Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival 2013

Here we are, another Monday dawning wet and windy after a wild & stormy weekend here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. We had no significant damage in the park; some of my friends on the Coast were not so lucky. Winds in excess of 50 mph blew well over an inch of rain sideways (why can’t I find any data on exactly how much rain fell and what the peak winds were? Any ideas where to look?) Staying inside with a nice pot of potato soup was a very good idea, but this die-hard fiber fanatic was on the road Saturday morning to Canby, Oregon for the 17th annual Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. Believe it or not, I attended the very first OFFF back in ’96 and I can tell you from experience that it has grown by leaps and bounds!

Crazy Helper Dog and I got very lucky on the drive North and had no problems with rain, but the wind was whipping the big trucks around so much we had to wonder why they didn’t just pull over and wait it out. There were some white-knuckle moments but we made it in one piece and the journey was well worth the risk.

The outside vendors (hearty souls, indeed) had their pop-ups triple staked and the sides lashed down as tight as they could and the wind was whipping them about alarmingly. For all the rain showers and blustery winds, they were still doing brisk business, the Wooly Bears dashing from booth to booth, their purchases wrapped in plastic bags, laughing all the way.

The atmosphere was remarkably cheerful and remarkably crowded. I’ve never had to park as far away as I did this year. The main pavilion was a mass of talking, laughing, pointing and picture taking humanity, many of the booths spending hours at a time so overrun with people that one had to keep circling back in the hope of getting a peek inside. It was mayhem of the very best kind.

There were many inspiring entries into the various competitions as well as weaving demonstrations going on upstairs.

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This lovely hand felted cape won for it’s division, but not the overall prize – a sad omission, IMHO. The workmanship was superb, the fabric incredibly soft and the beading perfect. The lining was made entirely of money – bills from many countries.

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This cape was all about the maker’s Journey. There were several spirals made up of painstakingly perfect needle felted poems.

The themes of this year’s festival was Angora Rabbits and Dyeing and everywhere you looked was evidence of some very skilled artists. Of this hooked rug the artist says:

My brother is a professor of Oceanic and Fishery Sciences at University of Washington. In 1973 he found and named this fascinating angler fish from the pitch black depths of the ocean, where bio-luminescence is the light of day. The female is brightly colored, with large sharp teeth that snag the prey she lures with a bright light at the end of her tentacle. Her “husband” is a nondescript parasitic male which attaches himself to her body for his life. She nurtures him and he provides sperm for the next generation.

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I’m relying on Awana to fill in the blanks about names – I totally suck because I did not take notes 😦

Crochet works were everywhere, including this class winner, hand-dyed in shades of green:

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My picture does not do this shawl justice – free-form crochet all along the yoke in patterns that evokes the feeling of a flower garden under the sea.

This hand knit shawl won the Judge’s Choice award:

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The yarn was incredibly fine wool, perfectly spun and knit into a very old lace pattern whose name escapes me at the moment…

This tableau did not get the respect it deserved:

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The entire scene is needle felted and tells the story of an angora rabbit who is cold after being sheared. The angora goat dyes yarn spun by the cashmere goat who sits at the spinning wheel that really does work.

The workmanship was exquisite, each curly lock on the mohair goat a perfect spiral. The sheep are different breeds and you can see how detailed the features are.

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You can see the little white bunny snuggles up to the brown sheep, who is knitting him a pair of pants to the left. A white sheep cards wool while the dyed skeins dry on a rack.

Just gorgeous!

Of course there were sheep:

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An adorable Shetland ewe

And goats of all kinds:

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One of the residents at Goat Knoll Farm

This goat doesn’t even look real:

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No idea what breed this goat is, but its hair was long and straight and it almost looked like it’s face was shaved. It looks like it belongs in a Fairy Tale…

And lots of angora rabbits, but they were mobbed with people ooohhh-ing and aaaahhhhh-ing all over them – not great picture taking conditions.

There was yarn and fiber of all kinds, but that will have to wait for another post. It’s late and I am DONE. More about my haul tomorrow. Or, you know, Wednesday. Or whenever. Did I say I’m tired?

4 responses

  1. […] details over at Starting Over Designs. The narc did not ruin the Festival for me, I’m happy to say A good time was had by all. Too […]

  2. Awana did not get the name, sadly. I was, however, touched by all the entries that were made for family members, such as the Star Wars themed sweaters for granchildren (more intricate than you can imagine!) and the sweater made for a niece who works for the forest service with bird patterns and carefully thought out forest colors. True artistry, true craftmanship, true skill; sheer devotion.

    1. I haven’t gotten to that post, yet, and fear I may have deleted my pics! Copied to the thumb drive, and back again and I think they may be gone! Sob!

  3. I am crossing my fingers for pics–I got some good ones, but no bunnies–how dumb!!!!

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