One of my good friends, Hope, is a quilter who also likes books and watching the occasional rodeo. Her birthday usually lands close to the weekend of the annual rodeo happening in a town that also has a fabulous quilt store ,with part of it devoted to yarn; several bookstores, used and new – one that not only has all sorts of books but a corner devoted to buttons of all sizes and colors, the best place to buy buttons in town; an inviting log-framed coffee shop with a huge fireplace at one end; antique stores and all manners of boutiques, including an alpaca shop . As a shop devoted to all things alpaca managed by a man who’d just set up a four shaft floor loom and once he’d discovered I could weave asked all sorts of questions about tying up and threading. He loved weaving scarves and runners (for sale) on a ridge heddle loom and decided it was time the bigger loom to do bigger, more complex weaving. The past several years we four friends have scheduled the time away from work and normal responsibilities to stroll the streets, peruse the stores and spend time together in the town of Sisters before attending the rodeo.
Last year we decided that as relaxing as two nights away were, wouldn’t three be better? By late December new 2010 calendars were consulted, scheduling arrangements made and the reservation for lodging secured. As the cold, seemingly endless spring crept into June we started praying for the weather to clear off and the sun to appear for more than a day. A layer of grey, damp marine air slowlydissapated each of the friends in turn loaded their gear in the car. By the time the Grace was handing out lunch munchies, as we gained altitude in the mountain pass, the sky had become a brilliant blue.
We’d booked a condo/apartment just a mile from the downtown, a perfect distance for getting great daily exercise as we collectively or alone went back and forth along the road that wound through a quiet residential section. (Sisters has a population of less than 4000 but bulges at the seams with tourists.)
(If I continue in this manner the post will become a book!)
We feasted, lolled in the sun, swam in the outdoor pool and fully enjoyed the respite from the busyness of life.
Sunday afternoon: Rodeo Time
The theme was something like, “Courage to Wear Pink” with buckets passed through the grandstands for Breast cancer research.
This horse had a mind of his own, I’d very much like to ride him.
I’ve never seen so many cowboys wearing pink.
Bring on the Bison! (there’s still a few shaggy patches of what’s commonly known as Buffalo fiber for spinning)
While I like watching an occasional rodeo I much prefer watching someone handling a horse where the two are working together based on a well developed relationship and understanding. This man had such a relationship with his mule – his preferred mount when working with bison. He has only one arm and mainly directed the mule with his feet, seat and voice rather than with reins and bit. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him working with his mule to herd the two bison, who did not want to co-operate.
My Turkish Lark , Chatter, kept wanting to see some of the cowboy action, I think he thought he could spin on horseback quite handily. Maybe someday.
There’s been spinning and knitting and trying my hand with a raw fleece. Lots of fibery stuff to catch up with as well as other happenings in life. I really do need to post more often!
In the meantime: Tomorrow the grandkids are coming for an overnight visit! It will be sooo good to see little Feather and Gus again.
Whew, Black Sheep Gathering was an exhausting blast! From the moment the doors opened Friday morning we were kept on our toes. A big thanks to Woodland Woolworks who shared the section of their booth which faced the front doors. The days sped past in a blur of faces, names and showing how to use Turkish spindles. (Sadly it is a blur. I wish I could remember people’s names and faces and that I’d been more aware of the bigger picture. When playing high school basketball I marveled at my best friend’s “court sense”. Her scope of perception of everything happening: where the ball was, how each player was moving and a sense of what was about to happen, made me realize that I was a very myopic player – only able to focus on the small peripheral. With few exceptions I’ve never been able to sharpen my awareness to include details in wider surroundings.)
My niece who lives in Eugene stopped by and ended up hanging out until almost closing. She even learned how to spin, mostly by observing as we demonstrated to people over and over. Here she is with her first small ball of spun and plyed yarn.
The day sped by so quickly that we scarcely took a moment for nourishment until midafternoon when I was staggered to realized how late it’d gotten. By the time we packed up for the evening my voice was practically gone. We spent a pleasant dinner time with Jim and Pam of Herndon Creek Farms, also vendors at BSG. Saturday we paid more attention to eating occasional handfuls of almonds or some dried fruit, a bagel with cream cheese and getting enough water.
Charlotte of Superior Fibers stopped by several times, first to test a kuchulu to see if it would give her messed up shoulder any problems, then to chat and update us on her progress. It would have been wonderful if we could have just wandered off to some corner to chat and spin together. She took right to spinning alpaca on her kuchulu without problems from her shoulder.
Around mid-morning Sunday there was a bit of a lull so I grabbed the camera for a quick walk about and stopped to watch a shetland sheep class. This boy was not only super cute and charming but the condition of his sheep’s fleece impressed the judge enough to win first place.
I chatted with a few vendors, bought some roving to send with spindles (No, not for myself! There’s plenty enough begging to be spun.) before scurrying back to our table where it appeared that Ed had learned well my spinning spiel of the past couple days. He was deftly demonstrating how to spin!
A regular spinning party going on!
Woodland Woolworks were fantastic booth mates! We hope they’ll be willing to let us have this arrangement with them again next year – except, with more advanced notice. Or perhaps I’ll have to stash away a few spindles from time to time against the next show.
Remember the singles on the spindle in the last post? Finished. ca 200 yards 3-ply, Schoppel Wolle -Merino. I haven’t decided yet what to make my d-i-l: handwarmers, neckwarmer/small scarf or a hat.
I have been spinning, and spinning and spinning. Finished up one project that took a year to complete. Well, most of that time it was tucked out of sight. Almost finished the singles from another Limegreenjelly roving for a special project. I’m at the point where I can hardly wait to start plying and move onto the next spinning project. I seriously contemplated joining Tour de Fleece for a 4th year in a row but this morning decided it would be fool-hardy. With so much on my plate these past six weeks I haven’t dropped by Ravelry very often, mostly to keep my International Moleskine Exchange group updated. One of these day there will be a block of time alloted to catch up with all the other forums that I’ve sadly neglected. In the meantime there’s knitting and a garden and a fleece begging for attention.
The other adventures in June were a rodeo get-away, and my dear friend from high school days stopping by for a visit. More on those next time.