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.
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.
Crochet works were everywhere, including this class winner, hand-dyed in shades of green:
This hand knit shawl won the Judge’s Choice award:
This tableau did not get the respect it deserved:
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.
Of course there were sheep:
And goats of all kinds:
This goat doesn’t even look real:
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?