Pacific Northwest Fiber Shows
The Pacific Northwest has a wide variety of interesting fiber and related events, I'd love to see you there. I do like to attend or teach at events, so you may see me in a class, or simply out and about ... check Ask The Bellwether's Facebook Page for details on upcoming events.
St. Distaff's Day, Everett WA. First Saturday after January 1. Vendors, spinning circles.
Madrona Fiber Arts Festival, Tacoma WA. President's Day Weekend. Workshops, vendors, and spinning/knitting areas.
SpinDrifters Spin-in, Fairhaven Middle School, Bellingham WA. Mid-March. Vendors, spinning circles.
Camp Burton, Vashon Island, mid-March. Vendors, spinning circles.
Whidbey Island Spin-in, early weekend in April, Oak Harbor High School, Oak Harbor, WA. A unique open workshop format. Vendors.
Shepherd's Extravaganza, mid-April, in Puyallup, WA. A great weekend show! One of my favorites for buying raw fleece. Vendors, workshops, animals, demos, spinning circle.
Shepherd's Festival in Sequim, Memorial Day (end of May). Usually at the Sequim Prairie Grange. A fun local show with a variety of vendors and demonstrations of animals, spinning and weaving all day.
NWRSA Conference, usually the first weekend in June. Location varies. 2012 Tacoma WA, 2013 Pineville WA ("Idaho"), 2014 Salem OR. Workshops, vendors, spinning circles.
Palouse Fiber Festival a brand new exciting fiber festival in Moscow, Idaho, June 13-15. I am really looking forward to my workshops there, which include Travelling with Turkish Spindles, Diameter Control on Spindles, and Efficient Weaving on the Rigid Heddle. See you there!
Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR, third weekend in June. Workshops, vendors, animals, demos, spinning circles, camping!
Jefferson County Fair in Port Townsend, WA, second weekend of August. There is often a sheep to shawl at this fun local county fair. The Home Arts building has lovely handspun, woven, and knitted items and more!
Clallam County Fair in Port Angeles, WA, third weekend of August. The local spinners demo on the Saturday in the Home Arts building, where their lovely finished items and skeins will be on display, hidden under a bevy of blue ribbons!
Olympic Peninsula Fiber Farm Tour in Jefferson County, WA, middle of September. Workshops, vendors, animals, farms.
Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby, OR, end of September. Workshops, vendors, animals, demos, spinning circles, camping!
North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival first weekend of October in Sequim, WA. Vendors, demos, workshops, juried fiber art show.
Fiber Fusion Northwest in Monroe, WA, mid-October. Workshops, vendors, animals.
Circular Sock Machine Retreat, November weekend after Thanksgiving, Lacey WA. A fun, "cranky" weekend! If you are into sock machines, look into it!
Fiber Processing Mills
Places I've had fiber processed (all with good results):
Ohio Valley Natural Fibers: sent them several large, greasy Romney fleeces and got back wonderful pin-drafted, clean roving that was great for the learn to spin kits.
Zeilinger Wool Company: sent them several rounds of VMy and/or muddy California Red fleeces, always get back lovely soft, clean, VM-free roving.
Wooly Knob Fiber Mill: the spinner's friend, these guys will keep a fleece to itself and give you back clouds of soft roving. They've done some of the one-fleece runs for Amelia's Mill as well as the Shetland/Alpaca roving.
Stonehedge: lovely to work with, did a great job dealing with my VMy llama, and made a nice blend of llama/CVM wool for me.
Morro Fleece Works: wow! hands down the best there is, very worth it for your fine Cormos and Merinos that might nep on the other mills' machines.
There are other mills on my to-try list, because I like seeing how each operates and what type of roving they produce. I'd recommend all three of the above mills, and I'm sure I'll use them again in the future. There may be a newer mill near you -- check out their finished work on a fleece similar to yours, to help decide if they can process your fleeces.
Great gifts for spinners
(besides fiber, grin!)
Full Moon Candle Company ... hand-poured candles made right here on the Olympic Peninsula!
XS Baggage & Co. ... terrific handbags and phone/tablet cases
West Coast Sea Glass ... lovely sea glass jewelry
Unique As You ... find your inner superhero
Tea Time Garden ... lovely hand-blended teas!
There are many interesting discussion forums about spinning, fiber, dyeing, nalbinding, felting, knitting, crochet and other crafts. Many can be found at Yahoo! Groups, Ravelry and Facebook.
Weavolution is a terrific place to find discussions on all things weaving.
If you're interested in specific fiber animals, there are lists for Shetlands, Llamas, and many more. Ravelry.com, Facebook, and Yahoo groups a great places to look for lists, or ask folks on a related list.
I recommend the Google search engine for finding material on a specific topic.
Rare Sheep Breed Information
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has a very good website on rare breeds in the USA. Oklahoma State University lists all breeds of sheep, with information and pictures.
There are many farms working to preserve historical breeds; some on the web that are working to preserve the extremely rare Hog Island Sheep breed are Accokeek, Gunston Hall, and Mt. Vernon.
The United Kingdom's Rare Breeds Survival Trust lists the breeds that are rare in the U.K. Rare Breeds Canada lists the breeds that are rare or of interest in Canada. There is a list in Germany of many of the European sheep breeds at the EAAP Animal Genetic Databank.
WebRings ... a way to wander the internet
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