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2013 Vashon Sheepdog Classic Includes a New Focus on Fiber Arts

Lis Steffens, carding wool at the 2012 Vashon Sheepdog Classic.
Lis Steffens, carding wool at the 2012 Vashon Sheepdog Classic.

On September 13, 14, and 15, from dawn to dusk each day, sheepdogs will cunningly herd sheep on a beautiful, serene Misty Isle Farms pasture. Hundreds of people will watch, and be amazed and amused as the competition unfolds before their eyes.
Off to the side, on a slightly raised knoll above the pasture, another sort of action will unfold: the Skacel Fiber Arts Tent. Under this tent local fiber artists will share their knowledge, skill, and devotion to All Things Fiber.
Maggi MaClure (founder and Head Sheepdog of the Vashon Sheepdog Classic) recognizes that the annual Vashon sheepdog trials event is the perfect venue to showcase sheepdog handler’s and their dog’s skills. She also recognizes that it could be the perfect venue to showcase what fiber artists do with wool from sheep. So Maggi has invited local spinners, knitters, felters and weavers to share in the dog trial event activities, showcasing what they love to do.
Skacel Knitting (an international wholesaler for yarn and knitting accessories, and based in Tukwila) agreed to sponsor a fiber arts tent at the trials. As a result, folks attending the Sheepdog Trials this year will also be invited to view and take part in the fiber arts when they visit this tent at the trials.
Within the Skacel Fiber Arts Tent, the following will be happening each day, 10am-4pm:
-- Yarnstorming: local knitters will be joined by any willing knitter attending the trials as they knit pieces and secure them onto a field gate. The resulting colorful "yarnstormed gate" will be used in the 2014 Vashon trials.
-- Sheep to Shawl Demonstration: a local spinning group, SpinnersRock, will provide a daily demonstration showing how wool is picked, carded, spun and woven to create a shawl. The resulting shawls will be donated as a fundraiser for Vashon’s local nonprofit wildlife sanctuary, Wolftown.
-- Fiber arts product sales will be offered by Susan Bates, the Vashon Textile Collective, local spinners, and others.
--Skacel Knitting will provide demonstrations and answer questions about their many knitting products.
--The Sheepdog Trials Afghan, created by a local group of knitters will be on display, and available for purchase.
--Fiber Arts Demonstrations will be offered throughout each day and will include Dyeing with Plants, Drop Spindle Spinning, Solar Dyeing, Great Wheel Spinning, Drumcarding, Needle Felting, Sheep Shearing, Knitting Multiple Socks on One Knitting Needle, Rigid Heddle Loom Weaving, and Charka Spinning.