Monday, October 05, 2009


Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival
September 25, 26, 27, 2009

Possibly the best fiber festival in Washington and Oregon, including Black Sheep Gathering. OFFF is smaller, chattier, friendlier and more relaxed, perhaps because it's got 'festival' in the title. There are women spinning on the lawn all day long, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, sheep and goats, alpaca and rabbits being judged, singers and musicians entertaining us, food vendors with lamb and chicken and homemade cakes and pastries, fund raisers selling cold drinks to the parched shoppers and lots and lots of smiles. I didn't see one cranky person and we're happy to report that Tina of Blue Moon finally figured out that we're sisters. She did not have to confess that, either, which makes it even funnier.

This year we decided to camp out and save our disposable $$ for fiber and gas. Camping in a tent is $12./night vs $52.+ tax at the nearby DaysInn, so we saved approximately $100.00. We camped out in the back by the racetrack, under the pines. There were less than a dozen campers and room for at least 40 so it was pleasantly uncrowded and quiet, except for the trains. Lots of trains, all night until about 3:00am Saturday morning. Not far away, either. Close, loud trains.

Knitting at the campsite
Cold breakfastEvanne and Del were right next door.We took our chairs and wheels out to
the sunny spot for a few hours.
On the back lot, camping in a tent meant no running water and no electricity and the portapotty was 50' to 200 yards away, depending on where one decides to set up. We borrowed the tent, the cots and the lantern but had about everything else ~ not unlike the Knitters Retreat but we didn't take as much because we stayed only two nights. The weather was high 60's to mid 70's during the day but mid 40's to low 50's at night so we did a lot of layering. We packed the ice chest with everything from the frig that we could use cold (no stove) and bought coffee from one of the vendors. Also, Del, our next door neighbor at the campsite, shared his coffee with us. Thanks Del! He and Evanne brought Tazo and Tuesday, the Dobies, who were extremely entertaining.

Across the racetrack was the Irish Wolfhound dog show, an annual event the same weekend. Here's Del, taking time out to watch the Wolfhounds across the field ~ waaaay out there. You can see them if you embigify the photo & squint.

We did a tiny bit of stash enhancement. Yes, we did.

Crown Mountain Purple Rain
Corriedale Cross, 8 oz
Chinchilla blend
This white below is the same blend as
Mt. Colors Bearfoot
We bought 2.5 lbs
'cause we're going to make us some socks!
A little undyed sock yarn
from Woodland Wool Works
80% Merino, Cashmere 10%, Nylon 10%
378 yards and some from
Great Balls of Fiber

100% Blue Face Leicester Sock yarn 450 yards.
And some fleece.
Yes, we have succumbed to, nay, embraced buying fleece but in all fairness only because we admit to being: A) powerless against fleece since we discovered that we don't have to process it ourselves and 2) cheap and thrifty and 8 pounds of fleece for $25 is VERY thrifty.

Photos of the two thrifty bags full of fleece, one white Rambouillet and one brown Coopworth/Corriedale Cross? No, that would have taken planning and forethought. But here is a little bit of each that we kept back from Superior Carding:

Evanne and Peggy
shopping at the Parking Lot Fleece Sale

Then there was a 3.8 lb rose gray alpaca fleece which we couldn't pass up and we found another, much smaller 1.4 lb rose gray, so similar to the first that we had to get it, too. They need just a little cleaning of veggie matter before we send them to Superior for processing, but we don't mind that part. It's the washing and carding that we object to. Superior is very handy, being in Edmonds, just down the street, practically.
3.8 lb Rose Gray Alpaca fleece
1.4 lb Rose Gray Alpaca fleece
On Sunday we were cruising the main building for vendors we hadn't noticed before and found some cochineal dye and the mordant to enable it:

We had the best time at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this year. It was the fourth time we've been, our first time camping. Usually we would drive to Canby for the day, packing the van with 2 or 3 other friends, leave at 6am and be back by 6pm. This year was our camping experiment and we will do it again, for sure.


Ryan said...

I was JUST thinking about you two yesterday and wondering how it went! Thanks for the detailed posting. Except for the trains, the camping sounds great. Good thinkin'.

The rose-grey fleece is spectacular. Can't wait to see what you do with it. Do you think you'll dye it, or leave it as is?

Jody said...

Rose grey is my personal favourite of all the natural colours of alpaca! I recently knit a lace scarf with some rose grey alpaca and seasilk that I blended on my drumcarder.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I have never been to OFFF. Maybe next year! Your stash enhancement looks great, have fun with it!

Rabbitch said...

Great to see you there.