Monday, September 24, 2007


Bright and early we packed up and headed out for the 3 1/2 hour drive to Canby, Oregon and the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. This is one of the really good fiber festivals! So many vendors, and so many wonderful sheep!

The newly formed Gotland Sheep Breeders Association of North America has chosen to have our Annual General Meeting at OFFF. Canby is a fairly central location for most of the Gotland sheep breeders. This meeting found yours truly being elected President of the Association, after serving as Secretary for the previous year plus.

The GSBANA has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. We have approved Bylaws, a Breed Standard and Upgrading Rules. At OFFF, we approved our Recording and Registration process, completed assigning flock numbers and Charter memberships. Wow! We have the beginnings of a website. Have a look and see why we're so excited about these neat sheep. :-)

I saw so many long distance friends at OFFF, and didn't get a chance to really talk much to anyone! Lois, your sheep were beautiful - and congratulations on the show win! I got to fondle the fleeces in the show - lovely. I won't steal Michelle's thunder about her fleece - as long as she posts it soon! Brava and Braveheart were very cute and have awesome fleeces. :-) MaryBeth's ewe lamb was breathtaking! Carol Ronan's 75% Gotland lambs hold so much promise for the rest of us in years to come. Peggy (friend from the sheep AND dog world) had a wonderful Churro ram that won Best Primitive Ram, and I only got to say "hi" to Stephanie, one of my fellow AKC Tracking Judges - who also has Navajo Churros.

We took all of the Fair Fleeces - all 24 of them(!) - and offered them at the OFFF parking lot fleece sale on Sunday morning. Each one had an individual description, some washed locks, and most had a spun sample. I think that preparation helped a lot with sales. About half of them sold. The Finnsheep fleeces went the quickest, the covered fleece from Lindy was one of the first sold, and surprising (to me!) was how much interest there was in the Scottish Blackface fleeces - they were very nice. (I saved the best one for Kathy :-) There were quite a few Shetland fleeces for sale, and we only sold 3 of ours, which means I get to "play" with the left overs. :-)

One of the "left overs" was a very dark brown ram lamb fleece. "Next door" was a very dark brown alpaca fleece. When the sale was over, I looked up the alpaca folks and bought their very dark brown cria fleece. OooooOooooOoooo.... the washed fleece samples are drying now, so I can blend the two and see how it spins up. I think I've found dark brown for my Fair Isle "project".

Our one Gotland-Finn fleece sheared to date (from white ewe lamb - Bits) also didn't sell. heh... I'd priced it high, so if it sold, I wouldn't regret it so much. ;-) Many, many people came looking for Gotland fleeces. All loved the fleece, but not for $30 per pound. (Nooooo, I wouldn't buy it for that either!!!)

Just before we left, I had three of the fleeces micron tested. As I understand, this is the test that Texas A&M does, and only uses a small-ish lock of fleece. Bits tested at 27.1 micron, Hortense (the adult BFLxBL silver ewe - my future Elven cloak!) tested at 34 micron, and Gala the Scottish Blackface F1 UK ewe lamb tested at 34 micron. I was expecting these last 2 to test higher than that. Golly, we have a Shetland that grows a 34 micron fleece! It was interesting to see that Gala didn't have the double peak that I expected. It should show up in her adult fleece.

OH! I have other fibery news - a week ago I was spinning with the Moonspinners at the Puyallup Fair and an older couple stopped by with photos of the loom they're selling. It looked so good to me, that on Tuesday, I went by and bought it! It's now sitting in the living room awaiting Hortense's yarn, a plan for an Elven cloak, and a warp. :-) :-) :-)

(Wednesday and Thursday I went to Eastern Washington with the last 2 sheep bound for Alberta, and picked apples with my daughter "on the way" home, then Friday got ready to go to OFFF, then Sat/Sun at OFFF! That should almost catch you gentle readers up. The only thing left is Fair Results from Puyallup....)

- Franna


Kathy L. said...

It sounds like you've been having a ball, Franna! I am green and purple and blue, etc., with envy! OFFF sounds like a great thing to do next year for some traveler, eh? ;)

Way to go!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I missed getting to see and talk with you more, but we were all running a little crazy. Congrats(?) on your election, Ms. President! Good thing you're retired now. One vendor at OFFF had a Gotland lamb (from Australia); it was SOOO soft and luscious! It was also $120....