ik Fiber Division | The Oregon Flock Fiber Festival

Fiber Division

Wool-on-animalDisplays and Exhibits

Download the Fiber Division Entry Form HERE (Adobe PDF)

Flax And Linen Display And Film
Did you know that the Willamette Valley in Oregon has a textile flax (linen) heritage like no other in North America? The local climate produced a quality flax equal to the finest grown in Europe. For one day annually, it has been said the “world turned blue” as the plants bloomed across hundreds of acres in the valley.
Step back in history and visit Faye Frei’s display of this major agricultural product from 1900-1950. Learn how flax was processed to become linen in the many “mills” that dotted the valley, and why they had closed by the 1950s.

Weaving Demonstrations
Members of the Damascus Fiber Arts School will demonstrate tapestry weaving and weaving on the Navajo-style loom. They will bring examples of tapestries, handspun hand-dyed yarns, baskets, knitting and more.

Norwegian Fiber Arts Exhibit
Norway has a history rich in fiber arts, from intricately-patterned and colorful Norwegian sweaters to exquisite linens embroidered in Hardanger. Traditional dress is the “bunad” in different styles that reflect the culture of the various regions of Norway. Grieg Lodge, the Portland chapter of the Sons of Norway, will introduce you to the beauty and traditions of Norway’s fiber arts with informational displays and demonstrations.

Ravenstail Weaving
Ravenstail weaving (a very old weaving tradition from the Native American peoples of southeast Alaska), will be demonstrated by John Beard all day Saturday and Sunday, upstairs in the Main Pavilion. John will weave on the Klamath River robe he started in 2011. He will have other robes on display, as well as smaller regalia he has woven. Come, watch, listen and ask questions as he shares his experiences with Ravenstail weaving.

The Portland Handweaver’s Guild
The Portland Handweaver’s Guild will exhibit their study of Japanese textiles completed this past year.  The display includes examples of a variety of dye techniques and types of dye projects.  This exhibit was showcased at the Association of Northwest Weavers 2013 Conference in Bellingham, WA., and received accolades and awards for the display and their Guild’s booth.

Invitational Artists’ Gallery
We live in a world of color. We color our bodies, our clothing, our dwellings and have learned how to use color to create design. When we wanted to retain color and make it permanent, we created dyes. This year’s celebrated handcraft is dyeing. Our invitational artists use dyes to create design—from the ancient art of batik to incorporating color into handwoven and knitted items. Visit our Invitational Artists’ Gallery and be inspired.
Teresa Ruch
Teresa Ruch has a passion for color and expresses this in her hand-dyed and painted
yarns, and the hand-woven garments and accessories she weaves fromTeresa_Ruch these yarns.
She moved to Portland to work for Pendleton Woolen Mills as a sample weaver and was promoted to fabric designing. Teresa designed the jacquard woven Indian blankets, the contract furniture upholstery, and the men’s and women’s wear jacquard woven patterns for 12 years. She also taught weaving, textile design and computer textile design classes at local schools and colleges before starting her current career as a working studio artist selling her yarns and garments under her business: Teresa Ruch Designs, www.teresaruchdesigns.com.
Teresa discovered looms in college and has been following that interest ever since. On this journey, she has served as president of the Oregon Loom and Wheel Society, president of the Portland Weaving Guild and the Weaving Guilds of Oregon, the Chair of Programs and study groups for the Portland Handweaver’s Guild, on the Board of Directors of the Handweavers Guild of America, and as a juror at OFFF.

Gael Nagle
Gael Nagle has been batiking for over 40 years. Her pieces are fashioned in the traditional batiking method of painting melted beeswax onto 100% cotton cloth with paint brushes and submerging the piece in successive, Gael_Naglecold-water dye baths. She works from the lightest to the darkest dye, boiling the wax out after each primary color is finished. Each piece takes months to complete. A unique aspect of Gael’s batiking is the full spectrum of color used. Subject matter is inspired by an appreciation for the human experience within the natural world. Gael is influenced and instructed by her love of the impressionists of the 19th Century.
Gael’s batiks and prints have been featured at several Oregon and Washington galleries, including Seattle’s Folklife Festival, Eugene’s Oregon Country Fair, the Salem Arts and Crafts Fair, and the Silverton Fine Arts Festival. Gael has taught batik at OFFF. She currently is a featured artist at Breitenbush Hot Springs Resort and Conference Center where she lives and works. www.batiksbygael.com.


Pat Pietsch
Pat Pietsch lives in Snohomish, WA, where she has a small herd of sheep that provide a constant Pat_Pietschsource of wool. She enjoys “making things from scratch”, from raising the animals to processing their fiber to producing the finished knitted, woven or felted product. Taught spinning 26 years ago by a member of The Valley Spinner’s Guild, Pat has been a member ever since, and currently is serving as their president.
Pat doesn’t think of natural colors as green, brown or grey. Instead, she thinks of the bright colors of nature that attract attention and ensures a specie’s survival. She surrounds herself with color to survive grey, rainy days, and even her sheep wear bright red coats.
Pat developed her painting immersion and selfstriping yarn techniques and sells them through her business: Colors 2 Dye 4. She has shared her knowledge by teaching at The Shepherd’s Extravaganza and OFFF.

Fiber Division Judges
Knitting: Amber LaMadrid, Portland, OR, learned to knit as an adult after many frustrating and unsuccessful attempts to teach herself. She persevered and created a scarf full of holes and dropped stitches, but has never been prouder of anything she’d ever made. She pursued The Knitting Guild of America’s Master Knitter program as a way to expand her knowledge of the craft, and was certified in May 2011. She views knitting as not only a form of therapy, but also as a skill that has the power to boost self-esteem through pride of workmanship and the opportunity to create beautiful goods.

Felting: Tylar Merrill was encouraged by her mother to begin sewing doll clothes as a child. She then advanced to sewing her own clothes. At 12, Tylar was a finalist in Oregon’s Make It With Wool sewing contest. In 1970, she opened a studio on Vancouver Island where she tailored, designed fashions and created handmade quilts.
Tylar first studied felting in 1984, and has since become entranced by this rich, ancient textile. Mixing colored fibers with abstract hand strokes combines her love of painting, quilting, dyeing and design. She has studied with Charlotte Charters, Polly Stirling, Sachiko Kotaka, Liz Clay and Jorie Johnson. Tylar has been creating felt art and teaching fashion design for over 30 years and is the owner of Thimbleberry Felt Designs in Eugene, Oregon. www.ecosleepsolutions.com/tylar_merrill.html

Weaving: Teresa Rush, see her bio under Invitational Artists

Handspun Skeins: Gayle Vallance’s interest in sheep was sparked by a 3-year stay in Scotland. Upon returning to Canada, she purchased a small flock of Corriedales and her enthusiasm for spinning began.
She achieved a Master Spinner Certificate at Olds College in Alberta in 1991 and Level I of the Certificate of Excellence (Spinning) through the Handweavers’ Guild of America. Gayle now teaches regularly at Olds College Fibre Week and workshops around the U.S. and Canada. Because her primary interest lies in the use of handspun yarns for weaving, she completed the basic level of the master weaver program through the Canadian Weavers’ Guild. She experiments with color and texture to create unique yarns for use in knitted and woven projects, thereby making the best use of dyes and fibres, as well as spinning, weaving and felting techniques. Gayle comes to us from Fernie, British Columbia, where she still maintains a flock of purebred Corriedales.

Crochet: Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby learned to love the arts of crochet and knitting at a very young age. He was just 3 years old when his grandmother and great-aunts taught him to make “curly bookmarks” and ornaments for church bazaars. Little did they know they were starting a lifelong love affair with yarn. As he grew, he made it a point to learn as much as he could about the fiber arts. Fast-forward 40 years and Shannon has six books and over 160 published patterns credited to his name. His designs have been featured in, and on the covers of, both US and international publications. Shannon and his husband Jason are the cofounders of Shibaguyz.com, a Seattle design studio focusing on crochet and knitwear. Shannon has been teaching professionally for 20+ years and is a Craft Yarn Council certified instructor. To date, he has published five crochet books: Urban Edge, Heady Affairs, And That’s A Wrap, Cool Weather Fashions, and Crochet Ponchos. Most recently Shibaguyz Designz and Mango Moon Yarns copublished Moonstruck: Ten Sensuous Knit Patterns.

Sally McCarrick Fiber Creations and
Skein Competitions
General Rules, Dates and Times

  1. Entry forms must be postmarked by Sept 11. Late entry forms will be accepted at the Festival before noon on Friday, Sept. 27.
  2. Items in the competition must be brought to the Fiber Division on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 6-8:30 pm or on Friday, Sept. 27, from 9 am to 3 pm. Items may be mailed and must be received by Sept. 21 (see entry form). Entrants are responsible for all shipping costs including return postage.
  3. OFFF reserves the right to reject any entry that is not appropriate for exhibit. Judges may change entries to the appropriate category or combine entries if there are insufficient entries in a category.
  4. Judging begins Friday, Sept. 27, at 3:15 pm. The fiber judging area is closed.
  5. Results of judging are posted at the Festival and on the website.
  6. Fiber Division displays and show results are open to the public from Saturday, Sept. 28, at 9:00 am to Sunday, Sept 29, at 4:00 pm.
  7. All Skein and Fiber Creation entries must remain on display until 4:00 pm Sunday, Sept 29.
  8. All work must be original and completed by the entrant with-in the last 18 months. Commercially-spun yarn is allowed in all competitions except the handspun categories.
  9. All entries must be made from at least 75% natural fiber.
  10. Eligibility of entries that incorporate non-fiber, or parts not made by the entrant, will be determined by the Fiber Division Chair. Fabric base of nuno felting is allowed.
  11.  A 3” x 5” information card should be attached to the entry and may describe the fiber source, type of fiber, color, handspun or commercial yarn and technique. Youth should indicate their age when the entry was completed
  12.  Entries must be submitted to allow judges to completely inspect an item. Accessories or mountings may be added after judging for display in the Sally McCarrick Fiber Creations Gallery. Arrangements should be made with the Fiber Division Chair.
  13. 13. Skill Levels are as follows:
    • Advanced or Professional
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Youth, 17 and under
    • Inspirational Exhibit
  14.  Categories in the Fiber Creations competition are:
    • Hand knitted
    • Crocheted
    • Felted
    • Woven
    • Other fiber applications, including hooked rugs, machine knitting and baskets

Entry Pick-up
Unless prior arrangements are made with Kristi Gustafson, entries are released only with the voucher received at check-in. Unclaimed entries become the property of OFFF after 7 pm Sunday. Disclaimer: The Festival does not assume responsibility for loss or damage during shipment or during the exhibition.

  • Advanced or Professional
  • Intermediate
  • Novice
  • Youth, 17 and under
  • Inspirational Exhibit (noncompetitive)

Skein Competition
Challenge yourself and enter the Skein Competition! Skeins are judged by skill level to encourage participation. Spinning categories: singles, two-ply, multi-ply, novelty, spindled and thigh spun.
Judging: Skeins may be judged based on:

  • fiber suitability 20%
  • choice of spinning technique 10%
  • quality of spinning 40%
  • skein preparation 10%
  • suitability for final use 20%

Skein Competition Guidelines

  1. General entry rules for the Fiber Division apply (pg. 61).
  2. All fiber must be handspun by the entrant and complet-ed within the last 18 months.
  3. All skeins must be 50 yards or more.
  4. Skeins must be tied in at least 3 places using figure 8-style ties.
  5.  A 3” x 5” information card, fiber sample and sample swatch must be attached to one of the skein ties (swatch not required for youth entries, but strongly encouraged).

Skein Competition Information Card Guidelines

  • Single Natural: from one, naturally occurring source (e.g. wool, cotton, alpaca)
  • Blended Natural: a blend of 2+ natural fibers (e.g. 80% al-paca, 20% silk)
  • Natural/Synthetic Blend: a blend of naturally occurring and synthetic/manufactured fibers—must be at least 50% natural fibers (e.g. 90% wool, 10% nylon)
  • Type(s) and percentage blend of fibers: please note type, breed and strain if known (e.g. Icelandic wool, tussah silk, organic cotton)
  • Note if the fiber was raised by the entrant
  • Comments on natural color or dye: note type of dye, whether commercially or hand dyed, color blending or dye techniques (e.g. dyed with indigo; purchased space-dyed roving; all natural colors blended from one variegated llama, etc.).

Describe techniques used for preparation of fiber, dyeing, spinning and/or plying (hand combed, drum carded; spinning technique—long draw, drop spindle; plying technique—Navajo, boucle).

Intended Use
Describe a suitable use for your yarn based on its characteristics—include technique and/or project (e.g. knitted sweater, woven scarf, hooked rug).

Include a swatch (4” x 4” suggested size, may vary with intended use). Not required for youth entries, but strongly encouraged. Swatch may be made by a person other than the entrant—please note on the information card.


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