey began over 40 years ago when I traveled with my family to Australia to live for two years. I joined a guild there and learned to spin. I was immediately hooked. The women were generous with their homegrown fleeces and kept me well provided. After returning to the US, I met a young production weaver who was kind enough to mentor me for several years. I ultimately bought her four-harness loom and have woven and spun ever since. My husband asked me recently when I was going to quit. I said, "Never. This is what I do."
This year I am offering three classes: Shibori Dyeing, Diameter Control, and The Fabulous Boucles:
Diameter Control in spinning is a critical issue for beginning and intermediate spinners. This class will give you new tools for controlling the diameter of your singles from very fine to bulky. The techniques practiced can be used with most wheels. However, e-spinners may require some different ways to achieve these goals. Spinners in this class should be able to spin a consistent single strand and know how to change whorls and tension on their spinning wheel.
My first spinning wheel was an Ashford Traditional with only one whorl (bobbin pulley) so I had to learn to adjust myself in order to create various diameters. Fortunately, contemporary wheels are more accommodating and changing diameters is much easier than it was 40 years ago!
Though this class is shown as full, there could be some dropouts which would open up a space if you were interested. Ask about it when you check in.
I'm looking forward to the new venue in Albany and to meeting many enthusiastic spinners there.
Angora Pt. 2 with Sharon Chestnutt:
My name is Sharon Chestnutt and I am one of the Angora Goat Show chair-people along with Sandy Erpelding.
I attended my first BSG in 1985 in Cottage Grove as a mohair vendor and it was such a wonderful, welcoming event. I had spent a long cold winter in BC reading all of the BSN back issues and was so thrilled to actually be there. The next year I brought angora goats to exhibit and the following year we had a small show!!
I joined the BSG committee in 1988 to help put on the 1989 World Congress on Colored Sheep (and the Exotic Fiber Show since there was no room for goats!) and stayed on with the committee as the Angora Goat show chair.
I love working with this group. Everyone does their part to put on a great show year after year with a minimum of fuss.
The 1989 Exotic Fiber Show offered one of the first opportunities to show off the developing colored angora goat and there has been both colored and white angora shows at the BSG ever since. We are typically the largest show on the west coast. The angora goat exhibitors are a wonderful bunch and despite fierce competition, they are happy to help each other out. We love to share information and are happy to help out new breeders so come and join us.
This year we are excited about a new venue without slippery floors. We are hoping the animals will feel more a part of the show again as we will be closer to the other activities. We are also excited about a new class which will judge animals in fleece, shorn and then the fleece. It should be very interesting!
Meet Sandy Erpelding:
I'm Sandy Erpelding and I co-chair the Angora Goat Show with Sharon Chestnutt. I have raised angora goats since 1980, started showing at the BSG in 2000 and joined the committee in 2008. I love the BSG. It is the largest angora goat show on the west coast. I look forward to attending each year to show my goats and compare notes with my fellow angora goat producers. Typically, there are over 100 angora goats entered into 2 shows, white and natural colored. There is also a mohair show where mohair fleeces are judged and then offered for sale. It is an exciting and fun time for angora goat exhibitors.
This upcoming 2018 BSG offers us expanded space and modern amenities for exhibitors, vendors and attendees. I'm excited about the added space and I have high hopes that our angora goat show will be bigger and better than ever!
Janis Thompson attended the Black Sheep Gathering for the first time in 1989 in conjunction with the World Congress of Colored Sheep. It was the first year for BSG at the Lane County Fairgrounds and the Congress was held at the Eugene Hilton......That’s right The Hilton Hotel.
Many conversations and photos later, myself and a couple of friends ventured over to the Lane County Fairgrounds where I found my true love......WOOL! Whatever that rich smell was, I had to investigate......Fleece, okay (dung), Lanolin and the scent of my newfound passion.
It was a mesmerizing experience. Barn to Yarn Vendors everywhere, actual live sheep & goats in the barns, herding demonstrations, beautiful handmade garments in the Fiber Arts Show as well as hourly demonstrations. It was free admission, I remember thinking....when was the last time anything this wonderful was FREE? Most of the available products were natural colors like champagne, silver, dark greys, soft browns, chocolate & yes....BLACK! There were color descriptions like Emsket, Shaela, Mioget & Moorit.....I had no idea what this meant. The mystery would soon unfold.
My skill set was knitting and sewing, I knew nothing about raising fiber animals or how to spin fleece into useable yarn for weaving or other needle crafts. I found out there were also Workshops and made a note to be sure to sign up for the following year. In the meantime, I bought Spin Off magazine and a couple of breed books, plus “Hands On Spinning” by Lee Raven.
Wool was not alone, it came with many friends, Mohair, Silk, Bunny Fluff, Alpaca & Cashmere.
Thus began my very intimate relationship with all things fiber related.... It wasn’t long before I had a Spinning Wheel, Drop spindle, a bevy of tools & lots of spinning fiber! Since I’m an avid reader, the books started to populate my shelves with as much as I could find on Hand Spinning, Weaving, Felting, Dyeing and anything that even remotely related to fiber arts. I discovered that in addition to the Protein fibers there were PLANT fibers, Flax, Cotton, Soy, Ramie, Hemp.
The history of all fibers used to produce Ship Sails, Clothing & all Household goods is a constant source of inspiration for me. I continue to read and research this amazing journey of how the human race has used and often abused these beautiful natural resources. Primitive cultures and early humans were quite resourceful indeed and laid the groundwork for the burgeoning market for yarns that we enjoy today. We say that we are standing on the shoulders of giants.....indeed!
To continue my journey with the Black Sheep Gathering, I immediately volunteered for the organization and started as the Demonstration Coordinator for many years, then moved on to Marketplace & Vendor Chair. At present I am the Facilities Coordinator. This is exciting because we have moved our event to LINN County as of June 2018. Although the move is bittersweet, we are looking forward to a new, upgraded & more modern facility for the future BSG event.
The Black Sheep Gathering has evolved over time into the Premiere Fiber Arts Festival in the
Pacific Northwest. The Marketplace features an explosion of natural and brightly dyed fibers in every conceivable colorway. 165 Vendors with a huge variety of preparations, from clean bagged fleeces to finished hand spun yarns and finished goods now populate the booths.
The Wool show and sale has completely outgrown its former space with hundreds of fleeces being judged and sold annually. It is like a shark feeding frenzy when those doors open. Fleece judging is witnessed by hundreds of attendees each year and is a huge draw for BSG. The animal barns showcase many popular and some endangered and primitive breeds, you must visit the animals to get the full experience. Our talented Education team offers a wide variety of great workshops. Early registration is advisable as these fill up fast! It is an incredible joint effort of the all Volunteer staff to put this event together and so very Rewarding!!!
A big THANK YOU to all who contribute to making the Black Sheep Gathering possible.
Footnote: Janis Thompson teaches a variety of fiber related subjects, she can be found at
Eugene Textile Center in Eugene, Oregon & at various Festivals and Guild events.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
ETC: 541- 688-1565
Written by: Janis Thompson 11/29/2017
Meet Liz Hubbard - BSG Fleece Show Expert
The Black Sheep Gathering has one of the finest fleece shows anywhere, the best of the best. The judging is open to the public, and anyone interested in wool should sit part of a day watching the judging. The judged fleeces have been carefully screened by our judge. For Sale Only fleeces have not been checked for faults; there are many wonderful fleeces there, but it is up to the buyer to critic them.
This year what I'm most looking forward to is the new facilities. I'm super thrilled to see how it is all going to fall into place. This is undoubtedly going to be a year with chaos, but also high energy and excitement!
And so we begin...
Welcome to the official blog and interest site for Black Sheep Gathering! This year brings a lot of changes, including this new platform and a event site at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany, Oregon. Our goal with this blog and website is to share interviews, news, excitement, and information about Black Sheep Gathering all through the year. For now, bear with us as we get the site fully running. We'll be sharing more details very soon. Enjoy!