The 17th annual Fiber Market Day takes places this Saturday at the Crook County Fairgrounds

This Saturday, the Crook County Fairgrounds will be full of fiber, and not the kind you eat.

The 17th annual Fiber Market Day comes to town, bringing with it everything for the fiber enthusiast, including a wide variety of yarn, raw and washed sheep fleece, alpaca fiber, angora rabbit fiber mohair, and prepared dyed and undyed rovings. A collection of fiber artist tools and hand-made finished goods by attending artists will be available as well.A wide variety of fiber products will be available on Saturday at the Crook County Fairgrounds

Held annually on the last Saturday of March, the event is a major fund-raiser for the High Desert Wool Growers Association.

According to event organizer Laura Cunningham, known as the Fiber Voodoo in sheep circles, the event originally began as a promotion for the sheep industry in Central Oregon.

“Fiber Market Day grew out of a market lamb sale that was held at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds,” she said. “Over the years the group has changed and evolved, and now the event is held to promote the fiber arts.”

With over 30 vendors, the all-day event includes a number of local fiber experts, including Custom Colored Critters, Faulkner Alpaca Ranch, Fiber Voodoo, Frolic Fibers, Pioneer Yarn Goods, and Prineville Lavender.

The Central Oregon Chapter of the Northwest Regional Spinners Association and the Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers will also be represented.

Custom Colored Critters' Correy and Brin McAtee will bring their inventory of sheep fleeces and yarn.

The couple manages a small sheep farm, raising fleeces and lambs that includes Natural Colored Romeldales, CVMs, white Romeldales, and Border Leicesters in white and shades of grey. Their flock is well traveled, having been shown at the Black Sheep Gathering, the Oregon Flock and Fiber show, and the Oregon State Fair.

Kristi Hiaasen, of Prineville Lavender, will showcase home-grown lavender, including varieties of Grosso, Provence and Hidcoteand Munstead. Started in 2004, Hiaasen's family operates the farm, growing fresh lavender in season and creating dried lavender and gifts. Hiaasen will also bring her handmade soaps, dried lavender bundles, culinary lavender, wreaths, and lavender essential oils.

Saturday's event will also feature a “Jill Pot” exhibition. Billed as a “just for fun” competition, a variety of animals will compete against each other for the coveted award of “Best Spinners Fleece” and will include Llamas, Alpacas, a variety of sheep and goats, and the occasional rabbit.

“We keep hoping for a camel or a Yak,” laughed Cunningham, “but have not had one show up yet!”

Cunningham and the Wool Growers Association invites everyone to come out to enjoy the wide variety of wools and yarns, both on and off the animals. “It's a feast for the eyes,” said Cunningham, “definitely eye candy!”

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