Sunday, June 23, 2013

Black Sheep Gathering

June 14 -24, 2013 Armitage County Park, Eugene, OR
We haven't really taken advantage of the beautiful hiking in the area. We are simply enjoying our beautiful yard with shade trees and grass. Well, I'VE been enjoying our yard. Scott has been working for 2 1/2 days. More on that in tomorrow's post.
I went back to the Saturday Farmer's Market, alone, since Scott had work to do. Eugene is a micro mini city. It has the "cool" feel of a hip town. It's a very "green" town (no plastic bags allowed). Lots of dog parks around, many open patio restaurants allowing dogs, great coffee shops and bakeries.
This week at the Market, I again bought some sweets, pasty's, kale & romaine. Since Suzi, from Beluga Adventures, was not here this week, I was able to snag some peas also.

I've been wanting an herb garden and thinking I couldn't until we settled into a house again. But I'm attempting one while RV'ing, so I bought cilantro, rosemary and basil plants to start.
Yep, I bought a "topsy turvy". How could I resist? It was only $1.50!!! It's worth a try! Cilantro is on the bottom, rosemary on the left and basil on the right.
Also purchased some ground hazelnuts and marionberry jam.
Since Scott wasn't with me, I took the time to walk through the craft vendors section. So many talented people.
I bought a neat pin that is also a bud vase.
This is a piece of silverware that was cut. The handle is hollow, so can hold water and a bud in it. The back has a pin attached. Maybe I could put a sprig of one of my herbs in there for a lovely fragrance throughout the day.
Isn't this beaded flower beautiful? It has a clip on the back, so can be worn in your hair, or on a hat, or for me more likely as a shawl pin to hold the shawls I knit. I am determined to learn how to bead this. I want some in other colors. There is just not enough time to learn all the crafts I'd like to try. At least this craft doesn't take up much room or weigh much for RV crafting.
New Day Bakery, Saturday Farmer's Mkt., Eugene, OR
My rating 5 out of 5
I can only rate this on their baked goods I purchased at the Farmer's Mkt.
Almond danish: Fresh, soft, delicious.
Homemade oreo type cookie: Basically two chocolate crinkle cookies together with oreo type filling in between. Cookies were great, but just too sweet for me with the sweet filling.
Carrot cake sandwich cookies: Excellent. Two carrot cake cookies with filling in between. The cookies were soft with lots of texture, big chunks of walnuts. Yum!
Cousin Jacks Pasty Co., Saturday Farmer's Mkt., Eugene, OR
My rating 5 out of 5
From their website: "What's a pasty you say? 
Take the most delicious and fresh veggies, meats, cheeses or fruits, wrap with a flaky crust and bake! "
The flaky, slightly cheesy crust is absolutely delicious!
Pesto Lamb: Excellent
Broccoli & Cheese: Excellent
Steak & Ale: Fair. The steak with chewy and stringy.
Sausage roll: Excellent
Dana's Cheesecake Bakery, Saturday Farmer's Mkt., Eugene, OR
I only had one item, the Carrot cake. It was Excellent!!!!!
Belly Restaurant, Eugene, OR
My rating 1 out of 5
Any restaurant that serves foie gras will not be getting a good rating, nor my business.
I am not a fanatic about animal rights.  I do not agree with PETA'S fantatical thinking and demonstrations. I believe in animal rescue work. I believe there should be more laws against puppy mills. I believe farm animals should be raised & fed in a natural way without force feeding, or added chemicals to force quicker and larger growth. I believe their slaughter for meat should be as quick as possible.
What is foie gras? Foie gras means "fat liver" in French. Ducks and Geese are force fed to make their livers large and fatty. They not only suffer possible esophageal damage from the feeding tubes, but they can die from a fatty liver. According to the ASPCA, "The birds' livers become so enlarged…that according to documentation by veterinarians, the animals must experience unspeakable pain and suffering. Birds have literally exploded from these forced feedings. The results of necropsies on dead birds that have been force-fed reveal ruptured livers, throat damage, esophageal trauma, and food spilling from the dead animals' throats and out of their nostrils."
On the left: a foie gras liver. On the right: a normal liver.
(Photo courtesy PETA. Permission to use freely) 
This is all for an overpriced, unhealthy appetizer that anyone can do without.
Cama's Country Mill, Saturday Farmer's Mkt., Eugene, OR
My rating 5 out of 5
Their products are excellent and soooooo good for you. I may have to mail order from them when we use up what we purchased. This farm company grows their own grain and mills it also, so they have control of the finished product sold to the consumers.Tom's 3-grain cereal has cracked wheat, Scottish oats, and whole grain Teff. I slow cooked this just like oatmeal. Mmmm, mmmm good.

Whole grain Emmer flour: I was given a sample of chocolate cake made with this flour. Delish! I couldn't tell that this was whole grain. Emmer grain is a very high protein grain. 15% as to 9-10% protein in white flour.
I love these products and wish I was able to try more. 
The whole reason for us stopping in Eugene was because I wanted to attend the Black Sheep Gathering. No, it is not for all the misfits that are considered the Black Sheep of their family.  This is an event for sheep farmers, spinners, dyers, weavers, knitters, etc.
When I was still working, I used to listen to a lot of craft podcasts. I remember podcasters excitedly talking about going to Black Sheep Gathering. I hoped one day to attend. That was also when I was in NJ and far, far away from Oregon. I can now check this off my to do list.
BSG (Black Sheep Gathering), is a nice event, but small compared to other fiber related events I've gone to.
I've gone to Stitches East in CT, which is more about knitters & crocheters buying unique yarn and accessories. This is a large event and geared more to my interest as knitter. Admission is $10. per day. They have many great instructional classes you can register for.
I've gone to Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, which is also geared more for knitters, crocheters and knitting design. Admission is $20. per day (hey, you're in NYC!). I've taken a class here and it was great!
And, I've also gone to the New York State Sheep & Wool Fest in Rhinebeck. This is an event that if you had to bring hubby and even kids, they could find something to keep their interest while you look for yarn. Admission is $12. per day.
#1 rating: Of all the events, the NYS Sheep & Wool Fest is the best. It is HUGE! Lots and lots and lots of vendors. A lot of fair food, lots of viewing of all kinds of animals that are used to make fiber. There's also demonstrations about old world crafts, goat cheese making, etc.
#2 rating: Stitches East comes in 2nd. This strictly for yarn purchasing. You not only have beautiful one of a kind hand spun and dyed wool, but also major mills producing fiber made from bamboo, silk, milk, canine, cotton and more.
#3: Black Sheep was a nice event and is FREE. But it is not a large event. There were three buildings and I viewed all three within a couple of hours. There was only one food vendor, so don't go hoping for fair food. This event is more for people who spin their own yarn. You can buy raw fleece, that still needs to be cleaned and carded (tedious work). There were bags and bags and bags of fleece for sale.

Bags all marked with what breed of sheep, price per oz. etc.
Woman wearing the shawl is judging the quality of the fleece.

I went to BSG with a my Ipad Mini in hand and a list of yarns to purchase with the associated pattern. I did not want to be drawn in to buying just pretty, soft yarn and then have to figure out what to make with it. Well....that was the plan anyway.
I only bought 1 skein of yarn with a specific pattern in mind and it ends up, I purchased the wrong weight. Duh! So much for lists!
Here are my purchases.

Yarn Buddy: This is a yarn harder that you place your ball of yarn on the spindle. The round base turns as you unwind the yarn while knitting.

Isn't the Zebra wood beautiful?????
Check out Dave's other woodwork.
Dave Yocom's Wood Creations

Ram's horn

I'm always thinking of my dogs. It's difficult to resist something for them to enjoy.

And last, but not least, the yarn.

Yarn that is hand spun, hand dyed or even spun at a mill in small batches can be quite expensive. So it is not practical to make a whole sweater. It would be very expensive-well over $100., more like $150.-$200. for a sweater that you have to be very careful when you wash it to ensure it doesn't felt.
Top light blue yarn is actually a blue and white plied together. It is a wool, mohair and nylon blend. 236 yds$15.00
Middle white yan is angora rabbit and wool blend 165yds $25.00
Windsor Farms Rabbitry
Bottom blue yarn is another angora and wool blend hand kettle dyed 230yds $30.00
Right green yarn is alpaca 660yds $35.00
Not shown is a deep purple lace weight yarn 400yds for only $7.00. Why so cheap? I don't know.
Stay tuned for what I make with my additional stash.
The Sinner (Rizzoli & Isles, #3)The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The author, Ms. Gerritsen, consistently puts out very good murder mystery with some medical drama mixed in.
This is my 4th book by this author and I still enjoy the characters of Rizzoli & Isles. I'm afraid to watch the show on TV for fear of my imagined character development, not being close to the TV characters.
Cloistered nuns and one or maybe two being murdered. A Jane Doe missing body parts, past love interests returning. All melded together into a great book that keeps us all interested.
June 25- July 8, 2013 River's End RV Park, Chinook,WA
July 9-17, 2013 Port. Hudson RV Park, Port Townsend, WA
Neah Bay, WA
La Push, WA
Coeur d'Alene, ID

WA, ID, MT, ND, SD, WY, then south for the Winter of 2013/214

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