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Wool Gathering moves to Madras

Fiber arts of all kinds

by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Amy Prutzman of Bend, leads around “Quasar,” a male llama belonging to Jim and Adrienne Parker. Prutzman, who recently became a llama owner, is learning how to care for them.

With everything from llamas and sheep dogs to wool and beer soap, the Fall Wool Gathering, formerly held in Shaniko, opened Sept. 8 and 9, at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
   "The vendors wanted more grass and shade, and we were worried about being that far out from medical facilities," said Bobbi Merritt, one of the organizers, explaining why the event moved to Madras.
   Some 32 vendors filled two buildings with fiber arts, equipment and supplies, including sheep and llama wool, silk, needle-felted toys, woodwork, and more. Handcraft vendors added this year included one selling soap made with beer and goats milk, and metal sculptures created with horseshoes.
   There were ongoing demonstrations of spinning wheels, wool carders, and weaving looms, while outside, sheep dogs gave a performance, sheep were shorn, and llamas were on display.
   "Madras has opened so many possibilities for the future, and we love the facility," Merritt said of the fairgrounds.