National Show Fleece, Skein, Fibert Arts and Photography contest results

Many thanks to Letty Klein, who judged the fleece, skein, and fiber arts categories.

Skein Winners:
Class 1 – fine single
1. Robina Koenig
2. Elaine Ashcraft
3. Caryol J. Neff
Class 4 – Fine Plied
1. Christine Kurk
Class 5 – Medium Plied
1. Robina Koenig
2. Lisa Rodenfels
3. Robina Koenig
Class 6 – Bulky Plied
1. Robina Koenig
2. Anne Bisdorf
3. Robina Koenig
Class 8 – BFL blend – Plied all weights
1. Robina Koenig
2. Christine Kurk
3. Nina Winchester
Class 9 – Novelty skein
1. Nina Winchester
2. Peg Dordal

Champion Skein – Christine Kurk

Fiber Arts Winners:
Category Knit/Crochet
Class 1 – large wearable
1. Christina Kurk
2. Robina Koenig
3. Kathleen Davidson
Class 2 – small wearable
1. Christine Kurk
2. Christine Kurk
3. Anne Bisdorf
Class 8 –
1. Kathy McClure

Champion Fiber Arts – Christine Kurk

Class 1 – White purebred BFL fleece
1. Nancy Starkey
2. Kathleen Davidson
3. Nancy Starkey
4. Tari Lohrey
Class 2. – Natural colored purebred BFL fleece
1. Nancy Starkey
2. Kathleen Davidson
3. Margaret Van Camp
4. Margaret Van Camp

Champion Fleece – Nancy Starkey

Photos were judged and placed by the people who attended the fiber festival.
BFL Photos:
Class 1. – Animal
1. Kathleen Davidson
2. Robina Koenig
3. Anne Crider
Class 2 – BFL fiber
1. Cathy Shiff
Class 3 – People/animals interacting with BFL sheep
1. Robina Koenig
2. Robina Koenig
3. Cathy Shiff

People’s Choice Photo Award – Kathleen Davidson

2012 National Show Fleece Competition

The forms are available online now. Click on the “About BLU” dropdown box above, then on the “National Show Info”. You can download/print the  contest forms.  Please share these with all interested parties!  The Sheep Show forms will be available soon – just working out the “bugs” in the rules section.

Yarn, Fiber Arts and Photography contest forms

The forms are available online now. Click on the “About BLU” dropdown box above, then on the “National Show Info”. You can download/print the 3 contest forms. Please share these with all interested parties!

BLU board member makes national sheep news

BLU board member Jared Lloyd was recently interviewed for a Sheep Industry News article.  The article focuses on his flock expansion using Shetland and BFL genetics in a large western commercial flock.


Robina and Maddi - reserve champion ewe overall

Clackamas Co Fairgrounds, Canby, Oregon
September 24-25, 2011
By Robina Koenig

Another Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival has come and gone and fall has arrived in the Pacific Northwest. The temps are chilly at home now as I reflect on the last show of 2011 in our area. Half of the sheep show is a fiber show, not a breed show, so the Blues show in group classes of whites or natural colors (long/coarse and fine/medium) and in another ring they show the primitives.

The white longwool classes showed Romneys and BFLs. I did not have an opportunity to see the other classes as I had a vendor booth next to my sheep in the barn, and buyer traffic was heavy this year.

There were three BFL breeders showing–Gilkeson Family Farm, OR; Bitterroot Ranch, MT; and Tumble Creek Farm, OR. Nancy Gilkeson was not able to attend but her daughter Kristie showed a white ewe and a natural colored ram. I missed seeing Nancy but Kristie was great fun and I enjoyed getting to know her better. Judy Colvin brought two white BFL rams and two percentage Gotland ewes as it was the regional show for the Gotlands. I showed one white ram and two white ewes and brought home the Reserve Grand Champion on one of the ewes.

The weather kept us guessing with hot and humid on Friday, very warm on Saturday, drizzle Sunday morning turning to a torrential rain storm lasting 10 minutes on Sunday afternoon following a good rolling clap of thunder. Everyone ran for cover so Judy and I, out touring the outdoor vendors, headed for the T-shirt canopy then a warm cup of coffee. Good show, good memories.

At the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, youth rule!

From Jill Johnson, Boyd, WI
My boys, Blake(age 11) and Tyler(age 9), have 15 BFLs.   BLU members LeeAnne & Weldon Richert (Cable, WI)  have helped them get started with a nice little flock. The boys make management decisions for their flock with a little help from us. They are also involved with the care and management of our 50+ ewe Cormo flock. They also enjoy helping with the marketing of our wool and help with educational presentations on sheep and wool.

Blake and Tyler had an exciting weekend during the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Blake won champion youth fleece, champion natural colored fleece, and ultimately reserve supreme champion fleece with a natural colored Bluefaced Leicester fleece.
The fleece was the lamb fleece of RiverWinds 255 Muffy.

Blake and Tyler also exhibited the champion Natural colored ewe, RiverWinds 254 Miffy,(twin to Muffy) at the Great Lakes BFL show at WSWF. They also exhibited the reserve champion colored BFL ram and reserve champion white BFL ewe.

Tyler and his reserve champion white BFL ewe

To continue with my motherly bragging they also placed 1st and 3rd in the beginner division of the Youth sweepstakes held at the festival. The sweepstakes is a points competition based on all the youth activies at the festival. In all they had a good weekend.


Blake and his champion natural colored BFL ewe

Blake has shown his BFLs at our county fair for 3 years introducing something other than a Suffolk. Both boys have shown at WSWF for the last 3 years in the Great Lakes BFL show and the Junior show. Last year Blake actually showed the reserve supreme champion wool breed of the junior show with his white BFL yearling. Tyler has also had success in fleece competitions last year he exhibited the reserve champion white fleece at
Shepherd’s Harvest (Minnesota’s main sheep and wool festival)in a competition with more than 100 fleeces and then sold that fleece for $100 at silent auction.

Comments from fleece Judge Letty Klein: Out of about 130 fleece entries, there was one BFL, a natural colored one. It was stunning! I placed it 1st in the NC long wool class, then Champion NC
Division. Well, I then made the fleece Reserve Supreme over all the fleeces.

Photos by LeeAnne Richert

Lower Mainland Sheep Producers Association Fleece Show and Sale

Contributed by Margaret Fryatt, British Columbia, Canada

On June 4th, 2011, Vancouver Island Fleece Judge, Matt Robley, evaluated fleeces entered by local sheep breeders. Of the 51 fleeces entered in the show, most came from the Fraser Valley. There were entries from further afield but my three entries traveled the greatest distance to be included. Fleeces were sifted by a committee of 22 association members prior to the show. Only those meeting the standards set by the LMPSA were judged. This event was hosted at the Belmont Farm, one of Langley’s heritage dairy farms. The facilities were perfect for the event with lots of room to spread out the fleeces for judging and also space for local vendors to ply their wares. After judging which was open to the public, fleeces were placed on display.

Just prior to the sale itself, the awards were announced. I was quite delighted to learn that one of my fleeces had been awarded the Glibbery/Tuytel Spinners Delight award. What could be more fitting than this! The award was started by the LMSPA to encourage producers to produce fleece that would encourage a spinner and recognize the great local fleeces available. The name of the award comes from two very prominent sheep raising families that have been very active and long time members in the LMSPA. The award does not necessarily go to the fleece with the highest score, but is selected by the judge as the one fleece that he or she deems to be the fleece that would most appeal to the spinning enthusiast best representing the qualities of hand, softness, staple length and luster. It was very exciting to have a Bluefaced Leicester fleece selected.

Many spinners in BC have not had the opportunity to see a BFL fleece in the grease and so there was always quite a crowd gathered around the tables. Many cries of delight were heard and I understand that the competition to purchase fleeces was very strong. I think that the fleeces were lovely and well represented the qualities of BFL fibre.

Many people are still unfamiliar with Bluefaced Leicester fiber and it is always fun to show them how soft and lustrous it is. It is my very favorite fibre to spin with and I find that more and more folks agree with me. Once you are hooked, you are hooked for the long term.

Of special significance for me is the fact that the award is named after one of the Shuswap Spinners and Weavers Guild members, Judith Glibbery. She and her husband made a huge contribution to sheep and fleece production during their tenure in the Lower Mainland and dedicating the award to them was intended to recognize their involvement. It certainly made winning this particular award extra meaningful for me!

Big News from the Big Sky Fiber Arts Festival

This news from longtime Montana BFL breeder Judy Colvin:  

Reporting in from our little Montana fiber festival, the Big Sky Fiber Arts Fest, held in Hamilton, MT. 

The sheep show was held on June 11th and I brought a mix of registered BFLs and some BFL/Gotland crosses. The classes were divided into fine, medium, longwool, and primitive; and among the other breeds in the ring  were  Icelandic, Shetlands, Targhee, and Romney.   

One of my BFL ram lambs took best fleece in the long wool division and eventually took Best in Show for the best fleece on an animal.  I was really pleased.  He is a triplet and a Gigrin Red Kite grandson.   He’s heading to a new home in Idaho after the show.

Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster

Tari Lohrey's display of color available from natural dyes.

BLU members Tari Lohrey, Anne Bisdorf, and Lisa Rodenfels attended the fiber festival in Wooster, OH this weekend as vendors. Between the three, BFL fiber was well represented; raw fleece, dyed locks, rovings, yarns, and some finished knitted items sold well in the booth marked with the big BLU banner. Fellow breeders Mike Lilburn, and Allen Fraley and daughter Alex were also in attendance.

Somerhill had 2 BFL entered in the show and sale that is held in conjunction with the festival. Somerhill Nethy Bridge (Bo), yearling ram, and Somerhill Tabitha, yearling ewe were judged on Saturday, and then went through the sale ring on Sunday afternoon. As she did last year, junior BLU member Alex was gracious to offer to show the sheep for Somerhill, and did a wonderful job.

The National Bluefaced Leicester show will be held at this venue in 2012. The BLU show will be held on Friday evening, and exhibitors will have the opportunity to enter their sheep in the sale on Sunday if they are so inclined. Start making plans to attend this show on Memorial Day weekend in 2012 !