Black Sheep Gathering ’13

A new post was about half-done last night when we began having a sporadic internet connection so I saved it as a draft and went to bed. Now it is gone, except for the title. šŸ˜¦

Arriving home in a pouring rain Sunday evening we grabbed only the essentials and dashed into the house, leaving everything else locked in the car and camper to be unloaded in what we hoped would be a drier morning. While traipsing multiple times from camper to house while unloading we noticed the pie cherries were ripe and at that stage that needed immediate attention. So much for resting the day following a very successful, very tiring show. When the rain let up about noon Ed hauled out the 6′ ladder, I found the picking pails and twine then climbed the ladder while Ed picked the cherries he could reach while standing.

Six hours later 20 pounds of cherries were picked and pitted. Half were in the food dehydrator, the other half gleaming inside quart jars; canned and waiting for the lids to ping.

This regal Rambouillet ram seems a fitting mascot for this year’s BSG. He was one grand fellow!
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Black Sheep surpassed our expectations, especially with the Great Wheel. We knew there would be lots of interest so we hired Allison to help in the booth in order that I’d be freed up for demonstrating and helping people give it a spin, and to enable Ed to have time to talk with people about his products. Ha! For the first three hours Friday morning all three of us were behind the sales table almost the entire time trying to process purchases as quickly as possible. After that initial rush things did slow down a bit though we continued to stay busy for most of the show. As we headed to our camper shortly after closing at 6pm I suddenly realized a handful of nuts was the only thing I’d eaten since having a toasted English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast.

I loved having the opportunity to finally meet some people who’d been customers for a number of years. Gail first started using our spindles around 2006 or ’07. She and a friend rode Amtrak from Iowa to attend BSG and visit other friends.
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Jude came down from British Columbia while Lillian hopped over from a town just south of Eugene. Lillian came bearing a jade plant potted with a cute ladybug for our booth. So nice to have a green plant gracing the table along with the spindles! It now seems to be enjoying the east window in our living room.

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I’m hopelessly horrible with remembering names and faces, especially when we see so many over the course of a few days. It’s wonderful to have a few more entrenched in my memory. I was dismayed to realize that I didn’t get a picture of Susan, another customer from San Diego who I would have loved to have spent more time with. Or … oh dear, what is her name? The woman from Los Cruces, New Mexico who represented their active spinning group. I think almost every member of that group has at least one Jenkins spindles. They were so sweet to gift me with my treasured Bristlecone nostepinne back in 2010. We are so blessed by such an abundance of wonderful customers!

On the backside of our booth was the delightful Michele of Toots LeBlanc yarns. Someday I will buy some of her yarn to make myself a vest from a pattern I bought years ago. I’m exercising restraint only because there are four, no five projects in various stages that I’m determined to complete before buying any more yarn. Sunday morning she handed Ed a spindle she’d decided it was time to destash. A wonderful, unique spindle! Just look at this big baby!
Black Sheep Gathering 13 038Michele will send us the name of maker when she tracks it down, until then it’s a mystery spindle. If any reader recognizes it please leave a comment. It is exquisitely made, the workmanship superb.

Evanita was another person whom I was happy to finally meet! She’s EWM on Ravelry, head captain of this year’s Tour de Fleece. What! You haven’t joined yet? Click on over and sign on with Team Jenkins! The fun begins this Saturday and continues throughout the Tour de France bicycle race.

Black Sheep Gathering 13 036Evanita is not only a terrific moderator, captain and photographer but she’s a great spindler! She started spinning with her new Egret only the evening before. Look at her beautiful, laceweight spinning.
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I think his name is Tom. He is a master with the Great Wheel, not only in handling it but knowledgeable and he built one for his wife. Out of yew wood. (Be still my heart!) He made spinning with the GW look so effortless that some of the people watching him wanted to give it a try and were shocked to find it wasn’t as intuitively easy as he made it look. Watching Tom, as well as another woman whose name I didn’t get, I now understand why many refer to it as a dance. There is a lovely effortless choreography to the back and forth rhythm of the long-draw stepping back and forward walk as the wheel winds the newly spun yarn onto the spindle.

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Ed’s second wheel was such a dream to spin on! What a difference the double-drive Miner’s Head makes compared to the direct drive of the Maiden Head that is on GR#1, which resides in our living room. Saturday afternoon two women stood outside the booth watching the action and talking together. One then the other gave it a try. And fell in love.

Sunday afternoon Ed showed them how to dismantle and put it back together then helped them load it into a truck headed for its new home far away. They are business partners raising fiber animals. It will be put to great use!
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Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Great Wheels aka Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing my fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays we try to set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

3 thoughts on “Black Sheep Gathering ’13”

  1. I’m sorry I missed it but I probably wouldn’t have gotten more than a quick hug from you anyway. šŸ˜‰ Love those new Egrets!

  2. I would LOVE to have tried that Great Wheel….some day!
    Glad all went well at BSG. WOW, that is a BLACK SHEEP!
    Sorry to miss all the fun…..there is always “next year”……
    enjoy the cherries!

  3. It was so wonderful to meet you Ed and Wanda along with everyone else I got to meet and chat with at BSG. It was amazing to wander around and see so many Jenkins Spindles spinning around and to think all made by Ed. I’m looking forward to next year.

    That’s perfect timing that the cherries were ripe as you got back home. I’m sure you’ll have many delicious baked cherry foods to come. šŸ™‚

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