Monday, January 16, 2012

PA Sheep to Shawl 2012

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Last week, we took a detour from life and wound up at the PA Farm Show Complex, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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The Sheep to Shawl contest was happening. This was my first experience seeing it in person. I've been trying to get there for many years, but the weather is usually not permitting. It is an exciting event to attend.

First, there are the sheep.

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they get turned into this:

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...by the teams who shear, spin and weave a shawl in the space of a few hours..each team must present an objective and attempt to execute it in the least amount of time. The looms may be pre-warped. There are points awarded for Shearing, Fleece, Spinning, Weaving, Design and Speed.

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And then, there are the judges, who have the difficult task of awarding the points. The finished shawl must measure at least 22 inches wide and 78 inches long, or points will be deducted from the score.

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It was difficult to photograph the winning shawl from team, "Time Warp". From where I was standing the lighting was poor, and the shawl was dark. However, the team generously gifted some of the audience with strands of the warp threads, and I have a few (and an autographed program) as a souvenir.

This shawl took second place, and was created by team, "Friends Thru Fiber".

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If you would like to see some wonderful photos, go to YarnieMarnie's blog, she had a ringside view and was blogging live. She really does a fantastic job of covering this event.

Once the prizes are awarded, an auction takes place. This year, the second place shawl sold for $1,850.00. Some of the teams will donate the proceeds from the sale of their shawls...for instance, this year team Dream Weavers gave the monies to a father and son from a farm in Northumberland County, who were both badly burned in a farming accident this past August. After the shawl auction, there is a Wool Auction..I sat on my hands so I wouldn't bid.

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While all the spinning and weaving was going on, there was knitting going on too... by the spectators in the seats next to me. It was a great afternoon...and I think the only thing that would have made it better was to have been able to be on a team and be a part of this wonderful event!

12 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a great event. I have never heard of such a thing. It would be facinating to watch a weaver working in a competition. Seeing these beautiful shawls makes me want one.

cindy said...

It is wonderful to be on a team.My guild does a modified sheep to shawl every year at our RI Sheep and Wool Festival.

Sue said...

I love Sheep-to-Shawls. I really miss the one I used to be in in Friday Harbor, WA.

Caroline said...

My spinning group is putting together a CPW team for Maryland sheep to shawl this spring. I wanted to be involved, but I'm not a fast enough weaver and my attempts to spin in the grease have ranged from pretty bad to total failure, so I'm going to be a cheerleader.
Caroline

thecrazysheeplady said...

I'd like to try that as well. The competition at Rhinebeck is great fun!

phylliso said...

I missed it again this year.It`s free admission too.We live not far from it,it looks like so much fun.I can spin but not weave yet.Beautiful shawls.phyllis

Jody said...

Hi Cyndy,
The Sheep to Shawl happens here too although I've never been to see it.
I'm sure they would be happy to have someone as talented as you join their group!

Judy said...

You being part of a group sounds great and there is nobody representing our county........

Shearer's Girl said...

So interesting to hear about the event. I have taken part in a fleece to garment challenge with my Guild at a sheep shearing competition. We made a sleeveless jacket which was bought by a shearer in the auction so it traveled the shearing circuit with him!

elizabeth said...

I'm sure any of the teams would have loved to have you! Funny that you sat on your hands, I totally understand!

Artis-Anne said...

We had a sheep to shawl in our Guild last year although it wasn't a competition but done to raise funds for a new roof for our building. It was great fun

Cathy said...

I like watching the S2S at Estes Park - but have no desire to be on a team - I think being on display and under that kind of pressure is not for me. It's always fun, tho, to listen to the participants explain what they are doing to onlookers and to watch the judging.

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