Black Sheep Gathering

History

The Black Sheep Gathering, Inc. (BSG) organizers welcome fiber enthusiasts, breeders, volunteers and newcomers, once again to our annual “coming together.” We meet to discuss breeding and raising colored sheep and goats, share our knowledge of fibers and spend time with like-minded folks in the natural colored sheep and wool community.

Inspired by founder and editor of the Black Sheep Newsletter, Sachiye Jones, as a way for sheep growers and wool consumers to meet and market their goods the first official Black Sheep Growers’ Potluck was held in Rickreall (west of Salem, OR) in 1974.

In 1981 the event was held in conjunction with the Association of Northwest Weavers’ Guilds Conference at the Lane County Fairgrounds. This was the first year it was called the Black Sheep Gathering. For the next several years the event was moved to the Cottage Grove Exposition Center.

During the 1984 New Zealand World Congress on Coloured Sheep, Sachiye Jones convinced planners that Oregon should host the next every five-year event.  Sachiye thought the Gathering could be held in conjunction with the Congress.

The planning began in late 1984. Sadly, Sachiye became ill during her trip to New Zealand and later lost her battle with leukemia in 1985. Despite her absence, the organizers continued on and hosted a most wonderful World Congress on Coloured Sheep in Eugene, bringing together geneticists, breeders, fiber artists and other wool enthusiasts from around the world. It was a most exciting time and the annual Black Sheep Gathering was held in conjunction with this congress.

Since 1989, the Gathering has been held at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene. The event now includes many breeders of sheep, Angora goats and Angora rabbits; a large trade show of sheep and fiber supplies; several educational talks and demonstrations; a wool competition and sale with over 500 quality handspinning fleeces; and the always popular spinners’ circle.

Come join us for this year’s Black Sheep Gathering. If this will be your first visit, we extend a special welcome to our BSG family. We continue to welcome our growing number of old and new friends.

SHEEP SHOW

Judge: John Merlau
New Palestine, Indiana

I currently raise both registered Natural Colored and Corriedale sheep on our central Indiana farm, having started with registered Corriedales as a 4-H youth in 1959.Read More.

ANGORA GOAT SHOW

Judge: Clay Kneese
Harper, Texas

Clay has raised Angora goats since the early ’80s. His fine-haired Angoras have won championships at all the major shows in Texas. Read More.

FLEECE SHOW

Wool , Mohair and Alpaca Judge: Zane Bone
College Station, Texas

I am a 4th generation sheep and goat raiser from the Texas Hill country. My father was a state-winning sheep and goat vocational agricultural teacher. Read More.

FIBER ARTS AND YARN SHOW

Judge: Michael Kelson
Seattle, Washington

Michael Kelson started his fiber-arts journey when he learned to knit over 12 years ago. Read More.