We're home, unpacked, my wheel is back home and our hundreds of photos have been sorted; here's my BSG (Black Sheep Gathering) experience.
I was there about 9:15am Friday morning and was happily surprised to find few cars in the Fairgrounds parking lot and no charge for parking.
There were three rooms of vendors in the Trade Show.
There were a few names I knew from shopping on line; Woodland Woolworks, Crown Mountain Farms, Carolina Homespun.
Several vendors that I had only heard of Blue Moon Fiber Arts (Socks that Rock) and many people that were the grower, processor and sales force of their own fleece and yarn - I learned so much from talking to them.
Spinning wheels were everywhere, most I recognized but there were a few worth pictures. One woman was selling a cherry wood reproduction wheel that was made for two. This was the most gorgeous wheel I've ever seen.
I never ask the price.
Then there was the woman sitting off to the side spinning on this small 6 lbs. aluminum wheel.
She told me that it's a Frank Herring and Son's wheel from England. She bought it back in the 1970's. I googled and there's a website place holder page that says you can request a catalog - which I did.
Ed note: 7/5/07, I've heard back and this wheel is sadly no longer sold. Frank Herring and Son's is an artist supply company; they were only the retail seller. If anyone knows anything else about the wheel please contact me at: tcty AT yahoo DOT com
After several hours in the Trade Show I went in search of The Photographer who had spent his time in the Sheep Barns.
There was some fabulous fleece on the hoof.
Outside there was a woman explaining sheep shearing which turned out not to be a demo , it was a class that you had to sign up for.
I knew that a woman from my Spinning Class here in San Diego, California was attending the show but with the size of the place I never expected to run into her but we did. That's Wendy in the brown shirt. (Hi Wendy, Sorry we never could get together during the show.)
This is a Jacob Sheep, I believe. (As with everything else - I'm bad with names.)
The Fairgrounds also was hosting an Alpaca Show across the parking lot.
I had never heard Alpaca hum before.
The Alpace show was held in a dirt floor building. As you see some were standing on the dirt while other exhibitors had their stalls carpeted
I did buy one half of an alpaca fleece (Isaiah) from Shepard's Pastures. Hadn't planned on buying Alpaca but this was the best silver gray color I've ever seen - couldn't resist. (If you click on their website you can scroll down and see Isaiah.)
Saturday morning I returned by myself while The Photographer rested his back. I spent another hour or so in the Trade Show and was surprised to see how much had been sold the day before. After lunch I walked over to the Wool Sale for the preview.
There were several hundred bags there each with a whole fleece! Spinner's Heaven!
The Wool Cup winner was a black Weslydale fleece that was so shiny I had to touch it to make sure it wasn't covered in oil - it wasn't. It was just that shiny and beautiful.
After the half hour viewing they made everyone leave and form a line outside. Groups of people formed squads each person with a fleece objective, when the doors opened they RAN in to get their appointed fleece. Unfortunately for me, the group directly in front of me was after the same couple of gray fleece that I had my eye on. Not knowing the routine I was late to the tables as I only walked quickly; my original slections were all gone before I got there.
I still found a nice varigated gray Rambouillet and a second place winning white Corredale fleece.
(Why were there so many white fleeces in a show that is primarily for colored fleece sheep? Never found the answer to that question.)
Sunday morning I took my Spinning Class but that will be another post. We had planned to attend the Junior Wool Show but The Photographer and his back couldn't take another day of walking around. Sigh...