Results of the Fiber Arts Competition at National Show

The winner of the fiber arts competition is this gorgeous shawl, an all original design for the BFL National Show by Christine Kurk. It was created in Potosi Laceweight mill spun yarn.

RobinaEntry The 2nd place entry, Robina Koenig’s entry, is called a hooded wrap as it just goes over the shoulders with pockets on each side. There is a tassel on the end of the hood. It is handspun, 3-ply natural colored BFL from her flock.

Third place is also an original design by Christine Kurk. The cables did not show well in the picture. It is done in a Potosi BFL tweed yarn, trimmed with white.
And at 4th place is a shawl in progress, submitted by Kathy Davidson. The BFL wool was carded with silk noil to add subtle color. It is knit from wool from her favorite ram, Potosi Masterton.

5th National BFL Show August 16th in Allegan, MI

The BLU- sponsored dinner will be on SATURDAY evening, August 16th. We are arranging for a room, but will order off the menu for simplicity’s sake. The BLU dinner will be held at the London Grill in Kalamazoo (
The London Grill is not far from the host hotel, Fairfield Inn Kalamazoo West (special rate of $99 per night if we meet minimum of 10 rooms reserved) 269-353-6400; indicate you are reserving with the Bluefaced Leicester Union group.

As far as presentations are concerned, we have an offer of several presentations from a fiber expert, Christine Kurt, who can expertly expound on any number of fiber topics, be it spinning, weaving, dying, felting, lace-making, color combinations, etc. Perhaps we can use this forum to collect ideas as to what people would be interested in. We envision the presentations taking place either after the show on Saturday or before 2 pm on Sunday, As to non-fiber related presentations, suggestions are welcome.

Sheep Show Judge: Dave Smith from Indiana.
There will be separate black and white shows. The shows will be on Saturday morning. The entry forms can be downloaded from the BLU site, The deadline is July 1, with late fees added to entries postmarked after the 15th.
We are actively seeking sponsorships for the sponsored awards classes. List of classes is as follows:

Classes for the 2014 National BFL Show – Michigan Fiber Festival
Whites and black will be shown separately, in two different shows.

Individual and pair classes. Each exhibitor is allowed two entries per class (except in pair classes, where one pair equals one entry)
1. Aged ewes (over 2 years old)
2. Pair of aged ewes
3. Yearling ewes
4. Pair of yearling ewes
5. Ewe lambs
6. Pair of ewe lambs
Champion and reserve ewe *
7. Aged rams
8. Yearling rams
9. Ram lambs
10. Pair of ram lambs
Champion and reserve ram*

Group and special classes: each exhibitor allowed one entry per class.

11. Pen of three lambs / young flock (2 ewe lambs, 1 ram lamb)*
12. Get of sire (any three sheep sired by the same ram)*
13. Flock (2 ewe lambs, 2 yearling ewes, 1 ram)*
14. Best head, ram (white only)*
15. Best head, ewe (white only)*
16. Best fleece*
*sponsored award class (winners will receive an award in addition to a ribbon)

Black Sheep Gathering Report

From Robina Koenig
The Black Sheep Gathering was held in Eugene, OR, last weekend. As usual, we all had a great time in the mild weather. My daughter Callie went with me this year and Jared Lloyd stopped by but didn’t show. I missed Nancy Gilkeson but her granddaughter Brooke was representing the family. This is my ‘sheep friends vacation’ and it was good to see everyone, share thoughts and ideas, enjoy the potluck followed by the Spinner’s Lead, plus the sheep show. Hope all is well with those who were not attending and that they will be back next year.

The Blues had their own show again this year, showing both white and natural coloreds together. The classes were well represented. The judge was David Cook. This year I only showed three ewe lambs and three ram lambs. Bearhill Farms (CA) won Champion Ram with a yearling and Liongate Farm (OR) won Champion Ewe with her yearling. This was a first-time showing at BSG for Karen—well done! Here are the winners of all classes. Congratulations to all who entered. Robina @ Tumble Creek Farm

Yearling Ram
1 Bearhill Farms
2 B Jakubos

Ram Lamb
1 Bearhill Farms
2 Tumble Creek Farm
3 Four Oaks Farm
4 Bearhill Farms
5 Liongate Farm
6 Tumble Creek Farm

Pair of Ram Lambs
1 Bearhill Farms
2 Liongate Farm
3 Tumble Creek Farm

Champion Ram, yearling—Bearhill Farms
Res Champion Ram, lamb—Bearhill Farms

Yearling Ewe
1 Liongate Farm
2 Liongate Farm
3 Four Oaks Farm
4 Four Oaks Farm

Ewe Lamb
1 Tumble Creek Farm
2 Bearhill Farms
3 Four Oaks Farm
4 Tumble Creek Farm
5 Tumble Creek Farm
6 Four Oaks Farm

Pair of Ewe Lambs
1 Tumble Creek Farm
2 Four Oaks Farm

Champion Ewe, yearling—Liongate Farm
Res Champion Ewe, lamb— Liongate Farm

Breeder’s Young Flock
1 Tumble Creek Farm
2 Four Oaks Farm

2014 BFL National Show update!

Hello, Fellow BFL breeders!

Please take note of the following information about the 2014 BFL National Show to be held at the 2014 Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan, Michigan.

Dates: August  15-17, 2014 (sheep must be penned by 6pm Friday; Show is on Saturday; release is Sunday, 5pm)

Venue and location: Michigan Fiber Festival, Allegan County Fairgrounds, Allegan, Michigan. Website:

Host Hotel : Fairfield Inn Kalamazoo West (special rate of $99 per night if we meet minimum of 10 rooms reserved) 269-353-6400; indicate you are reserving with the Bluefaced Leicester Union group

There will be a dinner for all exhibitors and friends on Saturday. More information to follow.

Anyone interested in sponsoring an award for the show should contact Robina Koenig   Home Phone: 541-350-9205

If you are flying in, the closest airport of size is Grand Rapids – Gerald Ford International.  Rental cars available as well.

If you are planning to attend, with or without sheep, please let me know – it will help tremendously with our planning of this event.

More information regarding all aspects of the show will be forthcoming as the date draws nearer; please mark your calendars TODAY, however. We hope to see many of you there!


Questions? Email or call Margaret Van Camp, chair of show committee: 810-655-4191,

BLU Member Nancy Starkey reports from MS&W festival


Photos by permission by Marcus Skeel

Mark Soper and I (and our wonderful sheepdogs) perform the Working Sheepdog Demonstrations at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival each year, and we use yearling Bluefaced Leicester ewes from my flock in the demos.  These young BFLs are probably the classiest “demo sheep” around, and they certainly catch the attention of the festival crowds.  People love the regal look of the BFLs, and their flowing fleeces are a big part of their appeal.


“Bleatings” from Oregon

Submitted by Robina Koenig, Tumble Creek Farm

Another Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is long past and winter is setting in here on the high desert. Fond memories and plans for 2013 shows, projects for Christmas on the knitting needles, the ewes and rams getting friendly, and finishing up the yardwork for winter occupy the main activities now. But getting ready for the last show of my season was busy and fun.

OFFF, as it is known, is set in a charming older fairgrounds with large trees shading the grassy central lawn. Vendors cover this lawn with their tents and awnings of all sizes and shapes, not to mention the colors that flow from under them. This is mainly a vendor show now, it seems to me, but the animals are plentiful. The two sheep shows run simultaneously under cover behind the barn with the goats out front in a smaller enclosed ring. I did not show this year which is a first for me. Instead, I chose to be with my four ram lambs and vendor booth in the barn, a busy place to be. Plenty of Bluefaced Leicester information was available and being the only breeder this year I was occupied answering several questions. Callie arrived Saturday afternoon, not wanting to miss this show.

Sunday afternoon brought two young men from lands far, far away, Jared Lloyd(CO) and Garrett Ramsay(MN). Never enough time to visit but good to see both of them again, twice now in the same year! We spent the last hour of the show talking sheep (really?) and comparing/critiquing my four rams from different bloodlines.

Good weather, good friends, good fun! Hope to see you there next year!

Your $$$ at work

As the sheep show and fiber festival season draws to a close with a flurry of fall events, BLU would like to remind our members of the advertising dollars spent promoting the breed and the breeders during the year.

Since 3 of BLU’s stated goals are promotion related:

  • To engage in the education and promotion of Bluefaced Leicester sheep,
  • To provide interested people with information about Bluefaced Leicester sheep and their products,
  • To promote interest in the Bluefaced Leicester breed of sheep wherever possible in order to attract new breeders for the propagation and well-being of the breed.

the board feels strongly that a large portion of the budget each year should be spent on promotion and advertising.

Here is a list of the shows and festivals where advertising dollars were spent in 2012.  These events have traditionally been attended by BLU members, either showing sheep or BFL fiber, or as vendors in fiber shows.

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival – $150.00

Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival – $60.00

Black Sheep Gathering – $50.00

Shepherd’s Harvest in Minnesota – $25.00

Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival – $55.00

Michigan Fiber Festival –   $100.00

In addition,  requests to advertise with the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool festival and the Garden State Sheep & Wool Festival (NJ) have recently been received from our members.

Besides promoting BFLs at shows, there are also ads placed in the major sheep magazines – The Shepherd, Sheep!, and Sheep Canada all have paid listings in the breed section of each magazine, at a total cost of $110.00 per year.   The Banner magazine provides space for notes from breed associations at no cost – a great benefit!

The board would like to invite any member who attends a show or festival with their BFL sheep or fiber to submit a request to advertise at that show.   We’d also like to remind you that BLU has banners available to borrow if you’d like to promote the breed registry at events.  Besides banners, there are also promotional materials available to print here on the website.  (click on “about BLU” and then on “Promotional Materials”)

National Show Skein and Fiber Art photos

A view of the vendor booth in the Great Lakes Fiber Show. The booth was available for all BLU members to sell their wares.





Some of the skeins entered in the competition at the national show.




In the foreground is the champion skein, a plyed laceweight 100% BFL yarn spun by Christina Kurk.

The champion fiber art, a sweater knitted by Christina Kurk