Black Sheep Gathering

This past weekend I went to the Black Sheep Gathering with two missions in mind - to find two new bucks, that are as good as the ones that I already have, and to get fiber inspiration. I succeeded in finding two bucks that have the qualities that I most prize in the white angora goats: the fine quality that lasts for years and the lack of sticky grease.

The buck on the left was my choice for the yearling buck. He is a lot skinnier than any of mine, but he has the soft fleece and feel of my goats - and most important of all - he has different bloodlines. An absolute must at this point. I can no longer breed for quality without inbreeding, which I want to avoid at all costs. I bought him and the kid buck below on Friday morning. The kid is from a different line, but of the same style, so he should be wonderful as well.

What makes my buck purchase especially exciting is that the breeder called me this morning to say that the yearling buck won the Black Sheep Gathering Cup. It is uplifting to realize than I can pick a winner!

The above is a wrought iron sign that is representative of one that I have ordered for the ranch. There will be a few changes - size (bigger), some of the sheep will become goats, and "unique designs by kathy" will go in the top portion somewhere. It is going to go somewhere in the area right before the second set of wrought iron gates. I took one look at it and loved it. It will come with my bucks in August!
As far as fiber inspiration is concerned, I did not get it. Most of what I saw was commercial or millspun and can easily be bought on the Internet. There was very little handspun. I asked a few vendors about it and they said that theirs was too expensive and would never sell. There was no novelty yarn - except for some tailspun by one breeder. My thought is - if you don't bring it, you don't know what will sell. The colors all fell about the same range and one booth blended into the next. There was no nuno or wet felting. So, in terms of getting new ideas, it was a loss.
On the positive side, I am excited that my yarns and designs are still new and innovative compared to what I saw.

Below is a picture that I took while traveling from Eugene, Oregon, to the coast. Green, green, green. Of course, there was the rain to go along with it. We managed to miss most of it. It was certainly a lot different from Tucson. And definitely a lot colder. Marc took a picture of me, but I looked very obviously cold and haggard! No sleep and not flattering, so I won't post it.
Marc and I went to the Sea Lion Caves. I have an awesome camera and got some great close up shots of the sea lions, but I liked this picture the best. The green of the grass and flowers in the foreground looked lovely against the blue of the ocean. Maybe a landscape someday?

It is great to get away - but it is even better to be back home among all of my fiber, animals, and friends.