A funny thing happened on the way to the fiber fest

After the great kerfuffle of Thursday’s on-line social action I fell into bed and counted the sheep I was going to see on Saturday in Eugene, Or at the Black Sheep Gathering.

Friday morning, Jeff and I began our almost 300 mile trek south.  Normally it takes about 6 1/2 hours to get to Eugene from Camano Island, WA. This time due to insanely wet weather and crappy traffic in four different spots on I-5 it took us 8 1/2 hours. I was really glad we weren’t doing a one day turn around!

I thought that the US Olympic trials were held either the week before or the week after the Black Sheep Gathering, so low and behold my surprise when we saw all of the signs for the Olympic trial parking. After Thursday’s events I thought it was pretty funny. We were also possibly in BIG trouble, would there be any room in any motel? We could drive on if we had to and find something else where, but sheesh. It was closing on 7:30 pm, we were tired, a bit cranky and I was starving (so, a little more than cranky). My husband pulled hero status  by noticing a vacancy sign at a motel near the fairgrounds.  We probably found the last room in Eugene.

Once we got the bags into the room, we grabbed the dining guide and started negotiating dinner. You know the routine, “What do you want to eat?”

“I don’t care, anything. Well, not xxxx.”

“Ok fine, you pick what we have then.”

“Well, how about xxxx?”

“Nah, not up to that.”

We finally settled on having a quiet dinner at a NW Cuisine establishment.  I plugged the address into the GPS and off we went in search of food.


So we reach the venue and low and behold, it’s at the Hilton Hotel. Ok, folks what event besides the Black Sheep Gathering is happening in Eugene? That’s right the US Olympic trials. Where do you think a lot of the official types are staying? You got it, the Hilton.  I cannot make this sh** up.

As we drove into the parking garage I was laughing hysterically at the irony.

So, Jeff and I went in, got seated and ordered our lovely dinner.

The table next to us was then seated with a group of men all some how associated with the Olympics. The conversations I over heard left me less than impressed. Now, these were not athletes, these were agents and team folk.  I heard one young many who obviously worked with coaching staff discussing how an runner was concerned about the new shoes they were wearing (they caused blisters), and how they had sent for the old ones. The man he was talking to, some how in charge of the situation, told him not to let the woman know about the shoes, and to keep her on edge.

Then another fellow showed up, they ordered a round of beers, and they were talking about sponsors etc. One man exclaimed displeasure at the USOC for making the trials longer and longer for the sake of sponsorship money. “Most countries only have 4 day trials, ours last how long?” He went on to say how it stressed out “the kids” and that each athlete only gets $1000 stipend. Remember these folks are having to fly to Portland, Oregon then find a way to Eugene, plus stay in hotels and eat. For more than a weeks worth of competition that’s not going to really cut it.

The conversation then moved to discussing Olympics past, from Barcelona to Greece and Atlanta.  The guy who actually seemed to care about the athletes got up and left at this point, he seemed like a decent fellow.  The other guys were telling their war stories, or rather their how they got lots of free drinks and stared at half naked girls in Greece. (Way to represent! Go Team!)

My husband was rather offended by their loud boisterous talk, considering it became rather misogynistic and certainly very loud and crude (and inebriated). (Way to represent!)

I just shook my head and eavesdropped, then said to hubby, “Oh sweet irony, what a blog post this shall be.”

  On with the Show

Now, my main purpose for going to the Black Sheep Gathering was to meet up with Indie Pro member Shelby Allaho, aka StitchStory on Twitter.

She lives in Kuwait with her husband and daughter, but she originally hails from Eugene and just happened to be in town visiting family.

I got to the show just as the market place opened so I could grab some good photos for the blog.

If you have never been to a fiber festival, EWE are missing out! Unlike consumer shows, fiber festivals have a fair like atmosphere. You can get

and get super educated about various fibers, yarn, and techniques.

Love this display!

I loved this booth by The Fiber Addict. Gorgeous lace weight yarns  and gorgeous rovings beautifully displayed.

I’ll blog more about the booths in the next blog post.

Here’s the real reason I went to Black Sheep Gathering:


I got to meet up with my PROS! (And represent the hook to vendors, but more on that in the next post!)

I always love meeting other crochet lovers, especially CLF members.

Left to right: Laurie Wheeler, Laurinda Reddig, Shelby Allaho

About Laurie A. Wheeler

Laurie A. Wheeler is a blogger, crochet addict, yarn designer and champion for independant artisans and crafters. She is also known as Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front.

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